Mid-century modern buildings & art
Located along Vancouver’s downtown Burrard Street corridor, the Bentall Centre holds a bank pavilion and four towers (housing established businesses and law offices) which were constructed between 1965 – 1981.
Bentall One (1967) and Bentall Two (1969) were designed by Frank Musson and Charles Bentall using New Formalist principals that boast graceful precast white concrete columns soaring 22 and 18-storys respectively, while the 32-story Bentall Three (Frank Musson, 1974) exhibits a more Miesian aesthetic with it’s clean glass curtain wall. Bentall Three is capped with a similar temple-like white top as the first two towers giving the buildings uniformity. Bentall Four was also designed by Musson and finished in 1981 while a 5th tower sporting the Bentall name was erected across the street in 2007 but is not part of this complex .
The business plaza at street level holds an early 1970s glass-enclosed bank pavilion (designed by Musson) at the corner of Dunsmuir and Burrard streets. Try to look past the blue curved awning-like facade that was later added by BMO Financial Group and you’ll see a modernist jewel box of a building which is sublime.
The expansive plaza is also home to a lovely modernist sculpture; “Fountain of the Pioneers,” designed by Seattle sculptor George Tsutakawa in 1969, as well as an underground shopping complex.
Bonus Buildings: One block south of Bentall Centre, at the NW corner of West Georgia and Burrard streets stand three brutalist buildings – the Royal Bank building & tower and the Hyatt Regency Hotel – all part of the Royal Centre complex (which includes more underground shopping). They went up in the early 1970s and were designed by Dirassar, James, Jorgenson & Davis. While some have dismissed these concrete towers as unoriginal, we think they’re pretty sleek in their own way. Enter the street level corridor off West Georgia street beside the Royal Bank building and look up; the towers are pretty awesome.
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