Ormidale Block – West Hastings Street

The Ormidale Block has been around since 1900. Originally designed by G W Grant, it saw several architectural indignities over the years as the neighbourhood fell from its bustling past.

Revitalisation is rapidly improving the business viability of this stretch of West Hastings (which also has Woodwards – to the east – and the renovated Flack Block to the west).

Now it’s the Ormidale Block’s turn and new owners the Century Group have carried out a total restoration of the facade with a brand new 5 storey office-over-retail building behind, designed by B+H Architects. There’s retail space on the ground and basement floors.

The nearly completed building is spectacular, displaying the original architect’s eccentric disregard for symmetry (with an offset oriel window on top of two stacked bay windows suspended over the doorway. The colour scheme on the finished building is slightly more red, and less grey, which is a more satisfactory balance than the original illustration, published in 2013 when the project was first proposed. The completely new back of the building is a dramatic angled façade of rusted cor-ten steel. One detail makes the building stand out; the curved glazing on either side of the recessed doorway on the recreated main floor entrance really is curved glazing – not a low budget facetted replacement.

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