PHABRIK Magazine

Beach + Howe Tower, Vancouver, by BIG Architects

By João Paulo Nunes

September 2012

Copenhagen-based architecture studio BIG have unveiled designs for a structurally innovative residential tower which will become an elegant gateway to the city of Vancouver, Canada. Named after the site streets where it will be built, at 150 metres high, ‘Beach + Howe Tower’ will be the city’s fourth tallest building. The tower addresses the requirements of a challenging site that is divided by the Granville overpass, and the need to integrate high and low-rise structures into the odd-shaped lots that have been produced by the roads and the imposed city building codes.

To address these criteria, and to keep a minimum 30-meter clearance of to the infrastructure, BIG have devised a 49-storey building with a slender base that widens to the top. A nine-storey podium accommodating offices, shops and restaurants is accessible by a public plaza under the large concrete supports of the overpass. Above this structure, and by resorting to a twisting structure, the tower’s 600 residential units manage to avoid noise and pollution while securing views of the ocean and surrounding mountains.


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