Mid-century residential buildings
Designed by Ojars Kalns (CBK Van Norman & Associates) and built in 1965, with a fourth tower added [to the original three] north of Harwood Street in 1968, the iconic Beach Towers follow Le Corbusier’s “towers in the park” dictum where structures are set back allowing room for plazas, parking and landscaping.
Kalns also elevated his buildings (on stilts) which allows for street level views through the base of the towers towards English Bay and beyond.
These unique concrete structures – working in tandem with each other and their surroundings – act not only as West End residential buildings but also as sculpture of a sort, augmenting the transition between the city and waterfront with concave, wave-like balconies, large bay windows and cantilevered viewing plazas with gorgeous ocean views.
In 1967, CBK Van Norman & Associates was awarded the prestigious Canadian Housing Design Council’s Centennial Award for Beach Towers, and more recently the City of Vancouver bestowed the complex with an “A” category heritage designation.
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