(via) As a relatively young city, Vancouver doesn’t have much in the way of historical architecture that is so intrinsically valued that it can somehow avoid the wrecking balls of development. The stuff we can’t save needs to be remembered somehow. We like the approach of Malaysian artist Pui Wan, who crafts miniature versions of old buildings in Kuala Lumpur that are facing demolition to make room for new towers, as seen in the Atlas Obscura film above.
Her artwork aims to preserve these spaces, as well as the memories of the communities that inhabit them. Pui Wan says she hopes that younger generations will be able to tangibly experience old buildings through her models. One such structure is a kopitiam (coffee shop) that has operated for over 60 years. Shortly after this video was filmed, the kopitiam shut down permanently.
It would be great if something similar could be done here. Our provincial capital, Victoria, has its own, long-thriving Miniature World depicting scenes that vary from Arthurian legend to the “Great Canadian Railway”. It’s mostly the stuff of riveting fantasy (geared towards the kiddies), but what if Vancouver had its own Miniature World that reminded us of what Chinatown used to look like when it glowed with neon, when Hogan’s Alley was in its prime, when water actually flowed in Brewery Creek, or what the city looked like right before it burned down in 1886.