Waterfall: The Design

The Waterfall Building is different from this earlier building in several important ways. It is an effort to advance our understanding of better ways of accommodating the requirements of residential and commercial users, and is optimized for people with more intensive commercial requirements who wish to have their residential and commercial premises separated, but in the same building.

The hallways are enclosed spaces, removed from the public atrium. This may better align the open daytime environment with some user’s expectations of residential privacy. The five building design and split elevator arrangement increase the possibility of partitioning access to the upper studios, allowing increased privacy to specific areas of the building.

Versatility is a primary requirement of any substantial building. It is impossible to say what the future will bring, and so it makes sense to design and zone today's buildings for the broadest range of potential uses possible. This makes environmental and economic sense, preserving the value of the structure and the investment of its owners. The interior partitioning is mostly arbitrary. Walls between units are not structural, and can be readily moved or removed, to create different or much larger spaces. And the live/work zoning uniquely allows for such changes without the requirement of rezoning individual units for new applications, assuring future value.

1540 West Second has already become a part of Vancouver's heritage. Aimed squarely at the future, it is one of the most important and beautiful buildings in the city.