Advocacy, education and outreach in support of Vancouver's public spaces

601 W Hastings @ Seymour - P7042727

Site Name: Princess Plaza

Name and Address:

  • Site Address: 601 West Hastings
  • Closest Street Intersection: Hastings and Seymour
  • Local Area: Downtown
  • Neighbourhood: CBD
  • Latitude: 49.28484963
  • Longitude: -123.1128793


Description: A mixture of open-space and covered public space. The site is primarily defined by a heavy, domed structure – open at ground level. The site offers one of the few weatherproof public spaces in downtown. A significant change in grade exists between north and south ends of the site – necessitating a sizeable flight of stairs at then north end.

Components: Atrium; Edge space

Year Built: 1982

Ownership status: Private

History Notes: The atrium/plaza was built in 1982, as part of the development of the adjascent Princess Building. In 2014, a proposal was submitted to the City of Vancouver to redevelop the building into a larger office tower. This rezoning was approved in 2015.

Key Events, Usage in History, Timeline:

  • 1980s – constructed
  • 2008, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014 – VPSN informal event programming to activate the space (primarily on Halloween); 2014 Rezoning application seeks to redevelop site.
  • 2015 Rezoning application approved.

Locational Context: The atrium dome is located SE of the Princess Building, an 11-storey office tower. Surrounding context includes other office and retail uses. To the east: SFU’s downtown campus.

Site Orientation: Various; primarily south and east


  • Area: Total site: approx 600m2
  • Dimensions: Total site (including dome) approx 15m x 40m

Design Features:

  • Solar exposure/shading considerations: Covered space.
  • Weather Proofing: Yes.
  • Surface Treatment and Materials: Hard surfaced.

Furniture and Amenities:

  • Formal Seating: Yes – several steel benches
  • Informal Seating: Yes. Planter ledges provide additional seating. Also, stairs to the north end
  • Waste or Recycling Disposal: Yes.
  • Lighting: The interior of the dome is lit via 20 lights.
  • Landscaping: Several large planters are built into the plaza space – helping to define the space and, through terracing, moderate the change in grade.
  • Other items of note: Ash tray containers.

Security: Site has CCTV cameras inside.


  • Transit: Accessible via HAstings Street bus routes. Approx 1 block south from Waterfront Station (SkyTrain, Canada Line, SeaBus).
  • Universal Design: Accessible at grade along southern edge. Eastern and southern edges have stairs.

General Usage or Observational data: The space is used informally, and in relatively low numbers. Often a spot for smokers, or people taking a break.

Typology: Enclosed Space – Atrium

Evaluation Details:

  • Timestamp: 24/11/2014 18:55:35
  • Time of evaluation: 0.125
  • Weather during evaluation: N/A