Design & Development
October 19, 2018

Concord Community Park – 2

I wasn’t able to identify the firm or designers who did the Concord Community Park by the time I posted some pics here.  Fortunately I ran into Derek Lee from PWL, who sent this:

…  a pic of the North East False Creek temporary park that our associate Katya Yushmanova took on her commute this morning.  She was instrumental in the park design among several of our other talented staff who pulled this off.

Notice the new paint job on the ground plane that is intended to celebrate the brilliant colours and forms reminiscent of our world’s fair – certainly a colourful a shot of joy in the proverbial arm of False Creek.

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Price Tags has never had much nice to say about Yaletown Park –  found here.

Not when it opened in 2007: 

It’s a stretch to call it a park.  There’s hardly a living plant in the place.  The surface is either concrete or granite block, right up to the slender trunks of a handful of trees.  And just in case you miss the point, they’ve added blocks of stone that aren’t too far removed from Jersey barriers.

Not again in 2009:

On the whole, not what I would consider a successful public space, not for the cost.

There was a qualification: “perhaps the park will seem more inviting as the trees mature.”

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In 1990, the citizens of Vancouver approved a referendum to build a new Central Library.  By 1995 it opened.  Say what you will, Moshe’s Safdie’s colisseum design was the popular choice – columned and iconic – for a reason.

VPL Central is now the centrepiece of a neighbourhood without a centre – not quite the CBD, not quite Yaletown, sort of Downtown South, with an energy that flows down the east end of Robson and, still-emerging, West Georgia.

There are the big-box cultural institutions, with the biggest yet to come.  There are hotels, corporate showpieces, Asian fast-food and American burger joints, and even a couple of grocery stores.  But mostly: residential towers from the green blue glass era of Vancouverism.

And now there’s a place to see it all from a perspective we were always intended to have. Next.

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This works on so many levels.

It’s eye-catching and intriguing.  It’s specifically Canadian even if it’s for a US company (Nordstrom).  It’s a pun that works in French and English.

This image is of Harjas Singh, a fashion stylist and consultant (#sikhstyle), and presumably his daughter.  He’s “one of 13 Canadians, models and inspiring non-models — representing various ages, races, religions, sexes and sizes, meant to celebrate locals’ individuality and diversity.”  Could have been another diversity cliche, but it isn’t.

It’s set on transit in a way that reinforces that theme: the bus is a place for everyone.

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The Urbanarium event on September 20 – Planning West Coast Cities – may be remembered more for the complexion of its panel than the significance of the announcement made by Vancouver Planning Director Gil Kelley, subtly integrated into his presentation.  Too subtly, apparently.  While it didn’t get the attention it deserved, it may well mark the beginning of a new era in city planning.

Vancouver, in his opinion, should have a city-wide plan, and the work should start soon after the election of a new council.  It could take two to three years to achieve, but given it’s ambition, so is the timeframe.

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Small Housing BC (SHBC), a Vancouver-based non-profit advocating for smaller housing forms throughout British Columbia, is hosting the Small Housing Summit this November 17th.

The first event of its kind in Canada, the SHBC Summit will feature industry leaders in design, policy, outreach, finance, real-estate, construction — basically anyone interested in, or already working with, smaller typologies. Given the need to accelerate the development of new housing options in BC and beyond, this is a must-attend event.

Saturday, November 17, 2018
Sheraton Vancouver Wall Centre

More info & Registration – Early Bird Deadline is Sept. 30

SHBC is also inviting any groups or individuals facing barriers working on small housing projects to apply to the Small Housing Challenge case study series.

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