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    Globe and Mail

    13
    April
    2017

    When architecture meets collective values

    On a winter day, Ottawa looked as if it had all the colour sucked out of it. As I visited the headquarters of the Bank of Canada recently, the building’s reflective glass mirrored shades of greige in the cityscape’s slush, asphalt and limestone. Then I stepped inside the bank’s atrium, a 12-storey-tall space lined with shimmering […]

    10
    February
    2017

    School’s out

    A spaceship landed on Millwood Road. That’s how an imaginative child might see Davisville Public School: a pointy-winged product of a distant civilization that loves syncopated windows and hyperbolic paraboloids. In fact, the North Toronto school is the product of a distant civilization: Ours, in 1962, when public buildings had real budgets and Toronto’s school board believed its architecture should […]

    6
    July
    2015

    New TD Centre signage reflects a time when brands trump architectural vision

    In the late 1960s, downtown Toronto welcomed three buildings like nothing it had ever seen. They were black modernist monoliths: two skyscrapers and a one-storey pavilion, precisely designed by Mies van der Rohe. The Toronto-Dominion Centre gave the country a new set of architectural icons wrapped in glass and black steel. The complex has been […]

    30
    June
    2015

    When our country was built: An exhibit at Ottawa’s National Arts Centre will showcase centennial architecture projects

    Roughly 50 years ago, a crop of 900-odd performance art spaces, science museums and rec centres was established coast to coast explicitly to encourage Canada’s development. The intention of giving each young province a few public institutions was to spur homegrown culture, with the governments of the time believing the buildings themselves had a key […]

    2
    February
    2015

    Goodbye concrete shroud – hello dazzle fit for a capital

    David McCuaig stands on the crimson carpet of the National Arts Centre’s mezzanine level and gestures northwest. Through the concrete-slatted windows, he points to Parliament, to Confederation Square, and to the terrace just outside. “You’ll enter right here,” he says, “right into the beautiful new space.” Mr. McCuaig is the director of operations for the […]

    2
    October
    2014

    Photos uncover the everyday beauty of Toronto’s post-war high-rises

    Before you find out what’s on view at Pari Nadimi Gallery, the show’s title, Radiant City, snags your attention. Architecturally savvy folks will catch the reference: The 1933 book La Ville Radieuse, written, and dedicated “to Authority,” by the French-Swiss architect and theorist who, since 1920, had styled himself Le Corbusier. For many people who […]

    8
    May
    2014
    Looking up from bottom of ramp

    The scholars weigh in on Toronto Modernism

    ‘First come the gays, then the girls, then the industry,” says Samantha Jones to aspiring actor Smith Jerrod during the final season of Sex and the City. With a few tweaks, I think the same can be said for modernist architecture: First comes the grassroots, then the fashion-forward/creative-types, then the scholars. After that, hopefully, the general […]

    1
    May
    2014
    View of rear facade

    London Modern, for your consideration

    ‘This is the building that started it for me,” says librarian and architecture enthusiast Sandra Miller. “When I first moved to London I thought, ‘This is an interesting building, what’s the story?’” London City Hall is indeed interesting; it’s another example of the importance given to Canadian civic buildings in the Modernist period. Designed by award-winning, local architect […]

    6
    March
    2014
    Valhalla demolition (Urban Toronto)

    A sad string of losses for Modernist Toronto

    Before Chicago’s Prentice Women’s Hospital came down, the National Trust for Historic Preservation led a massive campaign to save it. With its unique “cloverleaf” design, the 1975 Bertram Goldberg-designed concrete building was considered a landmark, so in November, 2012, the Chicago Architecture Foundation presented an exhibit showcasing more than 80 designs for its possible adaptive […]

    documentation and conservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the modern movement