Developer apologizes for blinding test of new downtown Safeway's lighting feature

May 22 2020, 10:59 am

It turns out the blinding green glow of a lighting feature of a newly-completed building complex in downtown Vancouver’s West End was a test.

A resident across the street from 1641 Davie Street, the location of the new Safeway that opened this week, took to social media over the brightness of the building’s light wall feature on the exterior of the lower levels.

Photos shared by James Sweatman show the light pouring into his apartment on the 10th floor, well above the light wall level, and even with the blinds down. The bright lights were left on overnight on Wednesday.

1641 Davie Street Vancouver

Light wall of 1641 Davie Street, Vancouver, on May 20, 2020. (James Sweatman)

1641 Davie Street Vancouver

Light wall of 1641 Davie Street, Vancouver, on May 20, 2020. (James Sweatman)

But the developers and owners of the building, Westbank and Crombie REIT, are making it clear this is not the default setting of the digital public art installation, and have issued an apology.

“We’re currently in the testing stage and an error in programming resulted in the light feature being left on overnight on May 20, when the intent is to have the lights at a reasonable ambient level that is complementary to the surroundings and not invasive. The panels are intended to be lit during the day and into the early evening, not overnight,” reads a statement by Westbank to Daily Hive.

“We understand that this was disruptive to the residents in the community, and we apologize to those who were impacted. Precautions have been put in place to ensure this does not happen going forward, and we are committed to being a responsible neighbour.”

The programmable installation will be officially unveiled later this summer, along with the launch of the 330 market rental homes in the development’s towers.

1641 davie street

Artistic rendering of 1641 Davie Street, Vancouver. (Henriquez Partners Architects / Westbank / Crombie REIT)