Alberni by Kengo Kuma - 1550 Alberni Street, Vancouver, BC
Living in a high-rise in Vancouver means waking up to the charming views of British Colombia`s nature, and Vancouver`s lively atmosphere. It’s no secret that this city`s skyline is lined with tall, luxurious buildings. From Harbour Canter, and Shaw Tower to the Private Residences at Hotel Georgia, and Vancouver House, here you can be assured that there is a dream life waiting for everyone who seeks it.
Designed by famous Japanese architect Kengo Kuma, the Alberni project is a new star in Vancouver and even BC`s sky. Shaped by its urban context, this 43-storey high-rise is Kengo Kuma’s first large-scale residential building in North America. But above all, the Alberni project stands out among other towers for its unconventional design and its fantastic woodwork.
If you enjoy following Canada`s real estate market, want to buy a condo in a high-rise, or looking for a profitable investment in Vancouver`s housing market, this article will help you learn more about this market, and one of its landmarks, Alberni by Kengo Kuma. Stay Tuned.
The Story behind Alberni Project
Developed by Westbank and Peterson Group, Alberni is the one and only residential tower Kengo Kuma has ever designed in Canada. In 2022, a collection of first sketches, physical models, and final visualizations were shared with the announcement that the building will be finished by December.
As one of Tokyo`s leading architects, Kengo Kuma has recently finished designing Tokyo Stadium for the 2020 Olympics, replacing Zaha Hadid, the main architect. In this project, Kuma collaborated with renowned Westbank Projects Corp, known for its many luxury projects including Arbor, Broadway and Alma, Park Habitat, and more.
Chosen for his one-of-a-kind designs, Kuma`s work is celebrated worldwide, according to the president of the company Ian Gillespie. Located at the intersection of Alberni and Cardero Street, the 43-story tower meets the ground with two emphatic scoops that form the beautiful wood-furnished balconies. These dome-like carvings cause semi-enclosures that optimize neighboring views past the project.
Additionally, the fluid interior design and details are also among the most striking feature of this building. On the ground level, the interlocking lattice, known as the Kigurumi structure, can be seen from Alberni`s street through the building’s facade.
Inspired by Japan`s spatial traditions, the emphasis here is on creating an optimal atmosphere: without attracting attention to a certain laden, the gap provokes a calm sensorial experience that could be shared by everyone who appreciates a beautiful architectural design.
The connectivity and clarity of structure are attained with the help of materials and rich subtle layering that forms at the base. The architectural elements of the building begin with small parts; the panels on the front, the timber creating the woodwork, and the planks in the aisles. These small features are all aggregated into a more considerable whole, which is the tower.
Using aluminum and glass for the exterior design, create an eye-catchy reflection of the adjoining structures and Vancouver`s sky, offering the desired transparency. On top of that, the use of different wood on the exterior and interior adds a significant resemblance to Kuma’s other iconic creations.
“I have always wanted to have a project in Canada because of its closeness to nature, typologically, this is a large-scale project in North America, a dream for any foreign architect. We have done towers, but not to this scale and level of detail.” Said Kuma
Discussing his ideas about this tower, Kuma mentioned that these sculptural details are what he was most eager to see after completion. According to him, the scoops are not merely a detail but a way to allow for view corridors, for the residents in the tower and those from neighboring buildings as well.
In fact, the curves rearrange the high-rise`s proportions while allowing for more developable areas. It creates a new and different silhouette, distinct from other buildings on Vancouver’s skyline.
The way Alberni's tower is carved creates a constantly changing silhouette. However, in reality, the design is far more complex than the domed vaults. While the carved deductions are symmetrical, the lower portion of the tower allows counterbalance of the hanging volume above.
Once the tower was completely finished, the lower unit of this high-rise showed its ultimate uniqueness, where the hollow section of the tower, created under high-ceiling arching designs, provides an exterior for a vast Japanese-inspired moss garden, with other natural and water elements.
The bamboo for the “forest” along the garden’s border areas was grown in Oregon, before being taken to Vancouver for on-site planting. The units have one parking stall and a garden on the balcony. The balconies are faced northwest where you can enjoy the view of charming Stanley Park and the North Shore Mountains. Amenities include a gym, swimming pool, art gallery, wine tasting room, and soundproof music room.
Kengo Kuma, an Architect or a Philosopher?
Known for his many masterpieces in Japan, Kengo Kuma was granted the world's most influential architect in 2021, by Time magazine. And he has his own philosophy for his designs. Believing that buildings are man-made objects destined to be cut away from their surroundings, he tries to examine and enhance the connection between architecture and its environment.
Kadokawa Culture Museum, his renowned work, responds to the topographical elements of Tokorozawa. The grim walls of the pavilion are suggestive of shelters where early humans lived, delivering a sense of safety.
Among his other successful works, here we only mention a few: the Bamboo House in China, under the Great Wall, Nagasaki Prefectural Art Museum, and the Lotus House in Japan. His life career represents the personal nature of Japanese architecture recognized by Frank Lloyd Wright as “where everything is nature”.
Kuma works with ancestral materials and Japanese traditional methods. His masterful selection of the materials appears to complete his authentic constructive work. As a true master in his work, Kuma does not simply yield to the extreme rigorism of the geographic context at all costs, or to progressive technological ideas. What he does is create a harmonic masterpiece where everything coexists.
Location and Neighbourhood of Alberni Tower
Alberni Street was named after Lieutenant Colonel Pedro de Alberni, the leader of the armies on Francisco Eliza’s expedition aboard the Concepcion to Nootka Sound in the late 18th. This man was the first European who grow a garden in Vancouver and introduced the first cows to this land.
Located in Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, this street was once a nondescript commercial place. However, in the 2010s, it was transformed into a center for expensive cafes and restaurants and high-end opulence retail shops. Starting with the well-known store, De Beers that opened in 2013, Alberni Street and its neighborhoods are now filled with many luxury brands and designer shops. This includes Burberry, Escada, Tiffany & Co., Hermes, Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Gucci, and Ferragamo. Additionally, several high-rise towers have been built along the street too.
Constructed in one of the most lively and rich neighborhoods in Vancouver, Alberi’s building complements the development of this community. The high-rise includes 181 residential units, boasting huge terraces and balconies designed like open gardens to allow more personal space.
When you want to have some private quality time, you can simply live your home, and unwind with a massage session or decompress with a relaxing yoga class in your neighborhood. Alberni Street offers fantastic amenities and services.
A Few Last Words
For those looking for a luxury home with great amenities to build their family, Vancouver has a lot to offer. The high-rise towers have covered the city`s skyline and living in one of these buildings' condos, you can enjoy the sceneries offered to the lucky residents.
Alberni by Kengo Kuma, the renowned architect, is the new stunning landmark of Vancouver`s real estate market. This commercial, residential complex is available for everyone who is searching for their dream house.
If this article has convinced you to move into one of the beautiful units of this ultra-modern complex, our experts are ready to help you. Check out our website and find many condos and homes for sale Vancouver, Abbotsford, Coquitlam, and more.