Robin Brunet, Vancouver Sun
Despite the UDI receiving a record number of project nominations this year, the 184-unit Prodigy was chosen based on innovative design, integration with the surrounding community, marketing success and sustainability features.
Eric Andreasen, vice-president of marketing and sales for Adera, says the win “is extremely important to us, because Prodigy was the culmination of our experience, tremendous input from the University of British Columbia and, of course, our customers.”
The Rositch Hempell Associates-designed development, located in UBC’s master-planned Wesbrook, emphasizes excellence and greatness, with standards that emulate a more enlightened way of living.
Adera is no stranger to Wesbrook: it has built nine residences in the neighbourhood (and is currently working on the 10th), and in many ways, the Adera/UBC relationship is one of mutual interests. “We embrace a West Coast ethos of community design that is fully connected to nature – and that is what has driven development overall at the university,” explains Andreasen. “It’s fulfilling to work with organizations such as UBC Properties Trust, because they encourage us to make innovation an integral part of what we do.”
Prior to Prodigy, Adera’s most high-profile Wesbrook development was Sail, a community of apartment homes built to REAP Platinum standards. SAIL was UBC’s first six-storey all wood-frame building, and its design garnered a host of green awards, including California Gold Nugget Awards of Merit for Multi-Family Housing Project; Sustainably Residential Community; and International Residential Project.
Prodigy represents everything Adera has learned from past UBC projects. With its exposed wood beams, cedar soffits, and warm brick cladding interplayed with glass, the building is steps away from Pacific Spirit Regional Park and 764 hectares of ocean beaches and temperate rain forest. It is also a block away from groceries, restaurants, shops and a new community centre.
The homes’ giant windows, patios, and sprawling roof decks effectively blend living spaces with its natural surroundings. “Prodigy has the biggest overhangs we’ve ever built, and we created water features that come right up to the ground floor to provide residents with a waterfront ambience,” says Andreasen.
But as spectacular as Prodigy is, Adera is already focused on the development of Virtuoso, also at Wesbrook Village. Foundations for the 107-unit residence have already been laid, with a tentative completion date of spring 2018.
Not surprisingly, Virtuoso is taking Adera’s skills and UBC’s community vision to the next level. “This is going to be a showcase luxury wood building,” says Andreasen. “To take just one example, it will feature mass timber slabs rather than concrete slabs, and this alone is a design game changer.”
Andreasen says by way of conclusion: “It takes enormous planning and input to make our projects special, and when we get recognition in the form of the UDI award, it inspires us to do even better. Virtuoso will reflect that – as will many other projects still to come.”