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  #1  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 11:02 PM
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508 Helmcken | 98M | 36Fl | Proposed

Here's the project I posted about last week in the Downtown thread. Details are now public.

Quote:
Rezoning Application - 508 Helmcken Street
GBL Architects Inc. has applied to the City of Vancouver to rezone 508 Helmcken Street from DD (Downtown) District to CD-1 (Comprehensive Development) District. The proposal is for a 36-storey mixed use building including:

•454 residential units, of which 110 are proposed as market rental, and a private pre-school and kindergarten;
•a building height of 97.54 m (320 ft.); and,
•a floor area of 365,334 sq. ft. and a floor space ratio (FSR) of 17.4
The applicant proposes to provide social housing at 1077-1099 Richards Street, including replacement housing for Jubilee House residents currently located at 508 Helmcken Street, as a public benefit associated with this rezoning application.
The proposal fits just under the F1.1 (Choklit Park) view cone but does cut into the C2.1 view cone, to me it looks like it could've been avoided as it just grazes the site, but they are instead asking the city for permission to breach it. The developer behind it is Brenhill.

•Statistics
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...Statistics.pdf

•Context Plan and Aerial
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...lan_Aerial.pdf

•Building Grades
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...dingGrades.pdf

•Context Massing and Rezoning Rationale
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...gRationale.pdf

•View Cones
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/.../ViewCones.pdf

•Shanow Analysis
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...owAnalysis.pdf

•Massing and Footprint Comparison
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...Comparison.pdf

•Tower Comparison
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...Comparison.pdf

•Photo Montage
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...otoMontage.pdf

•Design Rationale
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...nRationale.pdf

•Sustainability Rationale
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...yRationale.pdf

•View Impact Analysis
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...ctAnalysis.pdf

•Parking Plans
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...rkingPlans.pdf

•Floor and Roof Plans
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._RoofPlans.pdf

•Building Elevations

http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...Elevations.pdf

•Building Sections
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...ngSections.pdf

•Landscape Plan
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...dscapePlan.pdf

•FSR Calculations
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...lculations.pdf

The design is better then the norm but certainly not amazing. Surprised by the monsterous FSR being proposed for this area though. Will be interesting to see this one work thru the system.
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  #2  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 11:13 PM
WarrenC12 WarrenC12 is online now
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10 Levels of parking? Wow.
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  #3  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 11:15 PM
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Did I read this right, 10 floors of underground parking? Lol. I really like this project. I love the high fsr. I would be happy to see this become more common
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  #4  
Old Posted Feb 19, 2013, 11:31 PM
DKaz DKaz is offline
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Indeed, 10 floors of parking. Short floors though, 8' ceilings.
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  #5  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2013, 1:17 AM
phesto phesto is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jlousa View Post
The proposal fits just under the F1.1 (Choklit Park) view cone but does cut into the C2.1 view cone, to me it looks like it could've been avoided as it just grazes the site, but they are instead asking the city for permission to breach it.
I really don't understand why the view cone encroachment is really necessary either. Their explanation in the 'design rationale' is pretty weak.
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  #6  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2013, 2:02 AM
officedweller officedweller is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phesto View Post
I really don't understand why the view cone encroachment is really necessary either. Their explanation in the 'design rationale' is pretty weak.
Agreed.

Just FLIP the floorplate - then the curved corner will fall under the viewcone.

What geniuses are these?



Uploaded with ImageShack.us

************

Noteworthy that they are closing (or overhanging?) the lane for the project footprint.

Also noteworthy that the Jubilee House will be moving to a purpose built 13 storey building across the street as this is a land-swap. That means this tower will not start construction until that one is complete and the residents move in - i..e. proper phasing (as opposed to Little Mountain).



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Last edited by officedweller; Feb 20, 2013 at 2:29 AM.
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  #7  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2013, 2:03 AM
Klazu Klazu is offline
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Cool, I wasn't even thinking of seeing a tower on this site. So far the design looks better than usual.

10 levels of parking sounds annoying though. The parkade in our building is 6 levels deep and driving all the way down there does take some time.
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  #8  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2013, 2:45 AM
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A lot of metal and glass. If Ikea made a condo tower, this would be it.

What is vertical green screen? Must be something that costs slightly more than metal panels because it (green screen) only goes half way up.
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  #9  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2013, 6:28 AM
dleung dleung is offline
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I've always assumed that those two buildings on the block will not be replaced, but rather added to the park, when it comes time to demolish them. The way one condo tower will sit on that block is weird, and almost undemocratic in expression.
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  #10  
Old Posted Feb 20, 2013, 9:42 PM
officedweller officedweller is offline
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I also find it interesting that there is no set of renderings for the tower among the materials.
i.e. the assumption being that the tower must be too ugly or plain to present via renderings.

Quote:
Originally Posted by dleung View Post
I've always assumed that those two buildings on the block will not be replaced, but rather added to the park, when it comes time to demolish them. The way one condo tower will sit on that block is weird, and almost undemocratic in expression.
Blame the view cones.

The odd thing about the siting is that the tallest tower in the area will now block the VIEW of the park (and the openness provided by the park) from many of the shorter towers in the area.

Quote:
Originally Posted by logan5 View Post
What is vertical green screen? Must be something that costs slightly more than metal panels because it (green screen) only goes half way up.
I assumed it meant "green wall" i.e. plants in pots.

*********

I wonder if the units will come with a warning about adjacent dog park noise? or extra soundproofing?

http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Va...573/story.html

Quote:

Emery Barnes Park sits below the balconies of the Jubilee House social housing complex.
Photograph by: Dan Toulgoet , Vancouver Courier


For a person standing on the open walkway on the fourth floor of the Jubilee House social housing complex at Richards and Helmcken streets, the fenced off-leash area of Emery Barnes Park is within spitting distance.

It’s the same with the open windows of Brooklyn Court, directly adjacent to the dog park, where on Wednesday morning as many as 10 dogs charged around the small fenced area. Soon a fight began with yelping, growling and barking.

According to Jubilee resident Ron Dobson, dog fights, barking dogs and what he said are aggressive owners are a constant in the park around the clock and are ruining the lives of the tenants in the social housing complexes. The majority of the tenants living in both buildings are disabled, elderly or both.

“Sometimes the barking is so bad I can’t eat and throw my dinner out,” said 65-year-old Dobson, whose small studio apartment overlooks the dog park. “It’s affecting my sleep and my health.”

Dobson said when he’s yelled down asking owners to quiet their dogs, he’s been greeted with threats, rude hand gestures and laughter.

He’s convinced the off-leash area was placed in that corner of the park so as not to annoy the wealthy condo owners living near the other end. He regularly complains to the city’s 311 call centre, the park board and Animal Control.

...

“What are these people doing in this park at one and two in the morning when it closes at 10 [p.m.]?” said Barnes. “They shouldn’t be there.”

Barnes has staff looking at ways to improve or replace the gate latch as a way to reduce the noise. “I feel like I need to take ownership of Dad’s park when I can hear a dog barking relentlessly at 1 a.m.”

...
http://www.calgaryherald.com/news/Va...573/story.html

Nice pic of the site from the internet:


http://lmaclean.ca/tag/emery-barnes-park/

Last edited by officedweller; Feb 20, 2013 at 10:01 PM.
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  #11  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2013, 2:31 AM
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As someone who goes to the dog park often it's rare that there's barking and very rare that there's a dog fight. I'd be more cOncerned with the bums making noise shooting up and getting drunk by the waterfall instead
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  #12  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2013, 6:41 AM
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I like the curved shapes of the building; this should help attenuate the profile which is just that of another rectangular box.
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  #13  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2013, 12:18 PM
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Interesting floorplate and use of curves, as noted above. Vancouver would, IMO, profit from a greater and more daring use of curves in some major buildings.
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  #14  
Old Posted Feb 21, 2013, 7:44 PM
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Actually, I've thought that the accent curve is a bit overused - since the Terminal City Club building started it off in town (smaller version of Montreal's IBM tower).
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  #15  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2013, 5:37 AM
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The UDP voted this one down unanimously with a 0-7 vote for support.
Below are the minutes, looks like they are okay with the height but felt it's too dense as the floor plates are too large.

Quote:
Introduction:
Michael Naylor, Rezoning Planner, introduced the proposal for the corner of Richards and Helmcken Streets at the north end of Emery Barnes Park. The policy under which the tower proposal is being considered is the Metro Core Benefit Capacity Study that was done in 2008.
Council endorsed consideration of rezoning applications within the Downtown South that seek additional height and density up to the underside of approved view cones. The intent of the policy is to support public objectives such as provision of affordable housing, heritage and development of cultural, recreational and other community facilities. The public benefit being proposed for this project is replacement of social housing currently located at Jubilee House with a new facility on the other side of Helmcken Street.
Sailen Black, Development Planner, further described the proposal. Mr. Black noted that the proposed site would incorporate the existing lane and easement to the south. The City plans to build a new greenway on the north side of Helmcken Street, and a greenway is contemplated for Richards Street in the future. There is a view corridor extending from Choklit Park to Grouse Mountain that limits the maximum height over most of the site to approximately 324 feet, and a second view corridor that limits the height at one corner to approximately 255 feet.
Mr. Black described the Downtown South guidelines for the New Yaletown area. The guidelines recommend a form of development that is intended to provide for relatively high density living while preserving access to light, view and air for residents. To this end tower plates are recommended to be limited to 6,500 square feet in area, over a wider podium base that forms a well-defined street wall. The maximum width of towers is recommended at 90 feet. Setbacks are required at 12 feet from the street on grade; at 40 feet from the interior property lines for building portions over 70 feet tall; and at 30 feet from the rear yard for building portions over 35 feet tall.
Mr. Black noted that the proposal is designed to fit below and to the side of the two view cones at this site. The lane and southern right-of-way, both currently hard surfaced, will be incorporated into the project with parking below the lane and pedestrian access over the south setback. The tower is articulated in plan, which is notable in the skyline profile when looking at the top from grade. Floors are fairly consistent from one level to another, with variations in balcony enclosures and subtle angles to some walls. The shape of the base is intended to provide better view lines from nearby streets into Emery Barnes Park than would occur with a typical podium and tower form. A Montessori pre-school is proposed on the bottom two floors, facing into the park. Drop off for vehicles and parkade access is proposed from the lane; with walking drop off via the public passage to the south. Townhouses are proposed on both streets.

Comments were sought on the form of development for this rezoning application in general, and in particular:
Taking into consideration current zoning and guidelines;
a. Does the Panel support the proposed height (320 feet) and density (17.4 FSR), and;
b. Does the Panel support the proposed setbacks (5 feet and 24 feet), tower width (128 feet) and plate size (10,367 square feet), within this neighbourhood context?
Given the surround context and its location on Emery Barnes Park, is the proposed form of development for the base of the tower (including open space and setbacks) a good fit for this part of Yaletown?
Does the Panel have any advice on the overall design with regard to;
a. Neighbourliness including shadow and view impacts,
b. Open space and landscape treatments,
c. LEED Gold strategies and Rezoning Policy for Greener Buildings, or
d. Preliminary comments on the exterior composition or expression?
Mr. Naylor and Mr. Black took questions from the Panel.

Applicant’s Introductory Comments:
Stu Lyon, Architect, further described the proposal and
mentioned that since it is a rezoning he hoped the Panel would comment on the landing of the density, form of development, height and general articulation of the building. He noted that there are some challenges for landing density on the site and the reason for that is the formula for building non-market housing. They will be accommodating the 87 units from the 127 Society and increasing the number to 160 or more units in total. He added that the having the park next to the site is a great asset. They originally had a taller building which needed to be reduced to accommodate the view cones. He added that they have accommodated the setbacks at the ground plane that will allow for a double row of trees. Mr. Lyon described the architecture noting that they developed a floor plate with 13 units on a typical floor in order to make the suites liveable.
Andrew Emmerson, Architect, explained that they wanted to maintain a defined, formalized edge to Helmcken and Richards Streets which is why there is a right angle at the corner. He added that they see the tower as an anchor to the park.
Julian Patterson, Landscape Architect, described the landscape plans and mentioned that along Richards Street there will be a series of landscape terraces that will transition to the tower and form individual entry points to the units. At the corner of Helmcken Street is a water feature to reinforce the theme from the park and to anchor the corner. There is a widen laneway that will serves as a pedestrian through route from Richards Street to the new school entrance and to the existing dog park. The pedestrian plaza adjacent to the entrance lobby is created with street trees.

The applicant team took questions from the Panel.
Panel’s Consensus on Key Aspects Needing Improvement:
Tower floor plate size is too large for this site;
Design development of improve the relationship between the tower and the park;
Consider a more sculpted termination at the top of the tower;
Design development to better integrate the landscape plans with the park.

Related Commentary:
The Panel did not support the proposal but commended the applicant for including affordable housing in the proposal.
The Panel supported the height but felt there might be too much density which had created a rather bulky building. They noted that the proportions didn’t feel right and that the 10,000 square foot floor plates were too large for this neighbourhood. As well they agreed that the top of the tower should be sculpted to assist in making the tower height respond to the backdrop of the mountains. As one Panel member suggested the building should feather more elegantly into the skyline. Another Panel member noted that the tower lost the curved effect at the top of the tower.
The Panel thought the setbacks were too aggressive on the park edge and felt like the building was dominating the park. They noted that there was some confusion in the design of the building as some parts embraced the City’s guidelines for the area while other made a conscious attempt to challenge them. One Panel member noted that it wasn’t doing either and needed to be one or the other. A number of Panel members noted the way in which the tower meets the ground needed further design development. As well the interface at the park, Helmcken and Richards Streets needed to be reevaluated.
Most of the Panel felt the landscape plans were not sympathetic to the park and the expression was in fact fighting the park. One Panel member noted that there is a rhythm to the park edge that needed to be carried through the landscape plans in the proposal. As well another Panel member thought the neighbourhood context was very important and that this scale needed to be brought to the building form along the street.
The Panel liked some of the sustainability features such as the solar collectors and thought they might help to animate the body of the building.

Applicant’s Response:
Mr. Lyon thanked the Panel for all their comments. He noted that there are significant challenges with the site but will move forward and look at the form and treatment of the tower. He added that the challenge would be in any significant reduction of the density, as there was considerable enthusiasm for creation of 163 units of non-market housing and the project needed to be 365,000 square feet in total to make it work.

I bolded the one line, surprised the city is looking at a greenway along Richards, always figured the plan was to convert it to a two way street along with some other questionable one-ways. If they go with the greenway they won't be able to go to a two way.
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  #16  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2013, 5:56 AM
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I wish the city would allow larger floor plate buildings. 10,000 isn't even that big
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  #17  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2013, 8:39 AM
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The Panel supported the height but felt there might be too much density which had created a rather bulky building. They noted that the proportions didn’t feel right and that the 10,000 square foot floor plates were too large for this neighbourhood.

on the one hand, it's great that the developer will have to come back with a better-designed building to keep that fsr and make the project pencil, but on the other hand, that language is just chilling. couldn't the udp members tease out what was simple poor design from some basic, project-breaking lines of criticism? aren't they architects and planners? the design is horrible, hard to believe that it could have come up in 2013, just phoned in, sure - so critique the thing along those lines, not lines that threaten the entire project. damn.
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  #18  
Old Posted Apr 18, 2013, 6:42 PM
officedweller officedweller is offline
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If they sculpt the top, the removed density would have to go into the podium.

Maybe a taller podium would work as the surrounding buildings are all taller podiums because of the low view cone through the area.
They could also try to cantilever more of the podium over the lane facing the park and articulate the cantilevered facade - maybe like the UBC Pharmacy Building - with setbacks above.

With the large floorplate, I think the tower needs to be more of a landmark - not just a bulky anonymous tower. If they break up the shaft, it wouldn't appear as bulky or domineering over the park. The vertical alcove just adds to the bulkiness of the tower (emphasizing height). I would delete the vertical alcoves (adding density to each floor and add gaps or fins or boxes to break up the facade. i.e. Think Rolston, rather than Capitol.

These will be premium suites, as they overlook the park and the tower will have some of the best views in the area, since there's the adjacent view cone limiting the height of buildings to the north.
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  #19  
Old Posted Apr 23, 2013, 6:48 AM
smho smho is offline
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This one is headed back to the UDP on Apr 24, less than a month since it was last there (Mar 27). FSR reduced from 17.4 to 17.02.

http://vancouver.ca/files/cov/commit...l-20130424.pdf
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  #20  
Old Posted Apr 24, 2013, 4:01 AM
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Here is the revised application, think the udp did the right thing sending this one back for redesign.

Quote:
Revisions: the following changes were made:
-a reduction of 6,186 sq. ft. of floor area (from 365,334 sq. ft. to 359,148 sq. ft.);
- a reduction in the floor space ratio (FSR) from 17.40 to 17.10;
- a reduction of 170 sq. ft. to the building floor plate (from 10,300 sq. ft. to 10,130 sq. ft.) ;
- changes to the design of the building (see Response to UDP Comments, below).
Response to UDP Comments
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/...onse_apr13.pdf

Context Plan
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

Architectural and Landscape Rationale
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

Rezoning Rationale
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

View Cones
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

Shadow Analysis
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

Footprint Comparison
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

Outright Zoning Comparison
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

Tower Comparison
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

Photo Montage
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

Sustainability Rationale
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

Site Plan
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

Parking Plans
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

Floor and Roof Plans
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

Building Elevations
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

Building Sections
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

Landscape Plan
http://former.vancouver.ca/commsvcs/..._rev_apr13.pdf

Surprised how quickly they were able to redesign and get this back in front of the udp, shows how eager the developer is to proceed quickly and how unbusy the udp is these days.

image courtesy of Changing city

Source:http://changingcitybook.com/2013/04/...lmcken-street/
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