Embracing Architecture Week in Vancouver and a west coast perspective
View From The Edge
Pierre E. Gallant
I am delighted that the City of Vancouver has declared the week of May 24 to 27 as Architecture Week in British Columbia.
This will coincide with the 2011 Festival of Architecture, a joint effort of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) and Architecture Canada, formerly known as the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC).
It is gratifying to know that the city recognizes the outstanding contribution of local architecture in making Vancouver the most livable city in the world.
The festival’s theme is: Architecture on the Edge. Not only does this play upon the unique architectural perspective from Canada’s west coast, it also acknowledges the pivotal role that architects play in driving change in our communities.
Embracing sustainable architecture and improving the energy performance of buildings is part of that. We are mindful of the RAIC 2030 Challenge to reduce greenhouse gas emissions of new and renovated buildings and become carbon neutral by 2030.
The 2011 festival is an opportunity to bring attention to the state of the profession in B.C.
And, it’s a good state. The reputation of B.C. architects for innovative and inspired design is growing worldwide. It’s sadly ironic, then, that B.C. architecture isn’t more valued and appreciated at home.
In other parts of the world, architecture is studied, considered, debated and revered by young and old alike. Here in B.C., it ought to arouse the levels of passion and excitement that we have for our local hockey team, but doesn’t.
We can spend 10 to 12 waking hours in buildings every day. They affect and inspire us. When we work in an environment we appreciate, we perform better.
When we live in a home we enjoy, we’re happier. When our buildings enhance our geography, both natural and urban, we see delight and take pride in our communities. I encourage everyone to take a moment to appreciate and embrace the buildings in our urban landscape, and consider what they contribute to the built environment.
Without a doubt, we in B.C. are influenced by our spectacular and unique natural surroundings.