Spencer Block

610 Herald Street, Victoria, BC
TYPE
  • Mixed-Use Commercial / Market Rental Residential
STATUS
  • Building Permit / Tender
SYNOPSIS
  • 1.5-acre site
  • 278 apartments
  • 196,000 square feet

Bridging the Past and Present

A unique residential opportunity reminds us that history and the future are ever present.

CHALLENGE
  • Overlooked commercial properties in transitioning neighbourhood
  • High construction prices & low trade availability
  • Challenging topography & soils
SOLUTION
  • Maximize density
  • High-amenity building, including courtyard
  • Proactive cost management with local contractor
OUTCOME
  • On schedule
  • Expedited Municipal Approvals
  • Collaborative engagement with municipality

Uniquely positioned at the border of Victoria’s Chinatown, Old Town, and Rock Bay neighbourhoods, Spencer Block transforms one of downtown’s few remaining infill sites into a mixed-use development that will deliver 278 purpose-built rental apartments.

Influenced by History

From a location in Chinatown, a World Heritage Site, to the debris of the 1907 Albion Iron Works fire buried below the surface, Spencer Block is immersed in its history. We faced the challenge of bridging the past to the present, and it was important to reflect the location’s history in the building’s aesthetic. Through active engagement and collaboration with municipal staff, a successful balance was achieved between heritage and contemporary design sensibilities, which received unanimous support from the city’s Advisory Design and Heritage Advisory panels and City Council.

Approaching from Different Angles

The property slopes steeply from south to north, which initially presented as an obstacle. But upon closer examination, we found this allowed us to locate the parking garage entrance at the lower level, creating a platform for an interior landscaped courtyard. 

This one-of-a-kind development is a thoughtful exercise in merging yesterday with tomorrow. 

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