‘The Post’ Redevelopment Milestone in Vancouver Celebrated by Amazon Canada [Images]

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Downtown Vancouver patiently awaits the completion of the redevelopment of ‘The Post‘ as it transforms a legacy Canada Post processing facility into a community hub to invigorate the area. Amazon Canada, which has leased about 1.13 million square feet above the retail podium for offices, recognized the project’s progress by supporting the creation of a giant-sized architectural model of ‘The Post’ made out of 25,000 LEGO® bricks. The tech firm plans to open its Vancouver Tech Hub offices in early 2023 and the LEGO® landmark will be on permanent display.

The collaboration showcases what the unveiling of the completed project will look like in 2023 and involved LEGO®-certified master model builder, Graeme Dymond, reviewing design schematics, renderings, and even an in-person site tour to finish to miniaturized landmark.

The project, announced in 2019 by landlord QuadReal, continued to progress during the trying times of the COVID-19 pandemic. With employers grappling around the globe to entice workers back into the office, a number of the LEGO® landmark features highlighted a number of features which could appeal to returning workers including:

  • A rooftop dog run for the canine companions of Amazon employees, through the Dogs at Work program;
  • The preservation of historical features, including the blue and terracotta tile façade, the relief sculpture of a postal worker and coats of arms, and original artwork; and
  • A central atrium, green spaces and outdoor plazas open to the public as gathering places for the local community.

Retail tenants poised to open will be relying on the return of the office worker and all of the project’s enticements support the project’s original vision to transform the site into a vibrant hub for a downtown community. Anticipated retail amenities include:

  • The Joseph Richard Group operating a new 26,000-square-foot food hall including a mix of full-service, sit-down, and quick-service restaurants;
  • 50,000-square-foot Loblaws City Market;
  • Deville Coffee; and
  • Buro The Espresso Bar.

Life will hopefully get back to normal as the pandemic is hopefully resolved by 2023. Being in relatively close proximity to theatre and sporting facilities, The Post will offer amenities for visitors to the downtown core. The food hall, for example, could become a destination before or after a hockey game or event at the nearby Queen Elizabeth Theatre. The main branch of the Vancouver Public Library is close by as are draws such as CF Pacific Centre which is anchored by flagships for Nordstrom, Holt Renfrew, as well as being adjacent to Hudson’s Bay’s Vancouver flagship.

The Post in Vancouver from above. Rendering: QuadReal

All with LEED Gold Certification appealing to the environmentally conscious by leveraging waste heat recovery, passive solar shading, light shelves that reflect daylight into the interior and an energy-efficient building envelope. The adaptive reuse of the structure results in a savings of approximately 25,000 tonnes of carbon and diverts significant construction waste from local landfills.

Graeme Dymond. Photo: Lego Group

A short Q&A with certified master LEGO®-certified model builder Graeme Dymond provided additional insights on the LEGO® landmark:

  1. Why the career change from “Learning Consultant” at TD Bank to “Lego Certified Professional” (Dymond Bricks) in 2012? Short answer – who wouldn’t want to play with toys all day long! Truthfully, I really enjoyed my time at TD, but I was feeling ready for a change and when an opportunity like this knocks, you gotta answer!  I’ve been a lifelong fan of LEGO, and to be able to transform your hobby and passion  and what you truly love to do into a career that can truly awe and inspire others, it was a dream come true.
  1. What is the creative process to take a landmark (like The Post) and render it into Lego?

I typically spend a lot of time in preparation – Amazon, QuadReal and MCM were all great with sharing resources with me, including design schematics, renderings, and even an in person site tour. All these resources were excellent at highlighting the many unique and inspiring features of the building. But for me, being iterative is such a crucial part of my building process. I will always make changes to my designs as I go, based upon the feel of the build and how it looks. This sometimes might mean unbuilding a section and reworking it so that it is better integrated with the overall structure, or so that it will provide greater stability.

  1. What is the hardest part of the process? Favorite part of the process?

Hardest part of the process – aside from transporting the final build – is almost always the start. Getting the footprint of the build just right is always a challenge, and sets the foundation for the entire project, so it can often take a very long time to get that right look and feel for the base of the project.

My favourite part of the process is when I can move into more of the details, for example in this build the dog parks, basketball court, and the Minifigures.

  1. LEGOLAND Discovery Centre Toronto (Vaughan) was an ambitious project. Any plans for another Canadian Discovery Center’s location with Merlin Entertainments?

I’m not sure! That’s really more of a question for Merlin, but I’d certainly love to work with them again and contribute to another site if I got the chance.  Building the LEGOLAND Discovery Centre in Vaughan, just north of Toronto and still Canada’s first and only of it’s kind – was such a special time for me and a massive undertaking – I was truthfully just one of many hands to build that site.

  1. Any other LEGO projects on the horizon for you? Or any projects you would like to aspire to work on as a dream project?

Many future projects to come, but you’ll have to wait and see! As for dream projects – I have two kids at home who are really coming into their own as LEGO builders, and I’m looking forward to a special project collaborating with them, featuring some of their favourite comic book characters. I’m a big kid at heart, and I love the idea of sharing my passion with my kids while I still can!

Article Author

Lee Rivett
Lee Rivett
Lee Rivett, based in Vancouver, supports the digital distribution and technical backend operations of Retail Insider. This includes providing technical support for the editors during the digital publication cycle, streamlining virtual tools for the cross-country team and a variety of other duties which keeps the publication running smoothly.

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