English Bay Bistro by Acton Ostry

Having missed the public consultation meetings for the proposed English Bay Bistro designed by Acton Ostry Architects, I dug around for a bit and found a few images, although these are not of the best quality. Below are schematic design renderings and plans:

To be located next to the bathhouse, it will be a two level building with indoor and outdoor seating and a take-out kiosk. The indoor space will total around 2500 sf, while the patio will make up another thousand. This $5-6 million dollar project has been somewhat controversial as local residents and avid beach goers fear that it will be too expensive and will set a precedent for commercialization of the beaches. The park board , which will receive 6.5% of the sales, tried to assure the worried that the venue will be more of a Cactus Club or Earls-type restaurant. That is not really affordable - not to me - but I digress.

I have been looking for images of the proposed design as I imagined that Acton Ostry will create something utterly special considering the location and the public focus that has been on the project, and their own track record of creating thoughtful buildings. However, I am not sure I see it yet. Judge for yourselves:

Lower level. Btw: these potlights are, what, 14" across? what an oddity!

Upper level.

The renderings suggest that coloured glazing is the predominant element; yet the plans and massing suggest something more subtle might be ahead. We shall see.

lower level plan.

upper level plan.

roof level plan.

In an article about the bistro in the Vancouver Province, this easily sums up my own hopes:
Vancouver's Jeff Miller said the restaurant's success will be a matter of execution, with a profound impact for one of
Vancouver's most-visited locales.
"If it's done the right way, it could be nice," said Miller.
"If it's done the wrong way, it could be an eyesore and ruin the beach.
At the very earliest, the bistro will open in summer of 2010.

Acton Ostry are also working on Harbour Green Restaurant for the same client, the Park Board, beside the future Vancouver Trade and Convention Centre (and it looks, well, not dissimilar).

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