Body of Work

Location
Vancouver, BC
Architect
OSO, Merrick Architecture
Landscape Architect
HAPA Collaborative
Commencement
2018
Completion
2020
Project Size
367,000 sf

400 West Georgia is a 24-storey office tower made up of several clusters of four-storey steel-framed cubes arranged around a central concrete core. The office will feature glass floors overlooking the city, roof terraces under overhanging volumes, vertical gardens framing views of the mountains and the largest rooftop amenity in Vancouver.

The character of the work space at 400W. Georgia is designed to be open, fluid, flexible, but also diverse. This new, creative work environment elicits collaboration, creativity, and spontaneity. The boxes create natural compartments within a continuous floorplate, allowing offices to be variously partitioned while also staying close to the façade. The floors and ceilings of the cantilevering portions are glazed to visually link the garden, the offices, and the street below. The resulting diversity of spaces is complimented by the diversity of views, whose orientation is not only horizontal, but also vertical.

Project completion is scheduled to complete in the spring of 2020.

Contact

Leasing Enquiries

Roz McQueen
Westbank - Commercial Leasing
501, 1067 West Cordova Street,
Vancouver BC, Canada V6C 1C7

Tel: 604 893 1762
Email: roz@westbankcorp.com

Manifesto

Designed to both reflect nature and to honor its surrounding envi-ronment, 400W.Georgia will create a unique and constantly changing experience for all who encounter it.

This is our first project working with Michael Sypkens and Esteban Ochogavia, formerly of Kengo Kuma and Associates, who are working along with our team here at Westbank, with our frequent collaborators Merrick Architecture as the local architects. The design brief was as follows: It has always bothered me that office buildings become cold, hollowed-out shells of themselves when everyone has gone home. So I asked the team to come up with an idea where the office building morphs into something else, such as a piece of sculpture. In this way it will always add to the vibrancy of the city, whether full of thousands of people or none. The second design brief was how to bring nature into our cities as our society becomes more urban? Nature is an essential part of our existence on this planet and we felt it was important to integrate nature into our project as a way of reminding people they are part of a living organism and of course, to incorpo-rate nature’s sheer beauty. You can see from the model and images how we have attempted to do that.

It was also important that the building reflect the changing nature of Vancouver’s economy, where the creative economy has blossomed. So we challenged the City of Vancouver, our design team, the structural engineers and the procurement team to design a building that could be built in half the time of a typical office building. Hence it will be our first complete steel construction, including core and superstructure.

When we asked Michael Sypkens and Esteban Ochogavia to rethink the design of 400W.Georgia, they knew they were being asked to think outside the box. Previous investigations on this site were no different than the typical background buildings all too prevalent in our city – conventional to the core, they are bound to become a lifeless shell, silent at night and unnoticeable by day. Granted that the site occupied a prominent corner in downtown Vancouver, the opportunity to ani-mate the city would remain unrealized.

Michael and Esteban’s brief study led to a completely different approach to the typical glass box. Rather than a single extrusion, they found that multiple, smaller extrusions could achieve the same density. The smaller extrusions became weightless glass cubes that were haphazardly placed on top of each other. To com-plement this aggregation of abstract cubes, we introduced verdant landscapes to unify the staggered aesthetic. As a result, the building evolved into a scaleless sculpture of cantilevering volumes and vertical gardens.

From the point of view of the tenant, a contemporary office tower is expected to offer full-height glazing, large open spans, and flexible interiors. The tenant does not expect to find glass floors overlooking the city, roof terraces under over-hanging volumes, and vertical gardens framing views of the mountains. All this is accomplished by rearranging, rather than abandoning, the conventional glass box.

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