Paris Annex: A Juxtaposition Of Old And New

January 23rd, 2009


Paris Annex: A Juxtaposition Of Old And New
The Globe and Mail
January 23, 2009

By Thomasina Barnes

After last summer’s one-day sellout at its Paris Block condominium – a renovated, century-old build-ing in Vancouver’s Gastown – Salient Group decided to expand the development with a modern addition. 

While the unstable global economy may prevent the new development, called the Paris Annex, from selling as quickly as its precursor – seven units have been purchased since its release in October – Salient president Robert Fung says he is feeling confident.

The design of 16-unit Paris Annex will contrast with that of the Block building, but in general architectural terms, it also will complement it. 

“The Paris Annex is envisioned as the natural and complementary evolution of the Paris Block,” Mr. Fung ex-plains. “It is modern in form and materials, yet the essence of its rhythm, lines, and scale are all a progression of the Paris Block.”

While Paris Block is a 100-year-old brick building, the Annex will be constructed of concrete and glass. But the developer hopes it will act as an extension of the Block. 

“The Annex will enjoy the character and texture that the Paris Block masonry and materials bring, while the Paris Block will benefit from the energy and amenities that the Annex brings,” Mr. Fung says. 

“For Salient, it represents the coming together of the area’s rich past, and its very bright future.”

Paris Annex suites have nine to 13-foot ceilings, floor-to-ceiling windows, glass and slate tiled bathrooms, as well as private decks, balconies or rooftop patios with outdoor kitchens. 

The project includes a shared rooftop deck with an outdoor fireplace and built-in barbeque. Two co-op cars are kept on site for residents to share. 

The Paris projects are part of Salient Group’s seven-building rehabilitation plan for Vancouver’s historic district, which includes the $20 million restoration of the Flack Block at Victory Square and the Woodward’s project. But “there is no other project quite like the Paris Block and Annex in the city of Vancouver,” Mr. Fung adds. “[They] are singularly representational of Vancouver architectural excellence at the turn of the 20th century,and of the 21st,” he says. “It is a physical metaphor for the evolution of our city, of our urban passion, and of the need for us to honour our past while ambitiously looking forward.”

Mr. Fung thinks the city’s “cooling” market will have little effect on the sales of his homes. “Our selling prices are less than 50 per cent of the cost for similar quality homes in Downtown South and Coal Harbour, so we feel that our buyers achieve exceptional value as well as very unique,individual homes,” the developer says.

Special to The Globe and Mail


You can view the entire article here.