October 9, 2015

Terraces with a view

A collection of luxury waterfront homes in West Vancouver targets empty nesters from the neighbourhood

West Vancouver’s magnificent scenery — lush forests, snow-capped mountains and sandy beaches — has long inspired poets, painters, authors and sculptors. So there was no hesitation when celebrated architect James Cheng was asked to design a new residential community in the heart of the district.

The result, recently unveiled, is Grosvenor Ambleside, a dazzling collection of terraced glass luxury waterfront homes, with panoramic vistas of the North Shore mountains and Lions Gate bridge, and across Stanley Park and English Bay to the downtown Vancouver skyline.

“The biggest inspiration came from the site itself — such a powerful physical setting with the beach in front,” Cheng says. “We determined that we would bring the land up from the beach with our large terraces. The green terraces are mini hilltops.”

He also acknowledges the influence of iconic predecessors B.C. Binning, Ron Thom and Arthur Erickson, especially Erickson’s west-coast-modern architectural style in which everything relates to nature’s horizontal lines. “They were proponents of the whole idea of inside/outside living on the west coast, with large decks outside creating a close relationship with the garden. We thought: ‘Why not take that west-coast idea and put it on tiers?’

“We wanted to design buildings that resembled a little mountain, something with a softer profile and plenty of glass to preserve view corridors,” Cheng explains. “We respected very much the public right of access to the water, so the view opens up as the terraces step back. And we wanted to root it in the community.”

At the gateway to West Vancouver, Grosvenor Ambleside’s glass, steel and concrete homes with natural stone and timber accents step up six and seven storeys to the summit’s green roof, echoing the mountainside topography to the north and sloping down to the beach. A timbered, glass-covered galleria will connect the two buildings, a public plaza with open views to the waterfront, featuring live performances, shops and cafés.

Specially commissioned bronze sculptures by West Vancouver’s Douglas Coupland will be an integral aspect of the dynamic environment while paintings by Gordon Smith, another West Vancouver resident, will serve as the lobby’s focal point.

Grosvenor Ambleside has already surpassed sales projections, with 39 of 57 homes and one penthouse in phase 1 already sold. Completion is scheduled for the end of 2017 with 98 residences that average 2,000 square feet each, with up to three bedrooms, family rooms and dens.

The starting point, Cheng explains, was to build a community of waterfront homes for people moving from large places who have expectations of scaled-down but spacious residences with plenty of storage and private garages.

Target buyers, according to Grosvenor senior vice-president and general manager Mike Ward, were empty nesters who were neighbourhood residents, so it was no surprise to learn that 80 to 90 per cent of buyers currently live in the district. “Over-all, the average buyer is strongly local,” Ward says.

Interiors designed by Mitchell Freedland show elegance in design and attention to detail. Materials, fixtures and furnishings range from marble-slab and quartz-tile floors in master ensuites, to natural limestone wall and floor tiles and wide-plank engineered oak flooring. Snaidero kitchen and bedroom cabinets have been custom-configured, while professional-grade kitchen appliances include a Wolf gas cooktop, convection oven and microwave, Sub-Zero integrated refrigerator and a Miele dishwasher and washer/dryer. Also part of the package is a fully integrated communications system.

Among other exceptional amenities are a 24-hour concierge team, fitness centre and yoga space, residents’ lounge, secure underground parking and bicycle storage. Grosvenor’s reputation in Vancouver has been well established for more than 60 years and the company’s vision for Grosvenor Ambleside, designed to meet LEED Gold standards, reflects its commitment to building sustainable luxury residences around the world.

The presentation centre is located at 1340 Marine Dr., West Vancouver. Call 604-922-1380 or email info@grosvenorambleside.com to book a private appointment.


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