The Marine Building is a skyscraper located at 355 Burrard Street in Downtown Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada near the Financial District, designed by McCarter Nairne and Partners. It is renowned for its Art Deco details and for a time for being the tallest building in the British Empire.
The brainchild of Lt. Commander J.W. Hobbs of Toronto, it was opened on 7 October 1930, and at 97.8m (22 floors) it was the tallest skyscraper in the city until 1939. According to the architects, McCarter & Nairne, the building was intended to evoke "some great crag rising from the sea, clinging with sea flora and fauna, tinted in sea-green, touched with gold." The building cost $2.3 million to build – $1.1 million over budget—but due to the Great Depression it was sold to the Guinness family of Ireland for only $900,000. The 2004 property assessment is $22 million.
There was an observation deck, but during the depression in the 1930s the 25 cents admission price proved unaffordable for most. Currently, there are no public galleries in the building.
Inside the massive brass-doored elevators the walls are inlaid with 12 varieties of local hardwoods. All over the walls and polished brass doors are depictions of sea snails, skate, crabs, turtles, carp, scallops, seaweed and sea horses, as well as the transportation means of the era. The floor presents the zodiac signs. The exterior is studded with flora and fauna, tinted in sea-green and touched with gold.
During a renovation from 1982-1989 to update the electrical, mechanical and air-conditioning systems, the "battleship linoleum" (imported from Scotland) in the lobby was replaced with marble. The former Merchant Exchange was also gutted, and changed into a high-class Chinese restaurant (Imperial Chinese Restaurant). The floor was raised so that diners could take advantage of the room's huge windows.
The building has often been used in filmmaking and television production. It was the setting for the final scene in the movie, Timecop and it was used as the headquarters of the Daily Planet in the popular television show Smallville. The building was used in the movie Blade: Trinity. It stood in for the Baxter Building in New York City in 2005's Fantastic Four and its sequel, Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer. This building was also the management centre for oneworld, of one of the three largest airline alliances in the world, from its founding in May 2000 until it was relocated to New York City in June 2011.
- List of heritage buildings in Vancouver
- List of old Canadian buildings
- List of tallest buildings in Vancouver
- Media related to Marine Building at Wikimedia Commons