Nordstrom – Granville Street

Sears Nordstrom 2Three years after we last posted about the Granville Street retail store that used to be home to Sears, and before that Eatons, we’re looking at how it turned out. We’re also publishing a number of posts on out companion blog that examine the changes to the building over the years (We’ve put an example of the change here). Sears Nordstrom Granville 1The reclad and reconfiguration of the building was one of the worst-kept secrets in the city. Nordstrom has replaced Sears in the flagship retail block of the Pacific Centre Mall. The significantly compromised Cesar Pelli design for Eatons has been given a James Cheng makeover. The basement floor is now part of the mall, Nordstrom occupy three floors from the main floor up, and the top four are groundscraper office floors with 280,000 sq ft of space around two atria punched through the frame to give the internal offices natural light, occupied by lawyers Miller Thomson, Sony Image Works and Microsoft. The exterior skin has glazing wherever the service cores allow it, and there’s a lot of the creamy beige natural stone you can see on other Nordstrom stores.

We’re showing how the Granville Street side (above) compares to the render (replacing the black cylinder entrance with a more normal canopy and doorway). There’s a new glass box in the courtyard that serves as the office entrance – and that courtyard is now level with the sidewalk. We’ve had to bend the photograph about a lot to match the angles on the render, but it’s clear that a few minor changes were made between permit and completion.

Sears Nordstrom

On the Howe Street side there’s a projecting glass box on the third floor occupied by a restaurant. The corner is much more open than it used to be, as our before and after shot shows.

This entry was posted in Downtown and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Nordstrom – Granville Street

  1. Why must EVERYTHING architectural in Vancouver be a ridiculous glass box? I heard the old design referred to as an oversize urinal. While I’m inclined to agree and I dislike the inward turning anti pedestrian nature of the old design, I’m shocked to discover that I think the current design has some personality–it makes an attempt at being SOMETHING, even if that something isn’t always very likeable. Based on the design this building is NOTHING.

    • ChangingCity says:

      As one of the main complaints about the existing building is that it doesn’t have any windows, you seem to have a different opinion from most. It would be pretty much impossible to repurpose the upper floors as office without a great deal more glass, and as the landlords had to spend a great deal of money to get Sears to break their lease, the budget for the significant re-clad and alterations must be pretty stretched to achieve the project they’re proposing.

  2. The redesign, and especially the Robson and Howe corner, appears to take many cues from the 1957 Semmens and Simpson design of the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch at Burrard and Robson.

  3. David Blue says:

    It is a very difficult building to redesign and re-purpose. Though I personally feel Vancouver justly deserves its reputation of being the black hole of architecture, this may not add to that reputation! Not that I think it is a lovely building. They have just done a remarkable job with what they had to start with. I guess though I should hold final judgment for a few years.

  4. Adam Fitch says:

    It is interesting that the former tenants, Sears, occupied the entire building (I think), and the new major tenants, Nordstrom, will occupy less than half the building. You state that the landlords had to spend a great deal of money to get Sears to break their lease. I wonder whether the landlords seriously offered Sears a chance to lease a reduced volume of space, or whether they just wanted them out. What I would give to be privy to those negotiations.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s