10/01/2013 02:44 EDT | Updated 12/01/2013 05:12 EST

Vancouver Art Gallery plaza redesigns pitched to public

Three conceptual plans to redesign the north plaza of the Vancouver Art Gallery will be presented to the public today at the first of two open houses.

The Vancouver Art Gallery North Plaza redesign team will hold the first open houses today, in an attempt to gather public input on the three preliminary concepts, which were developed using public feedback from consultation sessions in October of last year.

The North Plaza, which is bound by West Georgia, Hornby and Howe Streets, has been a key fixture in Vancouver since the old courthouse, now the art gallery, opened in 1911.

The plaza was a favourite destination for Olympic celebrations when Vancouver hosted the Games in 2010, and was also home to the encampment of protestors during 2011's 'occupy' movement.

The $3.2 million redesign will allow for potentially drastic changes since the underground membrane that sits below the plaza has to be completely replaced. It is severely degraded and currently leaking water into the art gallery's lower floors.

Earlier this year, the city selected Vancouver-based Nick Milkovich Architects, along with a team of consultants from other firms, to head up the redesign.

Members of that team and city planners will be on hand tonight for the open house to answer questions from the public and explain the thought process behind the conceptual redesigns.

Additionally, the city will launch an online survey today for residents to give their input on the project.

The space is owned by the province and leased by the city, so the province will have to approve any changes put forth by the redesign team.

The open house begins at 5:30 p.m. PT and runs until 8:30 p.m. PT. The second consultation will be held Oct. 5 at 12:30 p.m. PT.

Both will take place at UBC Robson Square plaza lounge.