Vancouver Art Gallery plaza redesigns pitched to public
Redesign team presented three conceptual designs based on input from October 2012 meetings
Three proposals for the redesign of the north plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery were presented to the public Tuesday, including a waterfall, a giant ring and a reflecting pool created by rainwater.
The redesign team unveiled the proposals at its first open house on Tuesday in an attempt to gather public input. They were developed using public feedback from consultation sessions in October of last year.
Urban planner Lance Berelowitz says there is one thing that all three design concepts share -- the brown mulch that currently covers the art gallery's north plaza will be gone.
"Our initial instinct was to de-clutter or edit out or clear out the space do a good house cleaning so we started from that premise," said Berelowitz.
The first proposal is a reflecting pool using special tiles that will create a reflective skyline on rainy days.
The second puts a waterfall that acts as a barrier from Georgia Street traffic. The final proposal has a giant silver halo hanging above the plaza that also doubles as a lighting fixture.
That giant floating halo appeals to resident Hans Madeliski.
"I'm interested to see how they are going to implement that ring. It looks very fascinating with these very wonderful thin cables."
The city is hosting a series of open houses to get public input on the project, hoping for rave reviews on at least one of the designs, so it can start construction next year.
The North Plaza, which is bound by West Georgia, Hornby and Howe Streets, has been a key fixture in Vancouver since the old courthouse, now the art gallery, opened in 1911.
The plaza was a favourite destination for Olympic celebrations when Vancouver hosted the Games in 2010, and was also home to the encampment of protestors during 2011's 'occupy' movement.
The $3.2 million redesign will allow for potentially drastic changes since the underground membrane that sits below the plaza has to be completely replaced. It is severely degraded and currently leaking water into the art gallery's lower floors.
Earlier this year, the city selected Vancouver-based Nick Milkovich Architects, along with a team of consultants from other firms, to head up the redesign.
Members of that team and city planners were on hand at the open house Tuesday to answer questions from the public and explain the thought process behind the conceptual redesigns.
Additionally, the city launched an online survey for residents to give their input on the project.
The second consultation will be held Oct. 5 at 12:30 p.m. PT at UBC Robson Square plaza.
The space is owned by the province and leased by the city, so the province will have to approve any changes put forth by the redesign team.
With files from Emily Elias