There’s something near-unique about Vancouver’s Court House/Art Gallery: no tall buildings directly behind this 19th-century pile even though it’s in the heart of the 21st-century city.
In most cities with heritage from a hundred-plus years ago, the 20-century intrudes. Whether around the Bund of Shanghai or Bryant Park in New York, the contrast between low stone and high glass is the norm – with a few exceptions, like the Metropolitan Museum on Fifth Avenue in NYC set in Central Park.
Okay, the Wall Centre pops up in the distance a few metres on from this viewpoint. But still, bypassers can see the original impact of architect Rattenbury’s design without another era intruding.