A Vision for
Downtown

Downtown
Kelowna’s First
Urban Village

Welcome to the new Bernard Block, a master-planned urban village comprised of two residential towers, a commercial tower, and street-facing commercial spaces.

Bernard Block will catalyze downtown’s skyline and growth while fostering a sense of connection and community. The Brooklyn and Bertram residential towers will bring life and energy to the area, while the Block offices will become a new hub for creativity and economic growth in the downtown core.

 “Meet Me At The Flumes”

Discover a new place to gather. Inspired by the agricultural history of the Okanagan, the Flumes at the corner of Bernard and St. Paul will represent a new city landmark, an iconic meeting point for locals and tourists alike. By encouraging foot traffic and use of public space, residents, commercial tenants, and community members will congregate, making Bernard Block a new hub for activity in the heart of downtown.

Bernard Block’s design integrates materials and elements rooted in Kelowna’s natural and cultural heritage, inspired by Bernard Avenue’s streetscape revitalization, which incorporated “themes derived from Kelowna’s local natural and cultural heritage combined with tributes to the First Nation people of this area.”

THE NEST

In the pursuit of finding an “artful” positioning for the building base, there was an exploration into regional, cultural, historical, and in some cases metaphorical representations and interpretations for certain design elements. A “bird’s nest” found from the area became an appropriate and interesting form representing an expression of the most rudimentary of dwelling types. Primarily comprised of grass stalks and blades from the area, the notion of native “grasses” becomes a metaphor for the “foil” coverage shown at The Block’s building base.

THE EARTH
Sedimentary deposits in the lower hill and mountain areas are an important and visible part of the region and the design incorporates a reference to this with a robust and deep concrete wall, forming an anchor point to the floating base and breaking up the podium massing.
THE BASKET
Delicate “cirrus clouds”, interpreted for the special horizontal windows that allow light into the parkade, contain overlapping frit layers, implying these features. These elements, including grasses and reeds, once used to craft useful objects such as mats, baskets and fabrics, integrate the notion of “weaving” into a basket form explored as the “foil” on the parkade podium under Bertram.