Douglas Copeland’s new Metrotown sculptures a nod to Ford’s factory past (PHOTOS)

The view of the pedestrian-oriented streets in Station Square redevelopment now completed It has recently seen a further enhancement of its public domain with important pieces of public art.

Anthem Properties worked with renowned local artist Douglas Coupland to create four sculptures, spread across two locations within the redevelopment.

Three sculptures are located outside JJ Bean Coffee on the northwest corner of the intersection of Kingsborough Street and Silver Drive, while one sculpture – the tallest at 50 feet – is on the southeast corner of the prominent intersection between Kingsway and McKay Avenue.

The carvings are designed to look like a gem-like material created by accumulating and solidifying slag in automobile paint, called fordite.

fordite douglas coupland station Burnaby Metrotown

Public art sculpture “Fordette” by Douglas Copeland in Station Square. (the characteristics of the anthem)

fordite douglas coupland station Burnaby Metrotown

Public art sculpture “Fordette” by Douglas Copeland in Station Square. (the characteristics of the anthem)

fordite douglas coupland station Burnaby Metrotown

Public art sculpture “Fordette” by Douglas Copeland in Station Square. (the characteristics of the anthem)

fordite douglas coupland station Burnaby Metrotown

Public art sculpture “Fordette” by Douglas Copeland in Station Square. (the characteristics of the anthem)

fordite douglas coupland station Burnaby Metrotown

Public art sculpture “Fordette” by Douglas Copeland in Station Square. (the characteristics of the anthem)

Coupland points out that the appearance of the stacked colored gemstones is a clear reference to Station Square’s historic past being the site of a Ford Motor Company car manufacturing plant.

The factory opened in 1938 and closed in 1968. The building remained on the site until 1988, when it was demolished for multi-phase development for the first iteration of Station Square Mall, according to the city of Burnaby.

Fordite, aptly named after the automobile company, is the term metallurgists have applied to the hard coatings beneath the former paint booths of Ford’s Michigan plants. Pieces of layered enamel paint often have a thickness of up to 20 cm. Experts informed the model of the car in which the paint was used, and the year it was sprayed.

fordite gem ford

An example of a fordite gem. (Urban Monuments Design)

Ford Square Factory Metro Town Burnaby Station

Ford Motor Company car plant in 1938, where today Station Square is located. (Burnaby)

Ford Square Burnaby plant plant 1938

Ford Motor Company car plant in 1938, where today Station Square is located. (Burnaby)

Ford Square Factory Burnaby Station Metrotown 1938 3

Ford Motor Company car plant in 1938, where today Station Square is located. (Burnaby)

Ford Square Burnaby plant plant 1938 car assembly

Ford Motor Company car plant in 1938, where today Station Square is located. (Vancouver Public Library archive)

“These layers of colored paint are not unlike those of the Grand Canyon, and as with most sedimentary forms, they can be called mineral, in this case, ‘man-made’ or man-made mineral. Pieces of fordite, when crushed and polished, become stone An extraordinarily beautiful and highly sought-after gem in the gem world,” Copeland stated.

“So, for the Station Square site, I made piles of polished fordite stones that are deliberately daring to remind people in a cheerful way that we once lived, not so long ago, in a world where car colors were used as fashion, to accelerate the shorter life of the car and build expectations For newer, more colorful cars.”

After acquiring Station Square in 2004, Anthem Properties embarked on a years-long planning process to redevelop the mall into a mixed-use, high-density precinct that forms part of the Burnaby Metrotown Downtown plan. Bedi is also a development partner.

The original Station Square shopping center prior to redevelopment in 2011:

Station Square Burnaby 2011

The original station yard of Metrotown Burnaby in 2011 (Google Maps).

Redevelopment of the station yard under construction late 2020/2021:

Station Square Burnaby December 2020

The redevelopment of the new Station Square in Metrotown in Burnaby is under construction in December 2020 (Google Maps).

Al Mahatta Square October 2021

Station Square in October 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

Al Mahatta Square October 2021

Station Square in October 2021. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

After a decade of construction, the new station yard was officially completed in August 2022. There are five towers housing approximately 1,800 homes, as well as 450,000 square feet of retail and office space in platforms and at street level, effectively revitalizing the pedestrian-oriented public spaces. Major tenants include Price Smart Foods, which marks the return of the previous Save-On-Foods through its sister brand, as well as WeWork, Cactus Club and Earls restaurants.

The redevelopment was designed by local firm Chris Dikeakos Architects and New York-based Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates.

A previous iteration of Station Square consisted of low-rise structures, with most of the 12 acres used as a park. Instilled by Save-On-Foods, it It was poorly remembered for its roof collapsing within minutes of the grand opening in 1988. The collapse of a 6,400-square-foot section of the roof caused 20 cars to fall into the store. There were no fatalities, but 21 people were injured.

The first iteration of Metropolis was opened in the Metrotown Mall in 1986, adding to the district Current Sears Canada Store And a supermarket. The SkyTrain Metrotown station opened the previous year in 1985, as part of the original portion of the Expo Line between Waterfront and New Westminster stations in time for Expo ’86.

The Metrotown area of ​​Burnaby in 1985:

Metrotown Burnaby 1985

The Metrotown area of ​​Burnaby in 1985. The first iteration of Metrotown opened in the Metrotown the following year in 1986, and the first phase of Station Square opened later in 1988. (City of Burnaby)

The Metrotown area of ​​Burnaby in 1985:

metrotown burnaby 2016

The Metrotown area of ​​Burnaby in 2016 (Burnby City)

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