City Square is a one-of-a-kind development combining two turn-of-the-century stone buildings with new retail, office and educational facilities. Situated adjacent to Vancouver City Hall, the building occupies a site that demanded sensitive treatment. The design addressed the concerns of the City regarding density, character, and heritage preservation and provided the developer with a vibrant commercial facility that is earning a premium return.
City Square demonstrates the ability of the practice to respond carefully to the demands of both commercial and civic interests. It is a profitable enterprise that is also a unique and appropriate architectural creation, at once stimulating and comfortable with its mix of 80 year-old masonry, lightweight steel framing and expansive glazing.
City Square has been recognized by the City of Vancouver with a Heritage Award for sensitive landscape treatment, and it received a prestigious award from the International Council of Shopping Centres for its innovative design. As a neighbour of City Hall it has brought a commercial focus to a once aloof Civil precinct, allowing the City Hall to seem more accessible.
The installation of Dorset College in the East Wing of City Square continues the historic use of the site for education. The stone buildings served for decades as the City’s main Teacher Training facilities. Dorset serves international students, mainly from the Pacific Rim, a recognition of Vancouver’s growing connection with that part of the world.