Our Story

In fashion, culture and architecture there is a new search for roots, for meaning, for heritage, for a link with the past that gives a significance to the present.

Oberto Oberti – Fashion and Architecture

Oberto Oberti Architecture and Urban Design can proudly look back at a unique record of accomplishments and innovation in the areas of architecture, planning and interior design over a period of more than 40 years.

It started in business in 1976 by pioneering the construction of luxury residential high rises with Seawalk Place on the waterfront of West Vancouver. It was the first apartment building in Greater Vancouver designed for a new urban life style, featuring higher ceilings, larger suites and elegant interiors, overcoming a real estate slump and creating a new market and lifestyle of urban living as an alternative to the suburban dwelling. It also built the first section of the acclaimed West Vancouver Seawalk.

In 1981 it designed and built as construction manager the largest factory in British Columbia, Tristar Industries, located in Tilbury Island Industrial park. In 1987, the company completed the first rezoning in the downtown commercial district of the City of Vancouver for a residential high-rise on West Georgia Street, which helped transform Vancouver into the vibrant city that we know today.  The project helped to integrate uses in the downtown core, which prevented the collapse of property values along with the collapse of the office market.  The project, Palais Georgia, was one of the most successful projects in downtown Vancouver. It was almost entirely pre-sold and it established a record selling price in 1989 ($600 per sq.ft.).

The architectural practice expanded in the following years with a multiplicity of projects, ranging from residences to commercial projects, and to schools and churches. Its first church project, called Christ the Redeemer, in West Vancouver, was featured by the CBC. Notable work also included the restoration of historical buildings. Beginning with the restoration of warehouses in Vancouver’s Yaletown neighbourhood and continuing with the restoration and re-use of the CIBC heritage building at Granville and West Hastings Street in Vancouver (which received a Heritage Award from the City of Vancouver), the award-wining restoration of the Henry Birks & Sons building at Philips Square in Montreal and the renovation of the Union Trust tower in Winnipeg (also winning an award from the City of Winnipeg). These projects allowed the architectural practice to show its artistic understanding of the link between the present and the past.

The company also designed and oversaw the completion of commercial projects across Canada and in the United States. Crowning projects were flagship luxury retail stores in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Miami and Fort Lauderdale and the architectural practice expanded with projects in Florida, Georgia and Massachusetts, in addition to projects in all of Canada’s provinces and as far away as Italy.

From its inception, the company has also maintained an important focus on all types of residential projects, from high-rise projects to unique custom homes to resort projects, winning many awards.  It was at the forefront of the development of Whistler, from the original land use contract for Twin Lakes in 1979, to the first application at Village North (Twin Peaks Resort), and to the first hotel of Village North (Pinnacle hotel).  Its Selkirk Townhomes project, completed in 2006 at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, was the recipient of a Gold Georgie award.

 

The company’s largest projects have been generated by the planning activity of the company, which pioneered new resorts and mountain planning concepts since the 1980s. The company has designed urban communities, marine resorts, golf resorts and mountain resorts, primarily in British Columbia. Notable amongst a long series of innovative planning projects was the approval and construction of a new ski resort village of approximately 3,500 beds west of Golden BC, called Kicking Horse Mountain Resort.  It featured an innovative use of a gondola lift design to create a winter and summer season for both sports enthusiasts and sightseers and was the first major mountain resort to be approved and built in British Columbia since 1965. The Master Plan was expanded to 20,000 beds in 2008, creating a project value in excess of $1 billion. In 2017, it received approval to build another major resort in Canada’s Rocky Mountain region near Valemount, British Columbia. 

These major planning and design projects, together with the design of prestigious retail stores, single and multi-family residences, and institutional buildings seems to epitomize our group’s successful creativity and ability to spearhead and build truly innovative projects that are successful in function and in the marketplace. We strive to provide true aesthetic and economic value for the benefit of our clients and of society in a rapidly changing and progressing world community. The company has a strong supporting network of professionals and consultants and is highly flexible and is able to move quickly offering design and execution on any type of project whether in an urban or remote location.