Mapping Downtown Vancouver’s Ultimate Starchitecture

Mapping Downtown Vancouver’s Ultimate Starchitecture, by Nicole Soloveoff, was originally published in Curbed Vancouver on June 3, 2014.

Amidst the city of glass, here’s five projects that are currently built or soon to be built that are designed by some of the world’s most elite architects. From the recently approved Vancouver House designed by Danish “it” boy Bjarke Ingels to the Woodwards Tower designed by local starchitect Gregory Henriquez, these designs are the game changers in a city where architecture sometimes get a bad rep.

How could we create a starchitecture map and not include the recently approved Bjarke Ingels twisting tower, now formally known as Vancouver House? The tower, developed by Westbank, will be situated in a current deadzone of beachfront property at Howe & Davie. The twisting, top heavy design is one of the most unique and compelling buildings that will soon grace the Vancouver skyline with its presence.

Vancouver’s main branch public library has become quite the tourist attraction and it’s not because people want to scope out books while on vacation. Designed by Israeli/Canadian architect Moshe Safdie and DA Architects, it’s no wonder local bus tours make sure to make a pit stop to admire its beauty. The building drew initial criticism from some who claimed it was simply a replication of Rome’s Colosseum. Completed in 2005, the Vancouver Public Library remains one of the most treasured downtown buildings to date.

Described by the famous local starchitect, Gregory Henriquez, as “Tokyo meets London in Vancouver” the Woodwards Tower has quickly become the pulse of Gastown. The site’s rich history carved the path for the sizeable, irregular shaped residential building that features public space weaving throughout the centre, a unique red facade and even a ‘W’ shaped hot tub on the roof top.

Designed by IBI, the Residences at Hotel Georgia has become the ultimate luxury address with the new construction of a 50-storey residential and commercial tower. The irregular lines at the peak of the tower are a modest yet daring design among the mundane office towers.

Designed by Swiss architect Harry Gugger, the Exchange is a $200-million office tower combined with the historic 11-storey Old Stock Exchange.

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