Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Woyat-Bowie Building

This Medical-Dental building was designed by Fred Thornton Hollingsworth in 1966. It has a small, economical layout with four office spaces, one of which was originally used by the Hollingsworth & Barry Downs partnership (1974-1967).

The most striking feature- apart from the building being relatively intact and unscathed by renovations- is the raised roof that floats above the central waiting area, connected to the structure below by slender posts and rows of clerestory windows.

Offices are organized in two blocks on either side of the building and face onto inner courtyards. Materially, the Woyat-Bowie is classic Hollingsworth: natural cedar, white stucco and attention to detail. Both Wright and the Japanese tradition are apparent in the spatial relationships, humanist scale and use of light.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Abe's Wish

Abraham Rogatnick's posthumously published
argument for keeping the VAG in its current location.

Monday, March 8, 2010

RJ Thom in Kerrisdale

Ron Thom's 1956 George Dickie Substation, in the heart of Kerrisdale.

The building, built almost entirely of brick, has two large massings separated on one side by a low concrete entrance with clear Wrightian geometry and decorative pattern. The material palette of brick and concrete is reminiscent of Thom's residential work and Massey College in Toronto.

Despite its bulk, the building feels largely invisible, probably due to the blank brick walls as well as the general air of neglect that surrounds it.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Thursday, March 4, 2010

VAG On The Move?

See Frances Bula's blog and article in the Globe & Mail today for an update on the Vancouver Art Gallery's potential move.

According to director Kathleen Bartels, the gallery has deemed the potential False Creek location unworkable and has set its sights on the old bus depot location on Georgia beside the recently refurbished Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

This block is certainly more appealing than False Creek, for many reasons, but the nagging question must be asked again: is a move necessary? It seems there are a number of options for expansion that might solve the VAG's understandable need for more space.

This comes hot on the heels of Lisa Rochon's recent support to keep the gallery in its present location.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Bing Thom Architects has won the 2010 RAIC Architectural Firm Award.

Coming up through Erickson's stable, Thom was a key force behind the Law Courts and formed his own practice in 1980. The eponymous firm's projects have contributed a deep and lasting influence on Vancouver and the lower mainland.

Below, a few photos of Thom's Chan Centre at UBC:

Monday, March 1, 2010

Visions of B.C.

Along with the ongoing Leonardo da Vinci exhibition, the Vancouver Art Gallery is presenting
Visions of British Columbia: A Landscape Manual.

It's a superb show that focuses on our great province and the integral role- as is the Canadian preoccupation- that the landscape has played in the arts and on our psyche.

Works by a diverse complement of B.C. artists are here, including Don Jarvis, B.C. Binning, Jack Shadbolt, Jeff Wall and Brian Jungen among many others.

The visual arts are paired with choice quotes from B.C. writers such as Malcolm Lowry, John Vaillant and Emily Carr that foster a meaningful connection between disciplines.

It's always nice to see works from the VAG's substantial local collection; the diversity of artists gives the show a satisfying historical breadth.

Visions of British Columbia is curated by Bruce Grenville and Emmy Lee and runs until April 18, 2010.