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Waterloo Region's Architectural Hall of Shame -- the Bottom 10
#16
(12-15-2014, 02:09 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: In my opinion bad reproductions of a style that has no connection to the region, with the town having been settled in 1880 and not 1380 are as bad as a big box store. Slightly more charming but equally misguided and architecturally limp.

I'll interpret that as hyperbole. Big box stores are legitimately terrible. Ugly buildings are just ugly but otherwise don't actively harm the urban form (or at least this building doesn't).
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#17
Granted, there's a bit of hyperbole there but much less than you think.

Is it really that much better than a big box store? Let's see:
  • Isolated structure in a sea of parking: Check
  • Little to no interaction with the street, i.e. inward looking: Check
  • Architecturally disconnected from its environment: Check
  • Located on a drive through street with no street parking: Check
  • You would walk past it without thinking about going in: Check
This building has several of the best stores in Uptown: Aroma Cafe, Cobblestone Gallery, Twice is nice, Duke of Wellington, The Savoury (and Twelfth night, past which I walked for many years without ever noticing it was there back before it closed), yet many of those stores struggle because of its many flaws.
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#18
(12-15-2014, 04:11 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: Granted, there's a bit of hyperbole there but much less than you think.

Is it really that much better than a big box store? Let's see:

  • Isolated structure in a sea of parking: Check
  • Little to no interaction with the street, i.e. inward looking: Check
  • Architecturally disconnected from its environment: Check
  • Located on a drive through street with no street parking: Check
  • You would walk past it without thinking about going in: Check
This building has several of the best stores in Uptown: Aroma Cafe, Cobblestone Gallery, Twice is nice, Duke of Wellington, The Savoury (and Twelfth night, past which I walked for many years without ever noticing it was there back before it closed), yet many of those stores struggle because of its many flaws.

All true. Now you made me look at that site in Google Maps and there's an interesting sat photo artifact right at that very building.

It seems hard to fix the location in a sea of parking without building on top of the parking though. (I'd be fine with that). It certainly does not stand out. It would be nice to have a more continuous streetscape from BMO on King to there, although the elevation change doesn't help.
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#19
Well if we could get a parkade off of Caroline street, the rest of that 'sea' would make for a cool outdoor pedestrian friendly mall. I am sure if the hipster stores could be attracted to the area, the Waterloo town square people would build it.
_____________________________________
I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.
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#20
(12-15-2014, 04:37 PM)plam Wrote: All true. Now you made me look at that site in Google Maps and there's an interesting sat photo artifact right at that very building.

Interesting. It mostly matches the sun roof there, so it could all be very nasty sun glare.
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#21
(12-12-2014, 02:55 PM)jgsz Wrote:
  • The former Provincial Court House on Frederick, behind the Centre in the Square.  Court House??  Could easily be mistaken for the jail. 

Couldn't disagree more. One of my favourite buildings. Fantastic example of brutalist. There's a big difference between "bad architecture" and "architecture I just don't like".
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#22
(12-22-2014, 05:40 PM)Canard Wrote: Couldn't disagree more. One of my favourite buildings. Fantastic example of brutalist. There's a big difference between "bad architecture" and "architecture I just don't like".

I don't jgsz is by any means alone in his dislike of brutalist structures. And just because a building belongs to a well defined architectural style it does not mean it is necessarily worth preserving.
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#23
(12-22-2014, 07:24 PM)BuildingScout Wrote:
(12-22-2014, 05:40 PM)Canard Wrote: Couldn't disagree more. One of my favourite buildings. Fantastic example of brutalist. There's a big difference between "bad architecture" and "architecture I just don't like".

I don't jgsz is by any means alone in his dislike of brutalist structures. And just because a building belongs to a well defined architectural style it does not mean it is necessarily worth preserving.

Your first comment is pretty much what Canard is talking about.    Just because common opinion about a building is that it is 'crap' doesn't downgrade it to demolition worthy/the dustbin.  Tastes in architecture change with time, I think great examples should always (...almost always?) be preserved.  I imagine a day where people would lament its loss like old city hall....

I happen to quite like this building as well.  How many 'likes' does it need to get it off of the Hall of Shame Smile .
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#24
(12-22-2014, 07:53 PM)REnerd Wrote:
(12-22-2014, 07:24 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: I don't jgsz is by any means alone in his dislike of brutalist structures. And just because a building belongs to a well defined architectural style it does not mean it is necessarily worth preserving.

Your first comment is pretty much what Canard is talking about.    Just because common opinion about a building is that it is 'crap' doesn't downgrade it to demolition worthy/the dustbin.  Tastes in architecture change with time, I think great examples should always (...almost always?) be preserved.  I imagine a day where people would lament its loss like old city hall....

I wasn't particularly agreeing with the criticism of the Provincial Courthouse. In fact, I too think the Provincial Courthouse is an example of brutalism that is worth preserving, but not just because it is brutalist.  

My only point is that just saying "it's an example of architectural style X" is not enough to save a building. It has to be an interesting example of style X to be worth preserving.

And no, we cannot keep buildings around just because tastes may change. Obviously if we take that attitude nothing can ever be demolished.
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#25
Every time I drive down King and see that tenement building next to central meats, I think to myself I need to take a picture of that building for this thread. Not sure if there are any Tropico players here, but that place definitely looks like the socialist worker's tenement from Tropico.
_____________________________________
I used to be the mayor of sim city. I know what I am talking about.
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#26
I tend to think that "bad architecture" and "fantastic example of brutalism" are interchangeable terms, but I grudgingly accept that many beautiful buildings torn down during the ascendancy of brutalism were, at that time, popularly thought to be out of date and ugly. However UW, along with many other Ontario Universities, have campuses that should keep us well provided with examples of brutalism well into the future.

(12-22-2014, 07:53 PM)REnerd Wrote:
(12-22-2014, 07:24 PM)BuildingScout Wrote: I don't jgsz is by any means alone in his dislike of brutalist structures. And just because a building belongs to a well defined architectural style it does not mean it is necessarily worth preserving.

Your first comment is pretty much what Canard is talking about.    Just because common opinion about a building is that it is 'crap' doesn't downgrade it to demolition worthy/the dustbin.  Tastes in architecture change with time, I think great examples should always (...almost always?) be preserved.  I imagine a day where people would lament its loss like old city hall....

I happen to quite like this building as well.  How many 'likes' does it need to get it off of the Hall of Shame Smile .
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#27
(01-02-2015, 01:26 AM)kaiserdiver Wrote: I tend to think that "bad architecture" and "fantastic example of brutalism" are interchangeable terms, but I grudgingly accept that many beautiful buildings torn down during the ascendancy of brutalism were, at that time, popularly thought to be out of date and ugly. However UW, along with many other Ontario Universities, have campuses that should keep us well provided with examples of brutalism well into the future.

Some buildings work, given enough glass to counter the concrete, but yes they tend to be the exception:


[Image: Picture+4.png]
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#28
Or the illusion of glass as achieved here with dark concrete panels:

[Image: a3413t01.jpg]
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#29
(01-02-2015, 01:54 AM)BuildingScout Wrote: Or the illusion of glass as achieved here with dark concrete panels:

[Image: a3413t01.jpg]

Always known as "Fort Book" !
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#30
Absolutely love Robarts. Kind of LOL'ing that so many people have such a hate-on for brutalism. To each his own, I suppose. You can have your "ginger breading" on your houses and regular /\ roofs, if that's what you're really into. Smile I personally just like the future to look like the future, not 200 years ago, that's all.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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