This Innovative Tower In Vancouver Owes Its Twisting Design To Its Challenging Building Site

Vancouver House skyscraper, by the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) is one of the most innovative structures in the area. The building’s enthralling form was designed as a response to a very challenging site that, according to the firm, was almost too small to build on.

The Vancouver House is located on a very small plot in a built-up area that is crowded by other buildings, a river, and a bridge.

Strict local planning laws do not allow the tower to be at least 30 m (98 ft) from the bridge until it reaches a height of 30 m (98 ft). BIG’s approach was to dramatically sculpt the tower’s form so that it rises out of the ground on a slim triangular podium and then twists and widens as it rises to a maximum height of 155 m (508 ft). The building also has beautiful terraces and balconies so the view is not comprised.

“Vancouver House is located at the main entrance to Vancouver, exactly where the Granville bridge triforks when it reaches downtown,” explained BIG. “The resulting triangular slices of land had previously been undeveloped. When engaged by Westbank to design a residential high-rise for the highly complex site, BIG started by mapping the constraints – setbacks from the streets, a 30-meter setback from the bridge, and a neighboring park that had to be protected from shadows. After all the constraints, what was left was a small triangular site nearly too small to build upon.”

“As a result, Vancouver House emerges subtly from the ground and expands as it rises, appearing as a Genie let out of the bottle. What seems like a surreal gesture is in fact a highly responsive architecture – shaped by its environment.”

The building has more than 49 floors, most of which are taken up by residential space divided between 75 apartments for purchase and 106 rentals. There are also some retail areas on the lower floors, along with workspaces and amenity spaces too.

Vancouver House was actually completed during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020. However, it is being marketed and unveiled now.

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