Postwar Ugly or Postwar Chic?




Calgary has a lot of squat apartment buildings built in the 1950s and 60s. Unlike their counterparts in Vancouver, which tend towards a breezy, pastel-coloured Art Moderne kind of style, these are typically clad in frumpy brown brick. They look cheap and outdated, but I’ve noticed a handful of such buildings that have undergone renovations that exploit their clean lines and simple appearance while discarding some of their more tasteless elements, like dumpy vinyl siding and hideous doors and windows. Is it possible that these postwar apartment houses, usually dismissed as forgettable, will one day be stylish places to live?

This entry was written by Christopher DeWolf , posted on Thursday July 31 2008at 12:07 am , filed under Architecture, Canada and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink . Post a comment below or leave a trackback: Trackback URL.

2 Responses to “Postwar Ugly or Postwar Chic?”

  • There are signs that modernism (of the ancien regime, I mean) is returning to vogue in the way Victorian buildings did a generation ago. Berlin’s Weimar era modernist housing projects were just designated a UNESCO world heritage site, for example. And Harvard can’t tear down its long-lamented (by philistines) Walter Gropius graduate complex. I wonder if it’ll be long before the cachet of historical significance starts attaching itself to these places’ real estate values. Until then, I have to say, at least the first photo in this set looks handsome.

  • Ange Wayne says:

    People’s tastes change. I think that in time these houses will be a stylish place to live in. As long as the people living in it are comfortable it will be a fine dwelling place.