Sumit Singhal loves modern architecture. He comes from a family of builders who have built more than 20 projects in the last ten years near Delhi in India. He has recently started writing about the architectural projects that catch his imagination.
Hotel Georgia in Vancouver, Canada by IBI Group
June 27th, 2012 by Sumit Singhal
Article source: IBI Group
Standing at 50 storeys and 158 meters, this new residential tower next to the historic Hotel Georgia (recently refurbished) cuts a striking profile in the downtown skyline, and is now the second tallest tower in the city. This new mixed-use tower has hotel and commercial office space in the first 11 storeys, with residential units on the remaining 34 storeys.
The shape of the tower is innovative in its massing; the first 35 floors dramatically cant out on its south and east sides, providing passive solar shading and stunning views of downtown Vancouver. The top dozen floors of the building lean back such that the balconies of the southeast corner look around the tower to see Seymour and Grouse mountains to the north. The exterior public art component is an LED design that comprises a subtle raindrop effect featured on the building’s north elevation.
Sustainability: With a sustainable agenda in mind, Hotel Georgia is one of the greenest new towers in downtown Vancouver. The tower skin is a high performance curtain wall, with photovoltaic cells incorporated into the building’s southwest elevation, which receive the site’s highest exposure to direct sunlight. The 11-storey podium of the new tower is an architectural homage to the Hotel Georgia itself; terra cotta quoins provide the scale and colour of the elegant stone panels covering its new younger neighbour, reinterpreted in contemporary materials.
Given a building of this size (over 32,000 sq. m) the project used bold and cutting-edge strategies regarding energy use and the adverse effects of conventional HVAC, electrical fixtures, and water consumption.
HVAC: Using geothermal piles beneath the tower, this heat exchange feeds the heat pumps, which then provide heating and cooling to the tower.
Building Automation: The energy collected by the photovoltaics operates the motorized blinds in the building. This intelligent system prevents increased solar heat due to its glazed curtain wall. The building also has operable windows in all the suites, giving the occupants total climatic control of their environments.
Water: A roof-top water tank and swimming pool provide back-up reservoirs for the building’s fire suppression, along with the installation of low flow fixtures in all the suites. The tower’s porte-cochere features a ‘low flow’ water feature.
Electrical: Hotel Georgia uses efficient electrical fixtures throughout, from those in the suites, to the LED design that will be installed as the project’s public art component.
Hotel Georgia incorporates other sustainable technologies:
IBI Group is a multi-disciplinary consulting firm offering services in four areas of practice: Urban Land, Facilities, Transportation, and Intelligent Systems. Over the past 38 years we have grown steadily and now have 78 offices throughout Canada, the United States, Europe, Asia, and the Middle East. We employ over 3,100 professionals internationally including architects, traffic and transportation engineers, land planners, LEED accredited professionals, public consultation/approval specialists, interior designers, landscape architects, and project managers.
Bio of Designer: James Hancock
James Hancock is Director of Design at IBI/HB Architects (a member of IBI Group) and is an Architect who is a highly respected designer of high density residential, mixed use, and hotel projects. He has been responsible for the design of over 100 towers in Vancouver, Arizona, Minnesota, California, Nebraska, as well as China and Abu Dhabi. He has served as Chairman of the Vancouver Design Panel, and advisor to the Development Permit Board, the West Vancouver Design Panel, a guest critic at the School of Architecture at UBC, a member of the AIBC Council, an instructor in the RAIC Syllabus Program, and coordinator for the Canadian Architectural Certification Program in British Columbia, as well as an oral examiner for interim architects seeking registration. He became a Fellow of the RAIC in 2002.
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