There are architects who are showboats, and architects who are subtle and respect their surroundings. Shigeru Ban is showing great respect to one of Canada’s greatest architects, the late Arthur Erickson, who designed the Evergreen Building on the site beside the new tower.
Ban alludes to the triangles in the building and the landscaping designed by Cornelia Oberlander. In fact, according to the developer, PortLiving, they have even hired the still working 95 year old Oberlander to “continue her vision and create continuity between the Evergreen Building by Arthur Erickson and Terrace House by Shigeru Ban.”
When it is completed, Terrace House will be the tallest wood building in the world, inching out (metering out?) Brock Commons, also in Vancouver, by 18 meters to its pointy top. But according to Matt Robinson in the Vancouver Sun, The developer Tobi Reyes said building a taller wood structure than anyone else had before “wasn’t by design.” And if you believe that….
Engineer Hermann Blumer is on the job; he worked with Shigeru Ban on Centre Pompidou-Metz, also a remarkable wood structure.
Here is a few of Erickson’s Evergreen building as it stands now, without Terrace House behind it. Ban has shown a lot of sensitivity here, according to Dezeen,
The opportunity to respond to the building is what apparently attracted Ban to the project in the first place. "Shigeru Ban has tremendous respect for Arthur Erickson's work," said his studio. "It was the opportunity to design a building next to one of Erickson's masterpieces that initially drew him to this innovative project."
The building apparently has development approval and is in for permit, and being wood construction, will probably be up before you know it. Wood construction is faster, quieter and cleaner than concrete, is great in earthquake conditions and wood sequesters CO2 for the life of the building. We will be showing a lot more of it.