Rising above two existing art-deco buildings, Jameson House is a new tower located at the heart of Vancouver’s heritage district. The scheme continues the practice’s investigation into contemporary interventions within historic structures, explored previously in a high-rise context with the Hearst Tower in New York. The project is also an example of a building that combines living and working in one location, encouraging social activity and balancing energy consumption between its mix of daytime and night-time uses.
The project involves the restoration of the A-listed 1921 Ceperley Rounsfell Building – returning the entire internal double-height volume to its original configuration – and the retention of the facade of the B-listed Royal Financial Building, dating from1929. The new tower comprises ten storeys of offices, including shops and a restaurant, and twenty-six storeys of apartments with underground parking. The relatively even twenty-four-hour spread of energy demands has enabled full advantage to be taken of a central cogeneration plant – the first of its kind to be used in Vancouver. It is planned to run on bio-diesel as primary fuel and combined with an absorption cooling plant can supplement both cooling and electricity requirements for the building.
Developed in response to the local climate, the concept for Jameson House has been sensitive to seasonal sun paths, prevailing winds, humidity levels, air temperatures and precipitation rates specific to the location. Directional wind profiles and solar exposure have been used to help determine the facade design and external building form to achieve lower thermal loads and opportunities for open balconies and natural ventilation. Jameson House will also be a green building in a more literal sense. The top of the tower, the balconies, and a roof terrace at level 4 will be green spaces, introducing planting and trees to the precinct area, irrigated naturally via a rainwater harvesting system.