Long term boom style.

I’ve been thinking recently about how boom-times affect the ‘personality’ of a city. It seems to me that Vancouver is a very ‘eighties’ style city, likely due in part to the Expo 86 construction boom. All over this city you see eighties style glass roofs held up with powder coat trusses, lots of white and turquoise, and stylistic renovations that combine the architectural styles of multiple eras.

A couple of specific examples of this amalgam can be found at city square mall (12 & cambie) or Sinclair Center at Waterfront center. Both of these examples combine old stone architecture from the early twentieth century with the ‘modern’ style of the eighties.

I wonder about the long term mark that a boom puts on a city. I’m sure we all have our favorite type of architecture and can’t agree on whats ‘good’ or ‘bad’ aesthetically, but what about construction standards? There are a large number of condominiums built in the eighties that had water ingress issues leading to the ‘leaky condo crisis’ of the nineties. Have we got that problem solved? Are the huge number of condo towers currently under construction being built to a solid reliable standard, or are we cutting corners and setting ourselves up for another construction quality crisis?

And when it comes to aesthetics, which new buildings will we look back on in twenty years and be proud of, and which ones will be the equivalent of blue eyeshadow, parachute pants and super high wall-o-bangs?

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Instead of concentrating on each others shortcomings or annoyances, how about focusing on the issue.I bet there are a lot of those in the real estate industry that would love to see this kind of blogs burn and die. Or try to get it side tracked. Stealth methods..


Yer all on notice: If there's hecks to be given they ain't coming from satv.Keep the free verse coming baby. It's like 'Howl' yet with an incomprehensible insouciance that Ginsberg himself never mustered.


La La La lalalaLa La La lalalaOKEYYou talkin hit about me.I don't give a heckyou throughing counter top on me.I don't give a heckits bubble or baloon man.i don't give a heckyou kick soaka tub on m.f. pessi.you through the leaky condo on the cityyou guys are totaly rediculousi don't give a hecki got west side wit mei don't give a hecki got east side wit me i don't give a heck


"Mr. Chipman's day is coming.”AHHH HAAAAA HAAAAA HAH! Dude! Mr. Chipman’s day has definitely come! And he is the one laughing (while he rolls around in all the dough he’s made during this boom)!

expo 86

This is for Willard because I do not want to post on Mr. Chipman's site. But I understand your expose of his chicanery and I appreciate you bringing it to everyone's attention. Mr. Chipman's day is coming.


Funny, I was just chatting with my partner about this very subject the other day…I would first like to apologize to anyone who owns one of them pink stucco, or vinyl sided boxes, with the ugly square windows, with no frames… Especially if the city decided to park one of those dolphins or bears in front of it 😉


Don't mistake Satv for Saty.Saty is very funny.


satv is entertainment. comic relief although often not funny… more shake your head sort of material…some have speculated he/she runs their comments through a translation site like babblefish to create that special brand of nonsense.


satv is 1 of the following;ESL (but some of his posts referenced going to school here).Dyslexic (in which case, good on him that he's doing his best)Too lazy or uneducated to write properly.Whatever the case I've given up reading his posts, because it's nearly impossible to understand what he's actually saying and when I actually can discern his position on a topic it seems to be all simply rhetoric without any detail or factual information.


Excuse my ignorance, as I haven't been here for long, but are all satv's posts supposed to be riddles of some sort?


millionpitfall, your link merits more attention than "http://tinyurl.com/yqugah"Indeed, it's become a lead topic at albertabubble.blogspot.com. Admittedly OT here, but it's worth at least quoting the headline:"Your realtor's little secret'Sold over asking'? SARAH ELTON discovers that in Toronto's feverish real-estate market, the numbers don't always add up


So, your told by a realtor that a house sold over asking, sure….think again.http://tinyurl.com/yqugah


With all the new "Be a tradesman in 6 months" being pumped out into the job market I am predicting a much larger problem than the leaky condos in the next few years. It will make the leaky condo problem look minor. You just can't put out quality tradesman in a year or less without some serious flaws showing up. The housing booms in the past had their nightmares too but this will be on a much larger scale.


MillionPitfallROOF on our head is very important, regardless we renting or owning the place.There is nothing to fix leak, this issue of leaky condo was posted 2 or 3 times by freako ended up no where.because what we need is Idea to stop any kind of leak as there is always rain and snow in the city there is no one to give life time warranties what our efforts have manage is only by law restriction to use material that can cause leak and 2/5/10 by developers but water can get through anywhere so no body is giving life time waranties thats mean if we want to live in this city roof is very importent anything else is unique for vancouver you could be victim or i can,but we hardly can fight with nature.if you have any Idea give that… Read more »


aetakeo said…"I was just talking with my mom the other day, and we thought that probably – in 20 years, say – granite countertops (and stainless steel appliances?) will become the new "harvest gold and avacado" & shag carpeting."And…30 years ago everyone was covering up their hardwood floors with carpeting because hardwood was so out. Speaking of hardwood, all new homes have wide plank hardwood flooring, not the narrow strips anymore. Wonder what happens when the wide plank goes out?aetakeo, you may have to change that 20 years to 10.


New construction nightmares. People seem to be caught up in the kitchen cupboards, etc instead of the structure and finishing details of a place.Perhaps gouges out of the crown molding, chipped tiles installed, sloppy painting, shower tiles installed on an angle instead of flush with the corner of a wall, etc., etc. speaks nothing about the type of construction that lies beneath the walls?It's scary the rush, rush, rush, building practices out there. Oh, yeah, I forgot the 2, 5 and 10 warranty, such comfort in that. As I was told by a high profile rep in the construction industry, by the time the place starts to leak or fall apart from shoddy constuction, the warranties are long expired. A friend rents a 3 year old townhouse plagued with problems. Sewer backup due to construction debris in the pipes, leaky… Read more »


BUY YOUR TICKETS/WATCH THE SHOWwell all not that bad there are lots of projects,lots of new things bringing new era,like concrete construction with 2/5/10 its like money matter more money more show with millions you can steal the show.Floorschoice's are laminate floor,bamboo laminate floor,hardwood floor,polished concrete floor.Bath roomsSoaker bath tub etc.and proclain tiles.Kitchenstainless steel appliances Exterior expensive glass to maximize and clear views.and awesome envelope'sthat's all money matter A condo unit sold for 7.5 million last year in coal harbour.some condo are being sold for $2k per sqft.best above all affordable was smart living its kind of cheap price and lots to save through life time as this building design to cut maintenance and save lots of utility and save lots and lotsall units are facing court yardall resident walk through terace on the back of units to enter in… Read more »


" …or are we cutting corners and setting ourselves up for another construction quality crisis?"Thanks for pointing that out.A very good point. Seeing how the politics have degenerated, corruption and how neo liberals (me first, screw the rest) have made forward strides, I would be very nervous about buying anything built in this boom.History repeats itself. I believe it. Beware to the highest degree.


AHA what a flu season this room is djmk said… i think in 20 years, we all will be sick of those fiberglass "orcas" and "spirit bears" Deb said… oh I am already sick of the bears and orcas. I was sick of them when they came out. duck said… we'll all tire of those soon enough, once we've all overdosed on paper, cloth, plastic, wood, "real rock" and other versions of these. Drachen said… That can't be good for quality control… Will said… What will come next? Well, I like the touches they are addingmk-kids said… that should be 60% Deb said… oh I am already sickdjmk said… we all will be sick Satv said…"where ever there is will there is way" if you are sick there is doctor.

happy renter

UBC: All 2 BDRM condos in the $450,00 – $600,000 range.They are building the 7th 100-units condos following the exact same blueprints. All next to each other.Pieces of the roof are already falling from a six-month old condo.They are building the first condos with basement units (3 feet below ground level).Another set of six condos has been built by no-skill workers: nothing is properly aligned or finished.A friend of mine bought a first floor unit. It was smelling strange. The contractor forgot to plug the toilets into the sewage system. It was linking underneath the flooring. They had to redo the whole thing. They might be proud to own, but I leave it to them.


I don't know about architecture, but I have been bemused at the value that granite countertops seem to add to a home.I was just talking with my mom the other day, and we thought that probably – in 20 years, say – granite countertops (and stainless steel appliances?) will become the new "harvest gold and avacado" & shag carpeting.


that should be 60%


OT – an interesting quote from an article on houseflipping on Canada.com"A cross-Canada 2006 survey for HGTV Canada found British Columbians are the most likely to know someone who has flipped a house (49 per cent). Only 13 per cent of respondents in Quebec would say the same. And 72 per cent of respondents in B.C. agreed that house flipping can be a very profitable business."Wow.This supports an anecdote I read today, maybe at Chipmans or Mohican's blog about a guy who estimates 60& of his social contacts own "investment" properties…


Maybe we should learn to accept the fact that buildings in the wet coast just don't have as long life as dryer places. Either accept the earthquake risk of brick construction, or live with the cost of patching a leaking condo every other decade. As for styles, most residential buildings will be bland, as they should be. Average condos are meant to keep people off the streets, not satisfy some artist's taste. The Expo provided push for the first skytrain line, while the Olympic gave a boost for the Canada Line. Too bad it takes a bubble of this magnitude to get some infrastructure improvement approved. But if that's what it takes, then let the bubble come. p.s. With improvement in glass, I think we would see a lot more floor to ceiling glass windows. We don't get much sun… Read more »


The Orcas and Spirit Bears are not unique to our city. Many cities in North America use some symbol in an art project to raise money for various organizations. Toronto did Moose (lame). Chicago did Cows (huh?). Personally, I like the projects we've done. Also, much of the public art is auctioned/sold off to private individuals or corporations and then a new piece is brought in (eg "Phoenix Rising" in Coal Harbour – the red steel beam thing – has already been sold).Each decade brings new construction techniques and style. The 90-00's boom brought glass, granite, and stainless steel. The best examples will be what they put on Cordova (1200-1100 block), IMO.What will come next? Well, I like the touches they are adding to Shangri-La with colour reflective glass squares.