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 Inc. 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 forty years.
We started in business in 1976 by pioneering the construction of luxury residential high-rises. Our first project, Seawalk Place on the waterfront of West Vancouver, was the first apartment building in Greater Vancouver designed to appeal to a new urban lifestyle, featuring higher ceilings, larger suites and elegant interiors. It overcame a real estate slump by appealing to a new, and previously untested market of lifestyle buyers. The project also saw the construction of the first section of the acclaimed West Vancouver Seawalk.
In 1981 we designed and built as construction manager the largest factory in British Columbia, Tristar Industries, located in Tilbury Island Industrial park. In 1987, we completed the first rezoning in the downtown commercial district of Vancouver for a residential high-rise, Palais Georgia, on West Georgia Street. This pioneering rezoning helped transform Vancouver into the vibrant city that we know today. The project introduced residential uses in the downtown commercial core of the city, which helped prevent the collapse of property values along with the collapse of the office market at the time. The project 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, to schools and churches. Our first church project, called Christ the Redeemer, in West Vancouver, was featured by the CBC. This was followed by several church designs throughout the Lower Mainland.
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, the restoration of the Henry Birks & Sons building at Philips Square in Montreal, and the renovation of the Union Trust tower in Winnipeg (all three of these projects won prestigious heritage restoration awards). These projects demonstrated an artistic understanding of the link between the present and the past.
Our company also designed and oversaw the completion of commercial projects across Canada and in the United States. These projects included high-tech industrial buildings and offices as well as flagship luxury retail stores in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary, Miami and Fort Lauderdale. We completed projects in Florida, Georgia and Massachusetts, in addition to all of Canada’s provinces and as far away as Italy.
In the realm of resort design, we were at the forefront of the development of Whistler, British Columbia, 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). Our architectural design work extended to resort projects throughout British Columbia and reached as far as the Canada House Pavilion at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin, Italy. Our Selkirk Townhomes project, completed in 2006 at Kicking Horse Mountain Resort, was the recipient of a Gold Georgie award.
We have pioneered new resorts and planning concepts since the 1980s and have designed urban communities, marine resorts, golf resorts and mountain resorts. Because we have developed a considerable expertise in resort design and planning that is unique amongst architecture firms in Canada, we established a subsidiary division called Oberti Resort Design. A notable project was the approval and construction of a new ski resort community of approximately 3,500 beds west of Golden British Columbia, called Kicking Horse Mountain Resort in 2000. It featured an innovative gondola lift design that facilitated year-round usage for both sports enthusiasts and sightseers. It 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. We also achieved a Master Development Agreement for a major resort (3,800 beds) near Kelowna British Columbia in 2008, and near Invermere British Columbia (6,250 beds) in 2012. In 2017, we received approval to build another major resort (2,000 beds) 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, commercial and institutional buildings epitomize our company’s creativity, flexibility and ability to spearhead and build innovative projects that are successful in both function and in the marketplace. Since our inception, we have striven to provide true aesthetic and economic value for the benefit of our clients in a rapidly changing and progressing world.