Jim Paquette of Gemstone Masonry and Landscape Supply in Langley has just three and a half days to transform BC Place into an Italian piazza for the Luxury Design and Home Show. Miranda Gathercole Langley Times

VIDEO: Landscaper transforms BC Place into Italian piazza

Jim Paquette has just three days to build an authentic piazza for the Luxury Home and Design Show

It would normally take two to three months to build a project of this size.

But Jim Paquette has just three and a half days to transform BC Place into an Italian piazza for the Luxury Home and Design Show.

“Just the size of it is overwhelming,” said Paquette, a lifelong Surrey resident who is the owner of Gemstone Masonry and Landscape Supply in Langley.

“It has to be done in such a time — the show has to go on, and we have to be ready for opening night.”

Running June 21 to 24, the Luxury Home and Design Show features some of the top artisans and designers in the world.

“The aim of the Luxury Home and Design Show is to create a one-of-a-kind experience for guests,” said show spokesperson Lauren DePhillips.

“It illustrates the power of design, the story behind craftsmanship, creativity, the stewardship of old ways with pioneers of innovation. We’re bombarded in this world with one trend after the other, (and) for us we really want to bring this concept of luxury that connects the human to the object.”

The central piazza — a concept by designer Bianca Fusco Zanatta — provides the foundation for the Renaissance-themed show, and will mimic an authentic gathering space in Italy. It features 9,200 square-feet of pavers, benches, water fountains, 1,000-pound urns holding six-foot tall trees, coffee vendors and gelato stands. It will take roughly 45 people to bring it all together.

“It’s going to be pretty realistic,” Paquette said.

“We’re trying to duplicate an authentic Italian piazza. An Italian piazza is a gathering place that the people in the town or the city go to. It’s a park, but it’s usually within the confines of the city or small towns, so all the neighbours would go there every evening to relax and let the kids play there — that’s what we’re trying to create.”

With 38 years of experience building outdoor living spaces, this is one of the biggest shows Paquette has taken on. He has also built displays for the BC Home and Garden Show and the Vancouver Boat Show, and even created a 4,000 square foot “Gemstone Gridiron Deck” party space at BC Place for the BC Lions.

Although difficult to do, Paquette says it’s the challenge he enjoys most.

“I love what I do. If you don’t get up everyday and enjoy going to work, something is wrong. And I can honestly say there’s good days and bad days of course, but to be able to create something that is going to live on for other people to enjoy — it’s pretty fulfilling,” he said.

“And people say, ‘You’re crazy, why would you do that to tear it all apart?’ That’s why we do it. Because it’s exciting, it’s challenging, it’s a wow factor for other people to showcase their products. Not everyone can do this project, and I feel honoured that I was asked. And I’m excited about doing it.”

For more information on the Luxury Home and Design show or to purchase tickets, visit www.luxuryhomeanddesignshow.com.



miranda@langleytimes.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

Accused in 2017 downtown Chilliwack murder set for preliminary inquiry in two weeks

Court appearance on July 17 to shorten length of hearing for Kirkland Russell and Victoria Purcell

Vehicle into pole knocks out power

BC Hydro says 930 Chilliwack customers affected

Records fall as Chilliwack temperatures climb

But cooler weather is on the way

Former mayoral candidate to run for Chilliwack city council

Cameron Hull lost to Sharon Gaetz in 2014, now set to run again in October

Chilliwack Chiefs send defenceman to Alberta

Sean McCloskey gets a fresh start with the Alberta Junior Hockey League’s Fort MacMurray Oil Barons

Trudeau asks transport minister to tackle Greyhound’s western pullout

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau says he’s asked Transport Minister Marc Garneau to find solutions in Greyhound Canada’s absence.

Hub for mental health and addictions treatment opens at B.C. hospital

St. Paul’s Hospital HUB is an acute medical unit that includes 10 patient beds

Glow Langley returns bigger and brighter this Christmas

Organizers will also introduce Harvest Glow — a celebration of autumn

Restaurant Brands International to review policy over poaching employees

One of Canada’s largest fast-food company to review ‘no-poach’ franchise agreements

Calgary family’s vacation ends in tragedy on Texas highway

Three people died and four others were injured in the crash

Union construction cost competitive, B.C. Building Trades say

Non-union firms can bid on infrastructure, but employees have to join international unions

Trudeau to shuffle cabinet ahead of Liberals’ team for 2019

Trudeau could lighten the work loads of cabinet ministers who currently oversee more than one portfolio

Car calls 911 on possible impaired B.C. driver

A luxury car automatically calls Princeton police to scene of crash involving alcohol

BC Games marks 40 years in 2018

Cowichan Games a milestone for BC Games Society

Most Read