Minimalist Architecture Goes for Drama with Eaton’s in Vancouver

by Frances Bula
The Globe and Mail, July 19, 2015

Architect James Cheng is pictured at the newly redeveloped Pacific Centre office and retail complex in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia on July 15, 2015. Courtesy of The Globe and Mail, photo by Ben Nelms(Image: Architect James Cheng is pictured at the newly redeveloped Pacific Centre office and retail complex in downtown Vancouver, British Columbia on July 15, 2015. Courtesy of The Globe and Mail, photo by Ben Nelms)

All around the block of a building under construction at Georgia and Granville is the busy jumble of a city: neon signs, old terracotta buildings, black towers of the 1970s, lights, people, food trucks, noise.

But the almost-completed building itself is cool, serene. The glass walls of the top three stories reflect blue sky and clouds.

The rows of metal fins between the silvery windows are a study in linear geometry. Bands of large limestone tiles line the lower floors.

One entrance, angled onto the plaza, is a large, clear box that glows with white light at night.

The absence of colour and texture is exactly what architect James Cheng aimed for when he re-designed the former Eaton’s department store at the city’s main downtown intersection, a building that frequently made the most-reviled list. Read more…

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