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Architecture & Design, Urbanized, News, Arts

A 120-ft-tall 'ladder to nowhere' is Vancouver's newest public art piece

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Kenneth Chan Oct 27, 2018 10:00 pm 3,418

A new public art piece on the median of Kingsway, just east of Gladstone Street, in East Vancouver is causing passersby to turn their heads.

Earlier this month, Vancouver-based developer Westbank installed ‘108 Steps’ – a super-tall ladder designed by local artist Khan Lee. The developer funded the piece as part of its public art contribution for its Kensington Gardens mixed-use redevelopment, which is now nearing completion.

108 Steps Ladder Vancouver Kensington Gardens

‘108 Steps’ ladder public art piece on Kingsway in Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

According to the developer, Lee’s 120-ft-tall design was chosen by a jury in 2014, with the 108 rungs referencing a direct correlation to Dharmic faiths where 108 is regarded as a “spiritual number.”

Construction crews are still working on finishing the ladder’s base, which will feature a plaque with wording that references how the ladder’s height and gravity is meant to be in direct relation to the new building.

108 Steps Ladder Vancouver Kensington Gardens

‘108 Steps’ ladder public art piece on Kingsway in Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Kensington Gardens features 428 homes within three 17-storey towers, which are connected as a single complex by a multi-storey podium that contains a 33,000-sq-ft T&T Supermarket, restaurants, smaller retail businesses, and townhouses.

The T&T Supermarket is slated to open later this fall.

108 Steps Ladder Vancouver Kensington Gardens

‘108 Steps’ ladder public art piece on Kingsway in Vancouver. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

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Kenneth Chan
National Features Editor at Daily Hive, the evolution of Vancity Buzz. He covers local architecture, urban issues, politics, business, retail, economic development, transportation and infrastructure, and the travel industry. Kenneth is also a Co-Founder of New Year's Eve Vancouver. Connect with him at kenneth[at]dailyhive.com
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