1289 Nicola: West End luxury homes offer traditional style with contemporary tech


Dimex Group is developing the 10-unit development, named for its street address: 1289 Nicola

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Traditional French chateau architectural style will combine with high-performance Passive House technology to create a multi-family development slated for one of Vancouver’s most desirable locations, the sought-after West End neighbourhood close to English Bay and Stanley Park.

Dimex Group is developing the 10-unit luxury development, named for its street address: 1289 Nicola. With only two units per floor, the two- and three-bedroom homes range in size from 1,110 to 1,360 square feet with 90 square feet of exterior space.

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The inspiration for 1289 Nicola traces back to historic homes in the English Bay neighbourhood — including the landmark house built by the Rogers family — and to the travels through France and art history studies of Dimex’s creative director, Elnaz Dhillon.

Designed by Cornerstone Architecture, 1289 Nicola will be built to Passive House standards, including extra insulation to maintain an even temperature in the homes, triple-glazed tilt-and-turn windows and a fresh air system with heat recovery, says Dimex managing director Sunny Dhillon.

The display suite kitchen showcases a waterfall island as well as the dual-toned kitchen-cabinet design.
The display suite kitchen showcases a waterfall island as well as the dual-toned kitchen-cabinet design. Photo by Supplied by DIMEX Group /PNG

“Even the footings in the underground parking are insulated: a lot of extra work and cost goes into building a Passive House [development,]” says Sunny Dhillon, but he points out the technology and quality of the build will enhance the building’s longevity.

Passive House design reduces a home’s carbon footprint and also results in acoustic comfort, he says, noting any noise is contained within each home and does not transfer to neighbouring units.

While the Mansard roof and columns that reflect the French architectural style will result in a building that is much different from others in the neighbourhood, it is that distinctiveness that is attractive to potential buyers, says Ehsan Vali, principal, ValiDesign.

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“It will be unique and exclusive and offer something they won’t often see in the city,” he says. “We carried that esthetic through to the interiors, and they are little bolder than the typical neutral designs often seen in new developments. The lucky owners will be looking for that exquisite design. Even though we have kept the interiors simple and settled, they will [be the foundation of] an exclusive living experience found only in these few homes.”

To satisfy the different style preferences of buyers, Vali developed two schemes, Classic with its softer and ageless characteristics such as herringbone engineered hardwood floors with dual-tone kitchen cabinetry in white and oak finishes; and the Modern palette that is bolder and showcases a contemporary European style with stone-look porcelain tile floors, white and grey cabinetry and brushed bronze faucet and hardware.

The dual tones in the kitchen also enabled Vali to design a seldom-seen reveal around every cabinet door.

1289 Nicola's bathrooms will boast luxe features like an LED-lit wall-to-wall niche that provides a ledge for shampoos and soaps and porcelain tiles imported from Spain.
1289 Nicola’s bathrooms will boast luxe features like an LED-lit wall-to-wall niche that provides a ledge for shampoos and soaps and porcelain tiles imported from Spain. Photo by Supplied by DIMEX Group /PNG

“This is one of the most complicated kitchen-cabinet designs I have done in quite a while. The reveal — in the different colour to the door — is a difficult and time-consuming construction detail,” he says.

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Quartz countertops and backsplashes in both schemes are by Silestone. In the Modern option, the calacatta marble-look quartz anchors the palette, while the choice for the Classic scheme also features a marble look but with veining in tones of goldish brown, says Vali.

The Silestone on the kitchen islands — which in addition to the working surface, provides plenty of storage — extends to the sides of the cabinetry for a waterfall finish, while the same quartz is also specified for full-height backsplashes.

Vali says that while the different quartz choices enhance each design scheme, they come at a higher cost.

“Kudos to Dimex for being willing to do that. It means extra costs and headaches during construction — developers [often] want to use the same materials — which results in better pricing and easier coordination on-site. But Dimex really wanted the look,” he says.

High-end luxurious interiors.
High-end luxurious interiors. Photo by Supplied by DIMEX Group /PNG

While the kitchen doors and drawers feature soft-close mechanisms, Elnaz Dhillon notes the cabinetry also conceals electrical outlets. A charging drawer in the kitchen island has two USB and two electrical plugs while additional electrical outlets are concealed under the upper kitchen cabinets, a design detail that maintains a seamless backsplash with no outlets.

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Major kitchen appliances are by Gaggenau, including a french-door refrigerator with bottom mount freezer, a convection wall oven, induction cooktop, built-in coffee machine and integrated dishwasher.

Each home has two bathrooms, one with a tub and one with a shower.

“One of the first features people will notice is the LED-lit wall-to-wall niche that provides a ledge for shampoos and soaps,” says Vali. Vessel sinks and wall-mounted faucets in the primary ensuite bathrooms add to the luxury ambience.

The bathroom walls and floors are covered in large format (24- by 24-inch) porcelain tiles imported from Spain, he says.

The eye-catching inset diamond detail specified for the floor in the Modern scheme bathroom is probably the most direct introduction of French style in these spaces, says Vali, observing a chequered look is often seen in this design esthetic.

Residents at 1289 Nicola will also enjoy the building’s amenities, says Sunny Dhillon. These include an indoor lounge (with kitchen) that opens to an outside terrace, an outdoor dining space featuring a long table under a green canopy, plus a fitness and yoga room.

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Construction of 1289 Nicola is scheduled to start later this year, with completion expected in late 2023.

Project: 1289 Nicola

Project address: 1289 Nicola Street, Vancouver (currently 1509, 1517,1525,1533 Harwood Street)

Developer: Dimex Group

Architect: Cornerstone Architecture

Interior designer: Ehsan Vali Design

Project size: 10 homes (five remaining)

Number of bedrooms: two-bedroom plus flex space; three-bedroom plus flex space

Price: Starting at $2.5 million

Sales Centre: 610-1155 West Pender Street, Vancouver

Centre hours: Open every day except Fridays: noon to 5 p.m.

Phone: 604-629-9986

Website: 1289nicola.ca

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