Proposed Vancouver highrise designed as stacked and rotated boxes up for public hearing

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      Vancouver’s skyline may get an eye-catching addition.

      It’s a proposed downtown office tower designed to look like stacked boxes with different orientations.

      A 36-storey highrise is planned at 1133-1155 Melville Street between Thurlow and Bute streets.

      Designed by James KM Architects Inc., the office project is joint venture between Oxford Properties Office Holdings Inc., and 2331355 Ontario Limited

      According to the design rationale prepared by the architectural company for the rezoning application, the concept for the skyscraper is a series of stacked boxes with different floor plate sizes and angles.

      “The tower form is broken down to a set of stacked boxes, each one proportionally crafted to relate to its surrounding context and building height datums,” the document stated. “The boxes are also shifted in their stacking position to best mediate the new tower’s adjacency to existing towers nearby.”

      Another view of the proposed office tower at 1133-1155 Melville Street.

      City of Vancouver staff have recommended approval of the rezoning application.

      In a report to council, Karen Hoese, acting assistant director for downtown of the city’s planning, urban design and sustainability department, wrote that the proposal has “demonstrated the desired architectural excellence and creativity sought for taller buildings”.

      “With its unique formal tower expression of stacked boxes and a deliberate finishing treatment at the top of the tower, the proposal will contribute positively to the Vancouver’s skyline, especially when viewed from the Queen Elizabeth viewpoint,” Hoese wrote.

      The public hearing for the rezoning application for 1133-1155 Melville Street is scheduled Tuesday (April 17).