Renderings: Arno Matis Architecture

Holborn Properties has submitted an application to the City of Vancouver to develop the site at 5098 James Street as part of the developer’s planned, multi-phase Little Mountain community.


The 15-acre master-planned community is situated next to the sprawling Queen Elizabeth Park and is bordered by East 33rd Avenue to the north, 37th Avenue to the south, and Main and Quebec streets to the west. The site was previously home to a large-scale social housing project built in the 1950s and demolished in 2009.

The proposal includes plans for a six-storey residence with an approximate height of 17.7 metres (58 feet), an approximate gross floor area of 6,911 square metres (74,390 square feet) and three levels of underground parking.


The building would house a total of 87 residences including 32 one-bedroom units, nine one-bedroom-plus-den units, 10 two-bedroom units, 30 two-bedroom-plus-den units, and six three-bedroom-plus-den units. No studios or standard three-bedroom suites would be available.


Designed by Arno Matis Architecture, the planned midrise development would feature a modern exterior with a carved facade inspired by its forest edge setting next to Queen Elizabeth Park. The architects describe the design as “a product of AMA’s ‘responsive architecture’ paradigm, shaped by its historic context and strong, neighbourhood vision: the porous, carved edges found in this multi-family residence emulate its forest edge setting, while cubic volumes echo the scale of the prior neighbourhood.”


The dynamic exterior design is further characterized by staggered smoked-glass screens and wood veneer panels encapsulated between two glass layers. This allows the wood to be preserved in its natural form without the need for restaining or treatment. The smoked-glass screens are used for privacy but also provide shade for the suites.

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