Vancouver has no lack of residential towers being built, and the past few decades have seen an explosion of glass walls stretching across the skyline, competing with and for views. With that in mind, it’s interesting to see when developers push the envelope.
The Pacific by Grosvenor on Hornby Street seems to do just that. The project incorporates monumental art, preserves a heritage building, and constructs, on behalf of the city, a sustainable social offices building for artists.
At 39 storeys tall, the residential tower was designed by ACDF Architecture in the neighbourhood dubbed Hornby Slope between Yaletown and the West End. Unassuming from the north and south, the building has angular balconies of reflective glass that give it a sculptural appearance. The 224 residences are spacious and modern, and the sub-penthouse is unbelievable. The 2,791-square-foot home has some of the best views in the city and sold for nearly $10 million.
“The tower was very much about timelessness, elegance, thoughtfulness of design, and thinking very hard about every detail about how someone’s going to live and move within their home, and then designing from that point outwards so it’s really designing from the inside out,” says Marc Josephson, VP of development for Grosvenor.
While the luxurious features of the residences offer high standards of design and amenities in an ideal location, it’s the integration of art and heritage that make the development stand out. The Pacific occupies the spot where the Leslie House, one of the oldest heritage houses in the city, used to be. The developers opted to restore and move the Leslie House to be sited right next to the tower, and the two buildings together give a layout of Vancouver’s historical trajectory.
On the colonnades at the entrance of the Pacific are the massive mosaic figures created by artist Lyse Lemieux with a small production house in Montreal and shipped to the West Coast. The colours of the tiles are meant to reflect the full spectrum of human skin tones, projecting diverse silhouettes as an entrance.
Next to the Leslie House, on a previously underutilized lot, is the impressive 825 Pacific building, a certified Passive House built as social offices for artists on behalf of the city in collaboration with the art institution 221A. “It’s relatively small, but it has a huge impact, and it says a lot about what’s possible in terms of building to high environmental standards and so we are very proud of it,” Josephson says. The building is the first of its kind built by Grosvenor in Vancouver and marks a new commitment to multifactor development.
“The arts, culture, and sustainability and design concepts all work together,” he explains.
Photography by Provoke Studios.