A THOUSAND WORDS - Alex Waterhouse-Hayward's blog on pictures, plants, politics and whatever else is on his mind.




 

Sean Rossiter - A Constant Ache in my Heart
Saturday, November 12, 2016


Sean Rossiter


As a boy I saw Strategic Air Command with James Stewart and June Allyson. I have always been an airplane nut. It was wonderful to see James Stewart at the controls of the then (1955) cutting edge jet medium bomber the Boeing B-47 Strato Jet. But I had never seen Gordon Douglas’ B-52 with Natalie Wood, Marsha Hunt, Efrem Zimbalist Jr. and Karl Malden.

I saw it on TCM last night, Saturday November 11, 2016. I ached inside because there was nobody I knew with whom I could share my pleasure.

After a few years of having attended concerts at the Orpheum Annex and at Pyatt Hall (both on Seymour between Nelson and Robson) I have realized that the future of arts performances in Vancouver is to be in smaller venues. Some Vancouver churches have known this, too and they have been offering a lovely array of concerts lately.

I ached again because there was nobody I could share my story idea. At one time I would have called Sean Rossiter to tell him about B-52. We would have discussed the features of the gigantic bomber and perhaps delved into our favourite Natalie Wood Films.

I had seen, very close one of those B-52s just about the time the film came out at Bergsrom Air Force Base in Austin.






The story idea I wanted to share was about the smaller arts venues and their architects. Rossiter was the best writer about architecture this city ever had. The reason is that he had several platforms – Malcolm Parry’s Vancouver Magazine (and Western Living during his tenure as Editor there), the Georgia Straight (when Charles Campbell was the editor) and the Vancouver Sun Saturday Magazine either under Max Wyman or David Beers. That is gone. My story idea is as good as dead.

The Orpheum Annex and Pyatt Hall besides having superb acoustics, can be configured (either stadium type of seating or with nightclub tables) to adapt to different sized musical groups and have all the latest so that new music groups can plug in all their electronics.

It is my feeling that places like the Queen Elizabeth Theatre (what do they host besides Ballet BC and the now reduced Vancouver Opera?) and the Playhouse (with the demise of the Playhouse Theatre Company) will lie fallow most of the year. 

It took some effort before a chap from Vancouver CivicTheatres told me who designed and built the Orpheum Annex. And I then found out, as I suspected that Pyatt Hall was also designed by the firm in question: bingham + hill architects. One of their principals, Mike Hill sent me the following fascinating information (Sean wouldn’t you lap this up with enthusiasm?):

Yes, we are very proud of this facility.

Project Architect was Doug Nelson.  I was Partner in Charge, but it was primarily Doug’s work.

BHA were Architects for entire project, including Orpheum Annex, Pyatt Hall and VSO School of Music, as well as the shell space/void constructed on the west side to permit future expansion of the Orpheum Stage.

Design team included Robert Hamilton with DWD for theatre design and Aerocoustics for acoustics.  Vancouver Civic Theatres were a major player in the design as well.


Mike Hill, Architect AIBC, LEED®AP, Partner



bingham + hill architects

201 1444 Alberni St.

Vancouver, BC, V6G 2Z4

Ph 604-688-8254

mike@bharch.ca



     

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9/4/16 - 9/11/16

9/11/16 - 9/18/16

9/18/16 - 9/25/16

9/25/16 - 10/2/16

10/2/16 - 10/9/16

10/9/16 - 10/16/16

10/16/16 - 10/23/16

10/23/16 - 10/30/16

10/30/16 - 11/6/16

11/6/16 - 11/13/16

11/13/16 - 11/20/16

11/20/16 - 11/27/16

11/27/16 - 12/4/16

12/4/16 - 12/11/16