CBK Van Norman at “Changing Vancouver”
If you’re a fan of urbanism, architecture or Vancouver - preferably all of the above – then Changing Vancouver is the site to bookmark.
Not only do John Atkin and Andy Coupland provide a comparison of historic and contemporary photos of our built environment, they document the builders, architects, owners and tenants with scrupulous detail. Much of the social history of our city is embedded in their descriptions.
This week, Changing Vancouver is profiling work of one of this city’s prolific modernists, CBK Van Norman – notably the Burrard Building, built between 1955 and 1957, on the southwest corner of Georgia and Burrard.
Two things I did not know:
In 1988 Musson Cattell designed a new skin for the building which changed it from a strongly horizontal oriented tower into a more contemporary glazed box. Interestingly, this actually reflects quite closely what Van Norman showed on a 1956 brochure for the building –in some ways the building today more closely resembles it than the 1950s version as built.
Although the site is one of very few Downtown that has no viewcones crossing it – and hence no height limit for a replacement building – leases on the few suites on offer today are for up to 10 years, suggesting the owners are in no hurry to cash in on its redevelopment potential.
Also: Van Norman’s now demolished Customs House – here.