John Atkin: Good Intent & Design Fail in Chinatown

John Atkin: Good Intent & Design Fail in Chinatown

John Atkin, on January 7, 2016

Inserting new structures into older urban environments can be tricky. The rhythm of the street and its storefronts, sidewalk width, building height etc. all play a role in the success of any new building. But then, despite the best of intentions from the planners it fails at a certain level.

The Keefer Block at the corner of Main and Keefer is a good case in point. Here the building has been designed to acknowledge its location with a lighter coloured brick element to turn the corner, topped with a large lantern and a corner entrance for the retail. Nice.

And then the retail client ignores it. Here Starbucks blocks the corner entrance with tables and chairs – a small sign says ‘use other entrance’ – and a further storefront is taken over for storage and back of house uses.

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An Ox-picious Vancouver Chinatown Lunar New Year Celebration Until the Cows Come Home

We are organizing a free online Chinatown New Year festival, Feb 13, 2021 11:30 AM

Join us for performances, including lion dance and kung fu, and a dumpling eating contest... plus additional hijinx!