The Marine Building and "The Vancouver Style"
One of the finest art deco buildings anywhere is The Marine Building, located near the foot of Burrard Street between Hastings and Cordova. Built in 1930, and designed by the local firm McCarter & Nairne, the building must be seen during a regular work day, so that the visitor can see the incredible lobby. Designed like a cathedral, the floor, walls, ceiling and elevator doors are all adorned with images representing the west coast marine theme. Stained glass, mosaics, carved stone and embossed brass are all employed to create an amazing effect.
In a more global, modern sense, the planning of Vancouver's downtown core, in particular it's new residential areas, has been hailed as a wonder of modern urban design. Vancouver's planners and developers have succeeded in creating a highly livable, active, and safe downtown core, which is attracting so many people that planners are now concerned that there will not be enough space left in the core for future commercial office tower development. The primary element of this development is the creation of urban neighbourhoods in "the Vancouver Style", a phrase coined by urban planners in Germany. This style emphasizes narrow, tall "point towers", sitting on a podium of low rise townhouses designed to create a pedestrian-friendly streetscape. These towers are clustered around neighbourhood parks, greenspaces, and abut amenities such as community centres and seawalls. The two most prominent areas to view these new neighbourhoods are the Coal Harbour area, west of Canada Place, and the entire north shore of False Creek, from the Plaza of Nations all the way to the Granville Street Bridge.