Rare Honour: Historic office tower becomes namesake of legendary architect, Arthur Erickson

Thursday, 23. September 2021 17:00

Free public celebration includes multi-day digital light show on building’s exterior

Highlights

  • Once featured in Time magazine, the historic MacMillan Bloedel office tower is being renamed Arthur Erickson Place after its designer, Canada’s most distinguished architect

  • Erickson family & building owners say the rare honour is due

  • Free 7-day public celebration will be a large-scale visual experience showcasing Erickson’s notable work augmented with digital lights & projected on the building’s exterior

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In what is considered a rare honour for an architect, this week Vancouver’s historic MacMillan Bloedel building – one of Canada’s most recognized and awarded office towers – will officially be rebranded to Arthur Erickson Place. Legendary architect Arthur Erickson with Geoffrey Massey created the unique Modernist design of 1075 West Georgia for forestry giant MacMillan Bloedel during a corporate building boom in the 1960s.

“It is rare for an architect to be honoured in this way, and I know that Arthur would be very proud to have the building carry his name, as it encapsulates all he strove to achieve architecturally,” said Erickson’s nephew, Christopher Erickson. “The building’s classic beauty and clarity of structure expresses the ruggedness of our land and majesty of our forests with a powerful cadence that tapers into infinity as it rises from its roots.”

The 27-storey building – the tallest in Vancouver when it was completed in 1968 – became a multi-award-winning national heritage landmark due to its construction technique of cast-in-place concrete, striking aesthetics of tapered walls and deeply recessed windows, and association with Erickson and MacBlo, which at the time was Canada’s largest forestry company. The structure, made of reinforced bare concrete, rises above a spacious public plaza with reflecting pools that span the building’s length.

“Arthur was very proud of this building – it was one of his favourites,” said Geoffrey Erickson about his uncle, who was known as the Master of Concrete. “This building is bold and daring and broke new ground in engineering, office planning and the use of concrete.”

Erickson and his bold design were featured in Time magazine in the 1960s and the building won the esteemed 1970 Massey Medal for Architecture, among many other awards.

Now 53-years-old, the distinguished concrete building has continued to be called MacBlo even though the company ceased to exist 22 years ago. Two years ago, KingSett Capital, Crestpoint Real Estate Investments, and Reliance Properties jointly bought the building with a plan to reestablish it as the premier corporate office location in downtown Vancouver.

“It is time to give this powerful, monolithic office building its due place on Vancouver’s skyline by branding it after Arthur Erickson in honour of his excellence,” said Jon Stovell, president & CEO of Reliance Properties. “With its heritage distinction, central downtown location, and strong visual identity, Arthur Erickson Place will continue to be the address with cachet.”

The World’s Architect

Erickson was born in Vancouver and became a globally celebrated modernist architect and master planner. His designs can be found across the Middle East, and he had a special relationship with Japan, including designing the multi-award-winning Canadian Government Pavilion at Expo ’70 in Osaka. In fact, according to Canada’s Historic Places Registry, the design of 1075 West Georgia was inspired by the “Japanese love for surfaces that express the nature of material. The building is a prime example of the unique blending of Modernist and far-eastern aesthetics.”

Erickson designed only nine office buildings in his vast global portfolio of 700 designs. Two of those office buildings are in downtown Vancouver – Evergreen Building and Arthur Erickson Place, both of which are listed on Canada’s heritage registry.

“Arthur Erickson Place is an iconic presence in the heart of Vancouver, expressed with timeless repose and finesse,” said Christopher Erickson. “Arthur always said that the mind was at the service of the heart. This is evidenced in the sublime artistry of Arthur Erickson Place.”

Erickson died in 2009 at age 84.

Free Public Celebration

To publicly celebrate the launch of Arthur Erickson Place, the ownership group is hosting a free 7-day visual experience, Erickson Revealed, produced by Go2 Productions. The 3D light show will animate the building’s main exterior into a spectacular canvas of Erickson’s notable designs augmented with dynamic digital lights.

  • What: Erickson Revealed
  • When: Nightly from September 23 to 29. It is a 10-minute show that will loop from 8:30pm to 10:00pm.
  • Best Viewing: across the street from Arthur Erickson Place on West Georgia (at Thurlow)
 Instagram: @ArthurEricksonPlace
Twitter: @Erickson_Place
Hashtags: #ArthurEricksonPlace

**Media Inquiries: Renu Bakshi 604 787 1873 or renu@renubakshi.com

Media Fast Facts

Awards and Designations

  • 1969 – BOMA’s Building of the Year
  • 1970 – Massey Medal for Architecture
  • 1971 – Design Canada’s Concrete Award Certificate of Merit
  • 1993 – City of Vancouver’s heritage registry – Class A, the highest heritage classification
  • 2008 – Canadian Register of Historic Places

Specs

  • Built 1968 – 1969
  • 27 storeys
  • 362,849 square feet
  • Vancouver’s Central Business District
  • Outdoor public plaza with seating and reflection pool
  • LEED Platinum and Wired Score Platinum Certified

Notable Erickson designs:

 
  • Vancouver Law Courts
  • Simon Fraser University
  • UBC’s Museum of Anthropology
  • Vancouver Art Gallery
  • Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington
  • Canadian Chancery in Washington, DC
  • Canadian Pavilion at Expo ‘70 in Osaka, Japan (winner of multiple awards of excellence, including Top Pavilion at Expo ’70)

Ownership Profiles

KingSett Capital is Canada's leading private equity real estate investment firm.  Founded in 2002, KingSett has raised $12.5 billion of equity for its Growth, Income, Urban, Mortgage and Affordable Housing strategies, executing over $50 billion in transactions life to date. Currently, KingSett has $16.2 billion of assets under management in a $19 billion portfolio. KingSett continues to seek further opportunities to invest in a wide range of real estate properties, developments, joint ventures and mortgage lending. www.kingsettcapital.com

Crestpoint Real Estate Investments Ltd. is a commercial real estate investment manager, with approximately $6.3 billion of gross assets under management, dedicated to providing investors with direct access to commercial real estate assets. Crestpoint is part of the Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group, a multi-boutique asset management company that provides investment management products and services to institutional and high net-worth clients. With offices across Canada and in Chicago, New York and London, Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group and its affiliates are collectively responsible for the management of over $100 billion in assets. www.crestpoint.ca

Reliance Properties, a family-owned company founded in 1955, is one of BC’s longest-serving real estate owners, developers, and property managers of residential, office, live-work, and retail properties. The company holds the largest private portfolio of heritage buildings in Western Canada, winning multiple regional and national awards for design, innovation, and architectural heritage renewal. Reliance’s extensive work also includes award-winning heritage restoration and modern additions to commercial space. www.relianceproperties.ca

Photos accompanying this announcement are available at: 

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/74ea03ac-263c-439b-9d38-280c78e58aa5

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/cc9c44ad-5e6c-48c9-a926-55b1f4d554bc

https://www.globenewswire.com/NewsRoom/AttachmentNg/21f8ad91-dbbe-4c03-a341-7377552714bc


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Arthur Erickson Place

The historic MacMillan Bloedel office tower in Downtown Vancouver has been renamed Arthur Erickson Place.
AEP

Multi-award-winning Arthur Erickson Place, made of reinforced bare concrete, rises above a spacious public plaza with reflecting pools that span the building’s length.
Premier Vancouver Office Building

At 27-storeys, Arthur Erickson Place was the tallest building in Vancouver when it completed in 1968. It became a multi-award-winning national heritage landmark for its construction and design.
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