We have been cognizant while designing TriCity Central that the developmental landscape of the proposed project will significantly evolve over the next decade.
This future development context is critical in assessing the nature of the project and its future role in the city. The site is located in the commercial downtown core adjacent to the West Coast Express line, SkyTrain line, and bus exchange, ensuring prominence now and into the future. TriCity Central also contributes to the overall downtown, city fabric. As such, the notability of this neighbourhood within the city is important and calls for a strong, identifiable form. This form must result in wide recognition of the neighbourhood, contributing to the perception of a gateway at Lougheed Highway and Pinetree Way. Within the neighbourhood, towers are arranged around the periphery, maximizing daylight, views, and offering a sense of shelter while celebrating a central open space that unites the urban landscape.
The proposed design addresses a range of complex landscape and infrastructure conditions along the perimeter of the north and south sites. Lougheed Highway runs along the north and west frontages; there is a rail corridor to the south; Christmas Way and the riparian areas lie to the east. We propose a number of design strategies in response to these conditions that will create the best outcome for the neighbourhood and the city centre.
The public realm framework is rooted in the context of the urban fabric, responding to the conditions surrounding the development. A gradient from “nature” with the riparian in the south to “urban” with the development in the north results in a rich mix of experiences and creates a distinct identity for the neighbourhood.
Building the Site Up
The project team has located parking below grade in order to preserve the ground plane for an enhanced public realm. Key to the site design is the vast amount of public space the master plan provides, including generous space along the commercial frontages, Pinetree Plaza, the Central Square, the High Street, the Urban Park, and landscape improvements to the adjacent city-owned land and planned off-site riparian area. This is the first project in city centre to locate all parking below grade.
Towers within the TriCity Central neighbourhood contribute to its identity and its notability in the city. Residential towers differ from the commercial towers both in their programs as well as their roles as homes for neighbourhood residents.
Coquitlam City Guidelines
TriCity Central Design
Grimshaw Residential Tower in I.M. Pei Enclave, NY
Renzo Piano New York Times Building
In elevation, two waves illustrate the rising height towards the Lougheed/Pinetree corner and the downtown core, and an arcing elevation rising north and south along the eastern periphery. The result is a subtle, ever-changing skyline; dynamic as viewed from many vantage points in Coquitlam.
These two waves define a central wave that celebrates the large public open space in the centre of the neighbourhood, featuring the square, park, and other public buildings.
The residential towers were conceived as a series of towers that are in dialogue with one another. They share a language but have different things to say about the overall composition of the neighbourhood. All residential towers share simple and offset volumes while gaps provide articulation and indicate change in floorplate and unit mix. In many cases, the volumes cantilever at these floors as well. The commercial tower is elegantly composed of shifting volumes that illustrate the three programs of the building. In plan view two waves at the periphery respond to Lougheed Highway to the west and Christmas Way to the east.
The geometry that defines the overall neighbourhood plan defines the organization of the podia. The podia reinforce the expression of the central open space in the neighbourhood featuring the square, park, and public buildings. This organization is supported by circulation.
The High Street north of a new collector road and the promenade adjacent to the park in the south provide the main north/south connectivity in the neighbourhood. The podia reflect this organization and create a pedestrian scaled connection along this path. The scale of each podium is critical to creating an appropriate street wall; one that contains but does not overwhelm.
Podium expression around the square is more nuanced, highlighting the civic nature of the conference centre and privileged location as well as the dominance of the main retail entry to the south of the square.
The individual podium expression along the peripheral streets varies in response to Lougheed Highway and Christmas Way respectively. Along Lougheed northbound, the expression reflects the pace and vehicular nature of the street while breaking down large masses in anticipation of a more pedestrian-accessible street in the future. Lougheed Highway eastbound relates to the volume of the conference centre and informs the grounding of the commercial tower. The Christmas Way podia are highly articulated and pedestrian-oriented, acknowledging their roles in the new precinct and allowing for large future volumes of pedestrian traffic.
Modules and Grids
All podia are designed with a regular and expressed module. This module relates to the commercial program and allows for flexibility in the future. The module also creates a rhythm and cadence to the podia that is maintained throughout the neighbourhood. A pedestrian scale is created by the module that is comforting to neighbours whether the podium is two or four storeys in height.