As the project that completes the Selkirk Waterfront Neighbourhood urban design plan in Victoria BC, the building at 2950 Jutland Road is the link between multiple uses, forms and contexts. Formally, the building is an intersection of two building types. Four levels of commercial offices over a double-height commercial ground floor overlap a two level residential podium. The two uses are expressed as distinct forms and are contoured to their distinct adjacencies: the residential apartments face the waterfront boardwalk and are entered via a main door facing the local Waterfront Crescent on the opposite side; the commercial office floors are curved to the frontage of Jutland Road, the principal street through this comprehensively planned area. The hybrid building negotiates the boundary between urban water’s edge and urban streets, and the diversity of uses occurring in that place.
The interplay of forms is emphasized by separations as well as by exterior cladding. While the building is unified by a warm palette of exposed concrete, blonde brick and bronze anodized curtain wall glazing, brick is used to scale to the residential portions of the building. Facing the waterfront, the residential units are clearly delineated by exposed party walls. Floating above, the office levels are dematerialized in certain light by a fully glazed curtain wall facade. The glass is layered in front of bronze anodized spandrel panels, creating interplay of reflection and shadow that changes dramatically with light and atmosphere.
Viewed from the street, the building appears translucent and defines the curved street. The ground floor is highly transparent, revealing an art-filled office lobby that punches through the building to provide water views from the street. The main staircase is also fully glazed for natural light and to reveal a commissioned, 7-storey tall kinetic sculpture installation (by Artist Bill Porteous) around which the stair is wrapped.
Beyond completion of the curved street façade, the urban design contributes to the positive segregation of entrances to the different uses within the complex. The curvature of the upper storeys also politely avoids blocking views of the adjacent waterfront from residential apartments located upland. Finally, the perimeter treatment on all frontages reconnects routes through and around the site: sidewalks, the waters edge boardwalk, and pedestrian and vehicle access to the water’s edge and rowing club, are linked and defined by the facades and site treatments. The Boardwalk Building completes a long anticipated build-out of a significant urban brownfield redevelopment and successful comprehensive urban design project.
The design of the building was based on client program requirements, architectural and urban design guidelines (authored by the firm) along with integrated green building objectives. The project is registered for Canadian Green Building Council’s LEED certification program, and is anticipated to comply with all prerequisites and achieve credits well-beyond the minimum to qualify for certification at the gold level. The qualifying environmentally/green building features include the following: