1858-2008  BC 2008 Applied Arts History Project top
Introduction
Exhibit
Museum
1958
1868
1878
1888
1908
1908
1918
1928
1938
1948
1958
1968
1978
1988
1998
Resources
Participation
Acknowledge
BCCAA
1958

1948-1957 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10

B. C. Hydro Building
Ned Pratt, Thompson, Berwick, Pratt, architects, Vancouver, 1954-55

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Gracefully rising 22 stories, the BC Electric Building, now the “Electra”, is testament to the province’s economic development in the 1950s and 60s.

Working closely with Ron Thom, architect Ned Pratt and engineer Otto Safi r cantilevered lozenge shaped floors from a central core and wrapped the exterior in a glass, porcelain and aluminum curtain wall.

Designed to take advantage of Vancouver’s natural beauty, the tapered shape and slender profile created spaces in which no desk was further than 15 feet from a window and views of sea, mountain and sky.

A West Coast water motif was reinforced by the vibrant abstract tile mosaics by artist B.C. Binning, as well as the illuminated blue and green vertical “zippers” at each end of the tower. Like Pratt’s Dal Grauer Substation, the BC Electric Building became an internationally significant Vancouver Modern landmark, and was one of the first Modernist structures to be designated a heritage building by the City. In 1994 the building was converted to condominiums known as the “Electra” by architect Paul Merrick.

 

Victoria Trend House (Trend House program)
John Di Castri, architect, Victoria, 1954.

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In the early 1950s, the BC lumber industry sponsored the building of model homes in ten major cities across the country to promote the use of Western woods and plywood in residential construction. The first of these so-called Trend Houses was built in Thorncrest Village, a Toronto suburb, in 1953. Based on the success of this pilot project, an expanded plan was undertaken in the spring of 1954 in which 10 more modern houses were erected and opened to the public. Designed by prominent local architects, these houses also featured the latest in modern planning and design, as well as Canadian-designed furniture, fabric, craft, and art. The Trend House program was significant in promoting modern architectural ideas and materials used in BC to a wider Canadian market, as illustrated by the Victoria Trend House above.

 



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