With all of the controversy surrounding the glass tower proposed beside Waterfront station, what consideration has been given to the impacts of the proposed tower on views from the Vancouver Lookout? The observation deck at Harbour Centre is an important institution and tourist attraction for Vancouver. The illustrations below attempt to find answers to questions about the possible future view impacts of the glass building proposed at 555 Cordova Street.
There’s been significant media coverage of this glass tower design that is scheduled to go the Development Permit Board for review on March 9, 2015. It’s worth noting that a number of local architects have been very critical of the proposal.
— CTV Vancouver (@CTVVancouver) January 23, 2015
The design has been called a “blob”:
Critics pan the ‘blob’ as Waterfront Tower proposal proves divisive http://t.co/jobIqfsWVo
— AdrienneTanner (@AdrienneTanner) January 21, 2015
The illustrations below show the outline of the tower by using the building sections of the design (at a proper scale in a 3D computer model). It should be noted that the proposed glass tower is not shown as a full 3D model; however, the sections provide a general indication of the height and mass of the design. The glass tower would have an impact on some of the views of the harbour from the Vancouver Lookout (Sea Bus terminal and waterfront). A number of the illustrations show computer renderings from Habour Centre; reference photographs from the lookout are also included below:
The following two images show a computer model rendering from the observation deck of the Vancouver Lookout. The aerial photography of the harbour is included (Canada Place is flat and not shown as a 3D computer model). The North Shore Mountains are illustrated; the proposed building would be a significant visual element in the foreground (compare):
The information on the City’s website about the proposed angular building is a little sparse (at least the detail needed to construct a full 3D model). The sections can still provide an idea of the scale of the proposal (as seen from street level):
Steps for visualization exercise:
(1) Download the plan and sections from the City’s website
(2) save out the site plan in an image format
(3) use the scale on the site plan to size the drawing (correct number of pixels / metre)
(4) save out the sections from the building sections drawing, place to scale vertically in the locations along the site plan
(5) align the drawing so the property line on the site plan matches the City’s Property Information
(6) insert high resolution aerial photos (source: City of Vancouver, Open Data portal)
(7) show 3D model of surrounding buildings, North Shore Mountains (illustrated above).
Here’s one final comparison (click to enlarge):