Central 2We last looked at Central nearly a year ago when the vast scaffold structure had just been removed from supporting the bridge section of the project. Now it’s starting to be occupied, and we’re taking a look at the finished product.

The building was approved early in 2011 as a rezoning (with remarkably, nobody from the public to praise or condemn the dramatic architecture).

Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden’s project features an eight storey office leg and a 11-storey condo block with an 8-storey condo bridge link set at an angle above and between them. (The angled section actually lines up with the city’s prevailing east-west grid).

The office was leased to the Canada Border Services Agency who needed more space, so the office ‘foot’ was made slightly deeper after an April 2012 revision to add another 17,000 square feet of office space was approved in a revised rezoning that, like the first public hearing, had no speakers. This time it was all over in two and a half minutes. The offices were occupied in the summer, and now the residences are finished as well, the scheme having sold well despite (or perhaps because of) the dramatic design.

Central 1HBBH are now called ‘DIALOG’, and have a number of Downtown towers about to be built. The project architects who saw the building through to completion were IBI/HB.

One of the more intriguing late additions to the project is the public art –  a piece called “The Ninth Column,” which is intended to look like a Douglas fir – albeit one that was chopped into sections and then reassembled. We’re not sure whether the irony is intentional, but it’s unlikely that a Douglas fir ever grew here; the site sits in a location that was part of False Creek until it was filled in about a century ago.

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3 Responses to Central

  1. Pingback: Main to Quebec Streets – SEFC | Changing City Updates

  2. Hazlit says:

    Dumb question–is there rebar in the concrete bridge? Otherwise isn’t it at risk of falling down in an earthquake? Does a standard poured concrete floor have rebar? (I know it goes into columns but I never thought about floors.)

    • ChangingCity says:

      From the steel being lifted up to the bridge floors, there’s a lot of rebar going into the bridge. The columns also appear to being cast through the added floors, (you can see that on the right of the recent image) so there’s vertical weight distribution from the higher floors as well. These days the seismic engineering is an important part of any design – which isn’t necessarily true of buildings from the 1970s and earlier.

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