Burrard Gateway (One Burrard Place) rendering vs reality. A look at the Skyline Study.

As an update to our earlier posts on this topic, we’ve revisited the One Burrard Place tower that is currently still under construction, owned by Jimmy Pattison and Reliance Properties. This is a topic that still merits more attention, and possibly some attention/action by the professional association. In our June 2020 post, we asked some questions, and restate them here to set the scene.

How should the real world appearance of a building once built compare with the architectural renderings used during the rezoning and development approval processes? What is the chain of command that leads to a different building being constructed than what was approved? What checks and balances are in place to ensure professional standards are maintained? And what are the consequences for disparities between renderings and reality?
(From “Burrard Gateway (One Burrard Place) rendering vs reality,” CityHallWatch, June 15, 2020)

One of the photos that was used in a Skyline Study during the rezoning stage of the Burrard Gateway project was taken from the Grandview Viaduct. We’ve revisited this location recently to see how the built tower compares with the rendering used by the applicant (note that in the above image the foreground trees have grown and that only the taller tower of two proposed is under construction).

In the approval process, City of Vancouver planner Anita Molaro passed the images through to Council and to the Public.

As a comparison for height see one photo from the Skyline Study with the predicted height (below, left) and then compare with our photo (below, right), taken from the opposite side of the street. Ours is the same distance to the tower, but from a slightly different location, unobstructed by trees.

In one of our previous posts, we noted the issues with renderings by IBI (tower under construction), and we introduced the problem of the tree obstructing one view chosen the the architect. Below we copy an image from that post, for reference.

Below (left) is a photo of the tower under construction on December 4, 2020.  Below (centre) shows the rendering from the architect’s drawings. Below (right) is our matching photo from a previous post: showing how far off the applicant architect’s renderings are from the reality of the tower, still under construction.

Now, back to today’s topic. As noted at the top of this post, the location chosen the the applicant architect for the Skyline Study from the Grandview Viaduct was partly obstructed by trees, which even a non-expert would know would make later comparisons difficult from the same spot.

Below again is a larger version of our photo taken from the opposite side of the street, showing a clear line of sight to the Burrard One tower. We ask readers to consider, why didn’t the architect use this location for the skyline study? Why did the City’s planning department accept it despite the obvious obstruction of the tree?

Below is the detailed view (current) from a fresh photo we have taken from the original location from the north side of Grandview Viaduct:

Compare with this detailed view (current) from the south side of the Grandview Viaduct:

In conclusion, it takes time and effort for the public to seek accountability of professionals and institutions. Who is looking out for the public when it comes to ensuring the integrity of renderings, images and information presented to our elected officials and the public?  Our elected officials are not experts in all of these matters. They rely on the City staff, the gatekeepers of the information, as applications come from architects and developers and run the the rezoning and development approval process. There are checks and balances in place. But in this case, it seems they are not working.


Further details, analysis and questions can be found in our earlier post from June 10, 2020:

Burrard Gateway (One Burrard Place) rendering vs reality. Tower (under construction) already taller & wider than in architectural renderings, with 10 more storeys still to go


Fantasy renderings vs real world views for rezonings & developments: A case study using the Semlin & 12th Ave rezoning (June 8, 2020)

Lack of rules for architectural renderings results in the Wild Wild West for developers (CityHallWatch, June 2, 2020, with links to previous posts on this topic)

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