The sprawling 1958-built old Canada Post building in Downtown Vancouver is the subject site of a massive redevelopment proposal that would see three towers added to the property. Local architecture practice Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership submitted a rezoning application on behalf of BC Investment Management Corporation and Bentall Kennedy, with renderings giving us a clear look at the design and massing of 'The Post on Georgia' project.
Though the composition of the development has been altered since plans were initially unveiled in early 2016 — the original design included five towers — Bentall Kennedy still has big plans for a mix of uses at 349 West Georgia Street. The development would require gutting the existing structure's interior, leaving the shell to become the facade of the podium holding the towers above. The Canadian coats of arms adorning the complex are expected to be retained. The lower section of this seven-storey space will serve as a vibrant commercial hub for the neighbourhood, with a retail concourse and a range of suitably sized spaces able to accommodate large outlets like department stores and smaller spaces like restaurants.
The upper portion of the podium will host vehicular parking in the centre, surrounded by office space facing West Georgia Street and rental housing along the Hamilton, Homer, and Dunsmuir Street frontages. The application seeks six levels of parking in total, including 1,168 bicycle spaces. The current parking spaces along West Georgia, which have been unkind to the public realm, would be replaced by a new public plaza. The development would also contain accommodations for a 49-space childcare centre.
A 17-storey office building has been envisioned for the West Georgia side while the remaining build-out seeks two residential towers of 18 and 20 storeys. A total of 799 residential units — 372 market condominiums and 427 market rentals — have been proposed for the site. The renderings depict the towers as glassy counterparts to the relative solidity of the post office structure. The buildings step down towards the middle of the property, leaving the tallest walls to rise from the street. The irregular profile of the buildings is replicated in the facade itself, which employs a cascading rhythm of vertical windows. Topping off each staggered level is an abundance of greenery and private residential patios, following the precedent set by the landscaped courtyard space atop the podium.
The development is an opportunity to inject new life into a tired property, once the centrepiece of the neighbourhood, which was vacated by Canada Post in 2014. The Crown Corporation moved their West Coast processing operations to an expansive new facility at Vancouver International Airport. Though the move has generated a sense of sterility and heartache in an integral part of the core — steps from the Central Branch of the Vancouver Public Library — it also permits a more appropriate and public use of the space within the city's vibrant urban fabric.
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|Related Companies:||Bentall Kennedy, Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership|