Spinning Chandelier under Granville Bridge makes its first rapid whirls (VIDEO)

Nov 27 2019, 9:07 pm

Earlier this evening, close to a thousand people gathered under the newly-built public space under the north end of the Granville Street Bridge to watch a giant chandelier drop and spin.

The Spinning Chandelier, a major public art piece contribution from Westbank’s Vancouver House redevelopment, was illuminated and set in motion for the first time.

The entire movement cycle lasts for about three minutes, with one minute for the chandelier’s slow descent, close to two minutes of spinning that reaches fast speeds, and another minute for the slow ascent to return to its starting position. This movement cycle will happen twice daily at fixed times.

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Spinning Chandelier unveiling at Vancouver House on November 27, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Local artist Rodney Graham is behind the sculpture’s design, which is inspired by his 2005 35-mm-film installation Torqued Chandelier Release, depicting an 18th-century crystal chandelier after it is “wound up on a rope and released.”

Suspended from the underside of the bridge, and positioned high above Beach Avenue, the chandelier weighs 7,500 lb, and measures 26 ft in height and 14 ft in width. LED lamps illuminate the sculpture’s 600 polyurethane faux crystals during nighttime hours.

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The Spinning Chandelier sculpture installed on the underside of the Granville Bridge next to Vancouver House. November 20, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

Vancouver city council approved the public art installation in 2015. With the city’s approval, Westbank then contracted Washington State-based Walla Walla Foundry to design and manufacturer the sculpture, which was a three-year-long process in total. The developer is covering the full cost of designing, manufacturing, installing, and maintaining the sculpture.

Extensive public realm treatment under the bridge and between Vancouver House’s three buildings activates the area, turning the space into a pedestrian-oriented and event-friendly space.

vancouver house spinning chandelier

The Spinning Chandelier sculpture installed on the underside of the Granville Bridge next to Vancouver House. November 20, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)

This space will be further activated by 85,000 sq. ft. of ground-level retail and restaurant space, including London Drugs, Fresh St. Market grocery store, and Momofuku Noodle BarFive permanent container shipping retail units will also be placed at the entrances into this new public space.

Within the two triangular podium buildings, 90,000 sq. ft. of office space will be furnished into academic space for University Canada West. Approximately 3,400 students are expected to study at this new campus, effectively creating regular foot traffic for the area.

The residential portion of the project contains 375 market condominiums and 105 market rental homes.

To achieve a larger floor area within its tight footprint next to the bridge, Vancouver House’s landmark 493-ft-tall, 49-storey tower begins as a 6,000-sq-ft triangular base and transitions into a 14,000-sq-ft rectangular building as it rises. It is one of the two gateway towers into downtown, conceptualized by the municipal government for the north end of the bridge.

Danish architectural firm Bjarke Ingels Group is behind the design of the $750-million redevelopment.

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Construction nearing completion on Vancouver House. November 20, 2019. (Kenneth Chan / Daily Hive)