The Kengo Kuma Fazioli grand piano is a magnificent new instrument designed by the renowned Japanese architect whose name it bears. The piano was commissioned by leading Canadian property developer Westbank Corporation through Vancouver Fazioli dealer Showcase Pianos at the behest of Manuel Bernaschek.
Westbank, in partnership with the QuadReal Property Group, is re-developing Vancouver’s 28 acres Oakridge commercial area into a modern municipal town centre. One of the new buildings is 1550 Alberni Street, a 43-story tower with 6 sub-penthouses and 3 exclusive tri-story penthouses. The property will feature a wide array of luxurious amenities and includes a 24-hour concierge with uniforms designed by Yohji Yamamoto. Dining will be at Waketokuyama Restaurant, the first location outside of Japan, helmed by 2-Michelin star Chef Hiromitsu Nozaki.
The world renown Japanese firm Kengo Kuma Architects and Associates are the tower’s lead designers. They created a curved building of wood and steel surrounded by a garden of greenery and moss. This company is famous for its use of wood in its structures. Briefed to design a piano for the building’s lobby, the company sent a team to visit Alec Weil, owner of Fazioli Japan, to assess how such an instrument could be made.
The resulting piano, as with its forerunners, is based on the Fazioli F212. This is a 7-foot (212 cm) instrument which is an ideal size for smaller venues such as hotel lobbies, piano bars, music clubs, etc.
The design utilizes 40 beveled wooden planes, and these are sculptured to capture the look and feel of the building’s exterior.
The casework, like much of the building’s wooden elements, is made from Hinoki. In Japan, this wood is widely used and highly revered for its straight grain and fragrant essence. And this uniform grain is also most desirable in the piano manufacturing process – both aesthetically and acoustically.
The Kengo Kuma Fazioli grand piano took over a year to build and cost USD 890,000.
Westbank unveiled the piano at a public exhibition set up to explain the massive Oakridge development. Entitled “Unwritten“, it opened on November 3rd and can be found at the former Zellers location. After the exhibition, the piano will move to the lobby of the Kengo Kuma Building at 1550 Alberni Street.
- Helen Siwak is the founder of EcoLuxLuv Marketing & Communications Inc and publisher of Folio.YVR Luxury Lifestyle Magazine and digital women's lifestyle magazine EcoLuxLifestyle.co. She is a prolific content creator, consultant, and marketing and media strategist within the ecoluxury lifestyle niche. Post-pandemic, she has worked with many small to mid-sized plant-based/vegan brands to build their digital foundations and strategize content creation and business development. Helen is the west coast correspondent to Canada’s top-read industry magazine Retail-Insider, holds a vast freelance portfolio, and consults with many of the world’s luxury heritage brands. Always seeking new opportunities and challenges, you can email her at email@example.com.
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