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  • Happy Birthday City Hall

    Staples: Happy birthday to a beloved downtown building


    BY DAVID STAPLES, EDMONTONJOURNAL.COM MAY 29, 2012 6:02 PM


    City Hall Architect, Gene Dub holds drawings of City Hall given to him by schoolchildren.
    Photograph by: Greg Southam , edmontonjournal.com
    EDMONTON — It’s not often we build something that attracts people downtown, but Edmonton City Hall accomplishes that. It’s architect Gene Dub’s gift to Edmonton and it’s no small success.

    Consider that when Edmonton’s previous city hall — a modernist, nine-storey layer cake of a building erected in 1957 — was just 20 years old, it was already seen as a failure that had to be torn down.

    That’s not happening with the current city hall, which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. Instead, after a rocky start where the building got much criticism over its $50-million price tag and its design, it has won over Edmontonians. It’s become such a hit that Dub was named as one of Edmonton’s top 100 citizens of the 20th century.


    Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

  • #2
    One of my favourite examples of modern architecture in E-town (not that there are many of these)!Happy B-day indeed......

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    • #3
      Now give it the pressure washing it deserves and is sorely overdue.
      I think of art, at its most significant, as a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. —Marshall McLuhan

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      • #4
        Well done!
        "Talk minus action equals zero." - Joe Keithley, D. O. A.

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        • #5
          MIGHT be nice to look at but a very impractical design. For such a big foot print it takes downtown it houses very few workers. It's more 'pretty' than practical. Definitely NOT a green building more a show piece for the high ranking civic workers. Other civic employees have to work in more utilitarian structures.
          Gone............................and very quickly forgotten may I add.

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Gemini View Post
            MIGHT be nice to look at but a very impractical design. For such a big foot print it takes downtown it houses very few workers. It's more 'pretty' than practical. Definitely NOT a green building more a show piece for the high ranking civic workers. Other civic employees have to work in more utilitarian structures.
            IMO city halls ought to be a showpiece, and I think a city hall can get away with sacrificing some functionality in order to be iconic.
            Vision - The art of seeing the invisible

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            • #7
              It is definitely a focal point and very very destinctive.
              LRT is our future, time to push forward.

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              • #8
                ^concur. I am ok with it not being super efficient in terms of space use.


                Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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                • #9
                  City hall (room) is, hands down, the best public space in the city. This is the highest acheivement for any civic structure.

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                  • #10
                    Nicest City hall imo out of all the other Large Canadian cities I have visited.

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                    • #11
                      I believe this building will stand the test of time and be just as beautiful 30 years from now.

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                      • #12
                        I am finding the design to be aging very well. IMO, the most dated aspect of city hall is the oversize glass clock face on the carillon; it screams 1990-2. The rest of the building does not. A lot of other buildings made at that time with then-trendy postmodern elements look much longer in the tooth today.

                        Just wash the thing already, ok? It's not stucco, it can take it
                        I think of art, at its most significant, as a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. —Marshall McLuhan

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                        • #13
                          Sorry to revive an old thread, but the design firm that Sonic Death Monkey had linked in the jasper ave make-over thread as having done the light posts had the city hall project on their site. Anyways I recall having read this excerpt from its wikipedia page before:

                          The original design called for the building to be topped with four cones. The cones were meant to pay tribute to the tipis that the First Nations once lived in on the site. The design met with negative feedback from the public as they felt it looked like dunce caps and nuclear reactors.

                          From: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmonton_City_Hall
                          But i never knew what original proposal looked like, however it looks as if that original scheme is on the architect's page:










                          All images from http://www.terryfrostdesign.com/#/city/

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                          • #14
                            Interesting... Never seen that.


                            Ottawa-Edmonton-Vancouver-Edmonton

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                            • #15
                              Yes, I distinctly remember the dunce cap comments... and they were to be copper, developing a patina over time to become the green we adore on buildings like Parliament, or even the Mac.

                              Over time, however, I have come to like the pyramids, and much to the disagreement of other posters on this board, I wouldn't mind an overt iceberg/pyramid element on another significant building in the city, echoing what the Muttart started... but not directly adjacent or within a few blocks, as had been proposed for an iteration of the arena.
                              I think of art, at its most significant, as a Distant Early Warning system that can always be relied on to tell the old culture what is beginning to happen to it. —Marshall McLuhan

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