Starchitect Towers

2015 “Starchitecture” proposed for West Georgia

Description
The city receives rezoning applications for striking new buildings on West Georgia and on Alberni near Cardero and Nicola, some by renowned architects not from Vancouver. These include a curving building by Kengo Kuma, of Japan, at 1550 Alberni and a Jenga-inspired tower by Buro Ole Scheeren of Germany at 1500 West Georgia. Vancouver’s James Cheng also proposed a tower at 1445-1455 West Georgia at Nicola and Henriquez Partners Architects have designed a mixed use project nearby at 1575 West Georgia at Cardero.
As well, the Swiss architectural firm Herzog & de Meuron unveiled its concept for the new Vancouver Art Gallery building at Larwill Park, at the eastern downtown end of Georgia, at Cambie.

Significance
These projects will create new density and new public-realm possibilities.They will also will change Vancouver’s skyline and create diversity in Vancouver’s architecture, often called monotonous. The striking towers at the western entrance to downtown will transform the area, with a “gateway” precinct. Some concern was expressed that major projects designed by “starchitects” will push local architects aside and that some of the foreign architects lack familiarity with the local context.

Background
City council adopted the new West End plan in 2013. It includes higher buildings along Georgia, Alberni and Burrard.
Vancouver city council gave approval in principle for a new art gallery at Larwill Park.
The first “starchitect” to design a building in Vancouver was Bjarke Ingels, architect of the mixed-use Vancouver House project now under construction at Howe and Pacific.

Sources
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/home-and-garden/real-estate/why-buy-brand-names-when-we-can-create-our-own/article18443353/
https://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/future.html