4338 Commercial Drive, Vancouver BC
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4338 Commercial Drive, Vancouver BC


Private Owner


Not Specified

Project Type

Apartment, Retail


JHL Design Group


1. Urban concept.
The existing grading and angled shape of the site, as well as its location at a busy intersection have determined the urban design concept of the proposed project. Our intention was to create a strong accent at the intersection’s sharp corner in combination with the big vertical and horizontal elements of the north elevation as well as to introduce the dynamic architectural rhythm and the scale suitable for busy Kingsway. The south side of the building, facing the lane, is formed by the terraces which step down towards the lane. This allows the contrast between the proposed building and the existing houses across the lane to be reduced by braking down the scale of the structure.

2.  Architectural concept.
-  Function
This is a mixed-use four-storey building with two levels of the underground parking for both residential and commercial users. The ground floor of the building contains the residential and commercial components completely separated from each other. The commercial area has been designed as a space dividable in to several separate units with the maximum exposure to Kingsway and Commercial Drive. The required second exits from commercial units are located at the opposite side of the building facing the lane.  The residential entrance lobby with the elevator and stairs is accessible from Commercial Drive. The corridor from the second residential stairs exits to the lane.

 Levels 2, 3 and 4 are designed as residential units. The units on levels 2 and 3 as well as the 4th floor corner units facing Kingsway have balconies and planters.  These units will have special glazing which provide acoustic protection against street noise. The residential units oriented to the lane have the access to the roof decks at level 2 and 4 or to the balconies at level 3 with the planters for privacy. The level 4 units are facing the lane and have an access corridor and common roof deck on the street side.

-  Architectural composition.
The absence of the existing architectural context provides the opportunity to create a contemporary, dynamic design for the building. The key element of the architectural composition is the sharp-angled north / west corner of the building facing the intersection of Kingsway and Commercial Drive. The sharpness of the corner lines is reinforced by use of glazing. Together with the roof overhang above the recessed fourth floor, they create a strong and dominating architectural element of the dynamic composition of the building.

 At the north elevation facing Kingsway, a similar effect is created by the contrast between the vertical glazed bay windows, located above the commercial entrances, and the horizontal roof line, horizontal stepping down stripes of the fourth floor common roof deck guards and the canopy above the first floor. At the north and south elevations, a similar effect is developed by the horizontally stepping down of terraces in front of the residential units on every floor. The contrast between the glazed and solid surfaces, use of different materials such as brick, granite, concrete and metal cladding, combined with colour accents, will add more expration to the architecture of the building.