LOST TYPOLOGIES: RE-BUILDING DIVERSITY IN THE SHADOW OF BIG DEVELOPMENT
The Podium-Tower phenomenon grew out of an ambition to density Vancouver's downtown core with 'city dwellers', and thereby mitigate urban sprawl and the suburban commute. A mixed-use streetwall shouldering a glass-clad highrise capitalized on views, nearby conveniences, and the decadence of urban living. The ubiquitous lifestyle marketing is now so far removed from the actual product for sale that it is reminiscent of cigarette campaigns before they were banned. Are the City's long-term goals being met? At what cost? Countless buildings and parking lots have been leveled, amalgamated and re-branded as Podium-Tower sites, sequentially erasing Vancouver's diverse building stock that had accumulated over decades.
We propose to focus on the smallest increment of building: a single vacant lot 125 foot deep with a 25 foot Granville Street frontage, bounded on both sides by existing buildings and loomed-over by two residential towers across the lane. Such abandoned sites will never satisfy a big development pro-forma, and instead call for an entirely different approach.
This proposal asks that we formulate a new building 'type'; that we re-examine established typologies that sustain the complexity of our unique urban culture; that we uncover notions of density, variety and adjacencies of use. We propose a building that is plugged into the pulse of Granville Street. A building that takes programmatic cues from its context and combines these into new and unexpected adjacencies. A mixed-use typology that compresses the urban experience into its own unique identity.
(From competitor's text)
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- Presentation Panel