Dalhousie University REC CENTER  2.jpg
Dalhousie University REC CENTER  4.jpg
Dalhousie University REC CENTER  6.jpg

THERE IS AN ELEGANCE TO THIS SIMPLE, WELL THOUGHT-OUT RELATIONSHIP OF THE BUILDING TO THE GROUND. THE CONCRETE FOUNDATION WAS FIRST RAISED A LITTLE MORE THAN REQUIRED FROM THE FROST-LINE. COMBINED WITH THE INDENTS OR CHAMFERS WHICH CREATE A SMALL SHADOW, THE BUILDING SEEMS TO BE LIGHTENED AND RISES ABOVE ITS STRUCTURAL BASE.

THE SMALL ROCKS OF THE PRECAST PANELS ARE REPEATED IN A LARGER SCALE AT THE LANDSCAPE LEVEL, CREATING SHADOWS AND TEXTURE IN A CONTINUOUS THEMATIC MATERIALITY.

Dalhousie University REC CENTER  3.jpg
Dalhousie University REC CENTER  5.jpg
Dalhousie University REC CENTER  7.jpg
Dalhousie University REC CENTER  8.jpg
Dalhousie University REC CENTER  10.jpg
Dalhousie University REC CENTER  14.jpg

REGARDLESS OF YOUR AESTHETIC DISPOSITION TOWARDS THIS BUILDING, IT REPRESENTS A HISTORICAL CONTEXT TO TRURO AS WELL AS INSTITUTIONAL DESIGN & CAMPUS ARCHITECTURE. WHEN ONE THINKS ABOUT HERITAGE BUILDINGS, IT IS OFTEN OF BRIGHT WOODEN VICTORIAN HOMES OR GOTHIC REVIVAL CHURCHES. BUILDINGS FROM THE 1970’S & 1980’S ARE NOT OFTEN THOUGHT OF THIS WAY. WHETHER TOO NEW OR UGLY, “BEAUTY” IS NOT A VALUE USED IN CANADA TO IDENTIFY BUILDINGS OF HISTORIC, ARCHITECTURAL, OR CONTEXTUAL SIGNIFICANCE. BUT PUBLIC OPINION CARRIES A STRONG VOICE INVOLVING PRESERVATION & AWARENESS OF SUCH BUILDINGS. INDIFFERENCE & IMPASSIVITY ARE PERHAPS THE PRIMARY THREAT.

THE ATHLETIC CENTRE BUILDING IS AN EXCELLENT EXAMPLE OF THAT SHORT AND DISTINCT TRANSITIONAL PERIOD BETWEEN MODERNIST AND POSTMODERNIST ARCHITECTURE STYLES. THE BUILDING EXHIBITS STRONG POST-WAR MODERNIST IDEALS - MINIMAL ORNAMENTATION, MODULARITY, CLEAN LINES WITH A HORIZONTAL OR VERTICAL EMPHASIS, AND FUNCTIONALISM. POSTMODERNISM WAS A RESPONSE TO THE MUNDANE, AUSTERE MODERNIST STYLE AND REFLECTED. THE FAMOUS MODERNIST AXION "LESS IS MORE" WAS REPLACED WITH "LESS IS A BORE." THE EMERGING POST-MODERNIST AND INCLUDES THE BUBBLE WINDOWS, THE SIMPLE ORNAMENTATION TO THE FOUNDATION, AND OTHER DIVERSE ELEMENTS.

ONE OF THE MAIN CRITICISMS OF POSTMODERN ARCHITECTURE IS THAT THE BUILDINGS DO NOT INTEGRATE WELL WITH ITS SURROUNDINGS SUCH AS THE VERNACULAR LANDSCAPE AND NEARBY STRUCTURES. HOWEVER, POSTMODERNISM HAS COME TO BE VIEWED AS IMPORTANT FOR ITS VISION TOWARDS THE FUTURE RATHER THAN PAYING TRIBUTE TO THE PAST. SO TAKE A MOMENT TO RECOGNIZE & APPRECIATE THIS BUILDING AND OTHER POSTMODERNIST ARCHITECTURE.

GIPL's Mission is to advance the understanding of green infrastructure planning and design to positively impact the challenges our everyday landscapes face.  GIPL seeks to build partnerships, combining research & practice which generate innovative solutions and ideas toward healthy communities.

THE GREEN INFRASTRUCTURE PERFORMANCE LAB

  • Tumblr - Resilient Urbanisms
  • Dalhousie Landscape Arch Facebook
  • Recalibrating the Landscape
  • Google Maps

The Green Infrastructure Performance Laboratory

Director, Richard leBrasseur, PhD

r.lebrasseur@dal.ca

Dalhousie University

Department of Plant, Food, and Environmental Sciences

20 Rock Garden Road, EE Building, Room 223

Truro, Nova Scotia, Canada  B2N 5E3