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New icon soars in downtown Vancouver

Jan 15, 2018 05:50 AM

Known for being a cosmopolitan multicultural city with a bustling economy, Vancouver has long been a favourite destination to live, work, study and play in Canada.

Not only has it been voted as one of the world’s most liveable cities time and again, its natural beauty is a picturesque setting for architectural landmarks such as the Chan Centre for Performing Arts at the University of British Columbia and The Pointe condominium, both designed by the late Mr Bing Thom, renowned architect and Vancouver native.

Mr Thom’s last project, The Butterfly, was created in collaboration with Westbank, North America’s leading luxury developer celebrated for building architectural icons such as Vancouver House by Bjarke Ingels Group, and Alberni by Kengo Kuma.

The newest high-end development to grace downtown Vancouver’s skyline, The Butterfly has been a dozen years in the making and involves the complex restoration and expansion of the historic First Baptist Church, as well as the construction of an iconic condominium.

“The Butterfly was born of a conversation with Bing Thom about how a home presupposes many things: neighbours, sunlit mornings, outdoor spaces, a sense of being one with nature and belonging in our built environment,” said Mr Luke Fehon, Managing Director of Westbank.

This philosophy has infused the development’s design, which features natural light, fresh air, as well as organic forms and textures. It is a showcase of dedication by Mr Thom and Westbank to the principles of green urban design, while challenging architectural norms to create living spaces that integrate public art with nature. When viewed from above, the tower — like a sculpture in the sky — evokes the shape of a butterfly’s gentle curves.

The Butterfly is located at the corner where Burrard and Nelson Streets meet, in the heart of the financial district of downtown Vancouver. Within close proximity are The Alberni Street luxury shopping belt, Vancouver Art Gallery, the waterfront, restaurants and nightlife entertainment options.

Its strategic location, ground-breaking architecture and promise of an unmatched lifestyle represent an opportunity to invest in a market that saw year-on-year price growth of 13.5 per cent from November 2016 to 2017, according to the Teranet–National Bank House Price Index.

Vancouver’s enduring attractiveness also resulted in low vacancy rates of just 0.9 per cent last year, and stable rental yields of four to five per cent as of August 2017.

The Butterfly’s 331 “homes in the sky” are built to meet the exacting requirements of investors and homeowners alike. Three unit types are available in multiple configurations: chic living spaces from 621 sq ft to 1,366 sq ft for busy urbanites, estates from 1,753 sq ft to 2,275 sq ft for those desiring a spacious sanctuary, and sub penthouses from 4,084 sq ft to 4,282 sq ft to suit the discerning luxury seekers.

Glass panels, organic structural forms and lush greenery along naturally ventilated breezeways bring nature closer to every home. In addition, each unit offers sweeping views of the English Bay and the North Shore Mountains, enabled by moveable glass walls and semi-transparent curtains that allow sunlight to stream in.

Custom-designed and Italian-crafted kitchens make entertaining a joy, while bathrooms are meditative retreats with marble floors and fittings in gold and silver.

An Olympic-length pool measuring 50m, and a wellness studio, are available to help residents relax and regain balance and harmony, while a 24-hour concierge service will ensure that their needs are fully met. Residents will also get to enjoy exclusive use of a fleet of BMW Vehicles and Bicycles.

“Mr Bing Thom conceived of The Butterfly as a living space to be one with nature, and a tranquil refuge from the bustling world outside. We are proud to have realised this vision and achieve the transformation of the overlooked into the priceless, to bring a new exclusive address to Vancouver’s skyline,” said Mr Fehon.

Expected to be completed by 2022, The Butterfly will be unveiled at an exclusive launch event on January 20 and 21 at the Windows West Room (20th Floor) of the Four Seasons Hotel Singapore.