Is it really a treehouse, though?
It’s not quite what the Swiss Family Robinson envisioned, but the forthcoming Treehouse condo development in West Vancouver promises to deliver a unique kind of treetop living. The proposed structure will not be made of wood or nestle in cedar branches, but it will have a forest backdrop to the north and ocean views to the south from its prominent position in the future Uplands Neighbourhood. Under the approved development application, two 12- and 11-storey towers (the “trunk” of the tree) will support a series of two and three bedroom units that jut out into the sky like a canopy of branches, with a two-storey bridge connecting the columns. When complete, the project will include 37 market condos on Lot 1 of the Rodgers Creek Area Plan 6. Developed by British Pacific Properties and designed by Seattle-based architectural firm Olson Kundig in partnership with local firm Kasian Architecture, The Treehouse is designed to blend into the surrounding mountains and natural environment, rather than dominate it. British Pacific Properties Vice President of Design and Development Jason Wexler said sustainability was a top priority for the design team. “The community of West Vancouver also expects a high level of environmental stewardship and sustainable development practices,” Wexler said. Many building materials have been locally sourced to reduce the project’s ecological footprint, and Wexler pointed to sustainable features such as solar panels, passive solar design, natural ventilation and a GHG-free heating and cooling system. And while the condos will be priced to market demand, there is room for rentals or multi-generational living. According to the development application, the units will range in size from 1,847 square feet to 2,804 square feet, with the potential for legal “lock-off suites” within seven of the units. These secondary suites will have a separate entrance, bathroom, kitchen, and laundry. “These suites provide flexibility for different stages of life for the owner,” Wexler said. “They can be used for much-needed rental housing in West Vancouver or allow an owner to use the space for their in-laws, nannies or caregivers.” The building is part of British Pacific Properties’ masterplan for the Rodgers Creek area off Cypress Bowl Road, which West Vancouver city council approved back in 2008. British Pacific Properties will develop 655 of the approved 736 homes under the plan, including more than 90 that are already completed and 62 currently under construction. Wexler said British Pacific Properties was committed to continuing sustainable design practices for all of the buildings in the area. The recently approved development applications for Lot 4, for example, will include the largest PV solar farm in West Vancouver. Council approved The Treehouse development permit in July this year, and construction is yet to begin. Condos are expected to be on the market by fall next year, with construction scheduled to finalize in winter 2020.