Art to animate public courtyards of South Vancouver tri-building condo project

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      A couple of new social gathering spaces will come along with a condo development in South Vancouver.

      These spaces are going to be enlivened by public art that will enhance the experience of residents and visitors alike.

      “Public art has the power to punctuate everyday environments, energizing public space and inspiring community participation in the creation of our urban landscape,” notes a public art plan for the project known as Ōku.

      Ōku is Japanese for "oak". The development was named after its location, which is 8030–8130 Oak Street and 988 West 64th Avenue in the Marpole neighbourhood.

      The condo project consists of three six-storey buildings with 130 units.

      Separating the buildings are 24-foot public courtyards, which are the subject of the public art plan prepared by Ballard Fine Art Ltd.

      “Following thoughtful site analysis and discussion with the Ōku design team, the two open public courtyard spaces fronting Oak Street have been identified as the key site location for the public art opportunity,” the plan stated.

      The cost of delivering the public art for the condo project by Ulmus Development is $199.974.06.

      “The public art will provide a significant contribution to the experience and enjoyment of the public realm by creating a welcoming and engaging context for the open courtyard’s public uses,” the plan explained. “The artwork will be enjoyed by travelers along the busy throughway of Oak as well as pedestrians traversing through the courtyard to the laneway.”

      An artist or a team is expected to be selected in the fall.

      According to the plan, “With potential for wayfinding, the public art at the open public courtyards will possess unique placemaking qualities, contributing to the distinctive energy and function of the pedestrian oriented Marpole neighborhood.”

      The rezoning application for the Ōku condo development was approved by Vancouver city council in July 2018.