Unique to Vancouver, City Square’s shopping mall and office complex is an inimitable mix of modern and heritage architecture. The heritage portions of the complex were built in 1905 and 1908 to house the Model School and Normal School, respectively. Graduates from the Teacher’s Training Program applied their skills, norms (hence the name “Normal School”) and educational theories at the Normal School to gain practical experience.
The Model School and Normal School are impressive four-storey granite and sandstone buildings designed in the Italianate style by architect E. E. Blackmore. The stained glass windows, copper cupola and slate roofs add further charm and character to the architecture.
City Square Shopping Mall and office complex, as we see it today, was inaugurated in 1989 and is a spectacular example of adaptive reuse of heritage buildings. The schools were restored to their original grandeur and then connected to two six-storey office towers by a large modern spacious glass atrium. The complex was designed by the renowned architect, Paul Merrick. It is located in the heart of the heritage district of central Vancouver and across from Vancouver City Hall.