A BIG step forward for Vancouver’s latest mixed-use tower making international headlines, as the 497-foot tall proposal has received an “enthusiastic endorsement” from the city’s design panel.
The Bjarke Ingels Group-designed tower promises to add a twist to Vancouver’s skyline and create a new identity for an undefined section of town at the fringe of the city’s residential area. The 700,000 square foot complex – which contains shopping, housing and rental apartments – was praised by the panel for anchoring itself on a nine-story podium that occupies the disused, interstitial spaces found between the Granville Street Bridge’s entry and exit ramps.
BIG proposes to transform these spaces, which are dominated by cars and lack human activity, into a cultural and pedestrian destination. Glass “prisms” will provide retail and public space, while existing building facades and bridge surfaces will be converted into a dramatic outdoor gallery. In addition, Bjarke envisions the road which crosses below the bridge to become a host for outdoor markets, festivals and concerts. Impressed, panel member Peter Wreglesworth described the project as “whole composition that is urban art.”