New wood deck plaza with LED canopy lights to be built at Bentall Centre

Sep 1 2020, 7:55 pm

Major changes are planned for Bentall Centre’s existing sunken plaza on the Dunsmuir Street side of the office complex in downtown Vancouver.

Hudson Pacific Properties (HPP) has submitted a development application to provide the “bear pit” public space with a complete overhaul, effectively activating the under-utilized area.

This includes a large canopy overhang with 55 LED string lights over the existing concrete plaza, which is an entrance to the underground retail.

The programmable public art light installation is designed by local art and design studio Tangible Interaction.

bentall centre 1055 Dunsmuir Street

Existing condition of the bear pit plaza at Bentall Centre at 1055 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver. (Google Maps)

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Artistic rendering of the new canopy lights at the Bentall Centre plaza at 1055 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver. (Tangible Interaction)

bentall centre 1055 Dunsmuir Street

Artistic rendering of the new wooden platform over the water feature at the Bentall Centre plaza at 1055 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver. (Hapa Collaborative)

bentall centre 1055 Dunsmuir Street

Artistic rendering of the new canopy lights at the Bentall Centre plaza at 1055 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver. (Tangible Interaction)

On the western side of the plaza, the existing cascading water pool feature will be entirely covered by a temporary wooden platform to expand the hard, useable surface area of the plaza.

Designed by landscape architectural firm Hapa Collaborative, it will have seating, movable planters, new trees, and five uniquely designed umbrella structures, shaped like flowers. These umbrellas, also designed by Tangible Interaction, have special lighting.

bentall centre 1055 Dunsmuir Street

Artistic rendering of the new wooden platform over the water feature at the Bentall Centre plaza at 1055 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver. (Hapa Collaborative)

bentall centre 1055 Dunsmuir Street

Artistic rendering of the new wooden platform over the water feature at the Bentall Centre plaza at 1055 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver. (Hapa Collaborative)

bentall centre 1055 Dunsmuir Street

Artistic rendering of the new wooden platform over the water feature at the Bentall Centre plaza at 1055 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver. (Hapa Collaborative)

bentall centre 1055 Dunsmuir Street

Artistic rendering of the new wooden platform over the water feature at the Bentall Centre plaza at 1055 Dunsmuir Street, Vancouver. (Hapa Collaborative)

These plaza improvements are the first of HPP’s significant planned investments for Bentall Centre, including site-wide public realm improvements, an enhancement of the property’s retail and dining, upgrades to the existing office towers, and the addition of 450,000 sq. ft. of new office space.

Currently, Bentall Centre has 140,000 sq. ft. of ground level and underground retail and dining space, and 1.45 million sq. ft. of Class A office space spread over four towers, which were built between 1969 and 1981.

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Bentall Centre office complex in downtown Vancouver, with the bear pit sunken plaza shown on the bottom left. (Hudson Pacific Properties)

The multi-phase renewal project will modernize Bentall Centre so that it can better compete for tenants against the wave of new office projects that will reach completion over the next five years. Despite the current economic downturn, downtown Vancouver’s office vacancy remains low.

In 2019, HPP, a Los Angeles-based commercial real estate investment firm, partnered with New York City-based Blackstone Property Partners to purchase Bentall Centre from Beijing-based Anbang Insurance Group Co. Ltd.

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