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Brivia Group enters B.C. market with luxury building

Curv expected to be Vancouver’s tallest tower and the world’s highest Passive House
Jacky Chan, CEO of BakerWest Real Estate, at Curv’s presentation centre | Chung Chow

The Curv building, expected to break ground in 2024, is anticipated to set several records when it completes in 2029.

Not only is it slated to be the tallest residential tower in Vancouver, but at 60 storeys, it is scheduled to be the tallest Passive House building in the world, and is the first B.C. project for Montreal-based developer Brivia Group, architect Tom Wright from London-based WWK Architects and designer Andres Escobar of New York-based Lemay_id.

Located in Vancouver’s West End neighbourhood at the corner of Nelson and Thurlow streets, Curv will add 358 residential units to the city’s luxury market.

The project aims to redefine luxury real estate in Vancouver through its emphasis on sustainable living and design, said Jacky Chan, founder and CEO of BakerWest Real Estate Inc.

“This is the first and the only development of its kind right now. So, it really puts it into a category of one,” said Chan.

The project’s curvy design is attributed to Wright, a renowned British architect who is best known for his design of the Burj al Arab in Dubai.

His inspiration for Curv comes from a sketch of a tree, and the goal to differentiate the building from the predominantly square and straight-lined designs in Vancouver’s architecture, he told Glacier Media.

“I did a lot of research on high-rise Passive Houses, there aren’t many actually, and they all look a bit like Passive Houses,” he said. “I wanted to push the boundaries from an architecture point of view and actually come up with a design that didn’t feel like a Passive House.”

The Passive House designation is considered to be the highest standard for energy efficiency in commercial and residential buildings. Typically, a Passive House project is a single-family home or a four-to-12-storey building, according to Wright.

At 60 storeys, Curv will be at least five times taller than the typical Passive House tower. The building will save up to 90 per cent of heating and cooling energy when compared to similar buildings. This will result in approximately 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission savings over 50 years compared to similar high-rise towers, equivalent to 2.3 million trees or four Stanley Parks, said Chan.

Brivia Group chose Vancouver as the site for the project due to the city’s high environmental aspirations, said Vincent Kou, the group’s chief investment and development officer.

“It responds to the city’s desire to continue to build greener buildings and a greener city,” he said. “We can set a new standard...that the two concepts of luxury and environmental efficiency can coexist.”

Curv fits into the City of Vancouver’s plan to transition to zero-emissions buildings in all new construction by 2030.

The building offers a blanket of insulation, with no thermal bridges or weak points in the buildings envelope that allow heat to pass. It will also have windows that prevent radiation and solar gain, with the ability to block up to 99 per cent of UV rays through triple-pane electrochromic glass, more popularly known as smart glass, Chan said.

Curv will also claim the largest amenity space in Western Canada, located on the 60th floor of the building. Its penthouse unit will be roughly 7,500 square feet, the largest one-level penthouse in Canada, according to Chan.

“The original plan was to have two penthouse units, but interest has been so good that we’ve decided to actually combine it into one to make it truly a world-class, state-of-the-art penthouse. So, we have local billionaires and an international very affluent type of buyer that’s already looking at how they’re going to design it,” he said.

Other amenities in the building include a guest suite, lounge area, golf simulator, a spa with two saunas and a workout and studio space created in partnership with Lululemon Athletica.

Prices for a unit in the building will start at roughly $1 million and progress up to $60 million for the penthouse unit. The development has begun pre-sale marketing and will open its presentation centre to the public at the end of May.

The square footage of a typical unit starts at 610 square feet for a one-bedroom unit with flex space, and goes up to 1,298 square feet for a three-bedroom unit with flex space. 

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Updated May 9, 2023, to reflect Lemay+Escobar recently rebranded as Lemay_id.

Updated May 10, 2023, to clarify Curv will deliver approximately 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emission savings over 50 years, not 50,000 tonnes annually.