Proposed Vancouver office tower rejects typical rectangular form, goes curvaceous

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      Proponents of a new Vancouver office tower say the development presents a “strong architectural presence” downtown.

      Shunning the typical rectangular shape of buildings, the 1166 West Pender project takes on a “sinuous” form.

      “Convex and concave exterior walls respond to the contours of the adjacent buildings to form an undulating body wrapped in ceramic-fritted curtain wall glazing,” states the design rationale for the development.

      Reliance Properties plans to build a new 32-storey office tower on the site.

      “Situated at the border between a district of office towers and a neighbourhood of slender residential high-rises, the proposed design for 1166 West Pender responds to its unique location with varied floorplates and a distinct shape,” states the design rationale.

      Moreover, the building “deviates from a typical rectangular form by dropping downwards in a deep wedge shape along the West Pender Street façade”.

      The design rationale also notes that “sloping façade features rooftop garden terraces that step down along the north-east corner of the tower”.

      “The architectural language of the descending wedge meets at a point and runs down the entire height of the building, tying the top of the tower to the base,” the document notes.

      Outside, a “curved white glass curtain wall affords unobstructed views and establishes a distinct character and impressive presence.”

      Inside, a “sculptural staircase that reflects the sinuous forms of the exterior walls connects the upper and lower lobby space.”

      All in all, 1166 West Pender Street will be a “welcomed addition to this bustling Vancouver neighbourhood”.

      The development provides a “sustainable, visually compelling design while offering first-rate commercial spaces and enlivening the neighbourhood”.

      The design rationale forms part of the development-permit application for the project.

      The property sits on the south side of Pender Street, mid-block between Thurlow and Bute streets.

      The development replaces a 15-storey office building completed in 1974.

      Vancouver city council approved the rezoning of 1166 West Pender for a bigger office tower on July 9, 2019.

      The city will receive comments from the public regarding the development-permit application until Friday (August 7).