Creating a Visual Landmark

ACDF unveils The Pacific – a high-rise residential tower that reflects ACDF’s evolving approach to developing high-rise buildings entrenched in the public realm.

Fact File
Client: Grosvenor
Year: 2021
Architect: ACDF Architecture / IBI Group
Interior design: Square One
Photographers: Adrien Williams, Provoke studio (aerial views)

The Pacific features 224 condominiums across 39 floors. ACDF’s approach prioritizes clean, subtle, and human scale elements to provide the building with a quiet, but recognizable identity. The firm focused on the development of shape and form on simple massing that would capture attention through its textures, the quality of its assembly, and the transposition of its details. It envisioned a structure whose materiality would emit its own unique character, while blending into the built, environmental, and social fabric of its surroundings.

In a return to design principles inspired by art, photography, and fashion, ACDF’s powerful integration of contrasts paints and frames The Pacific as a visual landmark devoid of sculptural drama. Vertically, the structure’s slick north and south facades, layered with glass and black granite, contrast with its more pictural east and west facades, with the latter featuring protruding triangular balconies in a woven pattern.

ACDF made an exhaustive study of all components of the project that could have an impact on the immediate area, its residents, and passers-by: general volumetry, materials (tonality, reflectivity, durability, etc), shadows, winds, and the obstruction of existing views. Accordingly, the east façade of the tower, for instance, was designed in consideration of its west-facing neighbours, while the omission of balconies on the building’s north side was purposeful in order to prevent direct views between neighbours.

From its street-level base, vertical views are enriched by balcony textures, including three tones of grey on their undersides, inspired by cloud formations and creating a sense of movement within their patterns. The triangular balconies above also provide plays on reflection to the streets below. As the sun sets on the city, the building begins to glow, reflecting light downward from the white, marble-like porcelain finish of the balconies, as well as a pinkish hue that emanates from the stainless-steel framing. During those transitions of light, two facades begin to glow, while the other two sides fade to darkness.

Leading up to the entrance of the tower, is a long, dramatic colonnade. Its oversized, angular columns are purposefully misaligned, on which artist Lyse Lemieux developed a mosaic composition of nine figures, each more than 20 feet in height. Each of the columns faces a different direction and features a different personage, creating a sense of movement and delivering a strong contribution to the neighbourhood. The columns also transition into the fully glazed lobby and animate the space’s minimal, simple, and toned-down design, featuring black brick walls, in a grid pattern, and stainless-steel finishes.

The Pacific was developed in collaboration with IBI Group, a Canadian architectural consulting firm, for Grosvenor, a private real estate group. As one of several new additions to the Vancouver skyline, The Pacific has earned its place alongside other cutting-edge buildings. It solidifies the firm’s transition to a mindful approach that is more efficient, inclusive, and contributory.