10830 Jasper Avenue

Model and Building information

Model and Building Information

It was however, a building doomed by its material choices. The drab concrete lattice over the drab brown brick is tough to defend, and the building probably looked tired and dirty on the day that it opened. Maybe if the brick had been red or if the lattice was a shiny aluminum then there would have been more affection for the building, or at least it might have been less disliked. The new version and all of its crazy shapes upholds the quirkiness of the original, but I do wish that they'd somehow managed to integrate the lattice into the new design.

This will mark the fifth shiny blue office building prominently visible from Jasper Avenue (sixth if you count all the way down to 124st). With it's odd shape there is no real risk that it will be confused with any of the others, but some diversity wouldn't hurt. Downtown Edmonton is already a sea of brutalist concrete, and I'm not sure that striking back with a wave of reflective blue monoliths is the way to go. Would another Bell or Canadian Western Bank have been too much to ask?

One nice change is that the windows are a slightly different blue than the spandrel panels below them. This combined with the exaggerated horizontal mullions and the hidden vertical mullions gives it a banded appearance, rather than the uniformity of Manulife or the new Devonian. I think they could have gone a bit further with it though, either darkening the spandrels or making the windows more transparent (humbug to energy efficiency). The banding is prominent but it doesn't quite pop, and on a cloudy day you might not even notice it.

The building is also subject to the same height restrictions that have led to downtown Edmonton's many cubic "high-rises" which are as tall as they are wide. 10830 is actually quite a bit wider than it is tall, but the manic massing tries to hide that. That seems to be the approach Procura will be taking with all of its developments in the area, which should feel more interesting than the duplo-blocks-as-urban-design approach of the government area a few blocks to the south.

It also goes without saying that the new retail spaces will be such a welcome addition to Jasper, in an area that has been a black hole for a decade? More?

1 comment:

Joshua K said...

i liked the old one better too!