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Walking around Vancouver, it’s impossible to go very far without noticing a cool building. Our architecture has developed over the years into what is now as the “West Coast Style.” We’re fortunate to have a mix of modern and older buildings to lend to the character of this and by famed architects including Canadian Arthur Erickson. If you live in Vancouver, you’ve definitely come across some of the buildings on this list and if you’re visiting the city – you’ll want to check these out.
13. Sinclair Building | 757 West Hastings Street
A beautiful shopping mall carrying designer brands, Sinclair Centre, aside from being a stunning work of marble and brass architecture complete with a glass atrium, is also for many, where they first became “Canadians.” The centre is comprised of four buildings that have been joined together, including the Federal Building where the Passport office is located. This building dates all the way back to 1910, a rich piece of Vancouver’s history.
12. Dominion Building | 207 West Hastings Street
A commercial building across from Victory Square on West Hastings, The Dominion Building is a Vancouver landmark. This 13-storey structure was designed over a hundred years ago by architect J.S Helyer and is characterized by its impressive scale, rumoured to be haunted, but we have yet to experience any paranormal sightings ourselves.
11. Vancouver Convention Centre | 1055 Canada Place
The Vancouver Convention Centre is a great example of the modern and “green” architecture that Vancouver boasts. With 466, 500 square feet of meeting space, it’s Canada’s largest convention centre. The West building itself boasts a six-acre roof – Canada’s largest non-industrial roof – home to beehives, specifically European honey bees. Now that’s pretty sweet!
10. Eugenia Place | 1919 Beach Avenue
If you’ve ever gone for a stroll in the West End or have hung out at on the sandy (rocky) shores of English Bay, chances are you’ve glanced up and noticed the apartment with a giant oak tree on the roof. The building is called Eugenia Place Tower and the story behind the tree on the roof is apparently named after the developer’s mother. There are a few different interpretations of the tree’s significance but one thing is certain, it’s not every day you see a 30-foot tree planted at the top of a building.
9. Vancouver Public Library| 350 West Georgia Street
Vancouver’s own “colosseum,” the VPL is proof that our city’s architecture is far from boring. Designed by Moshe Safdie, the library is reminiscent of Ancient Rome and is just as captivating on the inside as it is on the out.
8. Museum of Anthropology | 6393 NW Marine Drive
Another one of architect Arthur Erickson’s masterpieces is the Museum of Anthropology. MOA’s exterior resembles the West Coast mountains and pays homage to the spirit of the First Nations People. The interior of the museum is home to over 40,000 objects from around the world.
7. Marine Building | 355 Burrard Street
You don’t have to go Miami to experience art-deco architecture. As a matter of fact, you don’t even have to leave the city. The Marine Building is a giant skyscraper located in the core of downtown Vancouver. Built in the 1930’s this building is easily identifiable by its exterior which resembles a wedding cake.
6. The Qube | 1333 West Georgia Street
Literally a giant cube, looking up at this Coal Harbour building is a little bit unnerving. Built in 1970 – originally as the West Coast Transmission building – the Qube was awarded the Design in Steel Award in 1970 by the American Iron and Steel Institute and is currently a residential space.
5. Woodwards Building | 128 West Cordova Street
One of the most desired-to-live-in buildings in the city is Gastown’s iconic Woodwards Building. You know, the building with the giant “W” sticking out from the top that you just can’t miss whether you’re biking, skytraining, or driving into the city.
4. Evergreen Building | 1285 West Pender Street
Nestled away in Coal Harbour on West Pender Street is the Evergreen building – SURPRISE – another ridiculously cool addition to the city by Arthur Erickson. This mid-rise residential and office space is a pyramid adorned in moss-like greenery.
3. Hotel Europe | 43 Powell Street
Standing at the intersection of Water, Alexander, and Powell Streets stands the six-storey Hotel Europe. This flat-iron building is often photographed by both locals and tourists and like the Dominion building, Hotel Europe is also apparently home to a few ghosts.
2. Waterfall Building | 1540 West 2nd Avenue
One of Vancouver’s premiere wedding and events venue spaces, naturally is also one of the most stunning. Formerly an art gallery, its high white walls, and massive glass panels reflect its past.
1. Vancouver Art Gallery | 750 Hornby Street
In terms of size and scale, the Vancouver Art gallery ranks as the largest museum in Western Canada and the fifth largest in all of Canada! The Art Gallery was designed by two local guys Sharp and Thompson for just $ 40,000. It has moved locations and is undergoing exciting new changes but is still recognized as one of the most innovative buildings in the city.