The iconic MacMillan Bloedel office tower on West Georgia Street, built 1969, will be renamed ‘Arthur Erickson Place’ after its designer, celebrated Canadian architect Arthur Erickson.
The 27-storey office tower is a modernist landmark, and was the tallest building in downtown Vancouver when it was completed. The building was featured in Time magazine in the 1960s, and also won the 1970 Massey Medal for Architecture, among many other awards.
MacMillan Bloedel is no more, as the Canadian forestry giant was bought by U.S.-based Weyerhaeuser in 1999. The office tower was purchased by KingSett Capital, Crestpoint Real Estate Investments, and Reliance Properties two years ago, with the goal of reestablishing it as the premier corporate office location in downtown Vancouver.
“It is time to give this powerful, monolithic office building its due place on Vancouver’s skyline by branding it after Arthur Erickson in honour of his excellence,” said Jon Stovell, president and CEO of Reliance Properties. “With its heritage distinction, central downtown location, and strong visual identity, Arthur Erickson Place will continue to be the address with cachet.”
The structure, made of reinforced bare concrete, rises above a spacious public plaza with reflecting pools that span the building’s length. According to Canada’s Historic Places Registry, the design was inspired by the “Japanese love for surfaces that express the nature of material.”
“Arthur was very proud of this building – it was one of his favourites,” said Geoffrey Erickson about his uncle, who was known as the ‘Master of Concrete’. “This building is bold and daring and broke new ground in engineering, office planning and the use of concrete.”
Erickson was born in Vancouver and became a globally-recognized architect. He died in 2009 at age 84.
To celebrate the launch of Arthur Erickson Place, the ownership group is hosting a free, seven-day “visual experience”, Erickson Revealed, produced by Go2 Productions. The 3D light show will animate the building’s main exterior into a spectacular canvas of Erickson’s notable designs, augmented with dynamic digital lights.
· What: Erickson Revealed
· When: Nightly from September 23 to 29, 2021. It is a 10-minute show that will loop from 8:30 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.
· Best Viewing: across the street from Arthur Erickson Place on West Georgia Street (at Thurlow Street)