Firenze

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Firenze Tower I - 58 Keefer Place, Vancouver, BC

Firenze Tower II - 688 Abbott Street, Vancouver, BC

Firenze Tower III - 618 Abbott Street, Vancouver, BC


Firenze
Firenze-building.jpg

Street view showing Tower I (left) Tower II (right) and Tower III (middle)
Building Information
Developer Henderson Development Limited
Architect Bingham Hill Architect
Management Company Crosby
Number of Units 458
Number of Floors Firenze I - 25, Firenze II - 31, Firenze III - 8
Year Built 2007
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
Loading map...
58 Keefer Pl, Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit 5 minute walk
Region Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning CD-1
Title of Land Strata


Contents

Background

Firenze is located on the edge on Vancouver's Chinatown, which is considered to be one of North America's cleanest Chinatowns.

Historical image of Vancouver's Chinatown

During 1886, 90 Chinese immigrants settled along Shanghai Alley and Canton Alley. By the 1890s, that number had grown to over 1000.

Due to the crowded living conditions in the area, it wasn't uncommon for many workers to have to sleep together in one room. There were also many problems at the time such as prostitution, smoking and gambling. In 1889, the Chinese Methodist Church was established.[1]

Much of the entertainment in the area took place around the Awaken Overseas Chinese Theatre also know as the Sing Kew Theatre, a 500 seat theatre built in 1898. [2]

China Gate was a part of the China Pavilion during Expo '86 and was relocated to Vancouver's Chinatown after the World's Fair was over. There are also many other attractions within Chinatown today. Jimi Hendrix's grandmother used to live in a building that is now operated as a restaurant. There is a shrine at the location in dedication to Jimi Hendrix.



Location

Site map of towers

Firenze is located on the edge of Downtown Vancouver. The building is centrally located, close to the busy waterfront streets of downtown to the west, or traveling east to the popular lakes in Burnaby, one of the adjacent cities to Vancouver.

The building is close to Vancouver's rapid transit system, the SkyTrain, and also to neighbourhod amenities such as Science World, BC place and Rogers Arena, where professional sports events are held. Residents may enjoy shopping along Robson Street a few blocks over, a multitude of theatres, restaurants, Tinseltown, Gastown, and area named for an early businessman called Gassy Jack who owned several drinking establishments and hotels.

Also, easily reached are the Vancouver Library, International Village Mall, Yale Town, False Creek Board and the Seawall.[3]


Construction

The complex consist of three buildings. The exteriors are a multi-faceted grey hue with featured components clad in red brick. The glazing is a green spandrel glass with aluminum laced windows. The structures are built with concrete, and have a full rain screen. [4]

Spandrel glass is used to cover certain sections of the building such as the floor slab or mechanical systems. It gives the building an overall glass appearance. Spandrel glass is up to 5 times stronger than annealed glass. Due to the high heating used to create the spandrel glass, it is very resistant to thermal conditions.

Tower I

Tower I - 58 Keefer Place, Vancouver, BC

The first of the three buildings, referred to here as Tower I, contains 172 condominium units.

There are also 14 commercial units which, along with the residential units, make up the 25 levels.

It is an egg shaped tower, and adjoins Tower III. [5]



Tower II

Tower II - 688 Abbott Street, Vancouver, BC

The second phase of the project features 227 suites within its 31 levels.

It is detached from the other two buildings and displays a more angular shape.

This tower has the greatest amount of sun exposure.[6]



Tower III

Tower III - 618 Abbott Street, Vancouver, BC

Tower III is comprised of 8 levels and contains 54 residential units.

It has the largest area plan of the project site and is the shortest of the three buildings.[7]



Kitchen and open concept living room featuring granite counters, hardwood flooring, and stainless steel appliances.

Layout and Features

Maintenance fees in the buildings cover caretakers, garbage pickup, gardening, hot water, management and recreation facility.

Numerous finishing options to residents have been provided. Some of the units contain stainless steel appliances, including washers, dryers, fridges, and stoves. Other units may have granite counter tops, garbage compactors, fire places and garage door openers.

Hardwood flooring, large windows, and tile flooring in the kitchen and bathrooms are also feature in wome of the units. Typically the units have three piece bathrooms with a combined tub/shower fixture.

Many of the suites have views of the ocean, downtown Vancouver or the gardens.


Floor Plans

The suite sizes at Tower I range from 615 to 1819 square feet.

Tower II suites range from 607 to 1515 square feet.

In Tower III, the suites are 533 to 1411 square feet.

Amenities

Some of the amenities are shared between the towers and some are strictly individual.

The amenities include:

  • daycare facilities
  • pool
  • private podium garden
  • fitness center
  • big screen theatre
  • parking
  • sauna/steam room
  • jacuzzi
  • lounge with kitchen
  • wheelchair access
  • swirlpool/hot tub
  • in suite laundry
  • id access control system
  • on site perimiter cameras monitored 24/7
  • bike room [8]

Bylaws

Firenze Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes



  • Pets are allowed, maximum of two
  • Rentals are allowed


Sustainability

Concrete is a readily available material in British Columbia. By using it as a building material, CO2 emissions are reduced because less transportation is required. It is also a long-lasting and durable building material giving buildings a life span is estimated to be 80+ years.

The green space, provided by the gardens and the lagoon is also beneficial to our environment. It reduces the city's heat island effect and also slows the storm-water run off, which reduces the stresses on the city's sewer drainage system and other infrastructure during heavy rainfall.

Firenze doesn't have a universal plan for all the suites but occupants can make choices to lessen their impact on the environment.

Regular incandescent light bulbs can be replaced with compact-fluorescent bulbs. Clothes can be washed in cold water. In addition, residents may use transit rather than driving.

These are only a few simple alternatives that can make Vancouver a greener place which benefits the entire community.


Trivia

Science World's Geodesic Dome
  • Close by, is the Beatty Street Drill Hall at 620 Beatty Street. It is a Canadian Forces Armoury built in 1901. The walls are three and a half feet thick, and it used to contain a firing range and bowling alley. The building is rumored to be haunted. An unknown man has been seen standing in the Officers' and Senior NOC messes. Staff have said to have heard footsteps, felt cold spots, and have witnessed the ringing of unplugged phones.
  • The science world building was designed by Bruno Freschi for Expo '86. The shape was modeled after "Bucky Balls", the geodesic dome designed by Buckminister Fuller and unveiled at Expo '67 in Montreal, Canada. The building is 155 feet tall including the foundation and slab. The dome is made of 766 triangles with 391 lights on the intersections.
  • GM Place is now known as Rogers Arena. It was completed in 1995 and cost $160 million to replace the Pacific Coliseum. It is the home of the National Hockey League's Vancouver Canucks and used to be the home of National Basketball Association's Vancouver Grizzlies.


References

  1. SFU
  2. Vancouver-Chinatown
  3. Owner Direct
  4. Firenze Condos
  5. BC Condos
  6. Les Twarog and Sonja Pedersen
  7. Cross Town Condos
  8. BC Condos


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