Arthur Erickson and Shigeru Ban: Architectural Symbiosis Trumps Identity Crisis in Vancouver’s Terrace House

The Vancouverist vision of a multicultural idyll is at odds with the increasing unaffordability of a city where architectural heritage and green space are being disappeared daily.

A half Asian city on the Pacific Rim, Vancouver has always had a strong Asian identity, often expressed architecturally in a hybrid manner. Its unique Chinatown, designed at a time when the Chinese were prohibited from practicing architecture, boasts Corinthian columns integrated into “Chinese” style buildings. An historic Vancouver Japantown still evidences a thriving Japanese pre-war, pre-internment cultural life.

Now a new project commissioned by a Filipino-Canadian developer points the way to a full circle architectural happy ending.

Not only is Shigeru Ban’s new Terrace House, a 19 storey mixed use project, slated to be North America’s tallest hybrid timber structure when it completes in 2020, it’s also an extraordinary homage to Arthur Erickson and his adjacent 1980 Evergreen Building. So symbiotic is the new design that it appears to extrude organically from Erickson’s Evergreen.

The project has also been a meeting – albeit posthumously – of two like-minded architects with inspired visions for green urban design. Erickson’s deep connection to the Japanese aesthetic is matched by Ban’s reverence for the late Canadian architect.


June 28, 2018

18:00 - 20:00

Admission: FREE

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Image: PortLiving



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