Heatherwick Studio updates vision for 1700 Alberni towers in Vancouver


The studio of British designer Thomas Heatherwick has redesigned a residential skyscraper in Vancouver, Canada. This skyscraper has a curved green balcony and a tiered podium.

The project, named 1700 Albani, was first unveiled by Heatherwick Studios in 2021. Early designs consisted of two irregularly shaped towers with a bottleneck in the base.

Heatherwick Studio has updated the design of Vancouver’s 1700 Alberti

Updated suggestions made to developers Kingswood Properties and Bosa Properties simplify the form of both towers while expanding the balcony.

According to Heatherwick Studios, the redesign connects the tower well to the surrounding landscape and responds to changes in what people “want for a new home.”

Tower with curved green balcony
A pair of towers are linked by a curved green balcony

“We’ve been thinking hard for a long time about how people around the world, not just Vancouver, should adapt their new designs to what they’re expecting more and more from their towns and cities. “Heatherwick, the founder of the studio, explained.

“This is reflected in what they want in their new home,” he said.

Tower with curved green balcony
They also feature potted plants

“People want a larger, easier-to-use outdoor space where they can create an expanded living area and spend their work and recreation time outdoors,” Heatherwick continued.

“We thought we needed a better connection between the tower and the surrounding nature.”

Rendering of 1700 Albani's apartment by Heatherwick Studios
New design maximizes outdoor living space

The 1700 Albani, which will be built in Vancouver’s West End district, has 387 apartments in a 30-story tower and a 39-story tower.

At the highest point, the complex reaches 385 feet (117 meters).

Skyscrapers feature green semi-circular balconies of various sizes, creating a “woven pattern” on the façade to provide a large outdoor living space.

According to the studio, this design is inspired by nature and reduces the visual impact of the tower, which was previously spiked on a balcony with a small angle.

Rendering of 1700 Albani's apartment by Heatherwick Studios
Heatherwick Studio wants a better connection between the tower and the landscape.

Stuartwood, a partner at Heatherwick Studios, said:

“We found a more welcoming and unimpressive addition to Vancouver’s cityscape, influenced by the repetition, rhythm and softness found in the surrounding nature,” Wood added.

Also, the two towers have been rearranged so that they are placed next to each other rather than diagonally to maximize the outward view of the neighborhood.

However, as before, they are tied together on a tiered five-story podium and dotted with vegetation. Green is a frequent feature of Heatherwick Studios’ architectural projects, with recent examples such as Maggie’s Leeds and 1,000 trees in Shanghai.

1700 Albani Exterior Rendering by Heatherwick Studios
The complex also incorporates a combination of public facilities

In addition to the apartment, the 1700 Alberni has a mix of pools, gyms, spas, other wellness facilities, restaurants, covered and uncovered outdoor spaces.

“The 1700 Albani creates a breathing space for residents and the local community with publicly accessible boutique retail facilities,” Wood concludes.

Heatherwick Studios was founded by Heatherwick in 1994. Other homes it designed include the Lantern House in New York and EDEN in Singapore, which are also covered with plants.

Elsewhere, the studio recently completed Little Island in New York. This is a stilt park and performance venue on the Hudson River.

The visuals are by Narrativ and are courtesy of Heatherwick Studio.


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