Coulter House preserves the past and celebrates the future
You don't often see preservation bonding with modernization the way it should: twinning the past with progress. Conwest Group of Companies is taking on the challenge to adapt a historic residence for new use in Vancouver's Mount Pleasant.
With an innovative approach and a forward-thinking perspective, Conwest is restoring the original character of the Coulter House—circa 1901 with a heritage designation—and incorporating it as the focal point in their new project, a four-storey glass-walled contemporary commercial mixed-use building.
The Coulter House will serve as the main entrance of the ground-level restaurant in the development, which offers an ideal mix of strata office and warehouse flex spaces with units from 2,000 to 10,000 square feet, a top floor outdoor patio with North Shore mountain views, as well as secure underground parking, bike storage, showers and lockers. Its exceptional live-work-play location on West 6th Avenue between Manitoba and Ontario Streets is the heart of the neighbourhood's vibrant and walkable residential and business hub.
"We have a unique opportunity to not only protect the history of the neighbourhood but also to celebrate it by transforming a private residential space into a more common and public space that can be enjoyed by the community," said Ben Taddei, Chief Operating Officer of the Conwest Group of Companies. "We wanted to ensure that the new building wouldn't overshadow the Coulter House, so we worked with our architect to create a minimalistic design that provides an ideal surrounding."
Within the context of the site layout, Conwest delivers a design solution that works better in today's world: It achieves an inspired juxtaposition of old and new and preserves a piece of Vancouver history for future generations to enjoy.
"The restaurant component of this building offers a distinct and rare space like no other in Vancouver," said Taddei. "It presents a unique opportunity for a restaurant user and an amazing amenity for the future occupants of the building. It's going to add to the social fabric of the entire area."
The neighbourhood's progressive vibe and dynamism is evolving daily. The site is surrounded by eclectic amenities and is close to transit and downtown Vancouver. Conwest expects the development to attract and employ a diversity of local businesses. "We are excited about the variety of businesses that have already expressed interest in the project," said Taddei.
The building has been thoughtfully designed both inside and out to provide spaces and specifications that truly meet the needs of the active and growing community businesses.
"Although saving the Coulter House from demolition was not a requirement, it was the right thing to do for the project and the neighbourhood," said Taddei. "We're doing this in a way that not only celebrates the past but also positions us all for the future; and Mount Pleasant has always represented the future. It was, and still is, a centre point for the city's industry and innovation. That's what this building is all about—a celebration of the intersection of past and future—of creativity and innovation in an ideal location."