I’ve always been a fan of innovative design in architecture ever since my Dad took me to see Frank Lloyd Wright’s “Fallingwater” when I was a kid. My father was a construction superintendent and he was always careful to make sure I understood that form does not always have to follow function. It’s one thing if a car parts warehouse is a big concrete and steel box, but the places where culture thrives, the places where people gather to express their creativity, individuality and spirituality need to reflect the events that take place inside them.
As I llok around the world at what is being done in other cities and then look at the bulk of modern Canadian architecture all I see is a glowing tribute to the bottom line. It’s never about what it looks like, what it inspires, what are the possibilities – it is only about how much it costs. Especially, it seems, when it comes to public buildings.
To make sure the taxpayer gets value for the tax dollar is indeed important, but it seems to me we must redefine “value.” It should not always be about only doing what is needed, it must also be about showing the world, our children and ourselves just how much we are capable of doing, just how great a legacy we can leave.