980 Howe Street

980 Howe b&a

980 Howe is a new office building developed by Manulife, designed by CEI Architecture with Endall Elliot. It replaces a single storey Royal Bank building and surface parking. The bank was developed in 1968.

Before image, 2012: after image, 2016


MNP Tower – West Hastings Street


The MNP Tower (the accountancy tenant who were first to sign up were given the naming rights by the developer, Oxford Properties) was squeezed into a small site between the iconic Marine Building and the Guinness Tower (both also co-owned by Oxford). Initial designs were by Vancouver-based MCP, but after rejection by the Urban Design Panel a new architect, US based Kohn Pederson Fox were brought on board and they generated the gently curving dark blue-grey tower that has just been completed.

MNP 4The base of the building incorporates the façade of the University Club, abandoned for many years (except for movie shoots), which was designed by Thompson, Berwick & Pratt in 1929 when it was known as the Quadra Club.


Before images: 2011; after images 2015


Artemisia – Hornby Street

Artemisia before & after

A less than inspiring two storey office (and basement) building, dating back to 1954 has been replaced by a building that is, to say the least, different. We’re really not sure what it does look like – a new wing of the art gallery perhaps? – but it really doesn’t look like a typical 21-unit strata housing project. Boffo Developments built it “in consultation with James Schouw & Associates” – the initial proponent of the building five years ago, before a financial downturn saw a sale of the site, and then a relaunch with the new owners taking the lead. GBL Architects were the architects of record.

Before image, 2010; after image 2014

720 Robson Street

720 Robson

This new office and retail building designed by Musson Cattell Mackey replaces Maclure & Lort’s Farmer Building, completed in 1922 for Texan V D Farmer. The new building will have Old Navy as the mani retail tenant and three floors of office above. Unlike 1922, when this was the first major investment in the city for some time, the new building is relatively minor compared to the new office towers rising elsewhere, and the massive makeover of the former Sears premises in Pacific Centre across the street.

Before image: 2011; after image 2013.

900 Block – Granville Street

900 block Granville

A few years ago Granville Street had some noteable gaps. Today it’s almost complete – here’s the 900 block with nearly 10 years between the pictures. The street itself has had a makeover – there are new street trees, new lights with vertical poles and new sidewalks, somewhat spoiled by the retained parking bays in the (supposed) pedestrian area.

There are three new buildings on sites that were vacant from before 2000. Two were completed in 2006 and the third, larger 3-storey building in 2012. All three were developed by Bonnis Properties and designed by Studio One Architecture.

Before image 2004; after image 2013

The Residences at Hotel Georgia

Hotel Georgia 2

The venerable Hotel Georgia has had been almost totally rebuilt, and has now reopened and gaining rave reviews for its new restaurant. The parking garage has gone, replaced with a tall, blue condo 48 storey tower over an office base designed by IBI/HB. Given how tiny the site was, this is undoubtedly the highest density building so far built in the city.

Before images 2009; after images 2013

Hotel Georgia 1

994 Granville Street

994 Granville

As the company’s website notes “In the fall of 1947 Stephen Kripps, newly married, just graduated from the University of Saskatchewan Pharmacy program, and recently arrived in Vancouver, purchased the Owl Drug Store pharmacy at 994 Granville Street – a location that 60 years later has become a defacto ‘heritage site’. At the time, there were many neighborhood drugstores, for example at Davie and Granville and Smythe and Granville, but only Kripps Pharmacy survived the transition to the 21st century”.

Only just though – Kripps moved to West Broadway in 2007 and the building was redeveloped, but with another modest retail project designed by W T Leung that keeps the southern end of the Granville strip supplied with double-doubles and self-grilled food.

Before image 2004; after image 2013