PRECEDENTS

1   Dormant Volcano
     hollowed-out mountains are useful

2   Disneyland's Matterhorn
     man-made nature

3   Tunnel
     charismatic infrastructure

4   Western Town False Front Building
     masking real structure

5   Corndog
     surround something commonplace with something more alluring

 

Mount Vancouver
re:CONNECT Competition Entry
2011

 

The Georgia and Dunsmuir Viaducts are sprawling and ugly, but awfully useful. Next door, the new roof cranes crowning BC Place transformed an oversized marshmallow into a colossal upside-down spider. Mt. Vancouver will be a new volcano park in northeast False Creek that obscures the artificial with the natural, camouflaging bigness with something even bigger. Vancouver's view corridors protect sight-lines towards the North Shore Mountains, preserving superficial pleasure and property values. Trumping nature as wallpaper, Mt. Vancouver's wooded park will swallow the inhuman tangle of concrete where BC Place, Rogers Arena and the Georgia Viaduct combine.

Like an oversized planter, Mt. Vancouver will have rocks, trees and wildlife embedded into the deep recesses of a sloped shotcrete shell, evolving over time into a true temperate rainforest with hundreds of walking paths. This new urban mountain is an obvious addition to the Cascade Arc, tightening the spacing between Mt. Baker, Mt. Rainier and Mt. St. Helens. Pragmatically, Mt. Vancouver maintains the loading zones and skylights around BC Place and Rogers Arena, impacting their current function in no way.

Vancouver's condos have become progressively smaller over time. The void between the roofs of BC Place and Rogers Arena and the shell of Mt. Vancouver will provide 1,972,229 cubic feet of city-subsidized mini-storage; a collective basement for the stuff that doesn't fit in a micro-condo. Significantly, this proposal incorporates the City of Vancouver's planned Georgia Steps, connecting downtown with False Creek's waterfront. In parallel, Mt. Vancouver's form and forest will knit downtown to False Creek's seawall. Finally, the visual impact of the viaducts will be shrivelled by engulfing them with tunnels; the function of the existing viaducts and Skytrain line remains untouched. As any kid can attest to, tunnels are a lot of fun.