One Wall Centre
One Wall Centre, also known as the Sheraton Wall Centre - North Tower, is currently the second-tallest completed building in Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. The skyscraper is located at a high point on the downtown peninsula of Vancouver and its address is 1088 Burrard Street. One Wall Centre was designed by Busby Perkins+Will. It was completed in 2001 and won the Emporis Skyscraper Award for the Best New Skyscraper the same year.

Background
One Wall Centre is 48 storeys tall with a total height of 491 feet (150 m). The first 27 floors of the building are the 4 Diamond Sheraton Hotel. Floors 28, 29, and 30 are the Club Intrawest Resort floors; which are operated independent of Sheraton. The remaining 17 floors are residential condominiums. The One Wall Centre tower part of the Wall Centre complex owned by Wall Financial Corporation and was largely the vision of Peter Wall.

Construction
To counteract possible harmonic swaying during high winds, One Wall has a tuned water damping system at the top level of the building which consists of two specially designed 50,000- imperial- gallon (60,000 U.S. gal; 227,300 L) water tanks. These tanks are designed so that the harmonic frequency of the sloshing of the water in the tanks counteracts the harmonic frequency of the swaying of the building. The tower exterior has a two-tone appearance. The glass on the lower levels is a dark glass, while the glass on the upper levels is light coloured glass. To satisfy the City of Vancouver Planning Department, who were concerned that the tower would dominate the downtown skyline, it was agreed that it would have a very "light" appearance that would blend in with a blue sky. After the design was approved, a minor amendment was requested to change it to a significantly darker glass. This was approved by a low level staff member in the planning department who apparently did not realize the significance of this change. When the glass started to be put on the building the city planners noted that this did not meet design that was reviewed by the public and the city planning department. After many accusations back and forth as to the significance of this change and whether it required public review, the City agreed to compromise and allowed the lower glazing that was already installed to be the dark glazing, but required that the glazing on the upper levels be the light glazing that was originally proposed. The end result is the two toned structure that many consider would have been more architecturally stimulating if the single dark glazing had been allowed. Rumour has it that hotel owner Peter Wall threatened to call off the construction if the city forced him to replace all of the dark-paned glass, so a settlement was reached where only the remaining portion of the building (1/3 of its height) was faced with the typical "Yaletown green" lighter-coloured glass now common in the city's newer areas. The attempt to maintain the dark blue appearance did not end there; the windows in the upper third were installed with dark blue blinds facing outwards. If all blinds were to be drawn at once, the building would achieve the intended dark blue appearance. In early 2010, the strata council for the owners of the residential portion of the One Wall building nearly passed approval for a major project to replace all of the windows for all residential units. A fogging effect is putting the long-term safety of these windows into question. The cost for replacement is estimated at $6.5 million. The Sheraton Wall Centre required a 75 feet (23 m) deep excavation — the deepest excavation prior to Living Shangri-La for a building in the city. According to the June 2004 edition of Elevator World, Richmond Elevator Maintenance Ltd. won a contract for the lowest bid to supply the building's elevators, one of the local elevator firm's first examples of traction elevators. Despite the One Wall Centre being the first traction elevator project by the company, most problems ran into during construction were mitigated. The installation features 10 elevators, 8 of which are high speed geared machines. The hotel is served by four 1,400 kg (3,000 lb) traction elevators at 244 m per minute (800 feet/min), with a group of 3 for public usage and a single private VIP access elevator. There are also two hotel service elevators with 1,800 kg (4,000 lb) capacity each at 213 m per minute (700 feet/min). The apartments are served by 2 elevators, each with a capacity of 1,600 kg (3,500 lbs) at 305 m per minute (1,000 feet/min). There are also 2 roped hydraulic elevators: the 1,400 kg (3,000 lbs) to serve the parking garage, and the 2,300 kg (5,000 lbs) to serve the banquet floors. There are 6 escalators installed by Fujitec.

References in Art and the Media
  • This building was featured in the movie X-Men: The Last Stand as one of the buildings they used to give the cure to the mutants.
  • The opening sequence of The Core , where a man collapses at a business meeting and the camera pans out to the street to show a number of simultaneous accidents, was filmed here.
  • The plaza directly in front of this building was used in exterior shots for the 1996 Fox TV Series Profit (TV series) to represent the immediate area outside the corporate offices of fictional Gracen & Gracen Inc (G&G). While the One Wall Centre building did not exist in 1996 when the series was filmed, the two towers immediately adjacent to this building were featured prominently in the series as the corporate headquarters for G&G.


Building Activity

  • updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via Annotator
  • updated a digital reference
    about 5 years ago via OpenBuildings.com