Our interest in this project was initially instigated by the City of Vancouver’s plans to replace the viaducts. With a more resilient and connected street network around BC Place stadium, there is a clear opportunity to create a new gateway into our city, at Georgia Street.
In hindsight, our interest in this site originates from a conversation years ago between Larry Beasley, James Cheng and I around the significance of Georgia Street as a ceremonial avenue in our city, when we were designing The Residences on Georgia. It was with this initial conversation, and this first seminal project on Georgia, that we began to realize the fundamental importance of Georgia Street as a central organizing element within the city’s urban fabric.
Since The Residences on Georgia we have continued to foster the build-out of the street and invest in its growth, with the development of Shangri-La Vancouver and the inclusion of the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Offsite program; the development of Telus Garden; and with our acquisition of Central Heat and the plant at 720 Beatty Street. The acquisition of a district energy plant at the foot of Georgia reflects both our desire to help instigate a fuel switch, while replacing the plant’s extraneous smoke stacks, with a design relating cohesively to the renovated BC Place stadium. With more projects like the new Vancouver Art Gallery, the redevelopment of the historic Canada Post office, the adjacent Moshe Safdie-designed Vancouver Public Library Central Branch and with many new developments further west, it becomes clear how this original vision of Georgia as the city’s ceremonial avenue is coming together.
In that context, when we acquired the site at 410 West Georgia, we saw a clear opportunity to reinforce the monumental significance of the street with a project that will form a landmark at the eastern gateway into downtown. Georgia Street hosts a variety of uses and architectural works of various periods and our project is at the center of this transformation – past, present, and future. The design is a direct manifestation of our city during its evolution, taking inspiration from its urban setting, while remaining deeply influenced by the city’s natural surroundings.
Another objective we had with this project was to demonstrate leadership through design and set the standard for future office development in Canada. Our project will integrate new technologies with state-of-the-art design features, including triple-paned curtain wall, operable windows, large spans of column-free space, glass floors, LEED Platinum design criteria and lush greenery, in a design tailored to maximize efficiency. We are designing the building to respond in every way to the evolving needs of the creative and high-tech sector and by designing for the future, we hope our project will help shape it.
We believe our ambitions should not stop at a creative design, but rather we should exercise the depth and the rigour in our work to maintain a high degree of artistry throughout the entire process, from design to rezoning, construction and property management. The way we build workspaces today should in no way resemble how workspaces were built 20 years ago. The world has changed dramatically and yet the mechanisms determining the way we build out our cities have not kept pace. With this project we are attempting to challenge all of the impediments to the creation of flexible, creative workspaces and produce something that responds in much shorter time, to meet the needs of the creative economy and contribute to future job growth.
We believe that the concept for Deloitte Summit is particularly sensitive to the site, responding not only to the physical environment, but the social and economic needs of our city. Deloitte Summit represents our latest effort in our ongoing fight for beauty. We hope the project is seen in this context and that on completion it will form a new, beautiful contribution that will help our city realize its full potential.
In 2018, with our partner Allied, we began exploring a collaboration with Deloitte to provide an innovative and differentiated experience for their clients and their people at new Deloitte BC headquarters in Vancouver. What we learned through this process was that our three companies, Allied, Westbank and Deloitte, each share an essential value: courage.
Courage requires a point of view that may run counter to convention, environments that embrace or pursue disruption, and actions that defy industry norms. With Deloitte Summit, we have collaboratively challenged ourselves to create something uniquely impactful by changing the way workspace is created and used; ultimately setting the standard for future development in our city and across the country.
Deloitte Summit – which is a part of a broader national strategy around creative, flexible workspace for Deloitte Canada – will embrace changes in technology, work culture, human interaction and mobility; ultimately transforming the way people work and interact to create impact with the clients, teams and in the communities in which we live and work.
“The name Deloitte Summit emphasizes our shared vision for the building as a hub for high performance and innovation, reflecting Vancouver’s renowned natural landscape. It is an aspiration to become the destination where innovative ideas become world-class solutions through collaboration, creativity and purpose.”
– Etienne Bruson, Managing Partner, Deloitte British Columbia.