B.C. Binning's House July 1st Tour - Architecture Wanted's 100th POST!

Here's an announcement from The Land Conservancy of British Columbia (which work hard to preserve both natural and built heritage of our province):

Come join TLC on Canada Day in celebrating West Vancouver’s unique heritage at the home of west coast icon B.C. Binning! Come view the lush gardens, innovative architecture, and stunning view.
Renowned for his virtually unparalleled ability to amalgamate art, architecture, and education, Binning was in the vanguard of West Coast modern art and architecture.

Thursday July 1st from 1-4 p.m. Admission by donation.
2968 Mathers Crescent (Just off of 29th and Marine Dr.)
Carpooling and public transit are recommended as parking is limited
Contact The Land Conservancy for additional information:


Fallingwater Cottages

On the heels of their twelfth Governor General's Award, Patkau Architects have won a competition to design Fallingwater Institute cottages, nearby Frank Lloyd Wright's Fallingwater and not to far from his Kentuck Knob house. Their competition was formidable - Marlon Blackwell, Wendell Burnette, MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple, Olson Kundig, and Saucier + Perrotte.

Their design is without question, hands-down a leader. Its is ephemeral yet grounded(obviously) and voluptuous, if I may use that word to describe architecture. And they put turkeys in their renderings - pretty hard to top!

More images and drawings - all from patkau.ca:


The Book is here!

Reading Vancouver Sun yesterday I came across an article profiling new effort to produce 4th edition of Exploring Vancouver. This reminded me that there is a new architectural guide to Vancouver fresh off the presses:

A Guidebook to Contemporary Architecture in Vancouver

authored by Christopher MacDonald with Veronica Gilles and edited by Nancy Dunton and Helen Malkin.

It's about time there was a contemporary architecture guide! Organized by areas! With maps!

Well now, would I still keep on posting or will it become a trusted mate in my (and others') architectural journeys around Vancouver and make this blog irrelevant? What of my Google Map? Superseded? Hmm... Oh well - off to the bookstores!


Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery

A few weeks ago I have visited the Belkin Gallery at UBC - something I have meant to do for ages.

It was designed by Peter Cardew and is definitely the very next reason after Museum of Anthropology for an architecture-phile to get out to UBC. Located at 1825 Main Mall, it was finished in 1995.

Awash in gorgeous detailing - right down to the "oreo cookie icecream" glaze on the brick - the design merited Canadian Architect Excellence Award, Progressive Architecture Award, Governor General and Leutenant Governor Medals. Quite an achievement!

Here are some of the pictures I took:


Ontario Pavilion

Of all pavilions my favorite was Ontario House, located at Concord Place. Designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects of Toronto, this $4.65 million (design and construction only) building was by far the most inspired and striking. Its signature was the open air enclosure created with 42 km of cut white and blue rope chosen to evoke Niagara Falls. To hear one of the designers speak about the design, check out this link here. Apparently, kids loved the ropes!

The inner enclosed portion of the pavilion was functional, although had great content otherwise - technology, food, music, etc.


Manitoba Pavilion

One pavilion I found myself liking a fair bit is the CentrePlace Manitoba located in downtown "live site".

It is a prefabricated structure by Cibinel Architects. Besides the obvious effort to make it look like a considered piece of architecture but being a little rough around the edges, it had both a strong overall concept and some fun detailing. Although it is built with budget materials, it makes a tonne of impact - and it does not do so at the expense of pavilion's exhibition content.

Certain elements are worth pointing out in case the pictures are not easy to read:
- solid wood benches in the front creating a much needed rest/waiting area that doubles as a ramp
- tall pivot door that seemed to make the pavilion quite open to the outside
- the rotating projections on the translucent wall worked wall with its curve
- translucent walls were a great choice - the lighting was great
- reclaimed wood and recyclable translucent panels

Another notable fact - it cost $2.3 million. While that seems like a fair bit, compare it to others - Saskatchewan's 4.1 million(a sphere and a tent), Aboriginal Pavilion's six million(a sphere and a building), Canada's $10.4 million (neither tent nor building - something in between). Of course, just a part of cost of each went towards the buildings that house the content. It is certainly interesting to see who chooses to let architecture play a role in the representation of their province/region/culture/etc. and how large a role that is.

And to continue the train of thought from the previous pavilion - this one embodies the typology of "pavilion" quite well. Simple, special, light, prefabricate/temporary, etc.

Some pictures:

The back room is has an exhibit on the new Canadian Museum for Human Rights. Here is the model:These are rendering and construction photos - all via Cibinel Architects website:

In the evening the pavilion comes fairly close to the rendering.

Overall, great job of a pavilion - kudos to letting architecture be part of your exhibit both outside and inside!