Comment 81973

By Mahesh_P_Butani (registered) - website | Posted October 19, 2012 at 10:11:55

Thank you Kevin for your insights into the process that led to the generic design of the new stadium.

The core issue in Ontario in my opinion is that the term 'design' is most often used in ways that leads to such predictably problematic outcomes in most civic projects.

Engineers look at 'design' in a certain manner while architects look at 'design' in a certain manner.

What complicates things more is when you throw in city planners into the mix directed by bureaucrats who understand 'design' in a totally different manner - now you have the recipe for such an unholy mess.

Of all the professionals involved, architects most often are able to translate the term 'design' into some meaningful constructs that straddle the socio-cultural, aesthetic and engineering realms on account of their integrated educational experience.

Engineers and planners in Ontario and often across Canada simply lack the broader cultural/social education required to do justice to the process of creating meaningful architectural designs. With the exception of engineering giants like Arup from UK, most engineering companies rarely manage to deliver substantive projects in the architectural realm.

Almost all Engineer/Planner led projects of such type, most often than not end up in generic design banality or wild exuberance.

There is a reason why many older civic projects appear to have some design integrity - the reason being that the older practice of 'project delivery' primarily had 'design' architects (diff.from project architects) who led the project - with engineers/planners as sub-consultants on the team.

I don't know what went wrong here with Cannon Design (being an architectural firm of some stature, which expanded rapidly threw acquisitions of smaller firms), but their underwhelming design response could only point to one factor, and that is, this most probably is not an architect led design project - as it clearly has the fingerprints all over of being worked on by an engineer/planner mindset.

Take a look at these pictures below and tell me if you don't experience a monumental déjà vu:

McMahon, Calgary:

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Mahesh P. Butani

Comment edited by Mahesh_P_Butani on 2012-10-19 10:29:07

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