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CREATIVE INTERIORS JAMES BRITTAIN

06 VIEWPOINT

Sascha Hastings on the value of promoting our architects abroad.

09 NEWS

New projects, memoranda, and a victory for architects seeking better public procurement.

36 REVIEW

In New York, MoMA explores postwar Yugoslavia modernism.

41 BOOKS

New treatises on the Winnipeg firm GBR and the architecture of the French Atlantic empire.

14

45 CALENDAR

14 MILOS IN MANHATTAN Montreal’s Alain Carle Architect designs a New York iteration of Milos. TEXT Lawrence Bird

Design-related events across Canada and elsewhere.

50 BACKPAGE

Winnipeg’s pop-up manifesto for universal public toilets.

18 WALLS OF SOUND PLANT Architect’s raw, streetwise Aporia Records headquarters. TEXT Laura Lind

22 SAMSUNG’S ENIGMATIC EXPERIENCE Quadrangle creates a new Toronto presence for the electronics giant. TEXT Chloe Town

30 CHAMPION MOVES Peter Cardew Architects defines Reigning Champ’s strong and spare aesthetic MIKE KELLEY

in Canada and Los Angeles. TEXT Michael Turner

COVER The Samsung Experience Store, designed by Quadrangle Architects. Photo by Adrien Williams.

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THE NATIONAL REVIEW OF DESIGN AND PRACTICE / THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE RAIC

03

CANADIAN ARCHITECT

SEPTEMBER 2018


work. improvised. /

For the planned or impromptu, Cesto, designed by Khodi Feiz, is a mobile collection of seating and occasional tables that offers a nimble approach to social gatherings.

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canadian architect 09/18

06

Viewpoint The Enduring Benefits of International Exposure Text

Sascha Hastings ­­Editor (2017-2018) adele Weder, hon. mRAIC

After returning from the opening of this year’s Venice Biennale, I found myself thinking about the true value of promoting Canadian architecture abroad. How important is it for Canadian architects to be visible internationally? And if there is a value, what is it? For Bing Thom Architects (now Revery Architecture) and Fast + Epp Structural Engineers, their design and construction of an undulating wood wall around Canada House at the 2008 London Design Festival was invaluable—not only for the two firms, but for the rest of the Canadian design industry. The visibly striking, high-profile project reaffirmed the leadership role of Canada in general and British Columbia in particular in terms of wood innovation. For Johanna Hurme of 5468796 Architecture, the benefits of curating Migrating Landscapes, Canada’s exhibition at the 2012 Venice Biennale, have also been huge: “The connections we made in Venice produced outcomes that we couldn’t possibly have anticipated at the time.” Hurme and her partners have been invited to lecture, sit on juries and committees, and collaborate on projects and competitions abroad. They won prizes at the World Architecture Festival, a P/A Award and coverage in international publications. The contacts made in Venice helped them realize their 2013 Professional Prix de Rome project, in which they co-hosted conversations about architecture in eight world cities. Migrating Landscapes also helped launch the careers of dozens of young Canadian architects and designers. Andrew BatayCsorba describes Venice as “a coming-out party” for his firm, Batay-Csorba Architects. Lola Sheppard of Lateral Office tells a similar story. After curating Arctic Adaptations, Canada’s exhibition at the 2014 Venice Biennale, Lateral was invited to exhibit at the 2015 Chicago Biennial and the 2017 Seoul Biennial (the only Canadians who were). Being presented internationally also has an intangible value, says Sheppard. Because the Canadian architecture profession is often practice-driven, events such as those in Venice, Chicago and Seoul give architects the opportunity to do speculative work and to address broader social, cultural and political issues through design. This in turn allows them to be anticipatory and projective, take risks

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and drive culture forward in a way that isn’t always possible in daily practice. Erica Pecoskie, who in collaboration with George Simionopoulos had work in Migrating Landscapes, agrees: “Seeing what the rest of the world was doing awakened us, and we felt we could do better. It was a catalyst. It gave us the courage to say, ‘We can do it here too!’ and take action.” As a result, they launched Filo Timo, which creates highly sought-after bespoke architectural components. Support and promotion of architects abroad also creates opportunities for profession-wide business development and national branding. Heather Dubbeldam found this out first-hand after winning the 2016 Canada Council for the Arts Professional Prix de Rome and spending time in Denmark. She says the results of the Danish government’s support and promotion of its architects abroad (for example, by organizing events, providing travel grants, and helping Danish architects build international relationships) speak for themselves: BIG, Henning Larsen, 3XN, Schmidt Hammer Lassen, and COBE are just some of the firms doing work in Canada today. In fact, 20 percent of projects by Danish architects are built in other countries, compared to just four percent for Canada. What’s more, Denmark’s reputation as a world architecture leader has boosted other areas of their economy, including tourism, design and architectural education. Then there are the even less tangible, more spiritual benefits—one only need think of Arthur Erickson, whose sensitivity to place, climate, and built form were shaped by extensive journeys on a scholarship through Europe, the Middle East and Japan, and who helped shape future generations of architects and the very idea of Canadian architecture. Canada has the talent to compete internationally, but the world won’t know it unless we get behind our architects by supporting and promoting them. Wouldn’t it be wonderful to see a world where people turn to Canadian architects not only for their design excellence but also for the unique perspective that Canadians bring to an increasingly fractured world?

Editor (on leave) elsa lam, mRAIC Art Director Roy Gaiot assistant Editor Stefan novakovic Editorial Advisor Ian Chodikoff, OAA, FRAIC Contributing Editors Annmarie Adams, FRAIC Odile Hénault Douglas MacLeod, ncarb, MRAIC Regional Correspondents Halifax Christine Macy, OAA Regina Bernard Flaman, SAA Montreal David Theodore Calgary Graham Livesey, MRAIC Winnipeg Lisa Landrum, MAA, AIA, MRAIC Vice president & Senior Publisher Steve Wilson 416-441-2085 x105 sales MANAGER Faria Ahmed 416-441-2085 x106 Customer Service / production laura moffatt 416-441-2085 x104 Circulation circulation@canadianarchitect.com President of iq business media inc. Alex Papanou Head Office 101 Duncan Mill Road, Suite 302 Toronto, ON M3B 1Z3 Telephone 416-441-2085 E-mail info@canadianarchitect.com Website www.canadianarchitect.com Canadian Architect is published monthly by iQ Business Media Inc.. The editors have made every reasonable effort to provide accurate and authoritative information, but they assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the text, or its fitness for any particular purpose. Subscription Rates Canada: $54.95 plus applicable taxes for one year; $87.95 plus applicable taxes for two years (HST – #80456 2965 RT0001). Price per single copy: $6.95. Students (prepaid with student ID, includes taxes): $27.00 for one year. USA: $105.95 US for one year. All other foreign: $125.95 US per year. Single copy US and foreign: $10.00 US. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Circulation Dept., Canadian Architect, 101 Duncan Mill Road, Suite 302 Toronto, ON M3B 1Z3. Postmaster: please forward forms 29B and 67B to 101 Duncan Mill Road, Suite 302 Toronto, ON M3B 1Z3. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be re­produced either in part or in full without the consent of the copyright owner. From time to time we make our subscription list available to select companies and organizations whose product or service may interest you. If you do not wish your contact information to be made available, please contact us via one of the following methods: Telephone 416-441-2085 x104 E-mail circulation@canadianarchitect.com Mail Circulation, 101 Duncan Mill Road, Suite 302, Toronto, ON M3B 1Z3 Member of the Canadian Business Press Member of the ALLIANCE FOR AuditED MEDIA Publications Mail Agreement #43096012 ISSN 1923-3353 (Online) ISSN 0008-2872 (Print)

Sascha Hastings is a Toronto-based architectural consultant and a past project manager of several Venice design exhibitions.

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PROJECTS Lebel & Bouliane tapped for Algoma University business school

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canadian architect 09/18

news

Toronto-based Lebel & Bouliane Inc. have been enlisted to design Algoma’s new School of Business & Economics, part of the continued expansion of Algoma Univer­sity’s campus in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The facility’s striking form will be informed by the region’s geography, with a design that privileges natural light and fosters social connections. The conceptual renderings depict a warm ma­terial palette of materials native to Northern Ontario, including wood, brick, granite and lime­stone. www.lebelbouliane.com

New funding propels next phase of LGA’s Evergreen Kiln Building revitalization

The federal government has announced $6.5 million for Evergreen’s ongoing Kiln Building redevelopment in Toronto, led by LGA Architectural Partners. The Canadian Cultural Spaces Fund will support the expansion and enhancement of arts and culture programming in the historic Kiln Building at Evergreen Brick Works. Also announced was additional funding of $1.175 million from the Municipalities for Climate Innovation Program funded by the Government of Canada and delivered by the Federation of Canadian Municipalities. www.lga-ap.com

Ottawa announces $11.5 million for Thunder Bay Art Gallery

The Canadian government has announced $11.5 million in new funding earmarked for the Thunder Bay Art Gallery’s Waterfront Relocation Project.

ABOVE Rendering of the future Algoma University School of Business & Economics building, designed by Lebel & Bouliane.

The Thunder Bay Art Gallery’s expansion and relocation represent a major step forward in the revitalization of our city’s waterfront. This funding will help us continue to be a community that appreciates, understands and supports the importance of art and cul­ ture,” said Patricia Hajdu, Minister of Employ­ ment, Workforce Development and Labour. The commission was awarded to Patkau Architects and BrookMcIlroy in the Summer of 2016, following a three-year selection process that saw 13 architectural teams bid to design the new cultural hub for Northern Ontario. The gallery’s preliminary design was

revealed later that year, with an estimated $33-million price tag. The expected opening date is currently slated for 2022. www.patkau.ca www.brookmcilroy.com

Diamond Schmitt and DTAH to design One Planet Living project

Windmill Development Group will work with the architectural team of Diamond Schmitt Architects and DTAH to create a One Planet Living community in downtown Guelph, Ontario. One Planet Living is a planning framework based on the principles of sustain­ able food and water, net-zero carbon energy production, zero waste, equality and economy. Both Diamond Schmitt and DTAH will bring their substantial experience with innovative community planning to the project. www.dsai.ca www.dtah.com

Forest Stewardship Centre recognized as first “Living Building”

g

ABOVE

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Rendering of the future Thunder Bay Art Gallery, by Patkau Architects and BrookMcIlroy.

The Bill Fisch Forest Stewardship and Education Centre in York, Ontario is the first project in Canada to be recognized by the International Living Future Institute (ILFI) as Living Building Challenge certified. Designed by Dialog for the Regional Municipality of York, the centre is LEED Platinum and ILFI Certified. The Living Building Challenge is a building certification

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News program, advocacy tool and philosophy that defines the most advanced measure of sustainability in the built environment possible today. The world’s most rigorous standard for green buildings, a “Living Building” is free of toxic chemicals and runs on netzero energy, generating the same amount of and sometimes more energy that it requires to operate. www.dialogdesign.ca www.haeccity.com

Innovation Centre breaks ground at Red River College

Construction has started on the $95-million Innovation Centre at the Red River College Exchange District campus in Winnipeg. The 9,300-square-metre development, designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects in joint venture with Number TEN A rchitectural Group, will have facilities for applied research, entrepreneurship and commercialization. To help reach the goal of net-zero energy consumption, the skin of the new high-performance building will consist of photovoltaic glass panels that harness energy and also change colour depending on the angle of view and weather conditions. www.numberten.com www.dsai.ca

Projet Bonaventure receives GBCI SITES green building certification

The City of Montreal has been honoured as Canada’s first recipient of a SITES certification, awarded by the Green Business Certification Inc. (GBCI) to recognize the innovation and sustainabilit that characterize the city’s Bonaventure Project. The project involved the demolition of several hundred metres of elevated expressway in the heart of downtown Montreal to make way for a ground-level urban boulevard and over six acres of continuous public space, bookended by two monumental sculptures.

resets the building’s focus and provides a new community gathering space for the entire hospital, connects in-patient spaces from within the existing hospital to the new facilities and renews public areas in a spacious, light-filled environment. www.gibbsgage.com www.dsai.ca

WHAT’S NEW Architects and engineers successfully protest Quebec’s procurement process

The Association des Architectes en pratique privée du Québec (AAPPQ ), Quebec’s association of private practice architects, and the Association des firmes de génie-conseil (AFG), Québec, its association of engineering consulting firms, are savouring victory as the Quebec government backed down on a proposal for a regulatory amendement that entailed a “lowest bidder” requirement for procurement of public projects. The two organizations had called on the Quebec government and Robert Poëti, the provincial Minister for Integrity in Public Procurement and for Information Resources, to rescind a proposed draft amendment to the “Regulation respecting certain service contracts of public bodies,” citing the risk to public safety if experienced firms lose out to less-qualified but lower-cost bidders. “Do we need another tragedy to remind us that we cannot compromise public and environmental safety when

we build infrastructure?” asked AAPPQ Executive Director Lyne Parent and AFG President and CEO André Rainville. “Backed by dozens of organizations and experts, our two associations were able to successfully convey our concerns to the minister and his ministry,” said Parent and Rainville. “The magnitude of the response showed that a broader consultation was in order, and the minister clearly got the message.” CCA launches post-colonial research project on sub-Saharan Africa

The Canadian Centre for Architecture is launching a collaborative and multidisciplinary research project on sub-Saharan African countries after independence. The practice and discipline of architecture have been integral to what Congolese philosopher and professor Valentin-Yves Mudimbe has called “the invention of Africa” by the West. “Centring Africa: Postcolonial Perspectives on Architecture” seeks to understand architecture’s historical role in decolonization, neo-colonialism, globalization, and their manifestations across the continent. The research project is open to researchers, journalists, practitioners, and cultural producers from architecture history and other relevant disciplines. Those interested should submit a proposal through the CCA’s online application portal by October 31. www.cca.qc.ca

www.ville.montreal.qc.ca

Gibbs Gage and Diamond Schmitt unveil expanded Medicine Hat hospital

The new Ambulatory Care Building, part of an expansion and renewal of the Medicine Hat Regional Hospital by Gibbs Gage Architects and Diamond Schmitt Architects, has officially opened. The 22,800-square-metre addition significantly transforms this important community hospital. Ambulatory care clinics, labour and delivery suites, neo-natal intensive care units and major surgical facilities have all been expanded and consolidated. A central atrium

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ABOVE National Printing Press, Nouakchott, Mauritania, ca. 1971. Slide from the Kiran Mukerji Collection, Canadian Centre for Architecture.

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News Canada Council for the Arts names Prix de Rome winners

The Canada Council for the Arts has named this year’s Prix de Rome winners. Saint John-based Acre Architects has been awarded the Professional Prix de Rome; the Prix de Rome for Emerging Practitioner has gone to designer David Verbeek. The Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture is awarded to a young practitioner or firm that has completed their first built works and demonstrated exceptional artistic potential. Acre Architects founding partners Monica Adair (one of this year’s Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence jurors) and Stephan Kopp are both Master of Architecture graduates from the architecture, landscape and design program at the University of Toronto. They can use its $50,000 stipend for work, travel and presentation. The Emerging Practioner award honours a recent graduate from a Canadian architectural school with exceptional potential in contemporary architectural design. Verbeek is a Canadian designer, researcher and urbanist working with OMA (Office for Metropolitan Architecture) in Rotterdam. He received his Master of Architecture from the University of Toronto, where he was awarded the RAIC Gold Medal, the AIA Henry Adams Medal, and the OAA Architectural Guild Medal. The $34,000 fund­ ing can be used to assist with travel, internship opportunities, research and public presentation. The application deadline for the next Prix de Rome in Architecture is October 2.  www.canadacouncil.ca

Ottawa introduces Indigenous Homes Innovation Challenge

The federal government has announced the creation of the Indigenous Homes Innovation Challenge, to be launched this fall. The new program will fund creative approaches for the design and construction of Indigenous-led home and community innovation projects for First Nation, Inuit and Métis peoples living in rural and urban communities. “The goal of the Indigenous Homes Innovation Challenge is to support the creativity that exists in Indigenous communities across the country,” said Jane Philpott, Minister of Indigenous Services. “We want to revive traditional building techniques, train Indigenous youth, create jobs and improve community well-being. Simply put, we want to spark changes that lead to better housing for Indigenous peoples.”

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All proposals must be led by Indigenous communities or organizations and focus on improving Indigenous community well-being. Emphasis will be placed on designs that can be replicated in other communities. The Challenge will launch this fall and the call for proposals will be open until winter 2019. www.impact.canada.ca

International design competition launched for Winnipeg’s Market Lands

The CentreVenture Development Corporation has announced an open, international design competition for the redevelopment of 0.8 acres of land in downtown Winnipeg. The competition is for a design that includes a new 100 unit affordable housing complex, a 700-square-metre market building and a 150-square-metre plaza. This will be a two-phase competition with Phase 1 an RFQ to select a shortlist of up to five design teams for Phase 2 to prepare a conceptual design. One member of each team is required to be formally registered as a member in good standing in one of the Provincial Architectural Associations in Canada. The winning submission will receive a $100,000 competition prize with additional funds available for the completion of the schematic design stage. The winner will have the opportunity to enter into a formal contract with the proponent for the full architectural design. The other four finalists will receive an honorarium of $10,000 each. The Phase 1 RFQ closes on September 14. www.centreventure.com/news

Calgary’s Master of Landscape Architecture program receives accreditation

The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) Landscape Architecture Accreditation Council has granted the new Master of Landscape Architecture program at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design full accreditation for a three-year term. The program is the first new professional landscape architecture degree in Canada since 1980 and the first program in Alberta. “The mission of the Landscape Architecture Accreditation Council (LAAC) is to evaluate, advocate for and advance the quality of education in Canadian landscape architecture programs,” says Heather Cram, Chair of the LAAC. “The LAAC is delighted that the University of Calgary has achieved just this, by developing a program which will encourage experimentation and innovation in our profession.” www.ucalgary.ca

Omar Gandhi tapped for Yale School of Architecture position

Architect Omar Gandhi has been appointed as the Louis I. Kahn visiting assistant professor in architectural design at the Yale School of Architecture for the fall semester of the 2018-19 academic year. Based in Halifax and Toronto, Gandhi has risen to prominence as one of Canada’s leading young architects. His honours include two Lieutenant Governor Awards and a Governor General’s Medal in Architecture. www.omargandhi.com www.architecture.yale.edu

MEMORANDA Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence

Submissions for the 51st annual Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence close this year on September 20. These awards recognize exceptionally high levels of excellence in projects that are currently in the design or construction stages, as well as student work. Winning entries will be published in the December edition of Canadian Architect. This year’s jurors are Monica Adair, MRAIC of Acre Architects in Saint John; Winnipeg-based David Penner, FRAIC of David Penner Architect; and Ted Watson, MRAIC of MJMA in Toronto. More information, including submission criteria, is available at the link below. www.canadianarchitect.com/awards

Atlantic Wood Design Awards

Submissions for the 2018 Atlantic Wood Design Awards are due on September 30. The awards celebrate excellence in wood construction and design, and honour the people and organizations that showcase and promote the use of wood in the Atlantic region of Canada. Winners will be honoured at an event held in Halifax on December 5. www.atlanticwoodworks.ca

HBSA Achievement in Architecture Awards

The Hamilton and Burlington Society of Architects (HBSA) is inviting members to submit their built works, studies and proposals completed since October 15, 2016 to the HBSA Achievement in Architecture Awards 2018. The deadline is October 12. This year’s winners will be announced at the HBSA Celebrates Event on November 15. www.hbsarchitects.com

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Milos in manhattan A Montreal-based network of fine Mediterranean dining presents its New York incarnation

Estiatorio Milos, New York Alain Carle Architecte with Dyami Architecture & Interior Architecture TEXT Lawrence Bird PHOTOS James Brittain PROJECT

ARCHITECT

In the early years of his Montreal-based practice, Alain Carle thrived on urban analysis. Although today his work focuses on high-end residential design, he still aspires to “dismantle the dream house,” as he puts it, by drawing on an awareness of alterity and context. His recent expansion of the New York location of Greek seafood restaurant Estiatorio Milos reveals a similar agenda. Intending to sidestep folkoric traps, he instead sought an architectural and material expression of a specific culinary approach: that of chef Costas Spiliadis, for whom food is about precision, simplicity and freshness. The restaurant is adorned with its share of cultural artefacts—for example, immense pithari, or earthenware jars. But Carle’s real interest

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is more properly understood in less literal yet more viscerally real terms—as though inspired by memories of white, crisp architecture against a clear sky and sea. We can see this in the spiral staircase that flows downwards from just inside the restaurant’s entrance. A scalloped, sensual cascade of white steel and Pentelic marble, it shows a clear affinity with the raw materials that animate this dining place: shellfish, curds of yogurt, husks of fresh fruit. If the materials of cooking please the tongue, these architectural materials please the hand. They are simultaneously rough and refined: the marble flooring is interspersed with broad floorboards of white oak that is harvested from centennial trees, butterfly jointed and finished

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An open kitchen and fish counter define the New York Milos in much the same way as at sibling restaurants in Montreal and London. The materials include white oak floor and millwork from Denmark-based Dinesen, Marmorino hand-plastered stucco walls, plus marble and vintage mariners’ lamps sourced in Greece.

with a Danish wax. The hand is acknowledged too by the stair’s guardrail: one’s fingers slip into the hollow between a three-quarter steel round and the thin blade of steel protecting it. The staircase is a small miracle of making. Fabricated to precise tolerances by the Pennsylvania-based steel manufacturer CMF, it was dismantled, shipped to Manhattan, dropped into place through the front of the restaurant (after the removal of the entire glass facade) and welded together. That was just one phase of a complex and costly building process. The staircase leads us down to a space divided by sliding slatted screens, also of white oak. Their straight lines—a counterpoint to the curving stairs—serve to separate a bar, private dining spaces and a secondary

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Floor-to-ceiling wine racks double as dining room walls. The restaurant includes a private dining area that can be closed off to the rest of the space with louvred panels.

ABOVE right

kitchen. Walls are up-lit from f loor level, so the rooms seem to glow. Raw concrete frames the space far above head height. Diverse sources of indirect light are coordinated to highlight the food. One could find fault in the finish of the steel staircase: painted rather than powder-coated, the stairs have already begun to show wear. Yet this criticism would miss the point. The steel stair is not an abstraction; its finish intentionally shows traces of use. Like the worn pithari, it reveals the passage of time. Though its origins are in a form of “slow food,” the excellence of Milos’ seafood depends on the almost-obsessive management of an international supply chain of fresh ingredients. Fish caught at night in the Mediterranean, for example, is flown to New York in the morning and soon arrayed on ice before the enraptured diner. Carle has also designed Milos restaurants in Montreal and London, and he is the design architect for New York’s next Milos Estiatario, which will open next year in Manhattan’s Hudson Yards—okne of the world’s densest urban areas, itself a hub for the concentration of resources from far-flung places. Other projects in the Yards (by Heatherwick Studio and Diller Scofidio & Renfro for example) will celebrate movement and the raw beauty of industrial heritage. One looks forward to a similarly inventive installation of Milos: crisp, clear, sensual and evocative—a raw and sustaining beauty. Lawrence Bird, MRAIC is a Winnipeg-based visual artist, planner and architect.

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Client Costas Spiliadis | Architect Team Alain Carle, Michel Lefebvre, Isaniel Gutierrez Levesque, josé Ángel Pérez vicente | Structural/Mechanical/Electrical Henderson Engineers Inc. | Interiors JRM Construction Management, LLC | Project Manager Claremont Peconic Inc. | Lighting Design Lux Et Veritas Design Inc. | Area 15,000 sf | Budget $12M USD | Completion April 2018

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The refurbished 3.5-storey building was previously a hardware store and a warehouse. Its front façade offers impromptu views of the performance space to the pedestrians outside. right Offices occupy the lower and mezzanine levels, and there are two soundproof rooms where artists can practice and produce music. Left

WALLS OF SOUND A raw, streetwise scheme defines the Toronto headquarters of Aporia Records

Aporia Records, Toronto PLANT Architect Inc. TEXT Laura Lind PHOTOS Steven Evans PROJECT

ARCHITECT

On a gritty stretch of Toronto’s Gerrard Street east, the sturdy 3.5-storey building boasts a solid industrial pedigree. Purpose-built as a Home Hardware store in 1990, it was later repurposed into a manu­fac­turing plant for microphone headsets for police SWAT teams. And now, in its latest incarnation, PLANT Architect has transformed it into the headquarters of a music publishing and licencing studio. When the clients purchased the space in 2013, “it was like a cubical farm in here, a labyrinth,” says Aporia Records president Gord Dimitrieff. Toronto’s PLANT Architect was enlisted to convert the five-level building into an office, rehearsal studios, event space and warehouse. Befitting its dual purpose as both event space and music-label head­ quarters, Aporia Records has—unsurprisingly—a bifurcated interior. Guests are ushered into an open two-storey volume replete with a metre-wide glitter ball. The record label’s more serious work of music publishing and licensing is conducted in the rear mezzanine.

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The project also required sound-and movement-proofing from the rumble of the street cars trundling three metres out the front door. In addition to these multiple program demands the clients requested corporate privacy. “We couldn’t function in an open plan environment because there is just too much music going on here most of the time and a lot of our business is on cell phones,” adds Dimitrieff. “You don’t want to be on the phone if someone’s playing music next to you.” With exisiting fenestration only on the southern façade, the challenge for the architects was to cloister the deep interior workspaces without light locking the offices. “We use light and the transmission of light as the way of structuring space and giving it a clean feel but without the materials themselves being super crisp,” says PLANT partner Lisa Rapo­ port, who led the project. True enough, the full floor-to-ceiling walled-in offices in approximately the same configuration where the cubicles once sat—is all light and expanse. By adding skylights to every upstairs space,

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Above Through the incorporation of skylights, reeded glass and translucent acrylic panels, the interior of this formerly dark warehouse is flooded with natural light. A BetaCalco Cylindra suspended light fixture provides additional illumination. The twin-wall acrylic panels are from Evonik.

ribbons of interior clerestory windows and translucent twinwall sidelights beside every door, the light pours out between rooms. For the PLANT team, known for their comfort with multi-stage interventions, this conversion of an industrial space was by necessity a double-phase endeavor. Aporia needed offices immediately but there was a river running beneath the building. As a result, the upper levels were completed and main floor just demolished and painted when the staff moved into the upstairs pod in 2015. In the second phase of the project, a double-doored, rubber-lined room on a u-shaped rubber channel rehearsal room was added to the front space. It is capped by a twin wall-clad balcony overlooking the entrance volume, lending the room a playful aspect. A restraint and consistency in finishes unifies the project and allows for light transfer. The existing hardware store steel stair and railings remained but were bolted with twin-wall acrylic cladding, echoed in the balcony and office sidelights. Galvanized doors were left unpainted to accumulate fingerprint patterns. Floors are polished concrete, some with undulating stripes from a residual epoxy finish, an approach which lends another industrial note.

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The project works because of the rough simplicity of its materials and its rational floor plan. “There’s equipment moving in and out, and it needs to be able to function with those kinds of spaces,” notes Rapaport, referring to some sound gear stacked halfway up the central open stairwell. The gear would look haphazard in a more conservative or refined space, allows Rapoport: “If you had all that stuff out, you’d ask: ‘Who left that in the hallway?’” As it is, all that audio equipment forms a visual complement to the hard-wearing interior surfaces—perfectly in tune with its surroundings. Laura Lind is a Toronto-based writer on design and culture.

Client aporia records | Architect Team Lisa Rapoport, FRAIC; Cleo Buster, Lisa Dietrich, Hannah Brash | Structural Blackwell | Mechanical GPY & Associates Engineering | Electrical CWR-LORRE Associates | Interiors PLANT Architect Inc. | Building Envelope Consultant CDW Engineering | Contractor DJ McRae Contracting | Area 520 m 2 | Budget $657,000 | Completion June 2017

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SAMSUNG’S ENIGMATIC EXPERIENCE

Toronto Eaton Centre Samsung Experience Store Quadrangle TEXT Chloe Town PHOTOS Adrien Williams, unless otherwise indicated PROJECT

ARCHITECT

In late 2014, the webzine urbantoronto.ca was humming with speculation over who might occupy the retail site located diagonally across from Dundas Square on the west side of Yonge Street. Previous flagship retailers hadn’t fared well in this location: Sears had closed its doors in the first few months 2014, just as the Eaton’s department store had folded 15 years earlier. The soaring glass atrium—once the forecourt to Eaton’s—had been parcelled into smaller, leasable retail spaces by property-owner Cadillac-Fairview. Fast-fashion retailers H&M and Uniqlo were already new tenants. What high-performing global brand would anchor in their midst? Plans for the empty space posted by Retailer Insider, an online publication, simply read “mystery retailer.” Bets were on Apple. Instead, Samsung—Apple’s primary competitor—secured the coveted spot. The Samsung Experience Store now stands where a statue of Timothy Eaton once held court. Designed by Toronto-based Quadrangle, the store is the first thing commuters and shoppers see when they rise to street level from the subway concourse and food courts below. Its façade is distinguished by a black steel ribbon that cuts around the front doors and bends at the corners of a glass wall. Inside, the dark ribbon continues, undulating around single- and double-storey windows that face the bank of descending escalators and central circulation corridor. Samsung has opted for the digitally driven design vocabulary of parametricism, in high contrast to Apple’s minimalist gospel of neat rows of display tables and uniform lighting. The interior is roomy and inviting. The layout is loose, the walls are curved and the arrangement induces meandering. Limited-edition phone cases are suspended in illuminated vitrines like precious artifacts in an area called the “Personalization Zone.” Elsewhere, handheld electronics are tethered to beveled countertops made out of Staron, an acrylic polymer similar to Corian that had To design the swooping curves of the Samsung Experience Store the Quadrangle team would print the plans, then hand-draw the walls, and then scan them to be traced digitally.

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ABOVE The steel-lined central stairway linking the two storeys is packed with insulation to prevent it from vibrating as visitors ascend and descend. The white ovoid counters are made of Staron. OPPOSITE Defined by a black-ribbon frame, the fenestration of the mall-side façade reads like a beckoning oversize screen to passers-by in the Eaton Centre. Inside, comfortable seating contributes to the immersive environment.

been developed by Samsung Chemicals (a divison of the parent company that was sold off in 2015). A large touchscreen hovers under a piece of glass that cuts across an ovoid volume made out of the same solid surfacing material. Where there is Staron, there are Samsung electronics. The surrounding walls and floor recede into the background with muted shades of brown and gray. The sombre tones draw one’s eye to Quadrangle’s standout design move—a generous f light of stairs that follows an arc up to a newly constructed second floor. The white balustrade unfurls in what looks like a single curvilinear piece of seamless metal. According to Quadrangle’s design director and project leader, George Foussias, seven half-inch-thick steel pieces were shaped off-site and welded together in place. It’s a metal version of a calla lily, graceful and light. The sinuous language is repeated overhead in a series of bulkhead plateaus that hide mechanical ducts and unify the design language. The ceiling plan, complete with curved linear diffusers and swooping stepped forms, is the result of Quadrangle’s highly successful collaboration with Alula Lighting Design.

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Because the goods available for purchase are scattered throughout the store, visitors are pooled in some places while the rest of the f loor is open. In the words of David Moisey, a director of retail marketing at Samsung Electronics, the store offers “permission to be curious.” The design relays the message: Stay a while, stroll about, take a seat. Yet much like the secrecy leading up to the store’s opening, the welcoming tone belies another curiosity. According to Moisey, there are 127 stores that sell Samsung phones within a half-kilometre of Yonge and Dundas. Samsung does not need this retail space to make pointof-sales purchases. The site’s inherent value is the large volume of people who pass by hourly. What is on offer are sightlines into an affable setting and, once inside, a preview to what a fully-integrated Samsung lifestyle might look like. This “experience” is especially showcased on the second floor where couches, arm chairs and coffee tables are staged to look like residential interiors. There are stacks of books and empty vases on low credenzas. Customized area rugs suggest smaller domestic territories from which

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to watch a bank of monitors in the “TV Zone.” The interconnectivity of one’s smartwatch to one’s refrigerator is still a novel idea, as is the act of putting on a VR headset, but consumers seem willing to play along. Even if visitors do not buy anything, they are encouraged to at least buy into the thinking that integrated smart-home devices are desirable. Clusters of display gadgets and a functioning kitchen staged with Samsung appliances are just the visible part of the experiential efforts however. The store has its own curated soundscape, heavy on K-Pop and burbling electronica, and its own aroma, called “Galaxy Scent,” which wafts through an integrated scent-dispersal system. Less noticeably, surveillance strategies including wifi hotspots and heat sensors that track and record each visitor’s “dwell time.” The integration of invisible systems into the build-out calls to mind another dynamism at play. The client, Samsung Canada, operates under the umbrella of a much larger parent company whose size and diversity reveals the full branding potential of this project. Samsung Electronics is profitable on its own but is also part of a wider universe of conglomerated

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 1 interior entrance  2 pos  3 feature zone  4 vr zone  5 personalization zone  6 personalization zone boh  7 accessories & wearables  8 elevator  9 electrical 10 janitor’s closet 11 universal washroom 12 secured stock 13 mobile zone 14 stair 15 exterior entrance 16 beacon/space frame

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Quadrangle worked with the lighting designer Alula to create the effect of illuminating surfaces rather than floor. Light is cast three to four feet from the ground, so that no one point on the display tables or service counters is at risk of overheating.

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 1 stair  2 customer service  3 home appliance zone  4 beacon/space frame  5 tv zone  6 storage  7 service counter  8 service boh  9 elevator

10 washroom corridor 11 janitor’s closet 12 staff area 13 staff lockers 14 catering kitchen 15 offices 16 secured stock 17 b2b centre 18 boardroom

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Left The 27,000-kg. stairway was shipped in seven pieces and welded on site. The two-storey space was originally two separate retail outlets with no connection between floors. The stair was installed via an opening cut into the upper-floor slab and rests on a single point on the ground floor. above The curvilinear black ribbon of frame emphasizes the store’s presence in a shopping mall crowded with other retail.

interests. When Samsung was founded in 1938, the company first sold noodles, sugar and wool. By the late 1950s, it had expanded into the insurance, securities and retail markets in South Korea, and by mid ’80s it was selling computers internationally. Today Samsung is the most versatile company in modern history. The parent company makes enormous profits from its Galaxy phones but also from hotels, biopharmaceuticals, financial services, advertising, construction, renewable energy and much else. For example, Samsung owns the construction company that built the Petronas Towers in Malaysia as well as the 163-storey Burj Khalifa in the United Arab Emirates. Another branch of the business, Samsung Techwin, specializes in surveillance and weapons technology. The Samsung Experience Store reveals nothing about the breadth of “experiences” that the company deals in, but instead reads as a giant architectural advertisement for what we should be doing with our leisure time. In other words, the store reduces the many meanings of the word “experience,” which typically refers to feelings both bad and good, to mean one thing: the pleasures of a holistically branded environment. This is an increasingly common marketing refrain these days. When Saks Fifth Avenue moved to Toronto, for example, the company president described the store to a local newspaper as “more than just things. Saks is a dream. Saks is a feeling.” Yes—but as with Samsung, the ambition is still to sell things. Where retail environments elsewhere compel visitors to open their wallets immediately, this kind of approach harnesses

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a designers’ expertise and care into making aspirational stagecraft. The environment does not convince you to buy a phone and get out, but rather that the Samsung world is a wonderful place to reside. The interactive performative stage is set in a wash of low, warm light. Residential vignettes, including a working kitchen, suggest hospitality and no doubt assists with promoting online sales and the corporate image. Yet as one moves to the back of house, to the second floor boardroom and further still to the storage and service areas, the blousy aesthetic vanishes and orthogonality returns. Here we find the real kitchen, the one actually used by event caterers. Ironically, it has no Samsung appliances in it. But for the store’s potential consumers, however, especially those nestled in recliners and equipped with VR gear, what is happening behind the scenes seems very far from their minds. They look at ease: comfortable and entertained—exactly as the designers had intended. Chloe Town is a lecturer at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. She also teaches in the department of architecture at The University of Waterloo.

Client Samsung canada | Architect Team jeff hardy, George Foussias, Young-Kun Yoon, Tor McGlade, Mauro Carreno, Danial Shojaei | Structural RJC Engineers | Mechanical/Electrical Hidi Group | Interiors Quadrangle | Contractor structure corp | Area 1,950 M 2 | Budget N/a | Completion 2017

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L a B re a Avenue , Lo s An g e l e s On These pages The Los Angeles Reigning Champ store on La Brea Avenue is the Vancouver-based athletic wear company’s first foray into the United States. The rolling display millwork is suspended from rail tracks and have removable and interchangeable components for seasonal displays and the special in-store events. Photos by Mike Kelley.

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CHAMPion MOVES

A Vancouver-based streetwear retailer makes a beachhead in Los Angeles

Reigning Champ Peter Cardew Architects TEXT Michael Turner PROJECT

ARCHITECT

As I approach Reigning Champ’s Los Angeles store, the warm June day is nine hours old and the sun that governs Los Angeles is in session. The grid of asphalt patches near the South La Brea Avenue store reads as a geometrically modern evocation of the neighbourhood’s prehistoric tar pits: a fitting context for the Canadian-based streetwear brand. It’s the fourth of five Reigning Champ stores designed by Peter Cardew Architects, and the first in United States, where it serves as the brand’s flagship presence in that country. Like Cardew’s other Reigning Champ designs—two in Vancouver, two in Toronto—the 6,000-sq.-ft. L.A. store is composed of grey steel, white tile and straight-grained hemlock sourced from British Columbia. Where the walls are untiled, they are painted white and, depending on one’s position in relation to the lighting above, are ref lected in the polished concrete floor. Rather than glue-and-paper catalogues gumming up the tiled seating areas, a yawn of wall space provides a surface onto which the company projects its upcoming season.

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R ob s on Street, Va ncouver

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display table assembly

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3" Wood post

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set screw for wood post Above In the Vancouver Robson Street store, the mobile rotating display units can be rearranged for seasonal displays and celebratory events. right Drawing of the store’s rotating display table. Left In the street’s boisterous panoply of retailers, the Reigning Champ storefront projects a clean, athletic presence. Photos by Ema Peter.

Yet as much as these stores are outlets for premium athletic wear (ballcaps, hoodies, t-shirts and sweat pants), they function equally as a celebration of uncommodified space. If this was a bookstore, one might think it was in Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. In the case of Reigning Champ, it is the opposite: the stores are doing fine, and the vision of availability is the desired effect. Known for his minimalist aesthetic, Vancouver-based Cardew has led a range of projects over his fifty-plus-year career—a list that includes the Lignum Forest Products offices in Williams Lake (1978), the Crown Life Plaza in Vancouver (1978), Belkin Art Gallery (1995), Stone School in B.C.’s Chilcotin region (1996), and numerous private homes and rental apartments. Cardew has also participated in fashion and furniture retail, beginning in the early 1990s with the s.Oliver apparel shop on Robson Street, followed by home decor’s 18 Karat in the 2000s. But Reigning Champ presented a different set of circumstances. Reigning Champ founder and owner Craig Atkinson, who spent a number of years living and working in Japan, had already achieved

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steel floor plate shim differs with each table

success with Wings & Horns, a menswear brand created in Vancouver, inspired by Japanese minimalism fused with West Coast weatherproofing. “Like Craig’s Wings + Horns, Reigning Champ is coming out of online sales,” Cardew tells me during a recent studio visit. “At a certain point there was interest in a street presence.” Although aware that online sales have wreaked havoc on bricks-andmortar retailers, Cardew sees Atkinson and his kind as having a different agenda. “They’re interested in the theatre of it, and it’s that theatrical aspect, you see, that compels the drop-ins to order the product online, after they drop into the bricks-and-mortar store. In the modern digital world, it is no longer enough for bricks and mortar stores to simply display their wares; they must also attract customers through entertaining them.” Their initial meeting launched a series of conversations on how a Reigning Champ store might perform. “Craig was familiar with 18 Karat, whose operation was mindful of historic English shops like Heels and more affordable versions such as Terence Conran,” says

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F ourt h Avenue , Va ncouver Top left The Fourth Avenue storefront, in Vancouver’s Kitsilano neighbourhood. Bottom left The interior of the Fourth Avenue store. above Display table in the Fourth Avenue store.

Photos by Andrew Latreille.

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Cardew. “A more recent example is Dover Street Market, which demolishes the store every six months and rebuilds it.” Atkinson had leased a partially renovated mid-century building and recognized its intrinsic flexibility. “Rather than trash everything, throw it out and start anew, we decided on a more sustainable, mutable approach,” says Cardew. The result is not a store whose display props come and go, but one that, like the gym concept which informs the stores, is based on movement, flexibility and fluidity. With their spare steel-and-wood design, these six shelves, suspended from concrete beams, are the L.A . store’s most prominent feature, lending a desired lightness to its sleek clothing line, with allusions to speed, efficiency and adaptability. If the store wants to make space for an event, staff simply rearrange the shelves within the space. As to why the hanging shelves were not used on the Robson Street store, Cardew gives an expectant nod. “The Robson location was an older wood frame with very little structural adaptability. Rather

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than base a design on the ceiling, we chose to use the f loor.” For this, he called on long-time associate Toby Schillinger, a steel craftsman whose Toby Cycle Works began as a maker of bike frames and has since become a sought-after fabricator. What Cardew decided on was a series of wheeled shelving units anchored by vertical poles. If staff need to open the space, they adjust each unit by rotating them, which changes the character of the space in numerous ways. As Cardew elaborates on the Robson Street millwork, a distant cheer rings out. I ask if he is following the World Cup. “Funny you should mention that,” he says, grinning, “because in celebration, Reigning Champ is hosting a foosball tournament in its stores. You know what foosball is, don’t you?” I do. A frenetically played 11-sq.-ft. table game for two or more paddlers—usually accompanied by an equally theatrical crowd. “Exactly!” says Cardew. Michael Turner’s latest book, 9×11 and other poems like Bird, Nine, x and Eleven, will be published this fall by New Star Press.

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review

“Monument to the Battle of the Sutjeska,” by Miodrag Živković, 196571, Tjentiste, Bosnia and Herzegovina. right “Monument to the Fighters Fallen in the People’s Liberation Struggle,” by Živa Baraga and Janez Lenassi, Illirska Bistrica, Slovenia, 1965. left

SECOND WORLD PROBLEMS 1

TEXT

Stefan Novakovic Valentin Jeck except where indicated

photos

Charting the complex evolution of Yugoslavia’s 20th-century architecture

In late July, I flew from Belgrade to New York. Leaving my Serbian homeland’s summer colours, I found myself immersed in the monochrome simulacra of Yugoslavia. At the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), the ongoing exhibition Towards a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980 conjures a vision of balkan utopianism where the aura of concrete takes on almost mythic qualities. Curated by Martino Stierli and Vladimir Kulić with assistant Anna Kats, the exhibition charts three decades of architectural expression in the erstwhile Socialist Federalist Republic of Yugoslavia. The multiethnic state helped launch the non-aligned movement after a schism with the Soviet Union in 1948. During the federation’s short life—it dissolved in 1992 in the throes of war—rapid urbanization and cultural evolution built up an impressive legacy of late-modernist architecture. Decades later, many of those war monuments, cultural centres, government edifices and apartment blocks remain. At MoMA, they are brought before Western eyes through scale models, drawings, films and, above all, photographs.

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Beckoning the eye in every room, Valentin Jeck’s dramatic, saturated photographs (commissioned by the museum) depict buildings and monuments that reach out from the landscape like relics of some alien civilization. Atop a blanket of snow, Miodrag Zivković’s kinetically charged Monument to the Battle of the Sutjeska enters the composition like an otherworldly entity, jagged and impossibly angular against the sublime and yet desolate landscape. From Priština to Ljubljana, Skopje, Belgrade and Zagreb, the same ominously darkening sky furnishes the stereotype of a nameless and vacant eastern European city. Grand architectural relics of Yugoslavia loom over their surroundings, as if impervious to any nature or humanity surrounding them. In all that concrete, Jeck finds the heroism within it, if not the humanity around it. Form and texture are artfully conveyed, but to the the detriment of context—and of reality. Where is everybody? How does it actually feel to be there? Bookending the exhibition hall, a restored example of Saša Mächtig’s Kiosk 67 offers a rare moment of tactility and colour. Once ubiquitous

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Martin Seck

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Avala TV Tower, 1960-65, by Ugliješa Bogunović and Milan Krstić. Built on Mount Avala near Belgrade, the tower was destroyed in 1999 and rebuilt in 2010. above The MoMA’s installation of a Saša Mächtig-designed red vending kiosk, repurposed here as an information booth. top

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across Yugoslavia, the modular red kiosks served as everything from grill-houses and newspaper stands to private boxes at stadiums. You can still see a few of the grimy little bastards in business on street corners: run-down receptacles for hawking cigarettes and beer and hosiery. The transplanted kiosk installed at the MoMA exhibition serves as an information booth on the third floor lobby. Restored to a brilliant lustre, it’s prettier than the ones you’ll see in the former Yugoslavia, and less alive. As Alexandra Lange put it in Curbed, “I longed to see it back on the street, selling Slavic candy, doing a real job.” To see it robbed of its ordinariness is to see it robbed of its essence. Still, if the photographs, models, drawings and video installations rarely convey more than a sense of architectural spectacle, the exhibition does offer crucial historical context. It’s encouraging to see the likes of Milan Mihelič, Zlatko Uglijen, Stojan Maksimović and Andrija Mutnjaković solidify their places in the Western canon, and it’s especially invigorating to see women architects like Svetlana Kana Radević and longtime Energoprojekt manager Milica Šterić given prominence. What’s more, the exhibition and its catalogue provide vital political and ideological context for Yugoslav architecture. From the Titoist principles of workers’ self-management to the evolution towards more mixeduse planned communities (with a thin veneer of socialist feminism) a meticulous historicism frames the prevailing architectural ideologies. It makes for an engaging and occasionally stirring exploration of Yugoslav architecture, though one that nonetheless threatens to f latten its subject under the weight of aesthetic fetishism. The sanitized monochrome of Jeck’s photography plays up the otherness and supposed austerity of the Balkans, while newly commissioned scale models tell us little about what these concrete behemoths might mean. And amidst all those plans, maps, models and photographs, there is almost no sense of place. Enamoured with the optimism and sheer “weirdness” of Yugoslav architecture, the exhibition tells us plenty about how architecture might have been imagined, but relatively little about how it was (and continues to be) experienced. However astounding these structures may seem, most of them also exist in an environment of banality and sheer ordinariness. In New Belgrade, a master-planned community comparable to Brasilia in scope, a series of similarly expressive, massive, and downright bizarre buildings are also the backdrops to everyday life. Across former Yugoslavia, even Bogdan Bogdanović’s strikingly expressive war monuments—often compared to UFOs—are occasionally torn from their photographic mythos. On the back cover of MoMA’s own Bogdanović by Bogdanović catalogue, we find our view of the monument obfuscated by a gaggle of children, sitting at its base and climbing its strange concrete wings. They might know something we don’t. These simple daily realities invite the sort of rich questions that the exhibit largely evades. How does socialist brutalism shape daily life? What power does the architecture of socialist utopia still carry under late Balkan capitalism? After wars, privatization, McDonald’s, Apple and Amazon, what does all that old concrete mean? After the empire has fallen, how do we make sense of its relics? The answers, whatever they may be, are thousands of miles from New York. Towards a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948-1980 exhibits at the Museum of Modern Art in New York until January 13, 2019.

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ABOVE GBR’s now-demolished Winnipeg Airport (1964) combined a glowing ceiling, local Tyndall Stone and a muscular black steel structure into a civic gateway.

Green Blankstein Russell and Associates: An Architectural Legacy Jeffrey Thorsteinson and Brennan Smith, Winnipeg Architecture Foundation, 2017 Review

D’Arcy Jones

They don’t make them like they used to. For 72 years, Winnipeg’s Green Blankstein Russell and Associates (GBR) were prolific in ways not possible anymore. This interdisciplinary practice rode the 20th century’s long boom, becoming the largest architectural firm of the prairies. During my time at the University of Manitoba in the 1990s, GBR was an established architecture firm that students knew a little about, mostly as the architects of the Winnipeg Airport, City Hall and the Centennial Concert Hall. While reviewing this new book, I realized that GBR’s work was everywhere. Their well-mannered and typically medium-sized work has become part of Winnipeg’s infrastructure, in ways locals might miss. With a few other firms, GBR quarterbacked a defining era that shaped the city in the 1950s to 1970s, second only to its commercial district’s Chicago-style construction frenzy that straddled the beginning of the 20th century. From 1932 until 2004, when the firm was bought by Stantec, GBR designed a dizzying number of buildings. Like a country veterinarian experienced with canaries and cows, GBR were hard to typecast and appear to have said “yes” to every new opportunity. They designed idealistic subdivisions, conservative banks, spare churches, modest houses and no-frills hospitals and offices. Through this large body of work, GBR attempted to give shape to a modernizing liberal democracy, to articulate what Canada and its government saw in the mirror.

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Published by the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation, Green Blanksetin Russell and Associates: An Architectural Legacy is more of a history book than a monograph. The softcover’s collage-like layout inadvertently draws attention to some of its lower-quality black-and-white photographs—understandable, since the GBR principals were likely too busy working to obsess about their archive. The folksy presentation does make the book endearing, the kind you leave on the coffee table. An opening essay by Brennan Smith paints a succinct picture of an optimistic firm that started during the Great Depression, closed during World War II and experienced the premature death of a founding partner. GBR ploughed ahead, simultaneously addressing and epitomizing the post war cultural changes happening in Canada by creating an office where new immigrants, a higher-than-typical proportion of female to male graduates and architecture’s professional cousins were all hired to work as a family. The book’s pencil perspective drawings have an analogue charm that describes GBR’s motivations almost better than the photographs do, while reinforcing the friction between the imprecision of their tools and the precision they wanted to design. All mid-century architects were rediscovering perspective drawing in the wake of older architectural revival movements, where the conventions of plan, section and elevation ruled. GBR’s drawings feel like a premonition of contemporary practice, where the rendering of a building sometimes is the building, serving as the savviest connection between the profession and the public. Despite its slightly detached tone, the book is a one-stop shop to glean what made and defined GBR, isolating the various tendencies that wove all of their work together, and placing the firm’s best projects into the arc of its oeuvre. The book shows over and over how their designs are firmly connected to the ground, without favouring the horizontal or the

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Books vertical. These architects seemed to be most interested in plan-based buildings, integrating gridded structures with flattened elevations. GBR’s designs were weighty even when they were transparent, often dividing up potentially massive expanses of glass into human scaled, quilted divisions. GBR’s work avoided monumentality, yet often became symmetrical mini-monuments anyway, through designs that were object-like. They recreated the strong prairie horizon at the ground plane where the unnatural meets the natural, a result of pragmatically avoiding digging into the sticky gumbo dirt. Mid-century architecture’s interest in floating buildings was not a tool in their arsenal. Their buildings seemed to land on their sites like fridge magnets, sticking to the surface. With architectural thrift, GBR designed relentlessly rectilinear buildings, but gave them humanity by symbolically sweeping the ground clean and then polishing it for people’s use. As GBR sprouted branch offices in Brandon, Regina, Edmonton, Calgary and Ottawa, the firm became synonymous with progress. But when you analyze the firm’s ostensibly modernist output, some inconsistencies stand out. The enthusiastic use of local Tyndall Stone cladding—most notably for non-functional fascias inside their Winnipeg Airport and for veneered pilasters outside their Norquay Building— shows that GBR still had one toe in the pre-modernist pool of ornament. It seems the principals had the cultural intelligence to avoid severing ties to older architectural traditions as they raced into the future. When the chunkiness of the 1970s became the new face of modernism, the proportions in GBR’s work of that time seem

to make the heaviness of their earlier projects make more sense. The architects strived for buildings that were seen and felt. The key author of each GBR project is sometimes skimmed over or omitted in the book, but Leslie Russell, David Thordarson and Bernard Brown are tied to the firm’s purest buildings. These projects were unabashedly inspired by Mies van der Rohe, Eliel Saarinen and Marcel Breuer, showing how the intended objectivity of a rational design process could never truly avoid the subjectivity of outside influences. A version of the idea-sharing that influenced GBR also happens today, when architectural mannerisms flit around the world flattening regional differences. The fewer compositional and material ingredients GBR used, the closer their architecture moved towards a truly universal style. To the contemporary eye, GBR’s work in this book appears to be sort of idling, because the kind of conventional modernism they became good at has mostly diverged into two camps during the last fifty years. One stream became even more minimal and more refined in the service of luxury architecture. The other stream got dumbed down into the expediency and shape-making of our culture’s shortest-lived structures. You can still spend an afternoon in Winnipeg seeing dozens of GBR’s designs from this book being used and enjoyed. Even if the edginess of their modernism has dimmed, their body of work has endured. Sadly, the now-demolished Winnipeg Airport—my favourite project— didn’t make it, so only lives on in print. It gave clear form to the comfort of being on the prairie ground after flying and abstracted the novelty of flying before you took off. I wish it were still around.

Architecture and Urbanism in the French Atlantic Empire: State, Church, and Society, 1604-1830 Gauvin Alexander Bailey, McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2018 Review

Donald Luxton

In this superbly researched and handsome book, Gauvin Alexander Bailey presents a groundbreaking assessment of three and one-half centuries of rampant French colonialism, as well as its physical impact on cultures scattered around the Atlantic Ocean. Although academic studies have thoroughly covered British, Spanish and Portuguese political, military and economic ambitions, there is a less profound understanding of the French old Atlantic Empire, which spanned the 16th to mid-19th centuries and developed into one of the largest political entities in the Western Hemisphere. The richness of the historical context is fascinating. The French Atlantic world—which included West Africa, the greater Caribbean region, and the continental Americas—covered vast territories, and enslaved and dispossessed many Indigenous peoples. By the late 17th century, French architecture and urbanism

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dominated Europe, as its high-minded urban ideals were parachuted into remote and hostile environments. Bailey very thoughtfully unpacks this historic development, while maintaining a nuanced understanding of colonial dynamics and vernacular culture. Driven by the Crown and the Church and fueled by rapacious economic expansion, the French Empire was massive and influential, but also “poorly organized, hopelessly unrealistic, plagued by mad utopian schemes, underfunded and underpinned by a brutal and volatile institution of agricultural slave labour that proved to be one of the main sources of its undoing,” as Bailey writes. Over time, the physical reminders of the French Empire have faded, suffering badly from natural disasters and human destruction. Bailey reconstructs the broader context of what once existed, with remarkable archival documentation collected from a rich variety of sources. The book’s beautifully reproduced plans—for buildings, urban centres, formal palaces, churches, gardens and fortifications—reveal inventive and aggressive responses to the indigenous cultures and local environments it sought to subjugate. As we struggle with the resounding impacts of colonial legacies, this is a most timely and welcome work. Donald Luxton is a heritage and cultural resource management consultant based in Vancouver.

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specifications, but are also light enough to be opened easily by one person. which is an engineering challenge.” Planning for this $2.058 billion project started in 1992 and the extension is designed to better serve transit-dependent residents in the corridor and provide economic stimulus in the region. The project will be the first rail line to serve Crenshaw Boulevard and the city of Inglewood since streetcars of the Los Angeles Rail Line stopped running in 1955. The new light rail line will use the alignment of the streetcars in some instances. It is expected to be operational in 2019. Los Angeles is amid a major infrastructure update in advance of the 2028 Summer Olympics. Besides the new Crenshaw line, Los Angeles is also building a nine-mile extension to a Westside subway line and an automated people mover that will serve people on the Crenshaw

Line and help them connect to the broader Metro rail network.

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ACROSS CANADA Vancouver 09/20—09/23

IDS Vancouver A leading showcase of new pro­ ducts, furniture and avant-garde concepts from North America and beyond, the Interior Design Show Vancouver is the Pacific platform for all things design.

www.vancouver.interiordesignshow. com

—09/30

Cabin Fever The exhibition traces the tradition of the cabin in Canada and the United States—from the settlement of the frontier to the contemporary depictions feverishly circulated across the Internet—showing how this humble architectural form has been appropriated for its symbolic value and helped shape a larger cultural identity. www.vanartgallery.bc.ca

—10/08

Offsite: Shigeru Ban A look at Shigeru Ban’s innovative use of low-cost materials to house victims of natural disasters. Offsite: Shigeru Ban is organized by the Vancouver Art Gallery’s Institute of Asian Art.

11/06

Wood Solutions Conference This conference is tailored for architects, engineers, builders, contractors, building officials, technologists, consultants, planners and developers. www.wood-works.ca/bc/wsc/

11/07—11/08

Passive House Canada Conference 2018 This conference takes place in conjunction with the Canadian Wood Council’s Wood Solutions Conference and the UNECE’s Committee on Forests and Forest Industry. The keynote speaker is Gernot Vallentin. www.conference.passivehousecanada. com

Calgary 11/07—11/08

BUILDEX Calgary 2018 BUILDEX Calgary is Alberta’s largest tradeshow & conference for the Construction, Renovation, Architecture, Interior Design and Property Management industries.   www.buildingscanada.com

Edmonton

Toronto

11/01—11/04

09/28/18—01/06/19 (AGO) 09/28/18—02/24/19 (NGC)

Passive House Design and Construction Passive House Canada is offering a four-day course that covers the technical, economic and policy elements of Passive House buildings. Participants will learn how to apply Passive House principles in the context of building physics, windows and mechanical systems.   www.passivehouse.silkstart.com

Winnipeg 09/29

Shipping Container Exhibit On Nuit Blanche, September 29, the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation hosts a pop-up exhibition on shipping container architecture—inside a shipping container. See examples from Winnipeg and around the world. www.winnipegarchitecture.ca/events

10/11

Manitoba Design Exposition One-day trade show, presented by the Professional Interior Designers Institute of Manitoba. www.pidim.ca

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calendar

Anthropocene The Art Gallery of Ontario, concurrent with the Canadian Photography Institute of the National Gallery of Canada, present Anthro­pocene, a powerful unveiling of the story of human impact on the earth. Comprised of film, photography and experiential technologies by the collective of photo-based artist Edward Burtynsky and filmmakers Jennifer Baichwal and Nicholas de Pencier, the exhibi­tion is part of the artists’ ongoing multi-disciplinary Anthropocene Project, which involvec travel to six of the earth’s seven continents. www.ago.ca

www.gallery.ca/cpi

10/24—10/25

RGD DesignThinkers Toronto 2018 RGD’s Conference offers indepth analyses of trends and best practices in branding, design thinking, design management, communications technologies and user experience. www.designthinkers.com

www.vanartgallery.bc.ca

10/19

PopCanCrit: The Business of Architecture This national panel-based symposium brings together leading voices in architecture practice, academe and media who are changing the way we see and understand architecture. www.spacing.ca/popcancrit

—10/28

Kevin Schmidt The exhibition takes a focus from artist Kevin Schmidt’s DIYHifi  (2014), which presents an audiophile listening room featuring gigantic stereo speakers, a kit tube amp and furniture built by Schmidt himself. www.vanartgallery.bc.ca

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ABOVE Edward Burtynsky: Saw Mills #1, Lagos, Nigeria, 2016. Inkjet print, 58 ½ x 78 inches, from Anthropocene. Courtesy of the artist and Nicholas Metivier Gallery, Toronto. © Edward Burtynsky, 2017.

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Calendar —10/06

10/11/2018—02/10/19

www.heritagetoronto.org

www.oaaggao.ca

Know Your City: Heritage Toronto Walking Tours This year, Heritage Toronto’s walks take in Toronto’s waterfront, ravines, parkland, and rapidly changing neighbourhoods, exploring ways to learn from Toronto past and present. 09/16—09/18

IDC Symposium: Value of Design Thinking Over three days, the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) aims to expand horizons, networks and skills bases through education, panel discussions, guided design tours, awards galas and conference keynotes. www.idcdesignsymposium.ca

—10/08

Philip Beesley: Transforming Space At the Royal Ontario Museum, this immersive experience merges chemistry, artificial intelligence and soundscapes into a visually immersive environment. www.rom.on.ca

10/11

Green Building Festival This conference explores the design, construction and management of sustainable building. www.sbcanada.org

10/28—10/30

The Buildings Show The largest event for the North American design and construc­ tion industries, this conference hosts Construct Canada, HomeBuilder & Renovator Expo, PM Expo and World of Concrete Pavilion, all con­current with the Toronto Real Estate Forum.

Karim Rashid: Cultural Shaping The Ottawa Art Gallery exhibi­ tion features industrial designs imbued with the sustainability approach that informs much of the renowned designer’s practice. Montreal —10/07

Utopie Radicali: Florence 1966–1976 The exhibition brings together the work of Archizoom, Superstudio, 9999, UFO, Zzigurat, Remo Buti, and Gianni Pettena—practitioners who made Florence a focal point for new developments in archi­ tectural thought. www.cca.qc.ca

09/21—01/20

Scripts for a new world: Film storyboards by Alessandro Poli An exploration of how different elements of film—images, storyboards, scripts, and audio—were able to generate a new language for architecture in the work of Alessandro Poli, Italian architect, designer, artist, and member of Superstudio from 1970 to 1972. www.cca.qc.ca

11/06/18—04/07/19

Architecture Itself and Other Postmodern Myths At the Canadian Centre for Architecture, this presentation of building fragments, drawings, models and documents explores canonic projects in unfamiliar and revelatory ways. www.cca.qc.ca

Grand-Métis, Québec

www.thebuildingsshow.com

Ottawa 10/04—10/05

50 Years of Architecture at Carleton University Alumni, faculty and current students will unite for conversations about architecture and urbanism. www.carleton.ca/architecture

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Iwan Baan

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—10/07

International Garden Festival The leading contemporary garden festival in North America. Pre­ sented at Les Jardins de Métis, the Festival is held on a site adjacent to the historic gardens, thereby estab­ lishing a dialogue between conser­ vation, tradition and innovation. www.refordgardens.com

ABOVE Frida Escobedo’s 2018 Serpentine Pavilion, constructed with an intricately patterned lattice of concrete roof tiles.

INTERNATIONAL

London

New York

—10/07

10/16—10/21

Architecture & Design Film Festival North America’s largest film festival devoted to architecture and design has a robust lineup, with its anchor festival in New York and affiliated festivals playing elsewhere in the United States. www.adfilmfest.com

—01/13/19

Toward a Concrete Utopia: Architecture in Yugoslavia, 1948–1980 How Yugoslavia’s architects developed a distinct postwar architecture. See Review in this issue of Canadian Architect, pp. 36-38. www.moma.org

Venice —11/25

La Biennale di Venezia The 16th Biennale of Architec­ ture, entitled Freespace, includes the Canadian entry, UNCEDED: Voices of the Land, celebrating Indigenous architects and design­ers throughout Turtle Island.

Serpentine Pavilion: Frida Escobedo Architect Frida Escobedo, celeb­rated for dynamic projects that reactivate urban space, has design­ed the Serpentine Pavilion 2018 at London’s Serpentine Gallery. Harnessing a subtle interplay of light, water and geometry, the design draws upon the domestic architecture of both her native Mexico and Britain. Its latticed cement-tile walls reference the celosia, a typical feature of Mexican architecture that allows sun and breezes to permeate walls while maintaining privacy. www.serpentinegalleries.org

09/15/18—01/20/19

Renzo Piano: The Art of Making Buildings Through drawings, models and maquettes, this exhibition at the Royal Academy of Arts explores how the Renzo Piano Building Workshop designs buildings through their deft use of form, materials and engineering. www.royalacademy.org.uk

www.labiennale.org/en www.unceded.ca

Tokyo

Valencia

10/19—10/28

09/18—09/21

Feria Hábitat Valencia Domestic design, products, ideas and creativity from Spain. www.feriahabitatvalencia.com

DesignArt Tokyo This design festival includes art, technology, traditional industries and contemporary craftsmanship. www.designart.jp

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2018-08-24 8:13 AM


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Jacqueline Young/Stationpoint Photographic

canadian architect 09/18

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A PUBLIC CALLING TEXT

Wins Bridgman and Rae St. Clair Bridgman

Making a plea for the urban outhouse

We need more public toilets now. We cannot rely on private businesses and the few-and-farbetween public toilets in parks. A great city is only as great as its public toilets. This credo is even enshrined in a United Nations commit­ ment made by our country in 2012: Canada recognizes the human right of everyone to safe drinking water and basic sanitation as essential to the right to an adequate standard of living. That is why we designed the Pop-Up Winnipeg Public Toilet. Although our Pop-Up toilet is a relatively low-cost pilot summer project, it offers a model for permanent facilities. The project’s quirky design arose from a cross-sectoral partnership between our firm, Bridgman­ Collaborative Architecture; the Downtown Winnipeg BIZ; and Siloam Mission, a local charity. The Pop-Up supports at-risk youth through Siloam Mission, which offers them employment as kiosk attendants. At the kiosk, the youth sell T-shirts, bottled water and newspapers, and offer orientation services to visitors. Such a people-centred approach

CA Sep 18.indd 50

is distinct from automated self-cleaning washrooms and technically-driven tactics. The Pop-Up’s highly visible and bright orange iconic structure, accessible street furniture, plays literally on “pop up.” It features a sloped walkway and acrylic glazed double walls, which slide “up” smoothly when the facility opens. When closed, the acrylic walls slide back “down.” The basis of the form is the shipping container, whose familiar bold-orange hue inspired the Pop-Up’s own bright façade. We designed the Pop-Up to be moveable and robust, migrating to one of four different sites every month to heighten downtown visibility. In tandem with the Pop-Up, BridgmanCollaborative has mounted a publicity campaign on downtown bus shelters. A dozen posters display quotes and images of ordinary people shown in tightly cross-legged poses that express the urgent need for public toilets, with the display copy emblazened below: My Winnipeg includes Public Toilets. Public response has been enthusiastic since

ABOVE Temporarily built in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, the Pop-Up Winnipeg Public Toilet presents a model for clean, accessible, well- monitored and well-maintained public washroom facilities.

the Pop-Up went up in June. Vandalism around the sites has decreased significantly. Young people are gaining valuable work experience, and Winnipeggers in general are excited about the prospect of permanent year-round facilities. Securing a public-funding commitment for future Pop-Up public toilets—let alone permanent facilities— remains a challenge. But as health and public-policy advisor André Picard once noted, every kilometre of road costs a million dollars to build and then more money every year after that to clear it of snow and potholes and vandals and speeders. “Why is building and maintaining roads for cars considered an unquestionable necessity and legitimate expense,” asked Picard, “but having public washrooms is deemed a superf luous luxury?” That’s what we’re wondering too. Wins Bridgman is an architect and visual artist, and Rae St. Clair Bridgman is a Professor in the Department of City Planning at the University of Manitoba.

2018-08-24 8:13 AM


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Canadian Architect September 2018  

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada’s only monthly design publication, Ca...

Canadian Architect September 2018  

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada’s only monthly design publication, Ca...