Block Building

By Ženija Esmits

As with my beloved Hycroft Towers there are many who dislike the Block Building on the corner of 11th and Granville.

Where I see the beauty in the reflective copper panels and expanses of window that pick up the weather’s mood, be it a luminescent sunrise, afternoon gloom or a hazy summer evening – others see brown. That’s it. Just brown.

I never knew much about the building, not even its - let’s face it - semi unimaginative name. However I always admired it. With my not so subtle love of mid century design, this doesn’t come as a huge surprise.

Since doing a little research I’ve found out that the architectural firm behind one of Vancouver’s most dope buildings also designed this amber colored jewel in SG. The most notable of projects by Townley and Matheson was City Hall in 1935. The firm would go on to design a handful of my favorite hospitals (because they’re the ones I’ve been fortunate/unfortunate enough to visit)

In the late 60’s Townley and Matheson underwent a slight name change (and Associates) and I suppose as the name changed so did the style of the day. The Block building was built in the 70’s just before postmodernism began tastelessly popping up. 

So when you're roaming SG now you know to take note of the chameleon residing at 2695 Granville Street.