While the ‘Vancouver Style’ (the so-called point-and-podium) has much to recommend it, particularly the way it relates to its neighbours and the ground plane, there are rather a lot of towers that look so much the same.  All that glass, so little distinction. 
Now that residential towers are becoming popular in other cities, we’ll have a chance to compare.  Here’s a building just being completed in Minneapolis.  Very much in the deco style, it has very pleasing proportions, and enough use of brick to give it weight.


  1. There are buildings similar to that one in Vancouver, though shorter (stepped tops, even with brick)- 1188 Richards (which is older with brick, but now undergoing leaky condo repair), Eden, Domus, Yaletown Park 2.
    Interestingly, the original design for The Melville was a traditional styled tower (doubt it was brick), but was solidly rejected by the UDP for not being of outstanding architectural style (as required for the 400ft height applied for under the Higher Buildings Policy).
    Other than cost (a big reason), I think the absence of brick on Vancouver towers also relates to avoidance of water penetration. There are a lot of solid concrete exterior walls being built(even thogh concrete is porous). Does the building code for Vancouver’s earthquake zone now restrict the use of brick on towers?

  2. BTW – Seymour Street seems to be on its way to developing with a taller streetwall than other streets in the downtown south. In part, that because of the view cones that have caused Freesia and the unnamed Onni project at Nelson & Seymour to be squat with bulky podiums. (That also applies to H+H and Donovan within the same few blocks.) That’s probably a good thing given it’s proximity to the taller buildings in the core.
    Robson also adopts the taller podium as it approaches Granville – which is good to see. The massing of L’Hermitage provides a nice change (as does R&R across the street) from the low townhouse podium see down the street on Richards (as well as a change from the unfortunately low ceiling heights of some early podium retail spaces (i.e. at the 819)).

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