Monday, December 01, 2008

One growing bureaucracy, two disgraced thoroughfares

Much has been said here and elsewhere about the abysmal Winnipeg Regional Health Authority building on Main Street, while little mention has been made of the WRHA's other new office building, on Portage Avenue and (I think) Toronto St.

Anyone who enjoys the photographic work of Bryan Scott knows he can take any view of the city and expose it's texture and beauty. But not even Mr. Scott's skillful eye and technical arsenal can do justice to this box that he called "one of the most unimaginably bland, flat, two-dimensional pieces of architecture I've ever seen. That is because there is no texture or beauty to find in this building.

This is anti architecture. No reason, no order, just sheer banality; a cartoon of a cartoon of a cardboard set piece from an elementary school play.

Presuming as much incompetence and cheapness went into the construction as it did the design, I take consolation in that Winnipeg will only have 20-30 years to suffer this folly before it is condemned, placarded, and demolished.

By the way, the private businesses that were bought out to make way for this building, as far as I know, have safely re-located somewhere out in Polo Park neighborhood.

Winnipeg gets exactly what it deserves.


Blogger relic said...

If one were to look into how this was built... no doubt you'd find a contractor did the design and the build.

No worries though, this building won't last more than 10-12 years. Then us tax payers can pony-up for another.

9:08 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's a disgrace in what otherwise is an area with quite a number of historic structures and on a broad avenue which is unlike any other in North America. It might look less out of place at the corner of McGillivray and Kenaston. Would this building be considered on the Champs Elysees? Either Winnipeggers seem to have no appreciation for or any sense of beauty or there are no talented architects to be found. Surrounded by little natural beauty and with a climate that for five months of the year does not lend itself to the aesthetic, the last thing we need is to build hideously ugly buildings and to my knowledge almost every building constructed in Winnipeg in the last several years fits this category. Small wonder why the people in this city seem so miserable and depressed.

1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Looks like the architect asked his 3 year old to draw a building, and took it from there.

9:17 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the post. Every morning I've had to stand at my bus stop and watch this monstrosity go up. I don't know much about construction but with concrete pilons pounded in the ground to hold the steel (aluminum?) 2x4 walls I tend to agree, it won't be around for long. And don't get me started on the 'cantilevered 2nd floor over the parking spaces at the back. Yikes.

11:32 AM  

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