Azura

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  • Azura I - 1438 Richards Street, Vancouver, BC
  • Azura II - 1495 Richards Street Vancouver, BC
Azura
Azura-Condos-1438-1495--Vancouver-Condos-02.jpg

Azura I and II - A home in the sky
Building Information
Developer Concord Pacific
Architect Roger Hughes
Management Company Rancho Management Services
Number of Units 207 & 209
Number of Floors 36 & 37
Year Built 2004
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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Azura I - 1438 Richards Street, Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning CD - 1 (366)
Title of Land Condominium


Contents

Background

The site that the Azura towers are built upon was the location of Vancouver's 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication, or Expo '86. Rising from a former rail-yard and industrial wasteland came a full world exposition featuring pavilions from 54 nations and numerous corporations lining False Creek, a small ocean inlet in downtown Vancouver.

1929 City Zoning Map. Note Granville Island in the centre when it was still an island prior to land reclamation

After the fair, the property stood undeveloped for several years. It was eventually obtained by Sir Li Ka-shing, a Hong Kong business magnate, investor, and philanthropist. He is considered to be the richest person in Asia. Over the next 25 years, new developments began to arise, among them, high density residential condominiums. The intent was to attract more people to live in the downtown centre in an effort to revitalize the then, rather 'quiet' downtown lifestyle. In this, Vancouver succeeded.[1]


Today, the waterfront of False Creek is lined with shiny glass and concrete towers offering wide varieties of homes and lifestyles, especially for young urban professionals who wish to live and work in the business district of Vancouver. The Azura towers are in the heart of this new urbanization on the edge of the Yaletown neighbourhood and water views of Granville Island and the numerous marinas in False Creek.


Occupancy of the nearly identical buildings began in 2004 with each structure containing more than 200 units, with each building offering a similar portfolio of amenities and features. As well, with the influx of new residents to the downtown area, neighbourhood's amenities and services have flourished presenting numerous culinary, artistic, and entertainment experiences.


Location

In Vancouver, False Creek has evolved into a highly desirable water front location in which to live. As stated above, this was not always the case. Over several decades, the industrial wasteland has transformed into a lively, green, and hospitable area teeming with outdoor activity spaces, restaurants, galleries, and even educational venues. Nearby, residents can visit "Science World", a 'Buckminster Fuller' inspired geodesic dome that was known as the "Expo Centre" during Expo 86, where always changing displays and interactive science-based themes can be experienced.

The Azura towers are circled at the north end of Granville bridge with George Wainborn Park at their feet

The adjacent Yaletown neighbourhood has evolved from an industrial warehouse district to gentrified and upscale condominiums utilizing the shells of the abandoned structures to create luxury loft living in the heart of downtown Vancouver. With that came fine dining establishments, brew pubs for socializing, and proximity to downtown work locations.


BC Place, Vancouver's multi-purpose stadium is also close by featuring events that range from Canadian Football League (CFL) games to car shows to rock concerts. Adjacent to BC Place, stands "Rogers Arena", formerly known as GM Place, where the Vancouver Canucks of the National Hockey League play their games.


A short ride on the Granville Island Water Taxi service will bring residents to Granville Island to explore markets and entertainment possibilities there.[2]


Following the beginnings of the seawall further west along Beach Avenue reveals Sunset Park Beach. Beyond this, lies Denman Street filled with culinary options too numerous to mention, and then Stanley Park, the largest central urban park in North America weighing in at about 1,000 acres.

Construction

Azura I and Azura II are two more fine examples of the ''Vancouverism'' style of architecture. This style is characterized by creating a mixed-use development with a tall residential high density tower set back upon a medium height commercial base. Often faced with sea-green tinted glass, this reinforced concrete design accommodates high populations and preserves view corridors.

These tall twins are designed to fit in to the existing community of residences already built. Their three subterranean levels prop up the residential portion of the development while still blending in with their surroundings. Light coloured facing material, ample glass, and gaze-softening curves in its architecture create an elegant duo to behold.


Azura I Specifications (1438 Richards Street)

Azura logo.jpg
Azura1-VAN-Standalone.jpg

Completed in 2004, Azura I rises 36 floors and has 207 condominium apartments. Layouts are designed so that no matter which direction a suite faces, the views will all be superb.


All apartments have a balcony, floor to ceiling windows and are finished with porcelain floors with granite accents and counter tops.


Construction began on this building in 2001 completing in 2004. Design specifications included 208 parking stalls for the building.


Azura II Specifications (1495 Richards Street)

Azura2-VAN-Logo.jpg
Azura2-VAN-Standalone.jpg

Both buildings were started at the same time, 2001, completing in 2004. With only minor differences, Azura II stands 37 stories and has 209 suites, and 218 parking spaces.


As with its companion, Azura II features granite, modern appliances, open layout floor plans, floor to ceiling windows and a similar fitness facility package.


Balconies offer unfettered views in any direction.

Layout and Features

Apart from their central location, both towers have a long list of features for their residents. In the lobby, residents are greeted with a water feature after passing by the public gardens outside. One great benefit for owners within Azura I, is the use of Club Viva, a resort style fitness and spa facility for residents and their guests. There is an 80 foot indoor pool, squash courts, a billiards lounge, massage rooms, and an outdoor terrace.[3]

In Azura II, a similar facility exists called the Super Club. Azura II also features a business centre, a screening room, and a guest suite for out of town guests, arranged through the concierge. In both buildings, one parking spot and private storage are available.[4]

Floor plans have a well laid out open concept and suites have high quality finishes. Depending on the apartment location within the building, balconies have uncluttered views of either downtown skylines or the waterfront area of False Creek.

Apartments are typically one, two, or three bedroom plans with gourmet appliance packages with lots of shiny stainless steel.

Floor Plans

Azura's open plan concepts come in generally, one, two, or three bedroom configurations. Here are a few:

Amenities

The list of amenities for both buildings is very similar. Our photo gallery is representative of both buildings. Each offers:

  • a fully equipped exercise club with:
    • gym
    • squash court
    • pool
    • media room
    • business centre
    • hot tub and sauna
    • party room
    • in-suite laundry
    • concierge

Bylaws

Azura Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No



  • Pets are allowed with restrictions
  • Rentals are permitted
  • There are no age restrictions for ownership

Sustainability

In George Wainborn Park at the foot of the Azura towers, stands a 40 foot tall 'wind sculpture' entitled "Khenko", a gift from the Concord Pacific Group. This is a Coast Salish word meaning "heron" and the sculpture celebrates the return of this bird species to the once industrialized False Creek.

This tidbit of information is not directly associated with any specific sustainability features of the Azura towers, but it does reflect the attention given by Vancouver's City Planning Department, architects, and developers to environmental improvements overall. George Wainborn was Vancouver's longest serving Parks Board Commissioner spanning 33 years.[5]

In keeping with Vancouver's aim to be the 'Greenest City' in North America, and the world, by the year 2020, steps are already being taken towards that goal. Vancouver offers an extensive recycling program which all residents may participate in. Notably, there is little reluctance to participate as citizens are by and large, already environmentally conscious.

Trivia

  • The images (fig1), (fig2), and (fig3) depict False Creek From roughly the same vantage point spanned over about 40 years.
    • (fig1) - shows False Creek prior to Expo 86. It is still an industrial area although, some industry has relocated. Note the log booms holding timber ready to be fed into the sawmills.
    • (fig2) - the log booms are gone as Vancouver has cleaned up its act for the worlds fair. Note the pavilions representing 54 nations and several corporations extending all the way to the geodesic dome of the "Expo Centre" - now called "Science World".
    • (fig3) - the nearly complete mega project of residential development. The unfinished area on the right side of the image has since been built up with additional condominiums. They were completed in time for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics and housed the Athletes' Village.
  • Prior to Expo 86, False Creek was the site various industries, including sawmills (fig4), ship-building, and freight rail transport, to name a few. The image depicts the commensurate air pollution that went with industry over a century ago and one can only speculate on what went into the water, also. Vancouver was always an important commercial shipping hub, both for goods from overseas, to distribution throughout the nation. It will always hold this importance.
  • The men in (fig5) dressed in suits are electrical specialists floating around in False Creek in about 1913. They are trying to determine the electrical effect of the Granville Street trolleys in False Creek. It is not clear what 'effects' they were studying, but hopefully, no lessons about dangling electrical equipment into water were learned that day.


References

  1. Wikipedia - Expo 86
  2. Wikipedia - Granville Island
  3. Vancouver Condos
  4. Vancouver Condos
  5. George Wainborn Park
  6. About 40 years of development in False Creek


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