Carrara of Portico

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1485 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver, BC

Carrara of Portico
CarraraVanExterior2.jpg

Exterior view of Carrara of Portico
Building Information
Developer Bosa Development
Architect Perkins & Company Architecture & Urban Design Inc.
Management Company Crosby Property Management
Number of Units 211
Number of Floors 11
Year Built 2000
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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1485 West 6th Avenue, Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning C-3A
Title of Land Strata


Contents

Background

The Carrara of Portico development


The Italian references on the Carrara of Portico condominium in Vancouver are abundant. The vowel laden name rolls of the tip of the tongue and sounds as if this building should be located in Rome, not Vancouver. However, if potential residents are particularly seeking Italian-inspired architecture with airy, uncluttered interiors, then the Portico development by Bosa Development might just be the right place. "Carrara" is a town in northwestern Italy that is famous for its white marble, and "portico" is a porch that leads to the entrance of a building with a roof structure over the top, like a walkway or colonnade. While Carrara of Portico is not made of marble but concrete, the central tower resembles Italian architecture in its circular, temple-like shape, similar to the concrete dome on the Pantheon in Rome.

Carrara of Portico is one of four buildings in the Portico complex by Bosa Development, a Vancouver property developer who also designed Mondrian, Lido, Alvar, and Eden condominiums in Vancouver. Carrara's neighbours are Modena, Siena, and Verona. Carrara and Modena were part of the first phase completed in 2000, followed by Siena and then Verona.[1] These high-rises feature a mixture of condominium towers and townhouses, some with retail space on the ground floors. Carrara has 211 suites and 11 floors.



Location

The lay of the land

Carrara of Portico is located at 1485 West 6th Avenue in the area known as South Granville. It gets its "south" part of its name due to the fact that it's south of downtown over the Granville Street Bridge, but compared to other areas of Vancouver like Marpole that are actually in South Vancouver, South Granville is not south at all. While Granville Street in downtown is also known as the Granville Entertainment District because of its collection of bars, nightclubs, and theatres like the Commodore Ballroom, Orpheum and Vogue Theatre, South Vancouver is known for its collection of art galleries, giving it the nickname "Gallery Row." There are at least 15 art galleries in the stretch between 5th Avenue and 16th Avenue.[2]

Apart from galleries, this neighbourhood has plenty of other amenities to please even the non-art lover. Coffee shops and restaurants abound on South Granville, and there is also the Granville Island Public Market a quick walk away for local food and artisan goods. Granville Island is a popular destination for Vancouverites and tourists alike, offering one of a kind stores, the Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design, the public market, a theatre, more art galleries, and great city views.

The closest outdoor space to residents at Carrara is the Granville Loop Park. Unfortunately this area is not connected by the SkyTrain but there are over 15 bus options for residents wishing to get around the city.[3]

Construction

In the South Granville neighbourhood, Carrara of Portico isn't hard to miss as most condominiums in the area are wood frame and rectangular. In these two ways, Carrara of Portico stands out. It is a solid concrete building rising 11 stories with a distinct looking circular condominium tower elegantly integrated into its surrounding townhouses. The townhouse facades of the entire Portico development (Carrara, Siena, Modeno, and Verona) boast a bright palate of primary colours - yellow, red, and blue. The facades also feature a mixture of materials like glass, aluminium, brick and concrete.[4]

The building has balconies, elevators, and private roof decks for residents on the top floors. Bosa Development also built Carrara of Portico as a wheelchair accessible building.

Layout and Features

211 suites make up Carrara of Portico, divided between the condominium units and the townhouses. Both styles of residence feature high quality finishes and spacious interiors.
A sample interior
Ceilings are eight feet, six inches and elegant French doors lead to the den for floor plans that include this room. Most units at Carrara of Portico have two or three bedrooms.

Suites come with hardwood floors, a gas fireplace, and granite counter tops. Most units have balconies offering amazing views of Vancouver's skyline, which you can especially enjoy in the summer months while you fire up the barbecue.

In the bathrooms, radiant heat under the tile flooring keeps your feet nice and warm after a bath or shower in the ceramic tile tub/shower surround.

Carrara of Portico has a number of security features to make residents feel that much more safe in their home: a video entry phone system, key-less secured access, and restrictive elevator access.[5]

Floor Plans

There are not many floor plans publicly available for Carrara of Portico, but here are a couple samples.

Amenities

Carrara of Portico offers a fine list of amenities for its residents:

  • Party room with billiard table
  • Exercise room
  • Sauna/steamroom
  • Secure underground parking
  • Storage
  • Balconies with city views



Bylaws

Carrara of Portico Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No
Barbecues Yes


Rentals and pets are allowed at Carrara of Portico with restrictions.

Residents can enjoy barbecues on their balconies.

There is no restriction on age limit.

Sustainability

The main sustainability feature found in Carrara of Portico is its use of underfloor radiant heating. It works by heating up a warm element, like the floor, and transferring that energy to the people in the room, rather than heating the air itself, which typically takes longer and requires more energy because the surface area of the air isn't as compact as a hard surface like a floor. In this way, radiant heating tends to be more energy efficient than convection heating, which is done through radiators, although it can be more costly.[6]

Additionally, the location of Carrara of Portico makes walking and busing for day to day errands a viable option. Residents who enjoy gardening can also plant their own little ecosystems on their balcony.

Trivia

Stanley Theatre
Portico of the Pantheon
Entrance of Carrara of Portico


  • South Granville acquired the name "Gallery Row" as early as the 1960s because of the large number of art galleries lining Granville Street between 5th Avenue and 16th Avenue. Granville Street downtown used to be called "Theatre Row" in Vancouver's early history, but it no longer bears this name because the last movie theatre, Granville 7 Cinemas, closed on November 4, 2012.
    • While the street no longer has movie theatres, it does have arts theatres for music shows such as the Vogue Theatre, Commodore Ballroom, and the Orpheum.
    • The Vancouver Symphony Orchestra plays in the dazzling red Orpheum.
    • It should be noted that South Granville does have one of its own theatres in this same genre, the historic Stanley Theatre on 2750 Granville Street. It used to be a movie theatre but converted to a live theatre in 1998 under the hands of new owners. It is officially now called the Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage and is the Arts Club Theatre Company's main stage.[7]
  • The town of Carrara in Italy is known for its marble quarries, which constitutes a large part of its economy. Carrara marble was around since ancient times and was used on the Pantheon and Trajan's Column in Rome.[8] A picture of the Pantheon is on the right, and this is a good building to demonstrate the other part of Carrara of Portico's name - the "portico" part. People pass through the portico (porch) on their way in and out of the Pantheon (an ancient temple). The entrance of Carrara of Portico, as shown in the other photo, does not have quite the same grand entrance, although it does have a bit of a glass canopied roof before the front doors.

References

  1. Vancouver Live High
  2. Granville Entertainment District
  3. Walk Score
  4. Skyscraper Page
  5. Les Twarog & Sonja Pedersen
  6. Wikipedia-Radiant Heating
  7. About.com - Stanley Industrial Alliance Stage
  8. Wikipedia-Carrara


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