Best Tall Residential or Hotel Building Winner: Vancouver House, Vancouver

Kai-Uwe Bergmann
Bjarke Ingels Group, New York City

Phillip McDougall
Design Development Director
Westbank Projects,

Reclaiming Lost Spaces for Living

Vancouver House is a contemporary descendant of the Flatiron Building in New York City. The Flatiron was built on a triangular site left over from the intersection of Broadway and Fifth Avenue. The site was considered unusable until economic and technological forces combined to make a new and striking architecture. Vancouver House takes the design approach one step further by reclaiming the lost spaces for living. In the tradition of the Flatiron, Vancouver House is not the result of formal excess or architectural idiosyncrasies, but a product of its circumstances.

The interiors for Vancouver House take cues from the tower ’s exterior. Observing the tower from different angles illustrates the balancing effect of marrying cool and warm tones. The designation of cool to the outside surfaces, and warm to the inside, suggests a relationship similar to the lining of a jacket. The entry lobby and residential units have direct and visual connections to the exterior with cool finishes such as concrete or stone. The core and corridors are inner facing with warm materials such as bronze and wood. Entering the tower, the user experiences a linear path to reach his or her unit from the entrance. The lobby, core, corridors, and residential units are four distinct zones along this path, each unique in size, proportion and purpose. The lobby experience is an extension of the art venue beneath Granville Bridge. The mailbox has been reinterpreted as an X-shaped sculptural piece appearing as though it’s suspended in mid-air. Using a variety of materials and objects the monochromatic elevator lobbies use black and white to give rhythm to the residents’ waiting time. The elevator lobby and corridors on the upper floors have similar treatments interrupted by colored elevator cabins.

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