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Japanese-inspired Canadian building renamed after legendary architect

Japanese-inspired Canadian building renamed after legendary architect Arthur Erickson’s travels to Japan enriched his views about buildings & landscape GlobeNewswire September 27, 2021

VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Sept. 26, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In what is considered a rare honour for an architect, Vancouver’s historic MacMillan Bloedel building – one of Canada’s most recognized and awarded office towers – officially rebranded to Arthur Erickson Place. Globally celebrated architect Arthur Erickson created the striking Modernist tower for forestry giant MacMillan Bloedel in the 1960s. The structure, made of reinforced bare concrete, rises above a spacious public plaza with reflecting pools that span the building’s length.

Erickson’s travels to Japan influenced his views about culture, built form and landscape. Canada’s Historic Places Registry states Erickson’s design of the MacMillan Bloedel building was influenced by the “Japanese love for surfaces that express the nature of material. The building is a prime example of the unique blending of Modernist and far-eastern aesthetics.”

“It is rare for an architect to be honoured in this way, and I know that Arthur would be very proud to have the building carry his name, as it encapsulates all he strove to achieve architecturally,” said Erickson’s nephew, Christopher Erickson. “The building’s classic beauty and clarity of structure expresses the ruggedness of our land and majesty of our forests with a powerful cadence that tapers into infinity as it rises from its roots.”

The 27-storey building is located at 1075 West Georgia in downtown Vancouver. It was the tallest building in Vancouver when it was completed in 1968 and became a multi-award-winning national heritage landmark due to its construction technique of cast-in-place concrete, striking aesthetics of tapered walls and deeply recessed windows, and association with Erickson and MacBlo, which at the time was Canada’s largest forestry company.

“Arthur was very proud of this building – it was one of his favourites,” said Geoffrey Erickson about his uncle, who was known as the Master of Concrete. “This building is bold and daring and broke new ground in engineering, office planning and the use of concrete.”

Erickson and his bold design were featured in Time magazine in the 1960s and the building won the esteemed 1970 Massey Medal for Architecture, among many other awards.

Now 53-years-old, the distinguished concrete building has continued to be called MacBlo even though the company ceased to exist 22 years ago. Two years ago, KingSett Capital, Crestpoint Real Estate Investments, and Reliance Properties jointly bought the building with a plan to reestablish it as the premier corporate office location in downtown Vancouver.

“It is time to give this powerful, monolithic office building its due place on Vancouver’s skyline by branding it after Arthur Erickson in honour of his excellence,” said Jon Stovell, president & CEO of Reliance Properties. “With its heritage distinction, central downtown location, and strong visual identity, Arthur Erickson Place will continue to be the address with cachet.”

The World’s Architect

Erickson was born in Vancouver and became a globally celebrated modernist architect and master planner. His designs can be found across the Middle East, and he had a special relationship with Japan, including designing the multi-award-winning Canadian Government Pavilion at Expo ’70 in Osaka.

Erickson designed only nine office buildings in his vast global portfolio of 700 designs. Two of those office buildings are in downtown Vancouver – Evergreen Building and Arthur Erickson Place, both of which are listed on Canada’s heritage registry.

“Arthur Erickson Place is an iconic presence in the heart of Vancouver, expressed with timeless repose and finesse,” said Christopher Erickson. “Arthur always said that the mind was at the service of the heart. This is evidenced in the sublime artistry of Arthur Erickson Place.”

Erickson died in 2009 at age 84.

**Media Inquiries: Renu Bakshi 604 787 1873 or

Ownership Profiles

KingSett Capital is Canada's leading private equity real estate investment firm.  Founded in 2002, KingSett has raised $12.5 billion of equity for its Growth, Income, Urban, Mortgage and Affordable Housing strategies, executing over $50 billion in transactions life to date. Currently, KingSett has $16.2 billion of assets under management in a $19 billion portfolio. KingSett continues to seek further opportunities to invest in a wide range of real estate properties, developments, joint ventures and mortgage lending.

Crestpoint Real Estate Investments Ltd. is a commercial real estate investment manager, with approximately $6.3 billion of gross assets under management, dedicated to providing investors with direct access to commercial real estate assets. Crestpoint is part of the Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group, a multi-boutique asset management company that provides investment management products and services to institutional and high net-worth clients. With offices across Canada and in Chicago, New York and London, Connor, Clark & Lunn Financial Group and its affiliates are collectively responsible for the management of over $100 billion in assets.

Reliance Properties, a family-owned company founded in 1955, is one of BC’s longest-serving real estate owners, developers, and property managers of residential, office, live-work, and retail properties. The company holds the largest private portfolio of heritage buildings in Western Canada, winning multiple regional and national awards for design, innovation, and architectural heritage renewal. Reliance’s extensive work also includes award-winning heritage restoration and modern additions to commercial space.

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