Well now Vancouver!!! This not your average Baptist Church!
First Baptist Church on the Northwest corner of Burrard and Nelson streets has partnered with Westbank Projects Corporation to revitalize the 1911-completed church building while also expanding its Tower to make he congregation’s outreach and initiatives within the local community. The building is designed by internationally renowned Vancouver-based Bing Thom Architects (BTA), and is definitely going to shake up downtown Vancouver’s skyline.
The 552,164-square-foot project will be built on the church’s ground level parking lot and consists of three main components: a 550-foot-tall, 56-storey tower with 295 market residential units within the upper floors and community amenities in the lower floors; a 70-foot-tall, 8-storey rental building with 75 ‘below market rate’ housing units, for older adults and seniors, owned and managed by the church; and a complete restoration and seismic upgrade of the existing historic church building.
During an open house this week, BTA principal and architect Michael Heeney said the tower resembles four abstract organ pipes that slightly overlap on the inner edges. A ‘gap’ in the core of the building’s envelope reduces the building’s heating and cooling energy usage by 15 per cent and provides open communal spaces for residents in an effort to increase social interaction and reduce isolation.
The entire scope of the project’s new-build spans 552,164 square feet, with a floor-square-ratio of 10.88 FSR. The expanded church space would include a new childcare with 30 spaces and hub for the church’s associated volunteers and social services, such as Haro Park Centre Society and Kinbrace Refugee Housing.
A long two-lane swimming pool will be built into the third floor of the tower facing the adjacent Robert Lee YMCA building.