(Photo by Ragged13 @ Ssp.com)
The renovations to Robson Square are now for the most part complete. The finished product looks good, however in terms of functionality it blows more than Paris Hilton on Saturday night (or any night for that matter). The fact of the matter is its still underground and if that doesn’t create a disconnect for pedestrians on street level the city decided to bring back those massive hedges that obstruct the views to the actual square. Genius. In all honesty the wooden clam shaped dome over the area was a better idea and use of taxpayers money.
For any square to be a true square it needs a place big enough and close enough to all types of buildings. Robson Square has that and for that reason it is the right location, so is the “Georgia” square on north side of the gallery but they lack cohesiveness and are cut-off on all sides by roads. For Robson Square and Georgia Square to reach its full potential the following is needed:
- One cut down those damn hedges, sure they look nice but they are too big and take away from the square.
- Some how make that stretch from Granville to Burrard Street pedestrian only street. I know this would be a very costly approach but for the sake of the square to realize its full potential this may be necessary.
- Better lighting at night that guides one to the bottom ice level plaza
- Cafes, restaurants at ice level
- Perhaps link it to Pacific Centre or the Vancouver Centre station.
- The grass on the Georgia Street side needs to be eliminated and replaced with benches etc…
With that being said, the square in its current state does make you feel like you’ve escaped downtown and brings a sense of relief and tranquility in the heart of a bustling downtown corridor. If that is what they were going for then mission accomplished. The glass domes look cool too, I guess.
Also there is action going on there from time to time (as seen in the photo above) so I can’t say isn’t attracting crowds. However, the whole Robson Square along with the “Georgia Square” still feels disjointed and for that reason alone it is deemed an EPIC FAIL.