The 44-storey Empire Landmark Hotel is in the process of being dismantled, becoming one of the tallest buildings in the world to be demolished. Rising to a height of 120 metres, the tower and its iconic Cloud 9 revolving restaurant instantly became a recognizable beacon on the city skyline when it was built in 1973, but that peak will soon be erased forever.

Landmark on Robson, image via MCMP

The entire process is scheduled to last through the summer and fall and finally end in March 2019, with crews dismantling a floor approximately every four days. For the complicated endeavour, JMX Contracting is utilizing remote controlled Brokk machines that are designed to minimize dust and noise. The machines will reduce the concrete to rubble and dissect steel for eventual reuse in roads and construction. The elevator shaft becomes the material chute for the project, dumping concrete and steel materials hundreds of feet to the ground. 

One last look at the Empire Landmark, image by Forum contributor Roundabout

The cantilevered circular restaurant that sits atop the rectilinear building has been a particularly challenging obstacle so far according to JMX project manager Shane Macpherson, who conducted an interview with the Vancouver Sun. Crews have had to construct a scaffolding system, which will be used for hoarding and netting, below the restaurant to ensure the top-down demolition catches removed materials and debris. 

Any salvageable furnishings were sold at auction and the interior of the hotel has been completely wiped clean. Much of the interior work involved asbestos abatement, which Macpherson says is about 90 percent complete.

Reducing the podium to rubble, image by Forum contributor Roundabout

The two-tower Landmark on Robson by Asia Standard International Group and designed by Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership will introduce residential uses to the site. The 32- and 31-storey buildings are characterized by deep protruding balconies that command views of the city.

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Related Companies:  Asia Standard International Group, Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership