The Grand Boulevard and the Big Tree
The Boulevard would intersect with Quebec Street in a large traffic circle. The big tree would be at the centre of the circle as a focal point and a gateway.
The canopy would end through the traffic circle and the bikers will just have to get wet.
The tree would be about the same size as an ancient Douglas fir, 70 metres tall and 9 metres in diameter. I would not anticipate that this tree would be a realistic model of a Douglas fir, but a representation of the tree. I leave that to the artist. The only requirement is that it be big.
I would hope that there would be space in the centre of the trunk for a spiral staircase with view holes in the knots.
Vancouver lacks a grand gesture - at least of human creation - and for variety's sake alone, I think we should try one. This is a proposal to replace the viaducts with a grand boulevard punctuated with a huge sculptural Douglas fir made of either corten steel or wood itself. A Douglas fir is a symbol of British Columbia and is probably the only thing that we could agree on.
The viaducts would leave the downtown escarpment as they currently do, descend on ramps alongside Rogers Arena, combine with Pacific and Expo Boulevards to form a truly Pacific Boulevard toward the flats. The area between the Georgia ramp and BC Place would be a natural location for a Spanish Steps. Between the boulevard and False Creek would be parks (on the most polluted land) and a site for a future public building.
The boulevard would continue through the flats and connect with East 1st Avenue. It would be an urban boulevard and not a parkway and would be generally lined with buildings 5 to 8 stories tall at the street wall. Down the centre of the boulevard would be a median of trees in two rows, not too large like the trees at the Law Courts on Hornby. Suspended between the boles, partially concealed by the branches, would be a canopy for a covered bike path that would run in the aisle between the trees. The boulevard would be a maximum of 4 vehicle lanes in each direction and preferably three.
11 scanned / 5 viewable
- Presentation Panel
- Presentation Panel
- Conceptual Sketch