Official name: Millennium Water Formerly: South East False Creek Development Plan Formerly: South Shore of False Creek Olympic Village Built: 2007-2010 Designed by: Norm Hotson Type: Residential Stories: 13 Location: South East False Creek, Vancouver, Canada
80% of readers like the 2010 Winter Games Athletes' Village.
M illennium Water is the location of what is officially known as the "2010 Olympic and Paralympic Village Vancouver." It is a residential community developed on the southeastern banks of False Creek, initially to house 2,800 athletes and officials for the 2010 winter games, and then later to house as many as 16,000 Vancouverites when the project is completed.
Billed as "Vancouver's last waterfront community," Millennium Water is a large master-planned community of more than a dozen buildings encompassing condominiums, shops, restaurants, public spaces, and waterfront amenities. It was built on a former industrial shipyard.
The centerpiece of this project is a 30,000 square-foot community center and public square surrounding an interesting latticework pedestrian bridge arcing over Jervis Inlet from False Creek. The waterfront is also lined with decks and patios, planters and overlooks, walking, biking, and jogging paths, and even a few places where the woodwork has been arranged into built-in lounge chairs.
Part of the project entailed adding more than 2,100 feet to Vancouver's existing seawall in a unique horseshoe formation that includes granite cubes arranged in the shape of an amphitheater facing the new pedestrian bridge and the Vancouver skyline. Even before the facility was officially opened, we observed this to be a popular recreation facility frequented by canoodling couples, solitary readers, and the occasional pug walker taking her dog for a dip. Similar features in other parts of the waterfront allow pedestrian access directly to False Creek through additional granite steps and via a boating center.
While intense remediation of the site removed many signs of its previous industrial use, a few signs remain. Among them, the Salt Building at the head of the main plaza. This timber building is old enough that it's believed to be constructed of first-growth Douglas fir from when the first European settlers arrived in the area. And space has been set aside for the reiteration of streetcar service in this section of the city.
Architect: Norm Hotson
Architecture firm: VIA Architecture
Architecture firm: PWL Partnership
Architecture firm: HBBH Architects
Architect: Arthur Erickson
Architecture firm: Nick Milkovich Architects
Architecture firm: Gomberoff Bell Lyon Architects
Architecture firm: Lawrence Doyle Young + Wright Architects
Architecture firm: Merrick Architecture
Architecture firm: Walter Francl Architect
Developer: Millennium Southeast False Creek Properties
Project size: 11 acres
Floor space: 1,575,000 square feet
Green space: Six acres
January 14, 2003: This was revealed in the Vancouver Olympic bid book to be the location of the athletes' village.
April 4, 2006: Millennium Development won the bid for this project.
March 10, 2007: Groundbreaking.
June 26, 2007: The city of Vancouver guaranteed a CAN$683,000,000 loan to ensure the project was completed.
October 14, 2008: City of Vancouver agreed to what 24 Hours called a CAN$100,000,000 "bailout" of the project's developer.
May 7, 2009: City of Vancouver agreed to a CAN$550,000,000 loan to ensure the project was completed.
November 1, 2009: The project is turned over to the Vancouver Organizing Committee.
July 1, 2010: New permanent residents move in.
The original price tag for this project was CAN$107,900,000.
The 16 residential buildings meet LEED Gold standards.
The community center meets LEED Platinum standards.
Throughout the complex, rainwater is collected and stored for irrigating the landscaping during dry months.
There is a system to harvest heat from the sewers.
All new buildings have green roofs.
Habitat Compensation Island was built with left over excavations from the project. It quickly became a spawning ground for fish and a resting place for birds.
By reducing the need for automobiles, the project reduces the level of noise pollution.
This project includes six acres of park space.
Windows and balconies have been angled to take advantage of natural cooling breezes.
The bridge was designed to minimize shadow on the water to reduce its impact on aquatic life.