The Evergreen Building is significant as a landmark project by internationally-acclaimed architect, Arthur Erickson.  A Vancouver native, Erickson’s career dominated the development and growth of the country’s architectural profession during the late twentieth century, and he has been recognized as Canada’s most brilliant architect of the modern era.  Profoundly influenced by his world travels, Erickson’s architecture reflects his belief in the importance of site, light, cadence and space, embodied in the ‘green’ nature of this urban building.  He continues a Vancouver-based practice, and recent award-winning projects have further enhanced his reputation and stimulated public interest in his distinguished career.  Additionally this building is an example of his collaborative work with pioneering landscape architect, Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, who participated with Erickson on a number of landmark projects.

The Evergreen Building stands as one of Erickson’s most significant works in an urban setting and marks the mid-career evolution of his design aesthetic. Sensitive to the trapezoidal site, the spatial complexity and restrained detailing respect and emphasize the context with diagonal lines in a bold sawtooth pattern.  Erickson took full advantage of the stepped configuration, creating complex geometries through the interplay of off-set zigzag and linear floor plates, each floor diminishing in floor area within the tapered, trapezoidal building footprint. 

Additionally, this building illustrates Erickson’s fundamental belief of incorporating nature within architecture.  Designed in memory of a former escarpment, this unique building is stepped in a series of receding, and angled balconies, recalling mountainside, hence the building’s name, Evergreen. Plantings overflow the concrete brows into which the railings are set, creating the effect of a terraced garden and softening the edge of the building’s distinctive profile.  Furthermore, the building reflects Erickson’s principle of the interplay and cohesion between interior and exterior spaces, exemplified by a continuity of materials, such as the raw concrete columns.  The transparency of this narrow building reflects Erickson’s ideal of a new, more open working community, as expressed in the Vancouver Law Courts and here developed further in a commercial model.