The ROM Does Itself Proud

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.

New World’s Tallest

Okay, I realize that the CN Tower’s record as the world’s tallest structure isn’t going to last forever. Eventually somebody had to build a bigger one, ’cause that’s just the way things are in this world. But am I the only one who thinks the proposed design (see computer generated picture at right) looks just a little familiar? And if the appearance isn’t enough, the leading corporation on this project is a railroad company! Even the description sounds like something I’ve read before.

“The new tower will be fitted with two observation platforms… It will sit on a triangular base and become cylinder-like as it stretches upwards.”

Now I appreciate that there are only so many ways to build a tower, and what with form following function and all, there is going to be a certain similarity in any design – but really! Please, people, could we try to be a little more innovative?

cially since this tower will also replace another one that looks hauntingly familiar. Check out the picture on the left. Has a certain French feel about it doesn’t it.

I recognize that imitation is in itself a form of flattery but I was hoping that when the CN Tower’s record was toppled it would be by something not only taller, but more elegant as well.

But hey, that’s just me.