Robson and Richards

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480 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC

Robson and Richards
RobsonandRichards-exterior2.jpg

Robson and Richards
Building Information
Architect Hancock Brückner Eng + Wright
Management Company Crosby Management
Number of Units 106
Number of Floors 20
Year Built 2006
Construction Method Concrete
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488 Robson Street, Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit Less than a block
Region Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning CD-1 (155)
Title of Land Strata


Contents

Background

Robson Street - 1938

Before the Robson and Richards building was constructed, otherwise known as R+R, the site was home to an abandoned building and a low-end rooming house. However, long before these dated structures, the site and Robson Street maintained a very different character.[1]

Prior to the logging industry that historic Vancouver was known for, the land had been heavily forested with spruce and fir trees towering up to 100m above the earth. To put that into proportion, this height is comparable to many of the high-rise buildings in downtown Vancouver today.

The land was surveyed in the 1860s and broken into three sections. The first was a military reserve in 1887 that was later given to the city as Stanley park. The next was the the Development Lot 185 that was surveyed for the speculated development of a new town that was to be called Liverpool. The final subdivision was for lands set aside as a government town reserve which was later given to the Canadian Pacific Railway as an incentive to continue the Trans Canada rail into the city.

In the 1890s, Robson Street was one of the first expansions of Vancouver's streetcar system. It wasn't until the 1980s that the street became exposed to many pedestrians and a large volume of traffic due to the World's Fair.

In 1895, train tracks were originally constructed on the land which is now Robson Street. During the 20th Century, there was a large immigration of postwar Germans settling on the northwest end of Robson Street. Due to this, the street became known as the center for German Culture and was often referred to as Robsonstrasse.

Because of the increase in population and the increase in pedestrians, new by-laws had to be established for developments along Robson including and increased setback in order to widen the sidewalks. [2]



Location

Robson Street

Robson street is one of the main passageways through Vancouver. It was named after John Robson, who helped British Columbia enter Canadian Confederation. The street has the highest retail rental rates at $300 per square foot.

The street is known for its high end and brand name stores. Some of the stores include Louis Vuitton, Burberry, Tiffany & Co, Lactose, Coach and many more. It is also a popular "cruising street," so it isn't uncommon to see exotic and rare cars gliding along the strip.

The Vancouver Art Gallery is also located on Robson Street. The gallery was founding in 1931 and moved to the Hornby and Robson Street location in 1983. The building was formerly the Vancouver court house, but with a $20 million renovation by Arthur Erickson, it was transformed into an Art Gallery. There are more than 10,000 permanent artworks, including local and European work. [3]

The area is known to be very pedestrian friendly and daily errands typically do not require the use of a car. Within walking distance are amenities such as A & W restaurant, Aladdin Cafe, Green Life Health Food, and Robson Square. The public transit bus options are also ideal, and those on bikes was excellent lanes to ride a long with some hills to conquer. [4]

Construction

R+R entrance

The building is made with concrete. This is the typical material used in Vancouver due to the high seismic activity experienced in the area and the moisture levels of the climate.

At the base, the exterior is clad in granite. Continuing up the building, the majority is covered in glazing. The facade is either finished concrete or stainless steel.

The steel strips catch the eyes of pedestrians and drivers who can't resist following the crisp lines up the sides of the building. [5]

The floor plate steps back gradually creating a pixelated triangular shape that stands out among most Vancouver high-rise buildings that have primarily flat facades.

There are a few issues with having granite on the exterior. These consist of blistering, chipping, cracking, efflorescence, erosion and flaking. Since this granite is only used as an exterior finish material, these issues don't threat the structure of the building, they just could cause in some aesthetic flaws.

Layout and Features

Suites feature ten foot ceilings, washer and dryers, custom loop carpeting in the living room, dining and bedrooms,

Kitchens have granite counter tops, stainless steel appliances, marble or limestone flooring, peninsula style eating bars, a ceramic tile back splash, lacquer cabinetry with over sized doors, wine racks, glass shelving and a stainless steel sink.

Bathrooms have marble flooring, polished chrome accessories, tile surround for the bath tubs and showers, custom framed mirrors, and lacquer cabinetry. [6]

Maintenance fees include gardening, garbage pickup, gas, hot water, management and recreation facilities. [7]

Floor Plans

There are seven different floor plans. Here is an example of five:

Amenities

  • Equipped Fitness Centre
  • Starbucks in the building
  • Bike Room
  • In Suite Laundry

Bylaws

Robson and Richards Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes



  • Pets are permitted
  • Rentals are permitted

Sustainability

Vancouver has an action plan to become the greenest city in 2020. Some of the ways the city is working to become greener and hence, more environmentally conscious, is by creating greener city operations.

Plans are in place for a comprehensive corporate waste reduction and diversion facility. The city is also supporting the purchase, and use of local food and city run facilities. Planning is also in effect for a program to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions by cars and houses.

Since 1990, the greenhouse gas emissions have been reduced by 25% due to building upgrades and renovations. Many new buildings are being designed to be highly efficient and follow strict environmental standards, for example, all new municipal facilities must be LEED Gold Certified. [8]

Trivia

Canadian Monopoly
  • The Vancouver Art Gallery is a National Historic Site of Canada [9]


  • Robson Street was featured on an old edition of the Canadian Monopoly board as one of the two most expensive properties. [10]


  • Robson Street is named after John Robson, who was the Premier of British Columbia from 1889 to 1892. There are also many other places named after him such as:
    • Robson Cove near the entrance to Burrard Inlet
    • Robson Square
    • Robson Town near Castlegar
    • John Robson Building on Robson Street
    • John Robson Elementary School in New Westminster[11]
    • Mount Robson, a mountain near the border of British Columbia and Alberta in the Canadian Rockies. It is the highest peak in the Canadian part of the mountain range.

References

  1. Emporis
  2. Spacing
  3. Wikipedia
  4. Walk Score
  5. Vancouver Real Estate
  6. Vancouver Real Estate
  7. Patrick Melanson
  8. Vancouver
  9. Wikipedia
  10. Wikipedia - Robson Street
  11. Wikipedia


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