564 Beatty Street

A Six-Storey 100-Year-Old Brick and Heavy Timber Building Gains a New Life


Vancouver, BC




IBI Group Architects + Carscadden Stokes McDonald Architects


Reliance Properties

The 564 Beatty Street project revitalized a six-storey 100-year-old brick and heavy timber building into a ten-storey, contemporary, and seismically upgraded building.

564 Beatty Street is a perfect example of the experience, expertise, and imagination needed to bring an owner’s project vision to life. Developed by Reliance Properties, the project revitalized a six-storey 100-year-old brick and heavy timber building into a ten-storey, contemporary, and seismically upgraded building by the addition of four storeys of clear span office space. The new building is a striking example of ‘old meets new’ with the existing lower six floors preserving their original heritage character, with original brick walls and timber structures exposed, contrasting with the new top four floors of modern glass curtain wall cladding. The many structural engineering requirements of this unique project include depth of experience in both heritage and modern building design and construction, innovative solutions to satisfy building requirements, and an empathetic understanding of the customer’s vision.

The project was awarded “Best in Show” and “Best Heritage” in 2014 by the Urban Development Institute Pacific Region (UDI); the 2014 Gold Award of Excellence for Heritage Restoration by the Vancouver Regional Construction Association (VRCA); and the 2016 Vancouver Urban Design Award – Commercial Building.

Notable KOR Structural Solutions

  • Reinforcing all existing timber columns, brick walls, and foundations to carry the significant weight of the additional new storeys
  • A recessed floor feature defining the separation between old and new was incorporated, as the architecture required
  • Adding significant natural light to the existing dark floors by creating new large window openings in the blank solid brick south wall, and enlarging existing small windows on the west wall of the building
  • Creating a new reinforced concrete column transfer slab to replace the existing wooden roof, enabling the columns immediately above the heritage structure to be inset relative to the columns in the office floors above
  • Maximizing the clear height in the new office spaces by choosing a thin 8″ post-tensioned concrete slab rather than steel, as this could be painted and left exposed
  • Sympathetic reinforcement of each existing timber column, with reinforced concrete columns of matching width on either side supporting the new concrete slabs
  • Keeping the appearance of the original timber structure and brickwork as close to the original heritage appearance as possible
  • Minimizing the visual impact of new supports, for example, by hiding new reinforced concrete columns inside existing brick pilasters
  • Using non-combustible materials and a specially designed water tank and sprinkler service a fire sprinkler system to meet a two-hour fire resistance rating and comply with life safety requirements for fire
  • Introducing new elevators and modern fire exit stairs
  • Seismically upgrading the entire existing structure

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