August 6, 2015

Summer Quiz 5 – Where is this?

The image:



The question: Where is this?


The answer: Below.  Just click.


Surrey Civic Centre from the Central City building, with 3 Civic Plaza rising above grade  (map here).

Posted in


If you love this region and have a view to its future please subscribe, donate, or become a Patron.

Share on


    1. good try!

      …the separated and enclosed plaza – noone will see- is reminiscent of failed and sterile urbanism … but the bus stopping in the bike lane should rule out a danish city…

      1. It’s a civic plaza surrounded by two public buildings and soon to be one larger tower. I have a feeling a lot of people will see it, and that it will be activated a large portion of the summer.

  1. I hope the square becomes more successful as the area develops; it is pretty empty and bleak at the moment, aside from the programmed events.

  2. Sorry, but everything about Surrey Central is just wrong. The scale is terrible, the roads are big and loud, no randomness or quirkiness to be found. Olympic Village or the Pearl District should have been studied.

    1. This will be downtown Surrey – their central business district and municipal centre.
      The Pearl District is not Portland’s central business district.
      Apples and oranges.

  3. People need to learn a little patience. Surrey Center has a long ways to go, but it has come a long ways in the last 30 years. Things are moving in the right direction. I predict it will be pretty nice in another 30 years.

    1. Until then the car will prevail in Surrey, if one is not in walking distance of a SkyTrain station.

      Park and Ride needs to be emphasized, not a bus based public transit system.

      The combo of RAPID train based transit backbone plus (small, electric, hybrid, personal, self-propelled) individual vehicles needs to be incorporated into city planning more !

      1. SkyTrain opened with one line in 1985 – when the population of the City of Vancouver was about 431,000.

        Surrey’s population is about 508,000, but without the densely built office core that existed in downtown Vancouver in 1985.

        A viable rapid transit “network” for Surrey will take time – and it will come when downtown Surrey is built up.

      1. I ride on these often, and they are not bad at all. Smooth road, wide lanes, not much traffic. Especially compared to the sad state of affairs near scott road, from the pattullo bridge to King George. That is a truly pathetic, rutted sidewalk of a bike lane. And one that theoretically connects to both the central valley greenway and the BC parkway.

  4. I work at Surrey City Hall and the plaza is actually really quite lovely. There’s even a farmers market every Wednesday afternoon.

    Yes, the roads are wider… but traffic volumes are actually pretty low on University Dr to the east (left hand side). That’s my lunchtime route to Holland Park.

    For all you critics, come visit us before making up your mind!

  5. There’s an interesting scramble intersection visible in this picture that I haven’t seen done in vancouver.

    The plaza has a farmer’s market every week. It’s the least of this area’s problems.
    I disagree that the area is bleak (at least some of it)– there are some interesting shops on the little street on other side of the skytrain station.

    King George st., though, is kinda bleak.

  6. . . . and the plaza is actually really quite lovely.” Of course, “I work at Surrey City Hall . . .“, what else would we expect!

    There was a time when city building was taken seriously . . .

    On the February 5, 1629 Bernini assumed the title of chief architect to the basilica of St. Peter’s. “It was in this capacity as architect to the basilica that Bernini undertook the design and construction of his ill-fated campanili.”

    Commissioned under Pope Urban VIII, Bernini was instructed to design two great bell towers on each corner of Saint Peter’s Basilica with Michelangelo’s dome in the middle. An early indication of Urban VIII’s interest in the facade of St. Peters dates to sketches from 1626 by Francesco Borromini. Borromini was an architect, contemporary, and rival of Bernini.

    It is at this time that a series of as amendments to Maderno’s vision were drafted by the ambitious and moody Borromini, whose jealousy over Bernini’s fame recent commentators have emphasized.
    These designs of Borromini were visual reconfigurations of the same elements Maderno had used. Maderno had all ready carried out the construction of bases for the towers, and all of Borromini’s plans follow Maderno’s original designs. They are based on simple geometries, namely the circle, square and triangle.

    Borromini was highly critical from the early stages of the tower’s planning and construction. He openly criticized Bernini’s training in architecture and used such allegations to undermine Bernini’s authority during the execution of the project.

    Colliding pressure from Urban the VIII to carry out the project to fit his own vision and pressure from Borromini, to seize the project as his own created unstable conditions for the early development of plans for the towers.

    Excerpt from Bernini’s Rome, Fordham University . . .

    . . . and now we have to content ourselves with minor talents, wanking themselves off in isolation totally oblivious to context, inter-relationships or context. For god’s sake these light weights . . . . . .

    and they are not alone, can’t even co-ordinate materials let alone spatial context.

    BAH! This current crop of untalented, second rate dabblers, the Henriques’, the Busby’s, the Thom’s et. al. haven’t the steam in their whistles to make to sustain their prat falls and frolicking. This latest Thom disaster lacks the groundwork “to be pretty nice in another 30 years“.

    Local operatives, who currently have the effrontery to call themselves architects are in need of a shake up BIG TIME!

  7. In the context of self-congratulation and Surrey Center the urban conversation has let these people, developers, their acolytes and supposed professionals, architects, planners, et al, off very lightly.

    Together these cronies live in a watertight compartment of self-congratulatory oblivion to the effect their dabbling’s have at ground level: gray bland dysfunctional and debt upon debt upon debt!

    In the context of local architecture it is impossible not to mention the misplaced elevation of that mediocre talent Arthur Erickson who’s oeuvre for some inexplicable reason seems still to have gravitas even as that miserable eponymous twist on False Creek bears his name: maybe appropriately.

    They award themselves profusely yet what they do to the urban environment is disastrous and their cult is not confined to locals . . .,_Mexico_City

    . . . and as I was a visiting lecturer at UNAM’s Escuela de Arquitectura in the 1990’s I hope my students are not responsible!

    All manner of excuses may be offered but the gray monotonous, monstrous scaled of what we have to live with has a cause, a responsible cohort and a remedy. It’s time to address the latter!

Subscribe to Viewpoint Vancouver

Get breaking news and fresh views, direct to your inbox.

Join 7,316 other subscribers

Show your Support

Check our Patreon page for stylish coffee mugs, private city tours, and more – or, make a one-time or recurring donation. Thank you for helping shape this place we love.

Popular Articles

See All

All Articles