The lure of luxury

Three Harbour Green
Tuesday, February 5, 2013
By Cheryl Mah

Soaring 32-storeys, Three Harbour Green is the tallest of the three Harbour Green towers in Vancouver’s Coal Harbour. But that is not the only reason this luxury condominium stands above the rest.

Designed by IBI/HB Architects, this final phase of Harbour Green Place by developer, Aspac Development, marks the completion of the city’s most exclusive waterfront condominiums. And as the last residential development to be built in the city’s downtown waterfront, the goal was for it to be the ultimate showcase of luxury living.

Overlooking Stanley Park and the North Shore mountains, the luxury tower features 81 suites with townhouses at-grade and four levels of underground parking. The 425,000-square-foot concrete structure was completed in spring 2012, by general contractor Ledcor Construction.

Sitting right at the cusp of the city’s central business district with office towers to the east and Coal Harbour residences to the west, IBI/HB’s concept was to draw from both to give the tower a unique “split personality.”

According to architect Jim Hancock, the eastern facade facing the adjacent Vancouver Convention Centre, West building, is streamlined with a glass curtain wall to reflect the nearby offices, while the west side features a more articulated effort with a series of stone-clad boxes hanging off the building.

“There are a couple cut-outs as you go up the (building). The idea was for the massing of the townhouses at the base to convey the impression that the pieces cut-out of the tower just fell to the ground and landed there,” he says. “To distinguish the tower from the first two – one has a reddish tone and the other a beige tone – we chose a green granite cladding.”

A similar green stone was used inside the lobbies to carry the theme from the outside-in.

IBI/HB was also responsible for the design of the common areas.

Of course, a building of this stature only offers the most lavish amenities, including a 70-foot indoor pool, squash court, media room, virtual golf room, private lounge, use of a communal Ferrari and around-the-clock concierge service.

Each sprawling suite boasts floor-to-ceiling windows and expansive covered balconies with gas fireplaces as an outdoor-indoor feature.

“One of the ideas we tried to incorporate was when you enter the suite, you immediately see daylight,” says Hancock. “We placed the balcony right at the entrance to the suites so that there would be light immediately when you come in.”

The tower features three suites per floor on the lower levels and then two suites per floor from the 26th level up. It is crowned with an 8,000-square-foot penthouse, one of the priciest in Canada.

While the project did not seek LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) certification, it incorporates a number of sustainable technologies primarily focused on energy efficiency such as a high performance window wall with low-E glazing and passive solar design strategies.

The suites, designed by BBA Design, are modern and elegant. Materials were carefully selected to emphasize high quality. Spacious open floor plans with either wool carpet or hardwood combined with custom details and high-end European products work to create a sense of luxury and livability.

BBA Design was also responsible for the interiors of the first two towers. Principal Sharon Bortolotto describes the firm’s approach to Three Harbour Green as a bit different.

“We wanted a minimal luxurious feeling to the suites,” she says. “There is some wood and millwork to add some warmth to the entries but there is a lot more lacquer finishes. The other two were beautifully detailed (and used more wood) but this one is a bit more leading edge and sophisticated.”

The suites offer some of the best Italian designs from plumbing fixtures to kitchen and bathroom cabinetry. The kitchens are by Snaidero and Pininfarina with a full range of Miele appliances.

The bathrooms feature cutting edge fixtures from L’O di Giotto and Fantini Rubinetti, and custom tubs by Canadian manufacturer, Wetstyle.

The elegant closet systems are by another Italian company, Move.

Cheryl Mah is managing editor of Design Quarterly magazine.

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