The 800-block of Robson Street has become Vancouver's unofficial community plaza.
In the late 1970s, the original neo-Classical courthouse north of Robson Street became the new Art Gallery. The space south of Robson Street, now known as Robson Square, was designated as the new site of the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal. Designed by Arthur Erickson, the seven-storey courthouse building was intended to be part of the public realm. In Erickson's own words, "This won't be a corporate monument. Let's turn it on its side and let people walk all over it". The late-modernist design of the building is given some relief by the landscaping, designed by Cornelia Oberlander, by incorporating trees and landscaping into the building.
Robson Square underwent renovations in preparation for the 2010 Winter Olympics. It now houses the University of British Columbia's downtown campus and the only public outdoor skating rink in the city under a glass dome. During the winter, the ice rink is used for its intended purpose. Admission is free, and skate rentals are $4.00. In the summer, though, the space is used by dance groups (Ballroom, Salsa, hiphop) and for ball hockey.
The City has shut down the 800-block of Robson Street to vehicles in the summer since the success seen during the 2010 Winter Olympics. The cars are replaced by a temporary public space installation designed through the Robson Redux competition, turning the street into an inviting pedestrian plaza. This year's winner was Porch Parade, designed by Design With Company.
A: 800 Robson Street