$3.2-Million Facelift Set for Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza

Image sourced from City of Vancouver

Image sourced from City of Vancouver

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:

Image sourced from City of Vancouver

Image sourced from City of Vancouver

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.


Image sourced from City of Vancouver

Image sourced from City of Vancouver

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.


Image sourced from City of Vancouver

Image sourced from City of Vancouver

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. 

For more updates on happenings in Vancouver and beyond, follow me on Twitter @RemyScalza.  

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14 Responses to $3.2-Million Facelift Set for Vancouver Art Gallery Plaza

  1. JPax

    Plalo Ring

    • David

      Plalo Ring. Very bold and funtional! We need something like that in Vancouver.

  2. a combination of halo and rainwater catcher!

  3. Roshan Gandhi

    Palo Ring for sure. Like the rainwater catcher as well, but not sure how functional it would be for concerts and other gatherings.

  4. Ten

    Halo with a musical fountain underneath

  5. The halo looks awesome!
    Stones that hold rainwater sounds kinda slippery to me… :P

  6. Kim

    Plaleo ring … for sure. FANTASTIC + useful = PERFECT

  7. John b

    Plalo ring. But I’m a nature lover so I’d rather see a garden.

  8. Jamie O’Callaghan

    LOVE #3…..hope this one is chosen!!!!!

  9. I don’t see any left turn lane to solve the traffic problem

  10. Floria Tosca

    Seems the selection committee has already made up its mind. The Plalo ring image is featured twice in this digital paper, the first one with special lighting. Even in some other newspapers the Plalo ring gets top billing and the only accompanying photo is the one which has been enhanced with special lighting.

    So as usual we seem to have a done deal. Our job is simply to ante up the taxes to pay for it.

  11. Plalo ring <3

  12. Lenaya

    Yess, Plalo ring.. Both beautiful and functional.

  13. marie

    The Plalo ring would be practical in terms providing lighting for events. During the day and when there were no events, it appears to be just a big circle suspended from cables with no apparent use or reason.

    How vulnerable would such a permanent lighting fixture be to vandalism?

    If metallic (presumably shiny, it would need frequent cleaning to show of its metallic ‘beauty’.