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Old Posted Jan 14, 2023, 7:16 PM
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Vancouver Skyscraper Twists Around Zoning Restrictions

Vancouver Skyscraper Twists Around Zoning Restrictions

January 7, 2023

By Amelia Pollard

Read More: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/featu...r-with-a-twist

As drivers head from Vancouver’s suburbs to the city’s downtown, they’re now greeted by what looks like a gravity-defying building. The Vancouver House is a 490-foot high-rise teetering on a narrow base, twisting and expanding as it rises. The torquing tower serves as a new gateway to the city, appearing like a half-formed archway that frames the skyline and British Columbia’s North Shore Mountains beyond.

- Designing the twisting apartment complex, which includes nearly 500 units, was no easy feat. The lot came with a laundry list of zoning restrictions: The high-rise couldn’t be too close to the street, it had to be at least 30 meters (nearly 100 feet) away from the Granville Bridge and it couldn’t cast shadows on a nearby park. Those constraints left just a small triangular footprint upon which architecture firm Bjarke Ingels Group could erect a skyscraper. --- But architects at BIG found a catch to the onerous restrictions: The building only had to be 30 meters from the bridge up until the skyscraper itself reached 30 meters in height, at which point it could widen and turn toward the Granville Bridge. As a result, the team designed the building to start with a triangular footprint which pivoted and expanded as it rose, so that as it nears its highest point, it transforms into a rectangular shape.

-“The project is probably shaped more by constraints than by opportunities because of this very limited footprint that we had,” said Thomas Christoffersen, a partner at BIG and one of the principal architects on the Vancouver House, which was orchestrated by Vancouver-based real estate developer Westbank and completed in 2020. The process took a decade and involved nearly 100 of BIG’s employees.  --- Because of its twisting design, structural engineering played a large role in the construction. BIG consulted with engineering firms Glotman Simpson and Buro Happold to ensure the tower — which steps out around 80 feet — was stable enough to meet stringent building codes in this seismically active city. “It’s not only bigger on the top,” Christoffersen says. “It’s also asymmetrical.” To counter the heavier side of the building — and prevent it from leaning over — engineers strung cables through its walls to ensure “post-tensioning.”

- On top of that, the building’s facade needed flexibility so that it could move more than a typical building does. Although that didn’t have an impact on material used for the exterior, it meant that the firm had to be deliberate about how the exterior walls were put together, choosing larger joints and gaskets between panels to give them a bit more mobility, Christoffersen says. --- BIG and Westbank have teamed up on other striking designs that break Canada’s architectural status quo. The two also worked together on what Christoffersen calls a sibling building in Calgary, Alberta, known as the Telus Sky Tower. Like an inverted version of the Vancouver House, the Calgary building has a dramatic slope that narrows toward the top of the skyscraper. The partners are also working on two other buildings in Canada — one more in Vancouver and another in Toronto.



Last edited by M II A II R II K; Jan 14, 2023 at 9:23 PM.
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