Connecting the City’s Roots to Its Future
RiverWest – Block 8
RiverWest represents the unification of past and present: a connection between the historic downtown Vancouver of yesteryear to its new Waterfront development. This 7-story mixed-use development located on Vancouver’s Waterfront is sited along a primary access route through the city rail berm, previously separating the waterfront from the city.
The building consists of 206 units with 20,000 square feet of commercial space. There are three levels of parking (238 spaces) with the upper parking deck providing direct access to apartment units; a unique experience for residents.
As Vancouver has grown and developed its own unique identity, the need for activated public space and walkable connection points between neighborhoods has become increasingly clear. Sited along one of the primary access routes through the city rail berm, previously separating the waterfront from the city, RiverWest represents the unification of past and present: a connection point between historic Downtown Vancouver and the Waterfront.
This reunion was largely due to the unprecedented collaboration between City, railroad, and development teams, whose united efforts ultimately made it possible to transform this once-underutilized site into the beacon of progress it is today. Their efforts became a key source of inspiration in the design intent for RiverWest as a connector.
In staying with the theme of connection, the articulated base and northern masonry mass give a gentle nod to the character of the city’s downtown character. This also provides a solid contrast to the lighter, dynamic frame to the south. Together, these materially diverse approaches represent the fabric and future of Vancouver.
Another primary design consideration was maximizing views, which would serve as a connecting element to the surrounding bridges, river, hills, and Waterfront Park. It was essential that RiverWest deliver a premium living and retail experience, yet remain true to the region’s unique, Pacific Northwest roots in terms of both price and aesthetic. The team wanted residents to feel a part of the action, nestled just above the city’s pulse, yet completely at home and surrounded by natural beauty.
Building amenities include EV charging stations, pet washroom, secure bike parking and package lockers, Bluetooth access control hardware, and a workout room. A highly noteworthy feature is the third-floor clubhouse with large folding doors that open to the exterior courtyard offering dramatic views.
In keeping with the Waterfront’s commitment to sustainable community and innovation, RiverWest has been awarded a LEED Platinum® rating by the US Green Building Council; a first in Vancouver for the Multifamily Midrise classification.
To make sustainability a key consideration with every project, we organize our efforts into the following categories: Energy Efficiency, Embodied Carbon, Human Health, and Resource Conservation. Each category is associated with goals, processes, and metrics that we use to hold ourselves accountable to our clients, our community, and to current and future generations. In alignment with our sustainability benchmarks for projects, the following features were implemented at the RiverWest:
High-performance systems: HVAC, envelope, and windows
LED lighting throughout
Centralized high efficiency boiler system
90% drought resistant plants and drip irrigation
Brownfield redevelopment for midrise
EV charging stations
Secure bike parking for local commuters
Precut lumber packages to control waste
Locally sourced and low VOC materials
To read more about sustainability at LSW, download our Sustainability Action Plan here.
Energy Use Intensity
"Sustainability in design is a serious commitment that we'd like to focus on with each project. LSW joined the 2030 Commitment to push ourselves to meeting the 2030 Challenge targets. We're grateful to work with people like Josh Oliva, who deeply care for this community and showed a willingness to make sure RiverWest achieved this goal."
Esther Liu, AIA LEED AP
President, LSW Architects