The plaza in front of the Vancouver Art Gallery may soon be getting a new look.
Several redesigns are being considered for the prime spot in the heart of the city, site of concerts, protests and public gatherings throughout the year. Options range from “urban living rooms” to minimalist, space-age public spaces.
One common denominator: All of the proposals involve removing the badly weathered, occasionally functioning fountain in the middle of the plaza. They also suggest doing away with the tons of unsightly bark mulch spread over the site.
The $3.2 million renovations, planned to begin next summer, aims to make the space as “inviting and safe” as possible, according to the city of Vancouver website. The site needs to be updated to accommodate both large events and small groups, while also preserving the “ceremonial character of Georgia Street.” On a practical level, the waterproofing beneath the plaza needs to be replaced to better protect the gallery spaces located below.
These changes are being pushed forward despite the fact that the Vancouver Art Gallery may be moving to a brand new home several blocks away at Larwill Park within a few years time.
The three proposals currently under consideration are:
1) Plalo Ring: Boldest of the concepts, this design calls for an enormous metallic halo to be suspended over a flat, open plaza. The halo would be equipped with lighting to accommodate the various events staged in the space.
2) Active Edge: This minimalist proposal features a low, pyramid shaped fountain along the Georgia Street edge of the plaza. Other than that, the space would be flat and featureless.
3) Wet: Playing off of Vancouver’s rainy weather, this design would see the heart of the plaza function as a “storm water collection field” outfitted with specially designed paving stones that hold rainwater.
Which proposal do you think works best for the Vancouver Art Gallery plaza? Let us know below.
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