Vancouver’s historic Waterfront Station may soon be getting a glitzy new neighbour.
A sleek, 26-story tower – described as “origami” in glass and steel – has been proposed for the parking lot currently located between the 1912 station on the edge of Gastown and the adjacent Landing building, a century-old office building that houses the Steamworks bar and restaurant.
The tower, proposed by Cadillac Fairview, is designed by Adrian Smith + Gordon Gill Architecture,the same U.S.-based firm who built the Burj Khalifa in Dubai (the world’s tallest building) and who are working on Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Tower, to be the new tallest building when completed in 2018.
To fit in the small space available, the tower folds in at its base, enveloping one corner of the historic CPR train station. Higher up, it broadens to resemble the new World Trade Centre in New York, with angled planes of glass and steel.
The design has already met with some scrutiny. An original proposal was 13 metres too tall, violating Vancouver’s strict “view cone” policy, designed to protect designated view corridors to the North Shore mountains. Meanwhile, the Gastown Historic Area Planning Committee is hoping that the final design gives a bit more breathing room to Waterfront Station, which looks almost sandwiched under the new building in some planning sketches.
As the land is already zoned for an office tower, however, no public hearing is required, only a nod of approval from the development permit board at its upcoming March meeting, according to an article in Metro News. Nonetheless, the public is being given a chance to submit comments to the city until Jan. 22.
The historic character of downtown is already facing challenges from a host of new office towers, from the high-profile Telus tower on Richards Street to a newly approved 31-story building across the street from Waterfront Station. The area’s proximity to major transit hubs – including the Canada and Expo SkyTrain Lines, SeaBus and commuter rail lines – means increased densification (i.e. more towers) is likely in the years ahead.
What do you think about the new proposed tower next to Waterfront Station? Let us know below.
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