Hotel Georgia first opened its doors in 1927, and for close to 80 years it was the social and cultural hub of Vancouver. During reconstruction, the hotel was almost entirely gutted to reconfigure it for modern amenities, with minimal changes to the historical footprint of the original building.
The construction schedule for the original 1927 building saw 8 levels constructed in five weeks, but absent of a good lateral load system. During reconstruction, the original brittle concrete beam and column framing needed to be strengthened and augmented to meet the increased load requirements of a modern luxury hotel. That provided a challenge for the Glotman•Simpson engineering team, to respect the existing clearance space, with already tight headroom. The structural solution, in part, was upgrading the slab and beams by wrapping them with carbon fiber to increase their strength, without significantly increasing their size.
The Hotel Georgia is now accompanied by a modern, 48-storey private residential building. Soaring upwards 148 metres, the new luxury tower reflects the Hotel’s iconic brick facade with dynamic glass surfaces that slope skyward, forming an angular rooftop.
The Hotel Georgia is an irreplaceable piece of Vancouver history, a place where many Vancouverites have fond memories of their special occasions there. It was also THE place for visitors such as the Prince or Wales, the Rolling Stones, Louis Armstrong and Laurence Olivier. The Hotel Georgia redevelopment project honours the long history of both the hotel and the city.
Images: © Bob Matheson