CIBC Edmonton Main Branch

Model and Building information

The first step in making a model is to basically take the building apart piece by piece - to figure out how it works, which bits are important, where to cheat, and where not to cheat. Once that's done then it can be put back together again. The whole process involves looking at the building in a lot of detail, and at the end I usually come away with a deeper appreciation of it.

I've always been aware of the downtown CIBC. It's an old building, and Edmonton doesn't have so many of those that I could just completely ignore this one. And it is located at the intersection of downtown's two spines - the history of Jasper, and the high-rise corridor of 101 Street. Still, there was just something about the building that never really grabbed me - as important as Jasper and 101st is, in practice it isn't really that important at all; the building itself tends to be lost behind the mess of planters and trolley lines and urban clutter; and the Tyndall is just so very, very gray, especially in the shadows of the neighbouring office towers.

As I worked on the model though, I grew to really like it. The renaissance influence is just so simple and elegant compared to some of the other more showy historic styles. And it's just so nicely proportioned and detailed.

The only real artistic license on the model is the addition of the Canadian flag. The flagpole is a very prominent part of the building, but I don't believe that I've ever seen it in use. When it came time to make the model, I decided that it was going to have a flag.


Anthony Dueck said...

Is there any way of viewing these models you speak of? I'm new to this site and very interested in Edmonton's (often lacking) architecture.