Survival by Design
The Legacy of Early Modern architecture in Victoria
Guest curated by Martin Segger
Contemporary photographs by John Taylor & documents from the Pacific North West Architectural Archive, University of Victoria
Exhibition catalogue click here
TWO EXHIBITIONS – TWO LOCATIONS
Survival by Design: The Legacy of Early Modern architecture in Victoria in the Urban Landscape
April 19 to July 8, 2017
Legacy Art Gallery Downtown Inner Gallery | 630 Yates Street
Survival by Design: The Legacy of Early Modern architecture in Victoria: the UVic Gordon Head Campus
May 6 to Oct 8, 2017
Legacy Maltwood (at the Mearns Centre – McPherson Library)
The two decades post-WWII saw some of the most intensive urban development Victoria has witnessed. The result, a flowering of design innovation by a small group of architectural, has created a built heritage which, still under appreciated, nevertheless still defines the look and feel of Victoria.
Initiatives such as Centennial Square and the UVic Gordon Head Campus, planned neighbourhoods to accommodate returning veterans, to commercial and residential high-rises, this “legacy”; building stock still defines the urban landscape, influences how we use it, and to a large part determines how we adapt and change it.
These two exhibits document this unique and creative architectural legacy, captured through the lens of architectural photographer, John Taylor.
As small group of local architectural practices, often working together, created a distinctive design approach to style and form, but working within the earlier 20th tradition of the European-influenced “International Style”. As regional influences coalesced, what we know today as a “West Coast Style” emerged.
Form and detail uniquely expressed not only the purpose and function of these buildings, along with climate, geography and materials availability, but also demonstrated how building traditions of the region were subsumed in new construction technologies.
Taylors’s images document adaption and change in the urban landscape as original designs have responded to the pressures architectural life cycles: changes in purpose, retrofits to meet modern life-safety and other codes, additions to accommodate growth. Archival evidence, drawing from plans, photographs and textual records, traces the original design intent of the builders. Some of the reasons and subsequent design approaches for both structural and cosmetic adjustments to built form and detail are also revealed.
This exhibition project is supported by a grant from the Canada Council of the Arts.