City Briefs: Get Ready For Even More Dream City On False Creek
by Scott Daniel | Vancouver’s been generating its intense form of urbanism so fast it can feel as if there’s almost no space left on the downtown peninsula. But, there are a surprising number of “dead zones,” chief among them the waterfront adjacent to BC Place, a.k.a. North East False Creek (NEFC).
For its part, the City is looking for the right mix of commercial, residential, and public space, and has received a major proposal from Canadian Metropolitan Properties, a huge landowner in the area. CMP proposes 1.4 million square feet of residential space, 700,000 for commercial use, and 67,000 square feet of public space. The goodies include a civic plaza and a Canucks practice rink/public arena (Canucks get the rink from 8 to 11am when the team is in town, the public gets it the rest of the time). More after the jump…
The much-anticipated-though-don’t-get-your-hopes-up-for-awhile-Streetcar is slated to run along the south side of Pacific until it reaches the stadium, where it crosses to the north side.
It’s just a model, but it’s hard to ignore the ‘skybridge’ building Cheng included, bringing to mind Paris’ Arche de la Defense (below).
Can’t wait to take out-of-town visitors by to remark on the architect’s “apparent desire to project a four-dimensional cube or tesseract, if you will, onto a three-dimensional world.”
Georgia Pedestrian Link
In the category of Complete Transformations, there are also plans to create a grand pedestrian mall linking the Georgia viaduct to a waterfront plaza. What’s there now? You know, it’s that prime waterfront where Concord Pacific is obligated to build a park, but instead dumps its construction waste and surplus building materials.
Here are some interesting options for your consideration.
Option 1: Georgia Stairs
Georgia Stairs includes a grandiose set of wide stairs, with iconic ‘light pillars’ and glass canopies for weather protection.
Option 2: Georgia Ribbon
Georgia Ribbon is a winding path defined by a red ribbon wall, as well as a public “Wall of Fame.” The ribbon winds through plazas and green spaces.
Option 3: Georgia Red Poles
Georgia Red Poles is a meandering pathway distinguished by a series of “iconic” red poles.
I can’t decide which one I like best, partly because all three appear to be a massive upgrade on what’s there now.
Terry Fox Plaza
It’s heartening to know PavCo is also righting the wrong that was the Terry Fox memorial in front of BC Place. While I feel for its artist and his unrealized vision, I’m not sure anyone ever appreciated it. At all. Douglas Coupland will have to mess up pretty bad to not improve on it.
So, all things considered, the casino thing is kind of lame, but if it pays for a dramatic improvement to BC Place maybe it’s okay. I’m sure there will be much debate on all fronts.
What about the rest of it: will NEFC development be a dynamic extension of downtown? Do these proposals achieve the right mix? Or, do they signal an underwhelming extension of Vancouverism at its most monotonous?