Thursday, January 29, 2009

Thom's Fraser Residence

A few shots 
of Ron Thom's and Paul Merrick's 1968 Fraser Residence in Toronto which was refurbished in 2003.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Form & Forest

D'Arcy Jones Design has created a line of cabins available through Form & Forest - a new company building the flat-pack pre-fab recreational dwellings.

The line launches February 19, 2009 and promises to carry over Jones' modernist sensibility to a satisfyingly reduced scale. In the meantime check out the blog for sneak previews of the cabins and other musings from the the Form & Forest folks. 

Below is a model for one of the designs.

High Level Review Open Houses

The City of Vancouver has been undertaking a land use review for the Northeast False Creek (NEFC) area. It is a large swath that includes the stadiums, the Plaza of Nations site, and various Concord Pacific properties. 

Part of NEFC has been proposed as a new site for the Vancouver Art Gallery. Though it is an undeniably choice location, it seems somewhat removed from the vigour and vitality of downtown. 

The city is also looking at possible street alterations to improve access from the downtown core, a move that would help mitigate this disconnect, both for the VAG and other amenities nearby. The broader plan for development in the area would also help enliven the wide, empty and stadium-dominated spaces.

On Sunday January 25th and Monday January 26th, the city will be hosting open houses to share information gathered to date and solicit feedback on the study. Follow the link for times, locations and more detailed information.

The City Going Green

The latest installment in Adele Weder's ongoing architecture series for the Tyee focuses on EcoMetropolitanism, an intruiging concept developed by Mari Fujita and Matthew Soules that explores a more wholistic integration of the natural world into our urban environment.

It's big picture dreaming, but is a compelling re-imagining of a relationship whose parts are too often compartmentalized.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

C.A.'s 2008 Awards of Excellence

Canadian Architect has published its 2008 Awards of Excellence.

West coast winners were limited to Patkau Architects (for a striking residence in Whistler and a church in Port Coquitlam) and U.B.C. M.A. student Michael Barton for his ocean-bound "synthetic land commodity" proposal.

In what might be considered an overall disappointing showing considering the number of West Coast entrants, the Patkau's two schemes stack up well with the other winners, which include projects by KPMB, Stantec and RDH Architects.

The awards continue to place "heavy emphasis on architectural discourse and process, rather than on the brute outcome of a finished building."

The judges - Bing Thom, Siamak Hariri and Christine Macy - seemed dismayed by the general lack of experimentation at a profession level, and at the same time energized by the progressive thinking of the student entries. The record number of student awards (and limited professional awards - just four) bears this out.

Follow the link to Canadian Architect - though as of this writing the December issue was not yet online.

Monday, January 12, 2009

VAG's 2009 Line-up

The Vancouver Art Gallery has announced its 2009 schedule
including a number of shows focusing on local work.

"How Soon Is Now" is a large group show that takes a look at the contemporary arts scene in British Columbia.

"Western Landscapes" showcases the work of Emily Carr, E.J. Hughes, Ann Kipling and Gordon Smith through the prism of, yes, the landscape of Western Canada. Given the VAG's holdings and the artists' deep connection to the subject, this should be a worthwhile grouping.

Reece Terris' "Ought Apartment" is a large scale installation (slated for the rotunda) that explores our relationship with architecture and our living spaces through decades worth of apartments outfitted with period materials. This show promises to be excellent.

Emily Carr also features in a show comparing and contrasting her work with Jack Shadbolt's, apropos considering her influence on his early career.

The exhibition schedule is rounded out with "Legacies of Impressionism in Canada", "Vermeer, Rembrandt and the Golden Age of Dutch Art" and "Enacting Abstraction".

See the gallery's Upcoming Exhibtions page for details and dates.