Architecture

KPF taps timber for sustainably designed Vancouver office tower

KPF taps timber for sustainabl...
Burrard Exchange's interior will be mostly occupied by office space, though there will also be retail areas on the lower floors
Burrard Exchange's interior will be mostly occupied by office space, though there will also be retail areas on the lower floors
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Burrard Exchange will rise to a height of 260 ft (almost 80 m) and consist of 16 floors
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Burrard Exchange will rise to a height of 260 ft (almost 80 m) and consist of 16 floors
Burrard Exchange will feature floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize the amount of natural light inside
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Burrard Exchange will feature floor-to-ceiling windows to maximize the amount of natural light inside
Burrard Exchange's interior will be mostly occupied by office space, though there will also be retail areas on the lower floors
3/3
Burrard Exchange's interior will be mostly occupied by office space, though there will also be retail areas on the lower floors
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Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates (KPF) is probably best known for designing many of the world's tallest and most impressive skyscrapers, including the Ping An Finance Centre and One Vanderbilt. Its latest project sees the firm swap the world of flashy steel and concrete supertalls for a modestly proportioned hybrid timber tower.

The tower, named Burrard Exchange, also involves Adamson Associates Architects, and is part of the ongoing Bentall Centre development in Vancouver, Canada.

Its height of 260 ft (almost 80 m) may not sound all that impressive, but it will be one of North America's tallest hybrid mass timber towers (that is, mostly made from engineered timber but with a concrete core housing the elevators and staircases). To put its height into perspective, Norway's Mjøstårnet is the world's tallest all-timber tower at 85.4 m (280 ft).

The building will feature a rectangular overall form, though it will be enlivened somewhat with multiple terrace areas planted with greenery. It will consist of 16 floors, most of which will be occupied by office space, but there will be some retail space on the lower floors too. Additionally, it will be topped by a rooftop conference area, with meeting spaces and outdoor seating. The interior decor will sensibly be designed to highlight the beauty of the wood, as well as ensuring ample natural light thanks to generous floor-to-ceiling glazing.

Burrard Exchange will rise to a height of 260 ft (almost 80 m) and consist of 16 floors
Burrard Exchange will rise to a height of 260 ft (almost 80 m) and consist of 16 floors

"Wood has a relatively low manufacturing carbon footprint compared to other materials and is the only material that can remove carbon from the atmosphere over the lifetime of its usage," explains Hudson Pacific Properties, which is developing Burrard Exchange with Blackstone Real Estate. "This project represents Hudson Pacific's first mass timber development and will build upon the momentum of other recently announced mass timber projects in British Columbia. As with the rest of Hudson Pacific's portfolio, upon delivery Burrard Exchange's building operations will be 100 percent carbon neutral."

Plans have been submitted to Vancouver city officials and assuming all goes well, construction is slated to begin in 2023. Indeed, Vancouver is poised to become something of a boom town for timber construction, and the city is also slated to receive timber towers from Perkins+Will and Shigeru Ban.

Source: KPF

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2 comments
2 comments
M.Power
This is a dumb idea if there ever was one. They say "Wood has a relatively low manufacturing carbon footprint compared to other materials and is the only material that can remove carbon from the atmosphere over the lifetime of its usage," Really?! You might want top brush up on your biology a bit, but the last time I checked, dead trees don't remove anything from the atmosphere except water, when it gets more humid. Their carbon content is frozen from the moment the chainsaw makes contact. That is why carbon dating of trees works so well. I suggest putting up some wood grain melamine and stick to the proven steel and newer lower carbon footprint concrete.
Nelson Hyde Chick
Needing more and more lumber to house and give worplaces for the billions of more humans coming while also needing more and more trees to capture the more and more CO2 produced by us doen't add up.