Tag Archives: Perspectives on the city

Who did it better? Montréal vs. Los Angeles

AON Building, Los Angeles Financial District - work of the author, October 2010

The AON Center in downtown LA, a 62-story Modernist office tower design by Charles Luckman and completed in 1973.

Tour de la Bourse, Square Victoria - work of the author, Spring 2009

The Tour de la Bourse on Square Victoria, completed in 1964 and rising 47 floors. It is considered to be a prime example of Internationalist-style modern architecture, and was designed by Nervi and Moretti.

My favourite alleyway

Slate Reflection - work of the author, January 2011

Alleyway south of Boul. de Maisonneuve, leading to the back of Carlos & Pepe’s on Peel Street. Though frequently malodorous due to the subtle mix of urine and rotting vegetables, I’m nonetheless drawn to this space, as its design cleverly seems forbidding at first, yet with the CIBC Building towering overhead, pulls you down into its bowels. And just when the alleyway seems to have sucked you in, it opens up into kind of accidental courtyard with the CIBC Building having tapered away completely.

Behind the Hermes Building

I’ve wanted to film some sort of daring escape in this alleyway since the first time I explored it. Seems very Se7en-esque.

Perspective on the city { no.3 }

November Rain at Phillip's Square - work of the author, December 2008

Had this conversation with a good friend many moons ago. Should the city have lighting regulations? Perhaps even individual building lighting uniformity and/or some sort of municipal agency tasked with ensuring the highest quality natural and artificial lighting throughout the metropolis? This may sound crazy, but good lighting can make or break public space, and in certain circumstances, can create some rather striking street scenes. If you have a chance, take a walk down de Maisonneuve near Peel and Stanley and see the new lighting set-up there. Also, is it me or is it terribly discouraging, aesthetically-speaking, to see an office tower with all kinds of different lighting. Especially when it comes to all-glass modernist towers, bad lighting makes the building look uncared for. Just a thought…

Perspective on the city { no.2 }

Old McGill Street - work of the author, April 2009

This is the view south along McGill Street from Rue Le Moyne in the Old Quarter. I love the scale of the buildings in this area, and the liberal use of sandstone and similarly coloured brick on these late-Victorian era office buildings gives this particular street a vibrancy unique among the commercial streets in our city. Would make an excellent promenade, though in order to get cars out of the Old Port, access to the Métro would be ideal – consider that Rue de la Commune is about a twenty minute walk from the Orange line, and the distance between the Orange and Green lines can be as little as five. Part of what makes the Old Port so magical is the fact that there’s so much architectural and design variety over a relatively large area, it practically begs your attention. It would be great to free up some streets to allow many more people the chance to experience the streetscape in its totality. Moreover, of all the sectors of the city ideal to commence a ‘pedestrianification’ of the street system, the Old Port’s 19th and 18th century road planning was designed with people, not cars, in mind. May as well start here.

Perspective on the city { no.1 }

Cloudscape - work of the author, August 2010

From the rooftop terrace of a friend’s Plateau apartment. I sat in the early morning dew mesmerized by the quick degeneration and regeneration of these massive, beautiful clouds. When the sun broke, some shone with this ethereal golden orange glow. At times, it looked as though the light of the sun was slicing the clouds into smaller forms. They danced for hours across the sky.