More respite from the uniform green and grey.
More respite from the uniform green and grey.
From the 1950s to the 1980s, Paris was booming. Foreign migration and urbanisation of the city caused a huge surge in population and a crisis for housing. France’s solution came in the form of vast housing projects and so during this period massive, modernist and really quite unique estates sprung up across the city — aiming for a new way of living.
Just a few decades later and these towering buildings look dated, discarded and forgotten. Often stigmatised by the media, they divide opinion in France and have been left mostly occupied by the ageing community of ‘urban veterans’ who first made it their home, as the younger generation are drawn to more contemporary city living.
They’ve reached Port Moody:
This clip from The Sun is as interesting (and ironic) for the surrounding ads as for the video itself.
Scot: Last month I witnessed first hand the building boom currently underway in Seattle’s South Lake Union neighbourhood, with new towers taking over the skyline in seemingly all directions. What I found most refreshing was the great use of coloured glass and accents. Blues, greens, oranges throughout on windows, louvers and moldings adding bursts of colour during grey winter skies.
This seems to be the opposite design theme of Vancouver’s new generation of Starchitect towers which rely on bold forms (curves, shards, jenga cubes) than colour.
I’ll admit it; I’m a little pissed off. Only heard about these awards and the ceremony after it was over. C’mon, City of Vancouver, would it have hurt to send an invitation to Price Tags?
Here are this year’s winners at an interactive site.
Vancouver Heritage Foundation’s 14th annual Heritage House Tour
Sunday, June 5
10 am – 5 pm
To purchase tickets visit here or call 604 264 9642.
The 2016 one-day self-guided tour offers an exclusive look inside nine historic Vancouver homes, ranging from charming Craftsman homes built for working families to grand estates offering luxury to well-to-do early citizens, each home on the tour offers inspiration and intrigue.
Awaiting a plan to see it repurposed, the historic South West Marine Drive estate home, WilMar will be open in its current state, untouched for almost a decade and unfurnished. This is a singular opportunity to see it before any work begins.
You will also not want to miss the one-of-a-kind Barber Residence. Built in 1936, it is one of the city’s few examples of Art Moderne residential architecture. This home is a landmark for innovative architectural design, beautifully restored and revitalized by Architect Robert Lemon and Designer Robert Ledingham..
Those with a love for global art will also not be disappointed as we see how one owner has used their collection of Asian and African artwork and furnishings to blend seamlessly with an almost entirely untouched 1913 Craftsman home.
Some unexpected and some very good news-the Friedman House located on the University of British Columbia’s Endowment Lands has found a buyer. In this Globe and Mail article written by Kerry Gold the trust looking after this modernist gem by architect (and first director of the School of Architecture at the University of British Columbia) Frederic Lasserre has accepted an offer to purchase the house from a family in Ontario that-gasp-want to live in it and raise their children there. Landscape architecture legend Cornelia Oberlander designed the gardens around the Friedman house as her first commission in Canada. She is already at work prepping the garden for summer and the house’s new owner.
I wrote about this house’s seemingly inevitable demise a week ago. This house is an important bridge between Modernist design so popular in the 1950’s and 1960’s to the West Coast Style that brought forward architects like Ned Pratt.
These are not grand houses by scale, but are reflective of the mid-century designers’ optimistic adaptation to place, light, and space. In the case of the Friedman house, this important modernist design link towards establishing a vernacular coastal style will remain.
Walking Tours: Hastings Park and the P.N.E Fairgrounds & Art Deco Downtown
Hastings Park and the P.N.E. fairgrounds have been central to our city’s entertainment history for over 100 years. In that time they have undergone many transformations in order to become the entertainment and sporting destination that we see today. With sites that evoke moments of sporting glory, including the early home of the Vancouver Canucks, buildings with architectural and cultural significance, recent greening efforts and the return of wildlife, and its sobering darker history, this area is full of fascinating stories. Join us for a walk around the grounds and visit the key sites, both past and present, to learn about this favourite Vancouver destination.
Friday, May 20
10am – 12pm
Register Here $15 (inc. tax)
Art Deco Downtown
Vancouver has some amazing examples of the ebullient Art Deco movement. With its rich colours, bold geometric shapes and lavish ornamentation, this highly decorative style still maintains a dedicated following. We’ll revel in the grand dames of this elaborate architectural style, both past and present including a closer look at the remarkable Marine Building. Join us to also get to know some examples you have walked by but probably never noticed. Wear your Bakelite baubles!
Friday, May 27
10am – 12pm
Register Here $15 (inc. tax)
Heritage House Tour 2016
The Heritage House 2016 tour includes several grand estate homes ranging from impressively retained, to conversion into suites, to one that has sat empty for years waiting for a plan to give it new life. In these three homes you can see the changing desires of Vancouver’s wealthy citizens and how sprawling estates can be utilized in our modern city. You will also see a beautiful Arts & Crafts charmer that has hardly been touched over its 100 year life span.
This is also a great tour if you are a fan of the Craftsman style. We have several examples of the different types of Craftsman homes built in Vancouver, some with small nods to the style, others with almost all the original features.
Sunday, June 5th
10am – 5pm
Register Here $40 or $30 with valid student ID
This tour is eligible for professional development credits including 6 Non-Core LUs AIBC
You want tall? This is what Brooklyn is getting: 9 Dekalb Avenue – at 73 storeys, nearly twice as tall as any existing building in the borough.
Just approved by the Landmarks Preservation Commission, it passed the final hurdle after securing the air rights from the adjacent temple bank building. In other words, it is heritage preservation that allowed it to be so tall.
The site at 1245 Harwood was a source of significant controversy in the West End in 2014 when Council decided to allow the demolition of the Legg mansion. (Here’s the Sun’s story, with video by John Mackie. And the Price Tags item: “Tiptoeing past the Tulip Tree: How much do people really value heritage?“)
The unfortunate choice seemed to be the loss of the house or removal of one of the largest tulip trees in the West End (or, arguably, anywhere). Council changed its opinion several times, influenced in part by residents behind the site who wanted the maximum view.
Today, a small tower designed by Bing Thom Architects is almost finished:
The gray screens have imprints of tree leaves. Cute.
As part of the West End plan, new density was to be concentrated on the western end of Davie Street, leaving the Gay Village up the hill as a more low-rise streetfront. And so the one-storey spec commercial buildings from Denman to Cardero became highly desirable. This one is soon to go:
To be replaced by this:
It retains the commercial frontage but, at least in the rendering, lacks very much architectural interest, while significantly changing the scale of the street.
A master-planned community called Concord Brentwood is the latest development from Concord Pacific Developments Inc., renowned for its skyline-defining communities on Vancouver’s False Creek and Toronto’s lakefront.
Concord Brentwood will create a bustling community according to Concord Pacific senior vice president Matt Meehan. “Our next project in Burnaby, Concord Brentwood, will see 26 acres in the Brentwood neighbourhood transform into a beautiful and diverse mixed-use park-side community that completes the exciting revitalization of the Brentwood Town Centre neighbourhood.” …
Designed by award-winning architect James K.M. Cheng of Vancouver, Concord Brentwood will consist of 10 towers, most between 40 and 45 storeys tall. Tower 1 of Phase 1 will consist of 426 units on 45 storeys.
I don’t know if this a rendering of the massing for the proposal or the final product. But if the latter, the architecture looks pretty blah. I still have no explanation for why in this region there is such a reluctance to use colour, why the palette seems so constrained – off-white or gray, beige and green glass.
An Item from Ian found in Vancity Buzz.
Greg Mitchell asks the question:
… let’s rethink the narrative. We know Vancouver is an expensive city in which to live – it seems to be all Vancouverites think about currently (yes, I’m guilty too). And we are obviously limited in terms of our land on which we can develop (mountains, ocean – enough said). So our only option is to densify – but the question is HOW to densify.
He provides, in detail, an alternative:
Those details here.
The Globe and Mail reports on the scheduled demise of a truly iconic house located in Vancouver’s university neighbourhood, the University Endowment Lands east of the University of British Columbia. The Friedman house was designed and built by Frederic Lasserre who was originally from Switzerland and a University of Toronto graduate. Lasserre worked in London for the famous TECTON architecture group and taught at McGill before becoming the first head of the new Department of Architecture at the University of British Columbia in 1946.
The photo above is of Fred Lasserre in front of the Lasserre Building at the University of British Columbia. This is where the Architecture, Planning and Fine Arts Schools are located at the University. The UBC Architecture school was definitely modernist, and influenced by other emerging architects such as Ned Pratt and Bob Berwick, forerunners of the “West Coast Style”.
The house was built in 1953 for Dr. Sydney Friedman and his wife Constance, two of the early members of the Faculty of Medicine at UBC. The garden of the house was planted by landscape architecture icon Cornelia Oberlander, in classic west coast style. Dr. Friedman recently spent nearly $300,0000 on restorations to a house that he dearly loved, which still has its original furnishings from the 1950’s as can be seen in the photos. I have visited it and it is truly a unique and extraordinary house and setting.
Dr. Friedman passed away last year at the age of 94. He and his wife created a trust to provide for students attending the University of British Columbia. Because of the house’s location in the University Endowment Lands, Dr. Friedman could not get a heritage designation for the house because it is not located in the City of Vancouver. The members of the trust have deemed that the house needs to be for sale and it is on the market in the four million dollar range. Bids close very soon, and we will be losing an important classic modernist house, garden and furnishings that anywhere else would be cherished as a very important architectural gem. It is hoped that someone that understands the significance of the house steps forward to purchase it. Years from now we will mourn that this modernist gem was not kept and instead becomes another residence destined for the landfill in the relentless quest for new, larger single family homes. This residence has a remarkable tie to to our own architectural and planning history.
An apartment style popular in Vancouver, particularly in Kitsilano in the 1970s, is now half a century old – and still looks good.
That exposed wood exterior, earthy tones and lush west-coast landscaping show the influence of Coast Modernism, as documented here:
Architecture critic of The Guardian, Rowan Moore, isn’t pleased in the last months of Boris Johnson’s London.
It’s not just about tall buildings, although the number of towers higher than 20 storeys proposed for London now stands at more than 400. It’s also about bloated, bulging, light-blocking buildings of medium height, and about the limited attempts to insist on design quality, or to get new developments to create neighbourhoods that are more than a sum of their parts, or have any meaningful relationships with the areas into which they are inserted.