Vancouver’s Empire Landmark Hotel, the former home of the Cloud 9 Revolving Restaurant, has come down.
The 43-year-old building is the tallest in Vancouver history to be demolished, as its owners clear the way for two condo towers in the city’s rapidly-developing West End neighbourhood.
Rather than a typical controlled demolition, the quick and dirty method most picture when building demolitions are announced, the Empire Landmark was dismantled in a “quiet”, controlled demolition that took over a year to complete.
While it was a far less disruptive and dusty process, it’s hard not to feel as though we missed out on the spectacle of a watching a great big building collapse into rubble in an instant.
Fortunately, however, a timelapse video of the deconstruction offers the next best thing. Uploaded to social media Thursday by Youtuber Ke Be, the video compresses the year-long demolition process into a tidy 110 seconds. Here’s what it looks like when a Vancouver landmark is erased from the skyline.
Using the Brokk system, which trusts much of the work to remote-controlled robotics, JMX contracting managed to avoid blowing anything up at all. Instead, working at rate of demolishing a floor every three to five days, the company carefully and methodically wiped the tower at 1400 Robson St. off the map.
One could be forgiven for thinking this was the work of a giant, invisible eraser instead. As the video progresses, the historic building just quietly becomes unbuilt, as though time has been reversed.
But time only marches on. Now that the Empire Landmark is gone, construction is slated to begin shortly on the two towers replacing it, at 31 and 32 stories, with 237 market condos, 63 social housing units, and retail and office space on the bottom three floors.
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