RUFproject on Vancouverism / Azure Magazine

by Elizabeth Pagliacolo


.... or Tangential Vancouverism, an exhibit, essay and talk series directed by Alex Buss and Alexandra Kenyon, the Vancouver firm is one of five – the others are Hapa Collaborative,ph5 architecture inc.Public Architecture and space2place – presenting imaginative concepts that speak to the future of the city as it continues to expand. RUFproject tackled the theme of communication, which, Pearson explains, “we interpreted in an architectural sense from the perspective of the new and the old or perhaps better communicated as the new on the old.”

Called Georgia Grind, RUFproject’s concept is a giant spiralling thoroughfare open to pedestrians. Situated on the ruins of a failed expressway, it would be, according to the firm, “a symbol of achievement and hope for Vancouver, a man-made mountainous pathway for all to exercise or drive upward together while enjoying the majestic view of the north shore and the natural landscape beyond.”

We asked Sean Pearson to elaborate on the seemingly out-of-this-world concept.

Where did your idea originate?

...As Vancouver’s downtown is getting full, you can see the city expanding into Chinatown and East Vancouver, slightly awkward and unsure how to deal with the historic fabric of turn-of-the-century homes and buildings it’s about to expand into. Our project is really a kind of comment, through a fantastical infrastructure, of an alternate way of thinking about how the new can embrace the old, without erasing it or perhaps worse, isolating it as a museum piece....