Friday, January 09, 2009

Ever feel like Cassandra?

But I wasn't just predicting doom on Main Street, I was showing it three months ago.

I should point out that while the construction process had long before began, October 2008 was the first time I came across the actual drawing for the WRHA's offices on Main.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I notice that architects are taking a beating in the comments to your earlier linked-to post. I just want to make a couple of points. (disclaimer: I work with but am not an architect)

1. To refute a comment in the FP by CV, the developer likely guaranteed a price for the building. So the more money they are able to save during construction the more money they make. Quality heads in one direction and it's not up. ie.price had a lot to do with the result.

2. No good architects in this town? I'd say there are but these WRHA buildings are obviously not good examples.

Waterfront drive isn't looking terrible, the crocus building is appropriate, the buildings going up around the UofW seem to be interesting, I like the hydro tower, MEC, the arena, etc. Just saying lets not paint them all with the same brush.

Unfortunately, the FP article doesn't mention who the architects are in this case.

12:33 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The architect is Stantec, it was mentioned in the previous post.

1:17 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Stantec is an engineering firm who's rapid expansion plan over the last decade or more has been to buy out respected architectural firms (and other engineering firms as well) all across North America to establish their 'architectural arm' and purchase a reputation for building design - a form of mass architectural assimilation. Their website is chalk full of projects they did not complete, save it were the firms they purchased after the fact. These firms are ultimately amalgamated and made subservient to the corporations own agendas (not excluding former 50+ year firm GBR Architects - now Stantec Winnipeg). They are managed ultimately by 'other powers', and maintain 'employee' architects as a way of tapping into building projects the engineering side could not otherwise obtain on their own (well, unless you live in Manitoba - some engineers will just lobby government to change the code). Stantec is the one stop shop - a packaged form of project delivery - for better, or for worse. For cheap or for cheaper. All extensions of Stantec have experienced high staff turnovers in their architectural departments (with the exception of the contract bridled original partners who must manditorily remain for a period) to the point where the original architectural entity is no longer identifiable, comprehensive or reputable.

I don't think Stantec really gives a damn in terms of architectural rigor, the project went sour. Neither does the WRHA. As far as they are both concerned this is a reasonable building. Context, shmontext to these guys - Starland what?

3:35 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I wouldn't be blaming either the WHRA or Stantec let along the General Contractors.

This mess lies with all the groups who supposedly have a "vision" for Winnpeg.

You can start at the Mayors office and work down.

3:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

No one should escape blame here Mr.N. Just b/c they're private doesn't mean they shouldn't be concerned with the quality of their work or be above criticism.

4:14 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excuse me Anon, if you are private your job is to deliver a product based on criteria that was given you.

Are you saying the building is badly built. Are you saying the quality is sub par.

If that's what you are saying then we need to reel in the City's inspection branches.

Stantec was given a project to complete, Contractors were hired to do the work. That's where their responsibility ends. If both delivered they are off the hook.

Mind boggling what people expect with no guidelines.

4:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

4:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anonymous is more than one person here - just to clarify. I didn't write that last comment.

Anonymous 3:35 (not 12:33 or 4:38)

5:11 PM  

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