The Bayshore Story
The Bayshore Gardens portion of Coal Harbour is one of the real features of Downtown Vancouver BC. Located on the downtown peninsula’s north shore between Marathon Development’s Coal Harbour Lands (Waterfront Place & Harbour Green) and world-famous Stanley Park, “The Bayshore” as it’s known locally, provides residents and visitors with a park-like pedestrian paths and seawall access to the waterfront and marinas. Bordering The Bayshore to the south is Vancouver’s West End.
Bayshore Gardens includes some 155,000 m2 (1,618,000 sqft.) of new, predominantly residential development, distributed in ten separate buildings.
Gross Area: 7.5 ha (18.5 ac)
Population: 4,000 (est.)
Density (upa): 160
Housing Units: 3,000 (est.)
Planned around an existing resort hotel which has been upgraded and expanded, the development, now nearing completion, incorporates nine high rise residential buildings, a mid-rise seniors non-market project, a daycare, a major new boat marina, public parks, and waterfront walkways. The project now connects the seawall between Stanley Park and Coal Harbour, thus facilitating a significant extension of the downtown waterfront walkway and bikeway system.
Collaborators on the Bayshore Gardens development included the following:
Developers (most recent): Westbank Projects, Pinnacle International, PCI-Palladium Projects, Amacon, Grand Adex, Noel
Development Architects: VIA Architecture (formerly Baker, McGarva, Hart), Bing Thom, Hancock Bruckner, James K M Cheng, Howard Bingham Hill, IBI Group, Musson Cattell Mackey, Paul Merrick Public Realm Design: Matrix Urban Design, Don Vaughan (City Consultant)
Principal City Staff: Larry Beasley (Overview); Michael Gordon, Jeannette Hlavach (Area Planning); Ralph Segal, Jonathan Barrett (Urban Design/Development Planning)
The concept for Bayshore Gardens was to create a pedestrian-oriented environment in a rich garden setting. To support this concept, planning was based on a set of urban design principles:
• creating a distinctively Vancouver development that enriches the water experience;
• creating new special public places within a garden setting;
• respecting views to the water and mountains;
• enhancing Georgia Street’s ceremonial gateway character;
• responding to surrounding street patterns; and
• developing an architecture appropriate to the setting.
According to published materials on the development of Bayshore Gardens:
A key strategy to achieving these principles was a layered site design approach: the city was extended towards the water (streets and built form); the park was extended into the city (gardens extending from Stanley Park); the water was extended up towards Georgia Street (lagoons, fountains, waterfalls). The street pattern extends the north-south streets towards the waterfront, connecting with a jogged cross street (Bayshore Drive) parallel to Georgia Street.
The built form consists of both towers and terraces. Fewer townhouses than elsewhere have been included in order to preserve Georgia Street pedestrian views diagonally through to the water and Stanley Park. A series of four similar towers flanks the two-block frontage of Georgia Street, spaced well apart to maximize views through, and reinforce the city street grid rhythm, while strengthening the built form of Georgia Street as the city’s pre-eminent ceremonial route.
The tower heights step up incrementally from west to east, reinforcing the transition from park to urban city. A series of linear water lagoons extends along Georgia Street, and across the site, which, combined with the high quality streetscape treatment, have enhanced pedestrian amenity.
The 1.6 acre Marina Square has been created in the centre of the site, on top of an underground public parkade. A second 0.8 acre parkspace, Cardero Park, has been created at the waterfront street-end of Cardero Street. These spaces provide a visual foil, mediating the transition between the waterfront and this high density, high-rise precinct.
Waterfront pedestrian and bicycle access has been significantly improved, bringing this part of the waterfront into civic play. A future restaurant is to be sited within the marina, which will further enliven this part of the seawall walkway by attracting tourists, residents, and the public at large.
Bayshore Gardens took a somewhat different approach to recent urban development in Vancouver, emphasizing a distinctively landscaped garden-like environment. With final build-out approaching, the original intent of creating a forum for both public and private enjoyment has been realized.
*Reference: Vancouver Condo Developments, Coal Harbour Real Estate, Kimmins and Associates
Prudential Sussex Realty 2996 Lonsdale Ave North Vancouver, BC, V7N 3J4