I threw this together for fun a little while ago:
Excel 1

Let's start with some background.

In the mid-1970's three matching office towers were built around what was then known as Edmonton City Centre. They had a nice, Van Der Rohe simplicity to them, although lining up three of them in a row might have been a bit much.
Orig 1

About ten years ago the TD tower - the southernmost of the three, and the second to be built - was reskinned into a sort of cutesy post-modern. At this point the building was barely 20 years old, but the new look is similar to the TD tower in Calgary which was probably the driving factor behind the premature update. No city needs 3 Kubrick obelisks, so the added variety was welcome.

A few years ago a reskining was started on the City Centre Tower, which is the middle tower and is the oldest of the three. That is now complete, and the building has become a blander version of the TD tower. Van Der Rohe simplicity mated with futzy shininess begets dull mish-mash.

Just recently the Oxford tower - the final member of the trio - started to receive a new look. The work is still underway, but by all appearances it will also be dull.

At about the same time as that started I saw a rendering of a proposed tower in Montreal with one of those randomly generated patterns that are all the rage these days. And hence, the tower that Excel built:
Excel 3

I am sure there are many very good reasons why Oxford chose not to do something like this with the tower. It's too bad though, because it would certainly be an interesting (if also desperately trendy) addition to the skyline and the view from Churchill Square.
Excel 5

I am by no means an expert on curtain-wall procurement, but I don't think this would actually be that difficult to do. As a comparison, the pattern on the TD tower requires something like 14 different types of glazing and panels. My randomized excel version uses 15. And if the order was accidentally mixed up during installation it's not like anyone would notice.
Excel 4

As a bonus, here is the urban-camouflage version that is more similar to the tower that was proposed for Montreal:
Excel 2 1


2010.03.21 Petals and Pedals