Ventana

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175 West 2nd Street, North Vancouver, BC

Ventana
Ventana-VAN-Exterior1.jpg

The glamour shot of Ventana suggesting great views for the residents
Building Information
Developer Intracorp
Architect IBI/HB Architects
Management Company Crosby Property Management
Number of Units 94
Number of Floors 12
Year Built 2008
Construction Method Concrete
Type of Roof IRMA
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175 West 2nd Street, North Vancouver, BC
Distance to Public Transit Less than one block
Region North Vancouver
Municipality Vancouver
Zoning CD (436)
Title of Land Freehold Strata


Contents

Background

Over the past couple of decades, the area know as Lower Lonsdale of North Vancouver near the waterfront, has seen many changes.
Ventana-VAN-Logo.jpg
It has evolved from a commercial and industrial area to one consisting of residential mixed-use buildings and eclectic boutique style shops.

Built in 2006, Ventana has become a recent addition to this rapidly changing neigbourhood. North Vancouver's City Planning Department has focused their attention on providing services and convenience to the ever increasing density of the area. Entrepreneurial businesses have sprung up in the immediate vicinity as new customers move into the buildings in the area.

Within the 12 storey structure, Ventana contains 94 Strata units featuring 82 apartments and 12 town-homes located in a prime location with services and public transportation all around.

As more and more residential buildings are added to Lower Lonsdale, so too, are more and more amenities added to the neighbourhood. This area is rapidly becoming an alternative to down town condominium livng.[1]

Location

Lonsdale Quay as seen from the water with Ventana pictured in the centre

Lonsdale Quay Market, with over 80 specialty shops, is a short stroll from Ventana. Among the vast variety of shops, it features fresh vegetables, bakeries, meat shops, cheese shops, crepes, and coffees. Lonsdale Quay is also a transportation hub with numerous buses criss-crossing through the facility, and the Seabus terminal to ferry foot passengers across Burrard Inlet to Vancouver's downtown every 15 minutes.


Ventana on West 2nd Street is just two blocks from Waterfront Park, a popular gathering area the features everything from car club show-and-shine events, to Caribbean Day. The park hosts an annual Clam Chowder festival, Canada Day Celebrations, and is used year round for family gatherings and picnics.

Residents can stroll down Lonsdale Avenue, the main street of North Vancouver and find Sushi, specialty bake shops, numerous coffee places offering a mix of atmospheres, and probably more ethnic food choices than one could sample in a month.

Commuting to downtown Vancouver using the frequent Seabus connection is preferred by many rather than braving the crowded bridges that connect North Vancouver to the rest of the Lower Mainland. Residents of North Vancouver and of Lower Lonsdale in particular, seldom need to cross the water unless their employment is there. Everything that a city needs can be found on the North Shore from "Big-Box" stores, shopping malls, car sales and service centres, health services, as well as recreation.

North Vancouver sits at the foot of the coastal mountains which offer trails, lakes, streams, and rich forested areas. Many activities can be pursued by residents all year long from skiing on the snow capped mountains, to magnificent trails through the forests.[2]

Construction

The tapered design to maximize views

Ventana is not the typical square or rectilinear structure one generally associates with residential mid-rises. Instead, IBI/HB Architects have taken the "box' out of the design and have provided a gently curved facade facing the water with slightly tapered sides forming a partial wedge shape that does not complete to a point. Rather, a narrower flat facade faces West 2nd street. This structural configuration lends to some interesting floor layouts within the building giving relief from more traditional square and rectangular constructs.

Built in 2008, Ventana consists of 82 suites in the tower section footed by 12 town-homes. Floor to ceiling windows allow ample natural light from all directions and suites feature balconies and patios. Landscaped grounds surround the town-homes providing a green sanctuary for residents of Ventana and its neighbours. The town-homes have a three coloured brick facade theme, using white, a light rose and a bluish-gray sectional pattern. The tower itself, has a mostly glass curtain with vertical white concrete accents which highlight structure and apartment spacing. Some of the bluish-gray colour scheme has been carried into the tower unifying the entire project.[3]

Layout and Features

Ventana's aforementioned floor to ceiling windows allow natural light to display the modern kitchens with stainless steel appliances and living areas. Bathrooms are equipped with modern fixtures and granite counter tops. There are in-suite laundry machines, large patios, and secured parking. Management and the recreation facility expenses are covered by the maintenance fees. Storage for residents and a bike room are also available.

In the gardens that surround Ventana, visual artists Jacqueline Metz and Nancy Chew, who have collaborated since 1997, have created a bronze sculpture entitled "voyage".[4] It depicts imagery from the nearby waterfront from its industrial roots and provides a reminder of the nearby water. The work received a "Public Art Recognition Award" from the City of North Vancouver.[5]

Floor Plans

Some interesting floor plans are presented at Ventana due to its non-boxy shape. Here are some examples:

Ventana also has a video walk through of the building and one of the suites. To view this video, please visit the the References Section lower down on this page.[6]

Amenities

Ventana-VAN-GeorgeAwardSilver.jpg

Residents at Ventana enjoy numerous amenities. They include:

  • Fitness centre
  • Lounge
  • Caretaker
  • Gardening services
  • Residents' storage
  • Bike storage area
  • In-suite laundry
  • Landscaped grounds
  • Billiard table in the lounge area

Bylaws

Ventana Bylaws
Rentals Yes
Pets Yes
Age No


  • A pet friendly building and neigbourhood
  • Rentals of the apartments are permitted and openly advertised
  • No age restrictions are placed on ownership within the building

Sustainability

Ventana has not been specifically designed to be a 'green building'. However, with Metro-Vancouver's highly ambitious goal to be the "greenest city" in North America, fundamental changes to building codes are being implemented. More and more renewable resources are being used in construction projects these days.

As well, stricter guidelines on the disposal and handling of construction waste help to reduce impacts on the environment.

Residents themselves contribute to a greener lifestyle, by participating in North Vancouver's extensive recycling programs. Within their apartment units, residents can use LED lighting rather than traditional incandescent bulbs for a measurable savings on their power bill.

Suites are equipped with modern energy efficient appliances and services and shops are close by reducing the need to use a car.

Trivia

"voyage" in the public area of Ventana - Photo Credit to Scott Massey
  • The astrolab metal sphere suggests a reference to a navigation device, or more metaphorically, our planet with circumnavigation travel routes. The artists say, "It is a metaphor for the journey we each make." The boat is reminiscent of a child's toy set within the world we know. It is both engaging and whimsical and refers to the familiar.[7]
The ferry dock in Lower Lonsdale early in the 20th century
  • The Wallace shipyards was an important entity in the industry of North Vancouver.
    • It operated for 84 years, known later as the Burrard Dry Dock and most recently, Versatile Pacific Shipyards.
    • During world War II, Burrard Dry Dock built about one third of the "Victory" ships and employed over 14,000 men and women. Whole new subdivisions were created to accommodate the workers and their families.
    • The site at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue has been recognized as a Primary Heritage Site. Gradually, parts of the historic waterfront is being redeveloped with new residential complexes and services. Today, an large metal sculpture is on display, appearing like a large trough. It is filled with workers' time cards etched in metal and describes the jobs they were hired to perform, their hours, and their rates of pay. Machinists made the most at $1.17 per hour, whereas, carpenters' helpers made about $.51 cents per hour.

References

  1. Ventana Building Information
  2. Walk Score
  3. Intracorp
  4. Public Art: A privilege not an obligation
  5. Voyage by Metz & Chew of Muse Atelier - 2008
  6. Ventana - Video walk through
  7. Metz & Chew - website


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