Steve Palmier Architecture

One Wall Centre Tower
Vancouver, BC




This project was for a Hotel with Residential Condominium Tower and Conference Centre.


The Tower is 45 storeys, 137m tall, and Multiple Use. It can be accessed from all perimeter streets. From the South, a semi-public park-like space, Volunteer Square, includes a hard landscape area with fountains and outdoor seating covered with steel and glass umbrellas, and provides pedestrian access to the hotel lobby. To the North, there is a vehicular entrance to the lower level of the same lobby as well as to the underground parking.


The lower level conference facility extends beneath the semi-public outdoor square and offers elaborate communications and lighting systems, multiple movable partitions and podiums. High speed Internet access is provided in every guest and conference space. Combined with the earlier phases of the convention centre adjacent, the whole comprises some 4,000 sqm of meeting rooms, including a 1,000 sqm ballroom. The typical floor plate is football-shaped and the first 25 floors, taken up by the hotel, are organized to maximize views and optimize space. The three floors immediately above the hotel are developed as "vacation ownership" suites. The topmost 17 floors comprise the residential condominiums, providing four units per floor.


The orientation of the building is off the downtown grid by 45 degrees, and is thus on the true North-South axis which is significant in the design of the mechanical systems. There are two zones and heat pumps move warm air from the south side to the north side, capitalizing on the building's orientation. The overall scheme exceeds ASHRAE 90.1 energy requirements by some 10 percent. To compensate for wind shear, two large rooftop water reservoirs are used as liquid column dampers and serve as counterweight mechanisms. In case of emergency, these water reservoirs can be used for fire fighting in the upper portion of the tower, while a fire pump at the bottom feeds standpipe and sprinkler systems in the lower portion of the tower.


The Tower comprised of high performance triple element glazing system, energy efficient light sources, low water consumption plumbing fixtures, and local materials for interior finishes. Glazing comprises approximately 95 percent of the gross wall area, and one-third of the structural silicone curtain wall is comprised of silver coated clear glass, maximizing interior day lighting, and operable windows provide access to natural ventilation.


Steve Palmier was Architect on the project and part of the team at Busby + Associates and he was responsible for various design elements, design layouts, parkade design, stair access and detailing. This project was completed while working at and by Busby + Associates in 2001.


Structural: Glotman Simpson - Mechanical: Keen Engineering - Electrical: Arnold Nemetz & Assoc. - Landscape: Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg - Interiors: Mitchell Freedland Design - Wind performance: RWDI - Acoustics: Brown Strachan - Traffic: Bunt & Associates - Geotechnical: GeoPacific Consultants - Kitchen: Canow Food Equipment - Contractor: Siemens Development


Area: 41,950 sqm (451,500 sqft)

Budget: $80 million (furnishings and equipment not included)

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