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  • That architecture is so ugly...Edmonton's list

    That architecture is so ugly...Edmonton's list

    The Edmonton Journal
    Published: Friday, December 01, 2006

    - The idea that people are affected emotionally by the buildings they are in is not new -- it guided the modernists of the early 20th century.

    The idea has resurfaced in the form of "the architecture of happiness," in Dwell (November), an architectural publication. It comes from British architect Alain de Botton, who says he was inspired "by how ugly most places are in the world."

    "We need buildings to be regular, but if they are too regular they get boring," he says. "And if they are too irregular they get chaotic ... At some level good architecture is psychological." De Botton adds that, in a way, he feels sorry for architects, "as there are too many of them."

    --30--


    What architecture in Edmonton do you think is ugly?

    What works anyway?

    What is beautiful?


    My seven “ugly” wonders of Edmonton.
    1. The “bat”.
    2. The Leg. Annex.
    3. The Shaw Conference Centre addition.
    4. The CN Tower.
    5. Cromdale Hotel.
    6. “Saveco” deserted eyesore on 108 Street.
    7. Terrace Building.

    My seven “some might consider it is ugly but I love it” wonders of Edmonton.

    1. The Butterdome at the U of A.
    2. Churchill Square.
    3. Canada Place.
    4. West Edmonton Mall (WEM).
    5. The Leduc # 1 Derrick.
    6. City of Champions & Capital City wooden signposts.
    7. All Edmonton Airports, the International, the Muni (City Centre) and Namao (YEG, YXD and YEA). I have been in and out of all of them and “coming home” to Edmonton is always beautiful.

    My seven “beautiful” wonders of Edmonton. (Seven is just not enough…)

    1. The river valley, the river valley…the river valley.
    2. The Legislature and grounds.
    3. The Fairmont MacDonald Hotel—the “Mac”.
    4. The restored CIBC building on Jasper and 101 Street.
    5. The Shaw Conference Centre—the original glass and engineering marvel.
    6. The Federal Building—let us re-open and use it for something already.
    7. City Hall (love those pyramids and the pool/skating rink!).

  • #2
    ok.....

    "My seven “ugly” wonders of Edmonton.
    1. The “bat”.
    2. The Leg. Annex.
    3. The Shaw Conference Centre addition.
    4. The CN Tower.
    5. Cromdale Hotel.
    6. “Saveco” deserted eyesore on 108 Street.
    7. Terrace Building. "


    CN tower.....for gods sake people....it is a GREAT GREAT example of 60's architecture and sure it needs a wax and spit shine, but good god it is truly better than most towers out there.

    SHAW hall D.....street level SUCKS...but the rest is as good as it gets....inside is very very nice and the wall with slight curve of what....30 feet of glass is amazing!


    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

    Comment


    • #3
      What the!? The CN in the ugly top seven!?

      No way should that go in the ugly top seven. Period. The CN Tower is a kind of architectural gem from the 1960s period here in Edmonton (though the first level is meh).

      Here's something you might want to add to the top seven ugliest - the Professional Building on the north side of Jasper between 109 and 108 St. just right by the Executive Lofts and the Fluid Lounge! It has got to be the FUGLIEST thing in downtown!
      Is there hope for Edmonton? Yes!!! The Oilers? Wait and see.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by IanO

        ok.....

        CN tower.....for gods sake people....it is a GREAT GREAT example of 60's architecture and sure it needs a wax and spit shine, but good god it is truly better than most towers out there.

        SHAW hall D.....street level SUCKS...but the rest is as good as it gets....inside is very very nice and the wall with slight curve of what....30 feet of glass is amazing!
        Yup, I agree with all your comments but I still think it sticks out like a sore thumb and is not representative of Canadian National (CN) rail.

        I could care less what the SCCs Hall D looks and is like inside and from the river valley; the Jasper Avenue and 97th Street section looks like an afterthought and in no way blends in with the original SCC or the river valley. Edmonton had a chance to improve on a beautiful building (from every angle and viewpoint!) and did not.

        What should have been iconic instead is incongruous IMO.

        Comment


        • #5
          guys, the CN tower is plain and ugly. believe it and move on.

          i know, i know--it is concave and convex at the same time, a great example of 60's, an iconic building, blah, blah blah...

          but it is boring as hell. the eye doesn't have much to rest on except what appears to be verictal white stripes and the monstrous podium. and the concave/convex thing--you have to get to the building to see it. the podium makes that feat not possible.

          ugly...

          Comment


          • #6
            .........of all buildings in this damn city we are talking about the CN as ugly..........COME ON! There are a landfill of other examples....


            The CN is classic, simple, elegant, sexy........


            Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by IanO
              .........of all buildings in this damn city we are talking about the CN as ugly..........COME ON! There are a landfill of other examples....


              The CN is classic, simple, elegant, sexy........
              Ian, Ian my man you need a new definition of classic, simple, elegant and sexy if you think the CN is any of these!

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm with Ian and Mike on this one. CN is elegant and striking on our skyline. How about starting with 20-30 POS 1960/70s apartment buildings in Oliver, some of the crap on hill coming into dt from the south, or the offerings of TNP over the past 10 years, hell half of the crap in Stationlands. The saveco building has plenty of potential - nothing a little paint, some discreet new cladding, and a new tennant couldn't solve. Professional building - crap building - great mesh facade (as you may have heard me say before).

                DJ - I see you have a distinct classical bent in your tastes. Can't argue with your top 7, although still not totally convinced by city hall.

                Not totally sure of my top 7 but Coronation pool would be in there for sure - that thing is deadly. Likely the Brick condo building on Victoria Promenade too - just something sexy about it.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I think by far the worst are the ATB and Sunlife towers. Just think how much better the skyline would look from the river with a couple of sharp looking towers instead of those hunks of cement.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by djgirl
                    Originally posted by IanO
                    .........of all buildings in this damn city we are talking about the CN as ugly..........COME ON! There are a landfill of other examples....


                    The CN is classic, simple, elegant, sexy........
                    Ian, Ian my man you need a new definition of classic, simple, elegant and sexy if you think the CN is any of these!
                    CN is Jackie O......IMO.


                    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by IanO
                      Originally posted by djgirl
                      Originally posted by IanO
                      .........of all buildings in this damn city we are talking about the CN as ugly..........COME ON! There are a landfill of other examples....


                      The CN is classic, simple, elegant, sexy........
                      Ian, Ian my man you need a new definition of classic, simple, elegant and sexy if you think the CN is any of these!
                      CN is Jackie O......IMO.
                      Point and counter point--game on!

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Some of the worst architecture in Edmonton has only been built recently:

                        Top 7 ugly or inappropriate new or proposed buildings:
                        - Shaw Hall 'D' expansion - destroys the original marvel
                        - Proposed expansion to Royal Alberta Museum - totally subverts an amazing Peter Hemingway building
                        - The Legacy condos
                        - Grand Central Manor buildings
                        - Altavista
                        - Perigrin Point
                        - Railtown
                        www.decl.org

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by GreenSPACE
                          Some of the worst architecture in Edmonton has only been built recently:

                          Top 7 ugly or inappropriate new or proposed buildings:
                          - Shaw Hall 'D' expansion - destroys the original marvel
                          - Proposed expansion to Royal Alberta Museum - totally subverts an amazing Peter Hemingway building
                          - The Legacy condos
                          - Grand Central Manor buildings
                          - Altavista
                          - Perigrin Point
                          - Railtown
                          Concur, but why stop at seven?
                          [email protected][email protected]: the 5th Horseman of the Apocalypse

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by murman
                            Originally posted by GreenSPACE
                            Some of the worst architecture in Edmonton has only been built recently:

                            Top 7 ugly or inappropriate new or proposed buildings:
                            - Shaw Hall 'D' expansion - destroys the original marvel
                            - Proposed expansion to Royal Alberta Museum - totally subverts an amazing Peter Hemingway building
                            - The Legacy condos
                            - Grand Central Manor buildings
                            - Altavista
                            - Perigrin Point
                            - Railtown
                            Concur, but why stop at seven?

                            some of us need to go home at night...


                            Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              For anyone who hates the CN building, I would suggest imagining it without the CN logo on the top.

                              Normally I'm a fan (or at least tolerant) of logos on buildings. That's partly due to some of the buildings that we have in town - like Sunlife and EPCOR - where the logo actually makes them more interesting.

                              For the CN building though the logo totally ruins the flow. The penthouse should be integral to the building, but the logo makes it look like it's just a billboard that was plunked on top. In my opinion it greatly lessens the impact of the overall design.

                              And as for the RAM as an architectural gem, I will agree that it's south face and front entrance is excellent. The north elevation that faces 102 Ave though? It's hideous, and the second phase of the expansion can't come soon enough.

                              My personal favorite building has got to be the old Federal building. It's got lightning bolt door handles...how can you beat that?

                              My personal worst would be Peregrine Point. It makes me cry.

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