TELUS Garden

TELUS Garden office, part of the million square foot, mixed-use TELUS Garden development is not your run of the mill office tower. In every way it has been designed to inspire the workforce that will ultimately inhabit its walls, from advanced environmental sustainability features (it will be Vancouver’s first LEED Platinum office tower), to leading communications technology befitting a building that bears the TELUS name. The office tower features a custom grand piano intended for music events and performances in the lobby and plaza.

Ian Gillespie, the visionary leader behind Westbank - the city's preeminent development company - commissioned Gregory Henriquez to design the TELUS Garden building and a one of a kind Fazioli piano to be a centre piece for their lobby. An unusual feature for an office building, the piano enlivens the public realm inside and out and adds to the urban theatre in the heart of downtown Vancouver. Probably now one of the city's most visible pianos, it can be clearly seen by the 80,000 daily passersby on West Georgia - between Seymour and Richards.

Gregory drew inspiration for the design from the design of the office building. Rather than opting for traditional black, Gregory chose a natural wood finish, echoing the dramatic, sculptural glulam beams of the expansive plaza canopy. The legs supporting the piano mimic the distinctive V-shaped concrete structural supports that are an integral part of the tower’s design. And in a nod to the high-tech features of TELUS Garden office, the inside panel of the lid will be mirrored, providing viewers with a clear view of Fazioli’s expert craftsmanship.


Renowned Vancouver architect Gregory Henriquez tells the story of the creation of the city's newest high-profile art case piano: The Fazioli in the beautiful new lobby of the Telus Gardens building.


The World's Finest Piano Maker

Fazioli pianos are made by hand in Italy and are considered to be the finest piano available in the world.  The company was founded by Paolo Fazioli in 1979, a pianist and engineer that wanted to combine those two worlds of knowledge to make the best pianos known to man.  Today some of the world’s top pianists play on Fazioli, from Angela Hewitt – the world’s leading interpreter of Bach – to jazz legend Herbie Hancock.  In 2011 one of the world’s leading schools of music – Juilliard – that famously only bought one brand of pianos for the previous 80 years, broke from tradition to purchase a Fazioli piano.  

Each Fazioli takes approximately 3,000 man-hours to make.  At the heart of each Fazioli piano lies the soundboard, which is carved from the Val-Di-Fiemme forest in Northern Italy – the same trees harvested by Antonio Stradivari for his famous violins.  Many of the hinges are plated in 18k gold to prevent corrosion. 

Paolo Fazioli
Born in Rome, Italy


The factory is situated in Sacile, in the province of Pordenone, 60 km north east of Venice, in an area that boasts a time honoured and prestigious tradition in the art of wood working. In 2001, production moved to a new 5,000 square metre complex that was specially designed to cater to the specific requirements of piano construction. It was built to meet the most modern criteria for practicality, luminosity and climate control.


The Val di Fiemme, is situated in the heart of the Western Italian Alps. In the 1800’s, the celebrated violin maker Antonio Stradivari used the wood from this red spruce forest for his violins: the same red spruce is used today to construct the sound boards for Fazioli pianos. Only a small part of this fine wood is suitable for the construction of the sound board; the real “heart” of the piano. Indeed, the construction of the sound board requires highly elastic and strong wood, with low specific density and absolute regularity of the grain.


The first phase in constructing a piano begins by forming the rim, which is made in two layers, internal and external. The internal rim, which is lower, is made by stacking together 5mm thick lengths of solid maple, which is then bent around special moulds to form its characteristic shape. Given the obvious difficulty in curving a material like wood, this is a very delicate phase in the production process. The same applies when forming the external rim, which is higher than the internal one, and glued around the latter. At the Fazioli factory, rims are still shaped in the time honoured method which leaves the wood in the clamps for days in order to adapt to its new shape. This method allows the glue to dry naturally rather than artificially assisting the process. In this way, the natural tendencies of the wood are respected and it creates a condition that will ensure the stability and longevity of the piano for years to come. The rims are then left to “rest” for a period of not less than 6 months before further assembly can commence.