The new Leed Gold Jubilee House is a collaboration of high-achieving builders, architects, engineers, fabricators, and interior designers building a quality design on a limited budget. It greatly helps the quality of the design that the new low-income senior living facility is positioned on a particularly valuable piece of Vancouver real estate. Gray and charcoal Alucobond 4mm aluminum composite paneling make up a substantial portion of the façade and plays a major role in providing durable and maintenance-free design elements.
The project broke ground in 2014 when it was determined that the original 87-unit facility was beginning to show structural problems that were leading to safety issues. The 127 Society for Housing partnered with Brenhill Developments to create a 13-story replacement building across the street and with Keith Panel Systems (KPS) to fabricate the design. KPS utilized 4mm Alucobond aluminum composite panels using their KPS System A Rainscreen attachment system.
The new Jubilee House was designed to improve quality of life for its older residents by providing greater access for those with limited mobility, lighting enhancements for the visually-impaired, and key fobs for easy entrance. Of the 162 one-bedroom suites, 11 units are wheelchair-accessible.
Consultations with 127 Society for Housing and user groups heavily influenced the building’s design. Where GBL Architects originally imagined an open 4,000 square foot ground floor, they realized the space would be better optimized when broken into several closed off areas. The ground floor is now comprised of several offices, a kitchen, a library, a multi-purpose dining room, and an affordable food store. The design requires less maintenance and disruption to residents than an open floor plan.
Durability and improving seniors’ lives were two goals at the center of the project. Cristina Oberti Interior Desing Inc. designed solid core doors and extra dense drywall to achieve optimal durability. In order to counter narrow units the structural engineer for Weiler Smith Bowers Consulting Structural Engineers designed thinner interior walls, by imbedding concrete into the drywalls, while maintaining structural integrity.
GBL Architects, known for creating big, bold designs, planned the distinct frontline of the studio balconies. The result is a facade that is punctuated by evenly dispersed protruding boxes. The visually interesting use of abstract geometric shape and dispersed boxes by GBL was influenced by the architectural nature of beehives.
Two roof gardens on levels eight and 14 provide access to outdoor spaces for seniors. Roof gardens with native and adoptive vegetation are common for Vancouver architecture where mild weather is common most of the year and views of the city are appealing.
Interspersed with the gray Alucobond paneling are shades of green spandrel accents. Like many design choices for Jubilee House, Alucobond paneling was specified for its 20-year paint warranty, ease of maintenance, and durability among other desirable qualities such as modern high-end design aesthetics. For a project that is designed for low-income seniors, the architects and engineers did not sacrifice on quality.
information courtesy of Skyrise Cities
all photography © Derek Lepper via GBL Architects