Grouse Grind meets Tower of Babel in latest rethink of Georgia Viaduct

The Georgia Grind, a re-imagining of the Viaducts as combination Grouse Grind and Tower of Babel, one proposal for "Tangential Vancouverism."

As Vancouver’s housing costs force condo units to dwindle in size, if not price, the quality of life outside becomes a more important consideration. That’s the jumping off point for Tangential Vancouverism, a provocative exhibit of proposals to enliven the city’s urban fabric. It’s running until the end of the month at 221a Artist Run Centre at 221A Georgia St.

One admitted fantasy project is the Georgia Grind, which would twist the venerable viaducts into a rising spiral of concrete that is part Tower of Babel and part Grouse Grind. It is, according to the proponents, “an argument for a dialog between what was and will be; for an architectural memory that reaches deeper than the notional.” Okay, right.

More accessible is an exploration of the massive emerging digital archive of photos of the city, sorted by the location from which they were taken. The Artist Run Centre is itself a sign of the changes reshaping Chinatown, a new gallery on a street that retains some green grocers and a Chinese herbalist as well as a coffee bar and a pub.