Sante Fe Apartments at 2975 Oak Street


Heritage restored.

The 2975 Oak Street project is a revitalization and addition to an existing heritage structure in the Fairview neighbourhood of Vancouver.

The original building, recently known as the Sante Fe and first called The Van Arsdel, was a three-storey apartment complex with 14 units, built over 85 years ago. The building was designed by Townley & Matheson, who also designed Vancouver City Hall.

The objective for HDR | CEI on this project was to add new residential capacity on the site, while preserving the architectural legacy of the existing building.

The project involved maintaining the south and east concrete facades of the original 1928 heritage building, and adding an 11-storey, 50-unit tower in behind. Maintaining the facades preserves unique aesthetic detailing, including decorative wrought-iron balconies and bas-relief sculptural elements.

The new apartment building emerges above the heritage structure—a contemporary design of glass, aluminum and steel. The design orients the residential units to face north and south, taking advantage of the views in each direction. Each floor contains four units; 25 percent of the rental units are two-bedroom apartments located on the bottom three levels of the building, addressing the city’s aim that one-quarter of all units in secured market rental developments be suitable for families. Balconies emerge on the south and north faces, providing access to sunlight and sunset views.


Project Cost



50,000 sq ft


January 2017

Sustainable Features

  • Natural ventilation, enhancing indoor air quality
  • Regionally sourced construction materials
  • Low-emitting construction materials
  • Materials and finishes with high recycled content
  • Access to natural daylight in all habitable rooms
  • Water-efficient landscaping


Aquilini Group


Vancouver, BC