1. This is an example of where the landscape architect did not collaborate with the architect and the City Engineering Dept. This is difficult as many City Departments don’t collaborate together as it is. We (landscape architects) need to become involved in a stronger way in coordinating the street elements and the public art. All three have their own time line and there own processes and little is any collaboration.

  2. That appears to be a BC Hydro kiosk. Hydro has the power of God to impose their will on sites. The kiosk is only the physical manifestation of the utility. They come with a mandatory legal easement which affords them access at any time. Telus and Fortis have similar criteria.
    Nonetheless, Don’s observations above are taken to heart because the architect should have known, or if John and Patricia Patkau did know, they no doubt would have fought this location tooth and nail with Hydro. The city usually stays out of the discussion and leaves it up to the consultants to work out the site planning issues. Regarding the consultant group, I’d peg it to the civil / electrical engineer and architect first. I really don’t see the landscape architect having a lot of sway here, unless they are the project managers. That is unlikely with the architect holding all the keys.

  3. Absolutely brutal. On most projects I worked on the developer, civil engineer and Landscape Architect coordinated on a Utility conflicts plan. The Civil Engineer would start the process by printing out all utilities in the preliminary layout and site plans, we would carefully go through the plan on the table in the meeting room, redline and mark up conflicts. The engineer would have to adjust the conflicts and we would look at the revised plan again. Transformers are bad but Street lights and meter boxes half inside paving areas were an equal eyesore. We were lucky we had a great developer who involved the Landscape Architect in the initial utilities review and backed us up when the Civil Engineers got grumpy when they had to change their plans for aesthetic reasons.

  4. Snookered I’d say, given that there is a hardline edge on the underside of the concrete pad supporting the green box and that there are two cone shaped piles of gravel and stone inside the gallery. Creativity knows no bounds! A nice composition of primary geometric forms. Yup that’s art for you, always in the details. Now back to sleuthing around.

  5. This is a really common problem — there’s an even worse one in North Van where the sidewalk along a busy street literally stops for 10 feet and you must walk out onto the road to get around the utility box and back to the sidewalk.
    My understanding is these are usually existing BC Hydro easements that the municipalities would rather awkwardly work around than pay the $#0,000 to $#00,000 that Hydro charges to move them.
    It would be better if Hydro (and the municipalities?) had some strategic fund that could be accessed to help deal with the more ridiculous examples of this–it’s one thing to ask a condo development to pay for it; it’s another for smaller, pedestrian-realm projects or a community amenity like an art gallery.

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