A Singular Vision, Collaboration, or Chance?

Straggling along the sidewalk en route to an amazing small-plates dinner, I fell behind as usual. How could I resist the view from the angle I had? It’s good I didn’t: the view from further along the sidewalk wasn’t anywhere near as amazing.

Without the advantage of being there in person, it might not strike you. Try it with all the bronze-ish colours flagged.

Was it the output of one brain or one design group? Did different architects collaborate across time to achieve this? Was it partly a function of the time of day? I’ll never know.

But, wow.

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12 Responses to A Singular Vision, Collaboration, or Chance?

  1. barbara carlson says:

    time of day? who cares, you were there and got this lovely shot.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Barbara – I think some of what I saw was late-sun reflection and some was permanent. Fabulous in any event.

  2. Jim Taylor says:

    Edmonton has changed, in just ten years. There’s only one building there that I recognize from previous visits. I have difficulty imagining a city planning department being so imaginative (sorry, redundancy there) as to co-ordinate colour schemes, and even more difficulty imagining competing architectural firms subordinating their own creative vision to a collective style. Still, however it came about, good on them!

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Jim T – This was Calgary, at the south edge of downtown. I like to think it might have been cooperation across time, but who knows? Then there’s also the issue that people who are architecturally conversant will see subtle connections that I miss. As with cars, I go mostly by colour.

  3. A fascinating puzzle from the perspective of where the sun was in the sky and whether or not it was as free of clouds as the part in the photo. The building indicated five arrows from the left has a rose-tinted glow. Why do the other buildings shine as copper? Their windows primarily reflect clear sky and buildings in shadow “next door” or on the opposite side of the street. When you wrote “bronze-ish” were you recalling a colour not perfectly represented in the photo?

    With all its puzzling aspects, it remains a magnificent photograph.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Laurna – My ability to distinguish copper from bronze is not strong, so I was just picking a descriptor more-or-less at random. I think the rose-glow one was late-afternoon-sun reflection, whereas the others were building materials. But supper called, insistently, so I did not explore further.

  4. Wonderful photo of a moment in time. Come back and see the same view in its blue period. Love the angularity of the buildings harmonized in bronze.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      Judith – 🙂 Yes, another transient photo. It’s fun to be able to explore a city (or any area, I guess) across time – and a good reminder to pay attention to the place I live, not just the places I visit.

  5. John Whitman says:

    Isabel – an architect friend once told me that architects are taught to maintain “balance”, in their designs but also to be different. Your brown buildings are all brown (balance) but have “different” shapes to differentiate them from their neighbors.
    In that same area of Edmonton there is (used to be) a building where the color on one side matches the red brick church beside it and then the color of the rest of building changes to be more in tune with the buildings on the opposite side from the church.

    Then of course there are architects whose egos are bigger than their buildings and their buildings stand out like sore thumbs.

    • Isabel Gibson says:

      John – This is a Calgary streetscape, but I’ll look for that scene in Edmonton next year. That “matching” tactic you describe is the sort of thing that makes it fun to explore buildings, even when I don’t know much about architecture.

      • John Whitman says:

        The church I refer to wasn’t that far from “Red Square”. If I remember correctly it was on the same street as the Coast Hotel, but on the river side of Jasper in the southwest corner of the block that also contained “Red Square”.

        • Isabel Gibson says:

          John – 🙂 I think you know Edmonton’s downtown better than I do. I lived in the city for several decades but my route in/out of downtown was pretty prescribed, and I never wandered there.

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