Giant $1.2 million chandelier proposed for Granville Street bridge

It’s definitely not the first place you’d think of putting an elegant, 18th-century-style chandelier.

The underside of the Granville Street Bridge at Beach Avenue may soon be home to a rather unique lighting fixture: a $1.2-million, spinning chandelier measuring more than five metres tall.

The unusual piece of public art has been proposed by the developer of nearby Vancouver House, the 52-storey futuristic high-rise going up near the Howe Street on-ramp to the bridge.  The chandelier would be made out of a special hard-plastic polymer, designed to mimic the look of crystal, with glowing LED lights inside, according to an article in the Vancouver Sun.

But there’s more.  The creation would also function as something of a timepiece.  Over the course of a day, the chandelier would slowly turn and rise. Then, at a set time, would come the big climax, as it plunges back down to its starting point.

It’s hoped that the chandelier would become a tourist magnet, with big crowds gathering for the daily descent (similar, in some respects, to the throngs that assemble around the steam clock in Gastown).  But the project still has a long way to go before being realized. Thus far, it has only passed the preliminary test of being approved by the city’s public art committee.

The chandelier is just one of a number of changes proposed for the downtown end of the Granville Street Bridge.  An ambitious plan by the Vancouver House developers calls for the entire forgotten urban area under the bridge and its ramps to be reclaimed as a space for public art and gatherings.

Giant lightboxes would be installed on the underside of the bridge, for displaying large format photographs in brilliant colour.  Meanwhile, the area below would serve as a giant covered plaza for hosting concerts, beer gardens and public events.  The Vancouver House building itself would be flanked by new low-rises that bracket the bridge, creating an intimate community feel in the area.

An artist's rendering of the new project.


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