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2088 Barclay Street, Vancouver, BC


Shot of the Presidio in Vancouver
Building Information
Developer Barclay - Lost Lagoon Condominium Developments Ltd.
Architect Richard Henriquez
Management Company Stratawest Management
Number of Units 28
Number of Floors 20
Year Built 1989
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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2088 Barclay Street, Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit One block
Region Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning RM-5B
Title of Land Strata



A more subtle angle of the Presidio

The Presidio is a luxury condominium in a one-of-a-kind location in Vancouver's West End. It sits at the southern edge of Stanley Park at Barclay Street and Lagoon Drive. Part city, part park, residents of this building have a truly unique location that boasts views of downtown Vancouver, Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park, University of British Columbia, English Bay, the North Shore Mountains, and even the Gulf Islands depending on which way the balcony faces.

There are only 28 units in this building and most stand empty because they are owned by offshore owners,[1] a common situation in Vancouver that author Douglas Coupland discusses in his book City of Glass in reference to the False Creek developments.

The award-winning architect, Richard Henriquez, designed the Presidio in 1989, the last of his distinct three West End condominiums. The first two were the the Sylvia Tower (1986), an extension of the ivy-clad Sylvia Hotel and Eugenia Place (1991), the unique building with a a tree on the rooftop and a tapered screw at the entrance.

Henriquez's projects are informed by what he called "fictional histories" that help give meaning to buildings in such a young city like Vancouver. As a result, his buildings have narratives to them that dialogue between past and present or local and international contexts. The tree on Eugenia Place is a reference to the height of the old growth forest that populated Vancouver's West End until the neighbourhood was developed with residential homes.

For the Presidio, however, Austrian architect Adolf Loos’s 1906 Villa Karma in Switzerland inspired the design. The reference is easily visible on one side of the Presidio where a circular ground floor "villa" is attached to the high-rise tower and houses the amenities.[2]


Public art along the Seawall

The Presidio at 2088 Barclay Street is uniquely situated at the edge of Vancouver's West End and Stanley Park. As a result, park and beach are not far away for residents wanting to retreat from the downtown streets. There's the beautiful Lost Lagoon in Stanley Park as well as numerous trails to walk and bike along, such as the Seawall that wraps around the park. English Bay, Devonian Harbour Park, and Cardero Park are nearby green spaces, the latter two located in Coal Harbour. The Vancouver Rowing Club operates out of Stanley Park if residents are inclined to take up this activity.

Because of its downtown location, the Presidio offers easy access to shopping, dining, and recreation. Denman Street is a few blocks down that has a number of restaurants like Kingyo, Acacia Fillo Bar, Ambrozia, Fatburger, and Akira Sushi. Several grocery options line Denman and Nelson Streets.

The Presido has a Walk Score of 82 out of 100 with a higher Bike Score of 93 with excellent lanes. There is no SkyTrain close by but there are several bus options on Denman Street.

A branch of the Vancouver Public Library is situated at 870 Denman Street.

Residents who enjoy public art can find many installations along the Seawall, Coal Harbour, Stanley Park, and English Bay.[3]


The Presidio is a 20-floor concrete high-rise designed by Vancouver architect Richard Henriquez whose firm is now called Henriquez Partners Architects. The building is designed in the postmodern style that plays with a reference to Adolf Loos' Villa Karma - a luxurious country residence in Switzerland. The Presidio has a concrete and glass exterior with a rounded tower, creating a circular room in each suite. In the penthouse suite, this space is used as a master bathroom on the main floor and an office on the second floor, which one can see in the Floor Plan section.[4]

Opposite the tower is a rectangular glass box that juts out from the facade. Taken together, these elements create a nice combination of sharp and curved edges. The "Villa" part of the condominium displays a brick facade to make it look more like a private residential estate, a slightly ironic gesture since the public amenities are housed in this space.

Layout and Features

With only 28 units in the building and 20 floors, most floors only have two units per floor with the penthouse suite taking up the entire top floor and consisting of two stories. The suites are designed to maximize views.

The gourmet kitchens feature Miele appliances with a Fisher Paykel dishwasher and quartz counter tops. Infloor heating is engineered into the hardwood floors.[5] All suites have at least one balcony.

Floor Plans

There are a variety of floor plans available at the Presidio. Here are a couple:


The Presidio boasts the following amenities for its residents:

  • balconies with stunning views
  • bike room
  • elevator
  • in-suite laundry
  • storage
  • underground parking garage[6]
  • recreation centre[5]
  • landscaped courtyard


Presidio Bylaws
Rentals No
Pets Yes
Age No

Rentals are not permitted at the Presidio but pets are welcome.[6] There is no age restriction at this condominium.


One sustainability feature at the Presidio is the use of a Therma-Ray Radiant Heating System, which is recognized by industry leaders as energy-efficient. It works by heating objects and people first, rather than the air, which is the way conventional heating works. Since heat transfers from warm objects to cool objects, it will eventually produce a warm environment by first radiating directly to cooler objects in a room such as walls, floors, furniture, and people. You can read more about it at this link in the References section.[7]

Apart from this, residents can take advantage of their convenient downtown location for doing daily errands on foot, bike, or by public transit.


The Presidio's predecessor, the Villa Karma
  • Many of the offshore owners bought their multimillion dollar suite in the early 1990s and only occupy them a few weeks of the year.[2] The issue of empty condos is a controversial one as there are many people looking for housing in Vancouver who want to actually live in the city rather than only enjoy their residence select times of the year. From a sociological perspective, a sense of community is threatened in these types of places since they are largely "ghost" residences.
  • Richard Henriquez is the founding partner of Henriquez Partners Architects. The other "partner" is his son, Gregory Henriquez, who is the Managing Partner of the firm and most notable for his redevelopment of the mixed-use Woodward's project that includes the W-32 and W-42 building.
  • Adolf Loos' Villa Karma, which inspired the design of the Presidio, is a classic example of early modernism in a residential context. It blends modern and classical architecture in a white exterior on the shores of Lake Geneva.[8] Henriquez borrowed design elements from this masterpiece and translated it into a West Coast context.
  • In Spanish, "Presidio" means a fortified military settlement.


  1. Wikimapia
  2. 2.0 2.1 Vancouver and Victoria Colourguide
  3. Walk Score
  4. Lynn Johnson
  5. 5.0 5.1 My Downtown Vancouver Condo
  6. 6.0 6.1 The Residential Group
  7. Therma Ray Heating Systems
  8. Architect Design

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