squamish nation development

Canada's newest condo comes with breathtaking design and almost no parking

Recently-released renderings for a proposed downtown Vancouver housing development — which would have 11 towers up to 56 storeys high, retail space, a ton of greenery and very little parking — are creating a lot of buzz today.

The Senakw project, led by Squamish Nation, is slated to house 6,000 mostly-rental apartment units in tall, sleek, rounded buildings that look like something out of a utopian future.

squamish nation developmentAnd in many ways, the development is quite utopian and futuristic: an innovative Indigenous-led project on reclaimed Indigenous land, a massive construction project in a major Canadian city that actually makes environmental considerations a priority, and a condo that will offer residents ample amenities and public green spaces that occupy a whopping 80 per cent of its 11-acre property.

squamish nation developmentThe ambitious development's buildings — along with having Indigenous design and tenor from their landscaping down to their doorknobs — will be carbon-neutral and have energy-efficient measures in place.

The towers will also only have parking spaces for 10 per cent of their units, in the interest of the planet. Residents will be encouraged to instead use alternatives like public transit, walking and cycling, and those options will be made convenient for them.

Because the development is being built on sovereign land, it is not required to abide by anachronistic standards for a certain ratio of parking spaces to units. It also does not require any City approval.

The proposed Kitsilano-area community, which is not the only housing development Squamish Nation has planned, has the backing by partner Westbank and collaborators such as PFS Studio, Revery Architecture and Public Work.

Construction is proposed to commence in early 2021, to be finished within five years, but will only go forward if it is approved by members of Squamish Nation at a referendum on December 10.

Lead photo by

Westbank/Squamish Nation

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