Timothy Thomas, regular PT reader, sends the following plea:

Here’s a piece on the superb new Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, with instructive parallels for Vancouver. It is hoped that this building, its compelling design matching its dramatic harbour-side setting, will spark a re-birth of progressive architecture there, in a city not not for its creative contemporary architecture.

Boston has done for brick what Vancouver done for sea foam green glass. Enough already! This kind of architectural kick-start is a fond wish many of us have for the much-rumoured possibility of a new site for the VAG. (Wanted: bold elegance. Please: no more polite pablum!). Any update on the plans for the new VAG (and the other new cultural sites in the offing, if possible). Is it still planned for False Creek?

I’ve recently heard that the cultural precinct planned for the old Larwell Park site (between Cambie and Beatty) is on hold. Any news anyone?
Update: Sources from City Hall say the project is still on track – but no details.


  1. I wonder whether a VAG facility within the Larwill Park complex would be able to stand apart from the complex enough to have its own identity (esp. if other cultural facilities are in the complex). I tend to envision a box or shoulder building attached to a bigger complex in the same way that a department store is attached to a shopping mall.

  2. City staff report dated October 31, 2006:
    The Pacific Exchange Proposal:
    A proposal for “a cultural Granville Island” was developed by Bing Thom Architects with a mix
    of cultural agencies, the Asia-Pacific Foundation and related functions. The involved agencies
    in this proposal include:
    • Coal Harbour Arts Complex – 450 and 1800 seat theatres (150-200,000 sq feet)
    • Centre A Centre for Contemporary Asian Art (20,000 sq feet)
    • Emily Carr Institute of Art & Design (100,000 sq feet)
    • Aboriginal Art Gallery (100,000 sq feet)
    • Asia-Pacific Foundation (30,000 sq feet)
    • Vancouver Art Gallery (315,000 sq ft)
    • Vancouver Community College food services (10,000 square feet)
    This proposal envisaged utilizing the Bus Depot site plus the Queen Elizabeth Theatre Plaza
    although it did not include the office building sought by the City. With the inclusion of the
    office space, the total development proposed exceeds the capacity of the two sites.
    Through initial consultation, some cultural organizations expressed considerable support for
    the Pacific Exchange concept while others were uncertain about how the multiple cultural
    agencies would inter-relate, how the site would be managed, and how fund raising and
    financial issues would be managed. The “Pacific Exchange” concept presented a combination of potential cultural uses. It did not attempt to address any capital or operational feasibility
    Some issues raised in the report:
    • How would collaborative or concurrent competing capital fund raising work? Is capital
    and operating funding raised collectively or independently?
    • How does a single site complex operate? Is it a “cultural strata”, with common
    property managed by a council or separate body, with individual buildings or building
    areas managed by individual cultural agencies?
    • How can the aspirations of some organizations for “presence” be reconciled with the
    expressed idea of “a cultural Granville Island”?
    • VAG wants iconic design, and an architectural competition; others are seeking
    integrated facilities designed from the inside out.
    • The aboriginal community wants ownership and independence while generally
    interested in linkage with others although no governance structure has been formed;
    • Some of the synergy objectives require that organizations take a coordinated rather
    than independent view, which may be difficult to maintain over time.

  3. A few questions from a blog idiot
    How do you keep the spammers from eating you alive? i\’ve seen blogs with nothing but spam postings.
    How do you keep some left wing extremist from posting racist or defamatory rhetoric? and if you cant stop them, what are you legally liabel when they do?
    can viruses be posted to blogs?

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