The standard Vancouver condo is a tall building with a small floorplate on a big podium. It has worked, but perhaps does not fit everywhere. Like in one of the more, um, shall we say "challenged" parts of town that has a great collection of older, lower buildings.
Peter Busby of Busby Perkins + Will is that rare bird with fabulous green credentials but can also design his way out of a paper bag, and has built an old-fashioned building with a traditional light well.
But being Busby, it maximizes natural light and minimizes its carbon footprint. He "designed the building to be split in the middle, opening up a courtyard, which brings light and breezes deep into the plan."
Busby previously designed the sustainable condo,partnered with Adrian DiCasti in the York University Computer Center, and has built a city's worth of green buildings, but surprisingly the Smart website says little other than it demonstrates his "dedication to sustainable design tempered by the existing context and character of Gastown."
However this is one to watch. Architectural critic Trevor Boddy wrote about it in the ::Globe and Mail but it may be behind their stupid fence.
UPDATE: If you cannot read the Globe article, Trevor Boddy wrote a version of it for ::Western Living, PDF here.