Qube

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1333 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC

Qube
1383westgeorgiastreet-Vcr-exterior1.jpg

One of the City's most famous buildings of architectural interest
Building Information
Developer Redevelopment - Anthem Properties
Architect MCMP
Management Company Vancouver Condominium Services
Number of Units 180
Number of Floors 13
Year Built 1969
Construction Method Core plus outrigger
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1333 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning CD-1
Title of Land Strata


Contents

Background

Cube on a Pedestal appearance was inspiration for its name "Qube"

The appearance of a cube on a pedestal is what inspired the buildings new name, "QUBE" upon redevelopment.

The Qube won the Design in Steel Award from the American Iron and Steel Institute in 1971 for its modern classic and unique design. It was originally the corporate office for Westcoast Transmission Company when it was built in 1969. When Westcoast Transmission was sold to Duke Energy, the building became the head office for Duke Energy from 2000 - 2004.

Anthem Properties bought the building in 1998 confident they had a great building with a major blue-chip tenant. Restructuring of Duke Energy had Anthem at a crossroads with its tenancy in 2004 and they decided to redevelop the building as an upscale Coal Harbour residential tower. Market research showed that the location was out of the main business and financial district yet right in the middle of the emerging Coal Harbour neighbourhood.

There are only half a dozen buildings around the world designed like the Qube and with the redevelopment by Anthem, the conversion will keep this building vital and modern.[1]


Location

Qube is located on the south side of West Georgia Street which is the main east-west street running through Vancouver. It is more specifically located in a fairly recently named area called Coal Harbour. The emergence of upscale condominiums in this area prompted the owners into redeveloping the building from office use to residential homes.

It is within blocks of Stanley Park and the Stanley Park Seawall. The Seawall is the most popular facility in the park. It encircles the park's perimeter and its 5.5 miles of pavement is used daily by joggers, rollerbladers, bikers, walkers and sightseers. Marinas, restaurants, the city's financial district, convention centre, and entertainment are all within blocks. Many residences have views of Coal Harbour, North Shore mountains and Stanley Park.[2]

It is close to all transit options. Recreational and commuting bike use is easy and accessible from the Qube.

Construction

Unique outrigger system


Architects William Rhone and Randle Iredale and structural engineer Bogue Babicki were the minds responsible for the unique expression of the original structure now known as the Qube. A concrete core was built first with steel hung from cables at the top. Floors hang from aluminum-clad steel cables. There are no columns in the floor space and the design creates a building resistant to earthquakes. The floors in the building were built from the top down and since the building is resting on a pedestal, the residences start on the fourth floor.[3]

MCMP the architects in charge of the redevelopment upgraded the strength of the original core with modern day carbon fibre materials. The exterior upgrades included refacing and provision of opening windows.

The supporting steel cables have been stretching slowly over the years which are resulting in some slight tilting on the floor plates.[4]

Layout and Features

One of the most striking design components of the Qube is the elevation of the first floor. Residences start on the fourth floor and people literally walk under the building where floors one to three would normally be.

Architects for the redevelopment were Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership. They laid out very open concept floor plans that showcase the more spacious feel to the common areas existing from its previous use. Because the building was originally a commercial one, the hallways, doorways, ceiling heights and details are all slightly larger than a typical design for a residential tower. [5]

Floor Plans

Homes range in size from 420 square foot studio suites to 560 square foot one bedroom lofts and 940 square foot two bedroom homes.

Open concept floor plans and over sized hallways, doorways and 9'6" ceilings contribute to the spaciousness found in the Qube.


Amenities

One of the Qube's features is its spaciousness, typical of an office purpose, and the architect has maintained this character in its redevelopment.

Amenities include:

  • Full time concierge
  • Gym
  • Bike lockers
  • Four elevators
  • Party room
  • Storage units on same floor
  • Under ground parking
  • Visitor parking

Bylaws

Qube Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No


Residents are allowed one cat or dog at the Qube.

Rentals are allowed and there are no age restrictions.

There are no balconies for barbecues.

Sustainability

In their decision to redevelop this building instead of demolishing it and rebuilding, Anthem Properties significantly reduced the amount of demolition waste that would have been created. Some consider this to be a green building because of its revitalization and renewal of usefulness.[6] The building has bike lockers and is close to all forms of transit and car share options.

Trivia

MacGyver

The television series MacGyver filmed episodes three to six in Vancouver and the Qube was the fictional Phoenix Foundation headquarters until the last episode in 1992.

MacGyver was the agency's troubleshooter and his home was at the base of Bute Street where he lived on a houseboat.

His character was known for his refusal to carry a gun and resolve any problem or situation with duct tape and a swiss army knife or other everyday objects he could find.[7]

References

  1. Vancouver Sun article
  2. Wikipedia-Stanley Park
  3. Vancouver Sun article
  4. Emporis
  5. Paul Albrighton Real Estate Corp.
  6. Albrighton Real Estate Corp.
  7. Wikipedia - MacGyver


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