The basic, economical, rectilinear form takes on a decidedly different appearance with the addition of the undulating balconies of varying shape and size. More than just adornment, the shape and placement of the balconies provide sufficient disruption in wind force to eliminate the need for a tuned mass damper in the building and will make the balconies usable even on the uppermost floors.

The developer is Magellan Development Group of Chicago. The building is 82 stories and will house commercial tenants, residential rental units and residential condominiums. Additional information can be found at en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aqua_(skyscraper) or www.lifeataqua.com/.

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One of the benefits of bringing the world to our doorstep is that we get to see our city through a panoply of different eyes.  Gary Stephen Ross of The Walrus provides his take in the upcoming March 2010 issue entitled A Tale of Two Cities.  Perhaps this says it all: “…younger than she seems, less sophisticated than she might like, undeniably radiant, proud to be attracting attention but not quite sure how to deal with it, a little self-conscious as the first complications of maturity settle upon her. You can’t help but marvel at her good fortune, her beauty. You admire the earnestness of her endeavours. You envy the wealth of her possibilities.

You wonder what she’ll become.”

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Matthew Power of Slate reports on the Downtown Eastside and Insite, the supervised injection site, in this article.

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What are the chances we’ll see a suburban entry level detached housing project this ‘adventurous’ in Metro Vancouver?  Unlikely, I venture.  Additional photographs can be found here.

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Follow up article on yesterday’s Council decisions regarding the Planning Department’s recommendation that four sites it identified on the downtown peninsula be allowed to penetrate existing view corridors and increased building heights in Chinatown/Gastown.

via CBC News – British Columbia – Vancouver rejects downtown high-rise proposals.

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Nothing gets people’s knickers in a knot faster than creating affordability by reducing unit size.  Back in the early 90s, VLC (now Concert Properties) caused serious commotion when it sought approval for the inclusion of  300+ square foot studio “micro-suites” in a proposed rental project on Seymour now called 600 Drake. Rather than welcoming the introduction of a new choice for combatting the declining affordability of rental accommodation, VLC and the micro-suite concept were vilified in the press. Battery hen coop comparisons were common, as were armchair psychologists’ predictions of increasing suicidal tendencies amongst micro-suite residents.  Council of the day bravely forged ahead and the project was built.

The controversy has been rekindled by Reliance Holding’s announcement that it was proceeding with the renovation of the Burns Block east of the Woodward’s project in the DTES into thirty 275 square foot “micro-loft” rental suites.  Frances Bula’s article in Tuesday’s Globe and Mail is here.

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Rising to New Heights – Part 3

Brent Toderian, Director of Planning, sells his staff report recommendations in this follow up article by Doug Ward of the Vancouver Sun.

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Rising to New Heights – Part 2

Back in December, I posted a link to Frances Bula’s article about the current consideration being given at Vancouver’s City Hall for a limited number of “intrusions” into the sacred view corridors.  In this follow up article in yesterday’s Vancouver Sun, Tiffany Crawford discusses the recommendations that were tabled in a staff report to Council on January 5th.  The article is here.  At the time I posted this today, there were already more than a hundred comments posted on the Sun website (why is it that the uninformed always seem to have the most to say…?) which is indicative of how passionately we Vancouverites are about our views and building heights.

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Vancouver engineers its own urban dream – latimes.com

An outsider’s perspective on the current state of the city, Vancouverism and growth in Surrey.

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