Canada House on the Water

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151 & 181 Athletes Way, Vancouver

Canada House on the Water
CanadaHouseVanExterior.jpg

Canada House on the Water in Olympic Village
Building Information
Developer The City of Vancouver and The Village on False Creek
Architect Arthur Erikson & Nick Milkovich
Management Company Rennie Marketing Systems
Number of Units 40 (West) & 20 (East)
Number of Floors 12 (West) & 7 (East)
Year Built 2010
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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151 & 181 Athletes Way, Vancouver
Distance to Public Transit Within a couple blocks
Region Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning CD-1
Title of Land Condominium


Contents

Background

Artistic rendering of the two buildings
Canada House on the Water offers a unique history coupled with spectacular views of Vancouver. Two buildings comprise the site: Canada House West Building (181 Athletes Way) with twelve stories and Canada House East Building (151 Athletes Way) with seven stories. Part of the Olympic Village, Canada House was home to Team Canada athletes during the 2010 Winter Olympics and Paralympics that Vancouver hosted, boasting a legacy like no other Vancouver condominium.

After the Games were finished, Rennie Marketing Systems was tasked with selling the units in the Village, a difficult job considering the project was steeped in controversy, needing hundreds of millions of dollars in loans from the City of Vancouver to rescue developer Millennium Development in 2008.[1] The project also ended up in court because of resident complaints.[2]

A ghost town atmosphere hung over the Village for a while, but with the inclusion of retail developments such as Urban Fare and Terra Breads, units are steadily selling and the area is becoming the vibrant "green utopia" it was intended to be.[3]


Location

As its name suggests, Canada House on the Water is built right on the south shore of False Creek. The Seawall wraps around False Creek and offers residents a scenic path for walking, running, cycling, and rollerblading.

Residents of Canada House have access to all amenities right in the Olympic Village, making daily errands convenient. Within easy walking distance are recreation facilities, dining, shopping (boutiques and box stores), childcare facilities, the Creekside Community Recreation Centre, and numerous gardens and walkways. Retail shops and services include London Drugs, Urban Fare, Subway, TD Canada Trust, Terra Breads, Village Cleaners, Legacy Liquor Store, and Modo, a car share.[4]

In addition, Canada House on the Water is near SkyTrain stops on the Expo and Canada Lines, as well as bus routes to easily get to and from downtown as well as other areas in the city. Popular attractions like Science World and Granville Island are also close by.

Incidentally, Science World was built for Expo '86 (also known as The 1986 World Exposition on Transportation and Communication), an international event that spurred the development of north False Creek from an industrial railyard to a chic urban neighbourhood of glass condominiums. The site’s transformation epitomizes Vancouver’s epithet as the “City of Glass,” most famously referred to in Vancouver author Douglas Coupland’s book of the same name. With the 2010 Winter Olympics and the construction of the Olympic Village, the south side of False Creek has now also transformed into a trendy urban community known collectively as "The Village on False Creek."


Construction

The late Canadian architectural icon Arthur Erikson inspired the design of Canada House in collaboration with Nick Milkovich and Lawrence Doyle. Erikson has left his signature on many Vancouver landmarks, including the Vancouver Public Library, Simon Fraser University’s Burnaby Campus, and UBC's Museum of Anthropology.

A building with a twist
The Olympic Village was his last oeuvre and features a "twist" design that characterized many of his later buildings, including the Erikson at Concord Pacific and 1151 West Georgia, a tower that spins in mid-air.[5].

Canada House features a subtle twist in design, east at the back and west at the front, that reflects practical as well as aesthetic considerations. The taller height of the West building would have blocked a public garden from the sun at certain times of the day. To solve this problem, the architects bent the west side in and then counterbalanced it by leaning the east side in on the opposite side for earthquake safety. The combined effect produces a striking twist most visible from the north side of False Creek or from the back of the building.[5]

The shape of Canada House resembles a bulging square with a façade of alternating horizontal glass and steel panels. These metal panels even change colour as they reflect the sun’s movement, producing a stunning "sequential sunset" when driving over Cambie Bridge at the right time.[5]A stack of vertical balconies rising at an angle on the north and south sides creates a balanced structure. The roof-line steps down toward the seawall, offering units breathtaking views of False Creek while preserving light and air intake for the buildings behind it.[3]

Canada House is designed in West coast contemporary style.

Layout and Features

The Canada West building is twelve stories high with 40 units, while its neighbour, the Canada East building, is comprised of seven stories with 20 units. The buildings are tailor-made to suit their location. Homes are oriented towards the west to maximize sunlight, views, and fresh air. They also come with balconies. Layouts include two to three bedrooms with penthouse suites also available. Over-height ceilings add to the spaciousness of the units.

The Canada House interiors are designed by Robert Ledingham and feature a variety of locally and globally sourced materials:[6]

  • Eggersmann of Germany cabinetry
  • Sub-Zero refrigerator
  • Energy Star Miele appliances in kitchen
  • Dornbracht polished chrome faucets
  • Eco-wool carpeting in bedrooms
  • Engineered hardwood floors

Floor Plans

There are several different layouts in Canada House on the Water. The first three are in the West Building (181 Athletes Way) and the last two are in the East Building (151 Athletes Way). Here is a small sample.

Amenities

Residents of Canada House get to enjoy a full selection of amenities:

  • Yoga and fitness room (West Building)
  • Lounges
  • Theatre & billiards room (East Building)
  • Library (West and East Buildings)
  • Lobby & private concierge
  • Waterfront & mountain views
  • Seawall access
  • Parking stalls with garage doors and internal storage in select garages[7]
  • Indoor lap pool, hot tub, sauna, and steam room

Residents also have easy access to Village amenities such as a community centre, childcare facilities, numerous shops and services, and a future non-motorized boating centre.

Bylaws

Canada House on the Water Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No



Canada House on the Water allows rentals and pets. There is no age restriction.

Sustainability

The Village at False Creek boasts Vancouver’s first and only LEED (Leadership in Energy and Efficient Design) Platinum community, achieving the top standards set by the US Green Building Council. This is the highest level of LEED certification for a neighbourhood of this size. Here are just some of the many sustainable features that makes the Village one of the most liveable and sustainable communities in the world:

  • Community demonstration garden
  • Energy monitoring system
  • Net-zero building
  • Water-saving dual-flush toilets
  • Radiant capillary heating & cooling system
  • Energy Star Miele appliances
  • High performance rain screen wall systems for better moisture control, leakage protection, and thermal performance[6]
  • Natural flooring includes limestone in bathrooms, wool carpeting in bedrooms, and Forest Stewardship Council (FSC)-certified wood floors in living area[6]

Canada House was constructed with green building practices, including low-emitting materials and paints and finishes free of volatile organic compounds (VOCs). Rainwater collected from the site is used for irrigation and toilet flushing. There is also a proposed plan for an exhaust-free boating facility.[6]

Six acres of green space surround the site, consisting of landscaped green spaces, parks, courtyard, boulevards, children’s play areas, rain gardens, reflecting pools, food gardens, and a new Habitat Compensation island.[6]

While the Village offers numerous amenities that do not require residents to own a car, people who wish to use one can participate in the car share program through Modo Car Co-op that is located in the Village.


Trivia

Salt Building: history repackaged
  • This development site used to be called Millennium Water before it was re-branded as The Village on False Creek
  • The distinctive Salt Building in the Village's public plaza is a historically preserved 1930s landmark that used to be a salt refinery in the days of False Creek's industrial past. Now it contains a coffee shop and brewpub[8]
  • The Seawall that goes past Canada House is the world’s longest continuous waterfront walkway at 22 km
  • The West Building at 181 Athletes Way is where members of the Canadian men’s hockey team stayed during the 2010 Winter Olympics who went on to win the gold medal[9]

References

  1. Business Vancouver
  2. The Globe and Mail
  3. 3.0 3.1 Vuppie Real Estate website
  4. Canada House on the Water website
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 Vancouver Sun article
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 6.3 6.4 The Village on False Creek
  7. Vancouver Real Estate
  8. Recollective
  9. Homes & Design


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