The Tsawwassen Mills Mall is Vancouver’s newest, largest and most exciting shopping venue. Designed by Detroit’s JPRA Architects, the mall is built on the traditional land of the Tsawwassen First Nations people. The enormous scale of the space called for some equally massive artworks, so 3DS worked in collaboration with the Tsawwassen First Nations to create a series of amazing sculptures based on their traditional artwork.
The massive Grizzly Bear weighs in at over a ton and is made of a wide mix of materials. The great challenge of this piece was to express the essential form and spirit of the animal, through a chaotic mish-mash of varying materials and shapes. Two elegant 14 foot Heron sculptures are composed of a refined arrangement of fiberglass, steel, cedar, dichroic glass and stainless steel. The Central Hearth is a 20-foot tower of over 5000 individually programmable LED modules, mounted on a bronze base representing the central hearth of the traditional Longhouse. A state-of-the-art digital control system allows the dynamic display of graphics, images and anything else that can be imagined. The sinuous, ephemeral flame forms were hand carved, coated with powdered bronze and polished to look exactly like cast bronze. The massive Sun and Moon ceiling features are internally lit with LED lighting and measure 28 ft. across. The full suite of sculptures took eight months to create.