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Profiles

Profiles

Feature Profile: Millennium Southeast False Creek Properties Ltd.

Millennium are first and foremost community builders, having built many successful developments spanning decades. The story of Millennium, and its principals, Peter and Shahram Malek, is inextricably linked to that of Canada and British Columbia, a country and province on the leading edge of design, sustainability and quality of life. It is a story of blending years of experience in high profile international real estate development with the natural beauty of the West Coast and of site-specific award-winning architecture. At SEFC, Millennium saw a prime waterfront property, in an iconic location, ready to be developed into North America’s first truly sustainable neighbourhood. The challenge of housing the 2010 Olympic athletes in the buildings, designed and built in record time, only added to the significance of the task. This is the essence of Millennium Water: a private project used for a global purpose, providing a legacy for residents and future generations, and a showpiece for Vancouver and Canada. Shahram Malek comments, “Our goal is to create something here that is world class in every sense – architecture, sustainability and livability – enhancing the Vancouver experience.”

Norm Hotson, MAIBC, OAA, FRAIC, RCA nepatriotsjerseys

Principal, Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden architects + urbanistes

Norm Hotson became involved in the SEFC planning process at a pivotal moment in the inception of the urban design framework. In 2004, he spearheaded a peer review of VIA Architecture’s plan, and, together with a group of local architects, drafted a letter to Vancouver’s City Council saying there was a better way to design SEFC. This proposed alternative was based on low- and mid-rise building forms rather than the high-rise approach that had been pursued for several years. Council responded positively to the architects’ letter, instructing the City’s planning department to pursue this scaled-down alternative. Hotson was subsequently hired by the City in the fall of 2004 to conceive a redesign and solicit approvals in a three-month time frame. This formidable task was accomplished. The revised plan was approved and became the basis of the official development plan for the site, its parameters largely informing what is being built today. Norm Hotson has been practicing architecture and urban design in Vancouver since 1973 and is the founding partner of Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden architects + urbanistes.

John Furlong

CEO, VANOC

VANOC CEO John Furlong and his team are working to create a truly spectacular Olympic experience for athletes and spectators alike. “The Vancouver 2010 Winter Games will leave an indelible mark on Canada, British Columbia and the host communities of the Games,” says Furlong. His mission is to convene sustainable Games and produce positive legacies that reflect VANOC’s green-sensitive culture and its partnerships with organizations and municipalities that share the same goal. From the beginning, Furlong saw Vancouver’s Athletes’ Village as one of the jewels of the Games bid. Now as it reaches completion, the Vancouver Athletes’ Village is set to realize that vision. Says Furlong, “this village will be a complete community where athletes in 2010 will enjoy unprecedented comforts in an extraordinary location set against a magical backdrop.” Furlong sees the Games as an opportunity to express the best of Canadian values and ingenuity on the world stage. The thoughtful and detailed work that has gone into making the Vancouver Athletes’ Village an icon of sustainability is an example of that ingenuity. “It is truly an achievement worthy of the word Olympic,” says Furlong, “and one that I hope will live on as a model for future development.”

Hank Jasper

Millennium SEFC Properties Ltd.

With 40 years and $2 billion of development management experience, Hank Jasper was a natural choice as project manager for Millennium Water. Still, he says, this project was special. “We loved the location, and the opportunity to build an Olympic Village,” he says. “Then there was the challenge of zoning, designing and building eight city blocks and 1.5 million square feet in just 30 months.” The public profile of the project added pressure, with 20-30 requests for media interviews a month, and world financial problems pushing the project into headlines. “The scrutiny has been a challenge,” Jasper agrees. “But we’ve kept going, we haven’t scrimped.” Jasper says the work and commitment on the project have been exceptional. “A lot of talented people have made this happen,” he says. “My role is like being an orchestra conductor. If everyone’s playing the right tune then you don’t have problems, but you need to listen carefully and make sure this great team of talented people is functioning as one. With eight projects that all overlapped, the sheer volume of communication was a major issue.” “Has everything gone as planned?” Jasper chuckles. “No. But everything we said we were going to do, we’ve stepped up and done.”

Stu Lyon, MAIBC, MRAIC

Principal, GBL Architects Inc.

Stu Lyon and GBL Architects were the first to join Millennium’s team in bidding to develop the Olympic Village. Lyon and his team were instrumental in preparing the development and rezoning proposals and designed three of the eight parcels at Millennium Water. Lyon says his experience working on this large and complex project, with its demanding timeline, has been “exhilarating.” Working on Millennium Water brought the opportunity to implement forward-thinking design at the neighbourhood scale. Lyon introduced the ten design principles (see page 31) during a session of the Urban Design Panel. The principles helped make space for each designer to infuse their distinct individual style, while working within similar constraints. Lyon is most proud of the passive design features at the village. Through the design process the team has created a place where, according to Lyon, “simply coming and going from your condo will be a wonderful, pleasant experience.”

Andy Kesteloo

Environmental Visionary and Sustainable Design Advocate

“Massively inspiring.”
“Engaging.”
“Passionate, infectious, and a little edgy.”

andy

The original sustainability consultant on the Millennium team, Andy Kesteloo is remembered by his colleagues as a provocateur who was uniquely positioned to help green building break through to the mainstream. Although Andy passed away on January 15, 2007, he defined the sustainability goals for the Millennium Water project and left a legacy of sustainable building learning and awareness in his wake.

Born in Edmonton, Andy studied at Dordt College in Iowa and then formed his own construction/framing company in Vancouver. His scope of knowledge, from carpentry to surveying, was what made him such an effective advocate for green building.

“Andy was one of the few people in the sustainable building industry at the time who could connect the cost implications of green components with a really good understanding of long-term value,” says Roger Bayley, who took on much of Andy’s role after his death.

“He always said, if green building is going to survive and prosper, you’ve got to demonstrate that it’s cost-effective, you’ve got to demonstrate value. And he did, so here we all are.”

In 1996, Andy began lecturing widely on green building subjects. From 2004 until his death, he sat on the Canada Green Building Council Board of Directors and chaired its Product Steering Committee.

Andy is recognized as a true pioneer, a trailblazer who helped work through status quo regulations to define the new way that buildings and entire communities can be constructed. His reputation is testament to the extraordinary impact he had on his colleagues, particularly as a mentor to many individuals as they became involved in green building.

Andy’s vision, passion and enthusiasm for sustainability resound through the SEFC Olympic Village; he saw it as a huge opportunity to inspire future sustainable community development. As Andy passed the green building baton to the rest of the Millennium Water project team in January 2007, so the team now passes the challenge to all those in the building industry who can turn their skills to the task of caring for our global future and the generations to come.