August 28, 2015

The Creek lets its setting be the star

The five-building development on the southeast shore of False Creek opts for a timeless look that doesn’t compete with the view

Photos Jenelle Schneider / PNG

If you think about it, The Creek by Concert Properties could only have been built in Vancouver.

It’s all about the setting on the southeast shore of False Creek. When purchasers take up residence in the first of five buildings in about three years, they will be able to step out their door to walk or cycle along the seawall, hop into a kayak for a day on the water or stroll over to the many amenities of the former Olympic Village, including restaurants, green space and a community centre. They will also have expansive views of the ocean, mountains and skyline of downtown Vancouver.

The team at BBA Design Consultants realized early on that there was no need for the home interiors compete with the views. Instead, the designers opted for neutral, timeless touches that are both classic and modern.

In the kitchen, that translates into cabinetry in subtly shiny white acrylic — it’s easier to maintain than the high-gloss finish that has been so popular in recent years. There is a caramel wooden decorative element that acts as a picture frame around some of the millwork, with another metal frame surrounding the microwave. “It’s distinctive but not dominant — you can pair anything it with anything and it works,” explains BBA senior designer Jennifer Brown of the wood detail. In this case, the team has paired it with walnut in the bar stools, dining chairs and dining table, creating a harmonious whole.

“The idea is to have separate but open areas, so it leaves options for you in how you use the space.” Jennifer Brown, senior designer

The picture-frame concept was executed in reverse in the bathroom vanities, with the wood tone dominant on the drawer fronts and picked out in white for the surrounding gable. The team paid careful attention to small details. The hood fan cover is exactly the same colour as the kitchen millwork, allowing it to blend in. The large-format tiles used in the kitchen backsplash and bathrooms impart an almost seamless look and continue the modular, modern aesthetic. The wood-patterned flooring is continuous (except in the bathroom), expanding the visual space of each room.

Outdoor space is key, and suites have generously sized balconies. Flexibility is also important; instead of making a television the focal point of the living space, the TV has been set aside in a den. In a pinch, the den could also be used to house an overnight guest. “The idea is to have separate but open areas, so it leaves options for you in how you use the space,” says Brown. “Different people have different priorities.”

Consulting architect Richard Henry, principal of Richard Henry Architect, says the five buildings that will eventually make up the project provided an opportunity to create a village within a village. “Since there’s a wide range of housing types and sizes, we expect people from different socio-economic groups and parts of the lifecycle,” he details.

The site plays with private and public space, creating both intimate locations for residents and access to green space, roadways and pedestrian areas. Henry says the idea was to create a sophisticated industrial chic in homage to the neighbourhood’s history. The shape of the podium structures at the bases of the buildings along Quebec Street evoke a loft-like quality, while lighting strung on structural cables along a walkway and a wood boardwalk with a sheet-metal wall hearken to the railway age. Randomly placed balcony lightboxes dot the building facades.

The team has also infused some industrial elements in the show suite, including oil-can-lid art and metal in the coffee table and dining-area chandelier. Concert Properties believes the development is quintessentially Vancouver — creating a community celebrating the best of the city.



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