The 37,503 square-meter Waterfront Tower has 23 floors of office space and was design for a site in Vancouver on Cordova Street immediately east of The Station Building and west of the Landing.
The 7,652 square-meter site is situated between two significant heritage buildings that are public representations of the history and heritage of the surrounding Gastown area. The site is faced with numerous constraints but has the potential to be the gateway access to future developments along the waterfront.
As a gateway site, the urban aspects of pedestrian flow, vehicular access, and utility and infrastructure all come into play in influencing the building’s physical location. The design, like the formal three-dimensional response to right of ways and setbacks, was influenced by the allowable footprint of the site.
From the base, the building rises up at varying angles making use of the allowable space, while navigating the above constraints of setbacks and right of ways. Above the base, the building’s form is simplified and will reach 114 meters – the acceptable height that conforms to the view cones defined by the City of Vancouver.
While the building’s form was a result of accommodating the existing legal restrictions of the site, the environmental consciousness of the design was also a top priority for the design team and the client. The building will include measures to improve occupant comfort and energy performance while reducing the environmental impacts of construction. The design team also performed a series of climate and solar analyses to determine the position that maximized the energy potential of the tower. Sustainable strategies will include state-of-the-art mechanical and electrical systems that will minimize energy consumption, rainwater capture/reuse systems, materials in the tower envelope to minimize solar heat gain, and the use of local, regional, and recycled materials where possible.
Other sustainable design strategies include tilting the building’s roof toward the south to maximize energy generation through the use of photovoltaics. This tilt will also give shade to the southern façade and will increase daylighting on the northern façade, reducing the need for the use of lighting. The tapered base of the tower also increases open space and daylight to the at grade plaza.
Waterfront Tower was designed following LEED CS, although it will surpass the LEED requirements. The project is also targeting an estimated water use reduction of over 35% compared to the LEED baseline and will feature improved roof and wall R-values, improved glazing U-values, improved lighting power densities, and overall improved lighting controls.
The highly efficient tower also offers phenomenal views of Vancouver Harbor, North Vancouver and West Vancouver that will be accessible to the public through two viewing areas. The first, a grand plaza found along the east side of the site, will function as a gathering space to accommodate existing cafes from the heritage buildings. The plaza will feature landscaped areas for shade in the summer, water fountains for to block city sounds, and custom sculptural seating in a variety of configurations. The second will be an intimate courtyard located to the west of the building that will be protected from the rain by the overhangs of the building.