All of Vancouver is buzzing with news of Bjarke Ingels’ shapeshifting new design for that horribly awkward spot between the arms of the Granville Bridge downtown.
In a recent Vancouver Sun article, Ingels admits the spot was problematic and challenging, citing demands about traffic, daylight, and the bridge, but he ultimately designed a unique building that begins as a triangle and gradually shifts into a square at the top.
“Our design decisions are informed by various information and criteria, which are like all these ingredients, and it becomes like a scientific experiment, when you mix in all these criteria and you see what comes out of it,” Ingels told the Sun.
“When things really click into place, designing isn’t just pulling something out of a hat, it’s exploration and discovery of what the project can become.”
Westbank Projects Corp. will be taking on the project, and founder Ian Gillespie is glad for a breath of fresh air for Vancouver’s skyline — one he claims is full of background buildings.
“It’s kind of like being born looking like a supermodel and then sitting on your ass because you don’t need to work very hard at it,” said Gillespie. “Vancouver has the luxury of having this amazing natural environment, and a wealth of natural resources, so we haven’t had to work at it too hard.”
That’s where “Vancouverism” comes into play, the urban experiment Vancouver has been trying on for size when adding density to the downtown core. Ingels is a huge fan of Vancouverism, as density is vital for sustainability.
“I think this project is standing on the shoulders of the previous generation of Vancouver architects and taking that experiment one step further,” Ingels told the Sun. “Elevators consume less energy than cars. If you have a dense city, where you can walk to visit your friends, or go to cafes or the library, that really reduces energy consumption,” Ingels said.
“Vancouverism is sort of a hybrid, but where it’s been under-explored is that it’s a monoculture of urban typologies, with tower-podiums repeated everywhere.”
It’s no doubt that Ingels and Westbank are going to be key players in Vancouver’s future skylines. Are you excited for this project? Weigh in below or in the forum discussion!