TABLE OF CONTENTS Nov 2012 - 0 comments



Private Residences at Hotel Georgia a new addition to Vancouver’s skyline.

The Private Residences at the Hotel Georgia is a 158-metre-high, 50-storey mixed-use tower situated above eight levels of underground parking, making it the second-tallest tower in Vancouver. Comprised of hotel and commercial office space in the first 11 storeys, 156 residential units make up the remaining floors. Dramatically canting out on its south and east façades, the first 35 storeys provide passive solar shading and stunning views of the Vancouver Art Gallery and Robson Square; the top dozen floors lean back so that the southeast balconies have a view of Seymour and Grouse mountains to the north. The massing and expression of the new tower’s 11-storey podium is an architectural homage to the Hotel Georgia itself, using a similar material palette and scale of solids and voids close to the interface of the two structures. This hotel is one of the greener towers to be built in downtown Vancouver, incorporating several sustainable features: photovoltaic cells that provide energy to operate the motorized blinds in the building; geothermal wells that heat and cool the tower; low-flow water fixtures; efficient electrical features; and a rooftop water tank and lower-level swimming pool that double up to provide a back-up reservoir for the building’s fire suppression. This complex project honours its prominent downtown site, combining a sensitive renovation and restoration of the historic Hotel Georgia with the introduction of a sustainable tall building on the city’s ever-expanding skyline. IBI/HB Architects was the architect of record/prime consultant for the design of the residential and commercial tower adjacent to the historic Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver. The project was undertaken in collaboration with Endall Elliot Architects, who were responsible for the design and renovation of the existing hotel. Construction this integrated urban mixed-use development began in 2008 and is slated for completion by the end of 2012. 

David Mirvish and Frank Gehry unveil conceptual design to transform Toronto’s Entertainment District.

David Mirvish, founder of Mirvish Productions, and venerated architect Frank Gehry recently unveiled the conceptual design for a mixed-use project that will transform Toronto’s downtown arts and entertainment district and advance the area’s future as a thriving cultural centre. The multi-year, multi-phase project is the largest and most significant urban commission to date for the Toronto-born architect, bringing new cultural, residential and retail spaces to a site immediately next to the Royal Alexandra Theatre and creating a new visual identity for the city’s premier arts district. Bordered by many of Toronto’s leading cultural institutions including the Royal Alexandra Theatre and Roy Thomson Hall to the east, the Toronto International Film Festival Bell Lightbox and the John Street Cultural Corridor to the west, culminating at the Art Gallery of Ontario to the north, the project will have at its centre the new Mirvish Collection museum and a new facility for OCAD University. Frank Gehry, whose other major Canadian project is the redesigned Art Gallery of Ontario (2008), said that “It is very special for me to be able to work in Toronto where I was born and to engage the neighbourhoods where I grew up.” The conceptual design, which will continue to evolve, consists of two six-storey stepped podiums, which relate in scale and articulation to the neighbouring buildings, topped by three iconic residential towers, ranging in size from 80 to 85 storeys. Each tower has a complementary but distinctive design, which fits with the history and texture of the surrounding neighbourhood. The west block of the plan, oriented to King Street West, features a stepped podium with the Mirvish Collection in the atrium and planted terraces that create a green silhouette overlooking King Street and Metro Square. And the east block of the plan includes the preservation of the Royal Alexandra Theatre and another stepped podium housing the OCAD University facility that fronts onto King Street West.

Douglas Cardinal to design Carleton University’s Aboriginal Centre.

Carleton University’s Centre for Aboriginal Culture and Education (CACE) announced that renowned Canadian architect Douglas Cardinal is designing a new Aboriginal centre in Paterson Hall which will open next year. He is famous for flowing architecture marked with smooth lines, influenced by his Aboriginal heritage and by European Expressionist architecture. He designed the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington DC, as well as the Museum of Civilization in Gatineau, opposite Parliament Hill. He said: “I will use my extensive knowledge of traditional and contemporary Aboriginal culture as I seek to bring the university’s vision for the centre into reality. As much as possible, I will incorporate symbols and sculptural forms into the space that reflect the First Nations world view and, in the end, I hope to have a space that will create a better understanding and appreciation of Aboriginal culture within the university setting.” Born in 1934 in Calgary, Cardinal began architectural studies at the University of British Columbia which he completed in Austin, Texas. He has received many national and international awards, including 14 honorary doctorates, an Officer of the Order of Canada, and Gold Medals of Architecture in Canada and Russia. He was also declared the “World Master of Contemporary Architecture” by the International Association of Architects.


The historic Hotel Georgia in downtown Vancouver welcomes a gleaming new 50-storey tower containing hotel rooms, condominiums, and commercial office space. Bob Matheson
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