This public art will be applied to all four sides of the 16-story tower as part of its extensive renovations, and in doing so, it will transform the building – given its location on the English Bay waterfront – into a point striking landmark.
Coupland’s wall design is described as a “distinctive combination of colorful geometric patterns that are both old-fashioned and futuristic”, creating a “jewelry box”.
The colors and shapes are inspired by his travels, especially the tiling of buildings in Spanish coastal towns.
“Vancouver is a young city and there are many future opportunities to define what it will become,” Coupland said in a statement.
“The overall effect of this public artwork will be like an anchor of where the city meets the ocean, and it will make a person feel like they are at the heart of something. The building will redefine the English Bay skyline and become a must-see tourist stop for photos. I want people to dream of living in Berkeley.
The mural also serves to complement the iconic statues of laughing men (“A-maze-ing Laughter”) across the street, providing them with a colorful backdrop.
Coupland’s design has already been approved by the municipal government. Painting is expected to begin in June, pending issuance of a permit and public notification.
Jon Stovell, president and CEO of Reliance Properties, said the mural was not a requirement of the municipal government, but that they wanted to improve the visual prominence of the building.
The developer acquired the 58-unit rental building built in 1958 at 1770 Davie Street in 2016 for $ 43 million. Renovations to the tower began in 2019, aimed at significantly improving the building envelope, life safety equipment and energy systems.
Previous tenants have received assistance to vacate the building and they have the first right of refusal to revert to market rents, according to provincial government rules. Pre-rental of The Berkeley will begin in January 2021.
There are three other tower-sized murals in the city, including the 416-foot-tall “Finger Paint” on a slip to one side of the Charleson at 499 Pacific Street, the 15-story “The Evening On the south side of The Duke at 333 East 11th Avenue and Shepard Fairey’s 20 story “Earth Justice” on the west side of the 1030 West Georgia Street office tower.