You’ve seen this before:
It’s a 1975 sketch of “Cities in a Sea of Green” – the phrase that captured the intent of the original Livable Region Plan. In Burnaby, they took it literally (see more in ‘Cities of the Future‘).
Brentwood is SkyTrain scale, amped up. The combo of towers tightly clustered around a rapid-transit station, connected to a shopping centre and community services, also strikes me as Asian scale – characteristic of station areas in Singapore and Hong Kong, where the planning and design go back to the housing booms of post-war modernism. These are the urban environments in which so many of us grew up before coming to Vancouver, and to whom the projects are now marketed.
This is West Pacific.
The towers, in particular, take us to new heights – not to everyone’s taste, but very much part of the Grand Bargain. (For an analysis and prediction of the impact of Brentwood, here’s what I said back in 2014: “Brentwood growth could help maintain quality of life: Price”
As detailed on David Pereira’s blog, the architecture of Brentwood Town Centre also goes back to 1960s with its initial highrises and mall (and, oh yeah, used car lots). Today, ‘Amazing Brentwood’ takes the cliche of the moment – stacked and angled glass boxes – to climb the slope to the north of the station and animate the many thousands of square meters.
The angles, decks, stairs and escalators constantly draw the eye upwards, while hiding the underground parking below.
And we haven’t yet got to the best part.