February 2013

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photo: robert stefanowicz Aberdeen Square by Stacey McLachlan he relationship between development group Fairchild Developments Ltd. and Bing Thom Architects Inc. began 14 years ago with the decision to re-develop Richmond, B.C.���s Aberdeen Centre and turn it into a much larger retail shopping centre with architectural updates. The process evolved into a three-phase development: Aberdeen Expansion Phase 1; followed by Phase 2, which included the construction of luxury condominium Aberdeen Residence; and Phase 3, the Aberdeen Square retail and office centre. All three phases are designed by Bing Thom Architects. ���Aberdeen Centre provided larger leasable unit in an upscale environment,��� explains Danny Leung, senior vice president and general manager of Fairchild Developments Ltd. ���Aberdeen Square provides strata units for ownership with three levels of commercial retail units and three levels of offices. The retail occupancy for the new Aberdeen Square contains smaller-sized units in a stratified development.��� The 240,000-square-foot space will offer over 200 retail stores and 100 business units for purchase ��� and a food court, of course, for hungry shoppers. ���It has a smaller footprint, but higher density than Aberdeen Centre,��� explains Leung, pointing out that Phase 1 of the Centre is only three levels high. Though construction materials were chosen to easily blend Aberdeen Square with Aberdeen Mall, the new development has its own distinct style. ���The Aberdeen Square glazing captures the distinct culture of the growing Richmond City Centre through its artful display of a graphic diagonal pattern which wraps the west and north facade of the building,��� says Jacqueline Wiles, project manager with Bing Thom Architects. ���These accent bands are comprised of translucent etch fritting laid in a circular dot pattern embedded within the reflective glazing units.��� The reflective glazing becomes an animated canvas as it mirrors the comings and goings of the Canada Line SkyTrain, which connects directly to both Aberdeen Square and Aberdeen Centre via a 20-foot bridge and interior concourse. It���s a beautiful building, and one designed with a message in mind. ���As a continual display of motion, the expressive diagonal ribbons produce a dynamic veil that attracts the community and unifies its surrounding T Aberdeen Square p72-75Aberdeen.indd 73 context. Presenting itself as a theatrical art piece to the city, title retail/office complex. Bush, BohlAberdeen Square engages visitors with an exciting facade man and Partners had a challenge on its design that invigorates and establishes the developing urban hands to construct the larger building hub,��� explains Wiles. within the confined space bounded by Entering through the main entrance off No. 3 Road, visi- the existing Aberdeen condominium, tors step into a dramatic atrium where they���ll find sweeping mall parkade and the existing Canada staircases and escalators leading to the shops. Twinkling LED Line station on No. 3 Road. Using reinlighting wraps the room, and a textured plaster wall adds forced Franki piles and stone column visual interest. Although Aberdeen Square is not a LEED- densification to prevent liquefaction, designated building, the team incorporated green compo- the team achieved this ��� and managed nents wherever possible during the design and build. The to add an additional level of office space. Mid-construction revibuilding facades feature sions are part of any project, low-E coatings and frit, and Aberdeen Square faced and reflective coatings a few other conundrums minimize solar gain; the along the way. The small landscaping is done with size of the site proved to be non-invasive native spechallenging. ���It was a tight cies; dedicated bicycle fit ��� the space was bounded parking is available on by the Aberdeen SkyTrain the street and in the underground parkade. ��� Mark Verigin, station to the west, the The leveraged proximity project manager, Aberdeen Residence and to the SkyTrain station Graham Construction and Cambie Road to the north, is an eco-friendly move, Engineering, the strip mall to the south, and the Aberdeen Centre to too. ���It���s a means to focus the east,��� points out Leung. a number of strategies around transportation. Connections are made to the Canada Mark Verigin, project manager with Line at two levels, seamlessly integrating it into the new Aber- general contractor Graham Construcdeen station,��� Leung says. ���Access to end of trip facilities is tion and Engineering, agrees that site conditions were less than ideal: ���From provided in the existing Aberdeen Centre building.��� For a seaside city, particularly one built on top of poten- an access point of view, the constructially temperamental tectonic plates, earthquake prepared- tion of Aberdeen Square was akin to ness is an essential step in the planning process. And it all building a ship in a bottle.��� Even the starts with the foundation. Frank Nadalini, project engineer sky had its limits: Vancouver Internafor Bush, Bohlman and Partners, did the structural engineer- tional Airport flight path restrictions ing for the Aberdeen Square project, and took on the project limited the crane height. But it���s clear with gusto, even as it changed over the years. The project was the development team had the tools originally conceived as a Retail Shopping Complex in 2007, but to overcome these challenges. Leung by 2009, the developer revised its business model as a strata and Verigin credit the team���s thorough ��� From an access point of view, the construction of Aberdeen Square was akin to building a ship in a bottle.��� february 2013��� ��� /73 13-01-22 3:44 PM

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