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Westcoast Transmission Building

1333 West Georgia Street, Vancouver, British Columbia, V6E, Canada

Formally Recognized: 1996/08/27

Exterior view of the Westcoast Transmission Building; City of Vancouver, 2006
West elevation
Exterior view of the Westcoast Transmission Building; City of Vancouver, 2006
South elevation
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Other Name(s)

Westcoast Transmission Building
Westcoast Energy Building
The Qube

Links and documents

Construction Date(s)

1968/01/01 to 1969/01/01

Listed on the Canadian Register: 2008/02/13

Statement of Significance

Description of Historic Place

The Westcoast Transmission Building consists of a twelve-storey dark-glazed rectangular tower suspended by cables from a central concrete entry/elevator core. It is prominently located on a multi-leveled plaza on the north side of West Georgia Street in downtown Vancouver.

Heritage Value

The Westcoast Transmission Building is significant for its historical, technical and aesthetic values, most notably for its unique cable suspension system of construction. This system was a widely-endorsed response to increasing seismic design requirements, and makes the building one of Vancouver's most identifiable landmarks in the downtown core.

Constructed in 1968-69 for the Westcoast Transmission Company Ltd., this landmark building is indicative of the continued expansion of Vancouver's central business district during the corporate building boom in late 1960s and early 1970s, which was fuelled by the transfer of corporate headquarters to Vancouver. Resource development companies such as the Westcoast Transmission Company, incorporated in 1949 by a Special Act of Parliament to build British Columbia's first gas-processing plant at Taylor, British Columbia, and Canada's first large pipeline, are particularly representative of the city's corporate expansion.

The building exhibits the Modernist interest in structural innovation and technology. Its dramatic suspension bridge construction facilitated a continued view of the North Shore from Georgia Street, but more importantly, symbolized to the public a corporate response to severe earthquake hazard. Its simple glazed curtain wall box draws attention to the structural innovation, which garnered international recognition as the recipient of the 1970-71 Design in Steel Award from the American Iron and Steel Institute.

The building's structural consultant, Bogue Babicki, of the architecture firm of Rhone and Iredale, is representative of the convergence of European engineering and design expertise with local design challenges, facilitated by the post-WWII immigration of professionals schooled in the European experimental approach.

Source: City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Character-Defining Elements

The character-defining elements of the Westcoast Transmission Building include:

Siting, Context and Landscape
- Location to the west of the central business district
- Open plan at plaza level with views from the street to Burrard Inlet retained under the suspended building

Architectural Qualities
- Uniformly coloured cubic volume

Architectural Elements
- Glazed curtain wall using dark-coloured glass and spandrel glass
- Exposed bundles of structural cables
- Column-free underground parking
- Vertical transportation and service spaces grouped into the central concrete core



British Columbia

Recognition Authority

City of Vancouver

Recognition Statute

Vancouver Charter, s.582

Recognition Type

Community Heritage Register

Recognition Date


Historical Information

Significant Date(s)


Theme - Category and Type

Developing Economies
Trade and Commerce

Function - Category and Type


Multiple Dwelling


Commerce / Commercial Services
Office or Office Building

Architect / Designer

Rhone and Iredale



Additional Information

Location of Supporting Documentation

City of Vancouver Heritage Conservation Program

Cross-Reference to Collection

Fed/Prov/Terr Identifier




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