Bruce Eriksen Place


The building’s street facade is expressed as a no-nonsense concrete frame with tile infill panels animated by a series of screen prints by artist Blake Williams, including a portrait of Bruce Erkisen, ex-ironworker, housing activist and Vancouver Alderman from 1980 to 1993, for whom the project is named. Also depicted are the labour marches of the 1930’s, a clenched fist representing resistance to gentrification, anti-poverty demonstrations and the typographic message. “Memory, Mother of the Community.” Above. each balcony is inscribed with an inspirational word, articulating Eriksen’s ideals for communal and social living and working conditions and defying the culture of hopelessness that this neighbourhood has come to represent. The artworks recall the consciousness-raising early agitprop graphics of the 1920’s, and act as decorative elements for a European-style organization of residential units stacked above street-level retail outlets.

       Canadian Architect August 1999

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