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Design/architecture critics needed

February 3rd, 2010 · 14 Comments

Anyone from the design/architecture field want to be quoted in a Globe story with their thoughts on the architectural excellence (or not) of the Canada Pavilion and/or other pavilions at the Games? (All others welcome to post their thoughts here.)

Get in touch with me ASAP:

Categories: Uncategorized

  • Dan
    Here are some more photos for those interested, except they seem to be just of the construction process itself.
    Looks pretty underwhelming. Prefab architecture has come incredible lengths in recent years, constituting a very innovative and cutting edge field, however, this pavillion does seem to capture this sense.
    Instead of the government pavilion, it should be the hanger out at YVR that government planes run-through for maintenance.

  • Rebecca

    After looking at the pics, can’t they keep the building in the dark??? BORING!

  • larry

    I’m not architecture critic but I’ve been there and the ratio of floor-to-ceiling height to floor area of the spaces outside of the conference rooms is off somehow. Makes one feel claustrophobic. Some of the materials inside provide interesting texture (use of smaller pieces of wood for example), but other places look like cheap contractor-grade materials.

  • gmgw

    The current (Winter 09/10, #24) issue of Vancouver Review (see , though you can’t access the article on the website) contains a long, very fine article by Trevor Boddy entitled “Vision Deficit” which critiques “2010 architecture” in some detail. Boddy doesn’t address the short-lived pavilions, but rather permanent Olympic-related edifices such as the Canada Line stations and the new convention centre, and the politics of their development. Boddy did not find much that he liked. Excellent article. Look for it on newsstands, now.

  • Glissando Remmy

    NINE,8,6,5,4,3,2,1…The Olympic Countdown Thought of the Day

    “I think that VANOC people are back to the basics; praying for white snowflakes, holding hands and chanting… Snow on the Olympic alpine runs; Canadian snow on Canadian mountains. Tourists on floating cruise ships. Do you believe? Do Be Do Be Do Be Do Be Daaaa…”

    After finding out Punxsutawney Phil’s weather prediction for Vancouver, Jacque Rogue replied “Someone gets me that opinionated, obnoxious rodent right now and make an example out of him, sorry, was my mike on? Make him an official mascot offer! And Furlong, send me more helicopters to Cypress, could you do that for me?! Wait; add a dozen or so truckloads of snow to that too! Wait, I also want 1,000 snow machinists disguised as Ice Cream vendors on the runs, right now. Then tell that Premier of yours Wolfgang Puck or what’s his name, to get in touch with me and Johnny, anything goes wrong… you are a stranger to me! One more thing, not for the life of me, can I look at those corrugated cardboard podiums of yours without dreaming of UPS. Better listen to Frank, Johnny, listen to Frank!”

    And then there were eight…

    We live in Vancouver and this keeps us busy.

    As for the Canada Pavilion, hmmm, ugly like hell. It’s like spending four grand on a fancy Armani suit and then show-up at the Party in checkered runners and a mystic scarf. It didn’t work for Paul McCartney and it won’t work for us either. Helloooo!

  • Paul C

    The Canada Pavilion reflects the federal government – late, overpriced and boring.

  • IanS

    Seems functional at best.

    Perhaps the theory is that Vancouver itself is really “representing” Canada at the games and there is thus no need for a well done pavilion?

  • Mr Clean

    FB you don’t need Architects to provide a critique of the BUTT ugly Pseudo-Pavillion. It has an visceral repulsiveness about it. That is all.

    (PS It reflects badly on Canada and Harper)

  • spartikus

    That’s the actual Canada pavilion? LOL…I thought it was going to be a cafeteria or beer garden.

    I often ride by Alberta House. Not that I would hold it up as an example of excellence, but there’s obviously been more thought behind it.

  • Chris
  • Patti Bacchus

    I’ve never been accused of knowing anything about design or architecture, but looking at the picture in the Sun this morning it struck me that maybe was someone was cleverly paying homage to Vancouver Specials.

  • Sorin Tatomir

    Can you hear the grass growing? Definitely, on this thread you can.

    I strongly feel that the Canada Pavilion should have been designed as a permanent structure
    (I am talking about the present location) as part of the Games “legacy”, instead of the temporary one it is now, later on to be used as a prospective Community (day care/ activities) Centre of which the present area is lacking of.

    Having said that, the location of the Canada Pavilion troubles me a lot and this is why:

    Forget the false impression of easy access, the closeness to the BC place, the proximity to the CBC or the “transportation Hub” rational behind it. As a tourist I would rather be where the rest of Vancouverites are, most of the day and night, which is not in the Georgia & Beatty perimeter, for sure.
    Not after dark, no.
    I would rather be around the area surrounding the entertainment district, Stanley Park, English Bay, Granville, Davie, Robson and Denman streets. Canada Pavilion should have been the Lighthouse of Alexandria for these Games. Seen from far away instead of being constricted on an empty parking lot.

    Even Vanier Park (I am thinking the usual Bard on the Beach site) with route provided along the seawall and a stone throw away to Granville Island could have been a better choice, of course with added sea ferry stops perhaps and a nice free “Robson Plaza to Vanier” Olympic shuttle over the Burrard Bridge for the duration of the Games. Close to amenities and natural views.
    Imagine showcasing Vancouver from the Canada Pavilion from that location, instead of showcasing Costco’s drive-in entrance. David Lam Park could have been another good location for the Pavilion. The Vancouver Convention Centre West Plaza could have been a better spot too!

    As for the Pavilion itself, not much to say, a barn shaped, steel frame, two stories structure, that’s been professionally covered in LED light panels. Most successfully seen during the night when all the lights are on. Greatest competition architecturally however comes from just across the street, from the beautifully crafted AMEC building and its complimentary water fall feature and park, QET or from the not so far Public Library.

    To me, the Pavilion does not shout Team CANADA (at least not before reading the marquee) the feel is that of a VANOC merchandising dispatch centre wrapped in an appropriate coloured treatment.

    Any Presentation center build in Vancouver in the past ten years that I know of, was more successfully designed. VANOC should have given Bob Rennie the job for this one.

    There. My two cents.

  • archie’s dad

    Halifax has Bubble’s Palace. We have the Canada Pavilion.

  • Higgins

    Where are all the architecture gurus on Frances blog hiding? Or is too demeaning to comment on a mere “temporary” piece of junk?
    Don’t tell me you liked the Canada Barn.