Gordon Atkins: Architecture 1960-95 by Graham Livesey

By Graham Livesey

Gordon Atkins practised structure in Calgary, Alberta from the early Nineteen Sixties until eventually the past due Nineteen Nineties. Early in his profession he validated himself as one of many brightest younger architects in Canada. for instance, he used to be the 1st Alberta architect to win a Massey Medal, which he did in 1967. considered one of a bunch of certain Prairie-based architects, Atkins built a small, yet greatly acclaimed physique of labor. every one layout answered to his client's specifications, and to the prairie and foothills landscapes of Alberta. His structure levels from the expressive to the usual preserving all through an uncompromising sleek stance. integrated within the ebook is an essay exploring Gordon Atkins' position as an architect, an interview with Atkins that explores intimately his layout philosophy, formative education, and upbringing. This hugely illustrated quantity beneficial properties 16 initiatives that span so much of his profession.

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It really completes the integrity of the space and the concept. The other thing that stuck with me is an interest in small-scale design, the detail of a door handle, or a light fixture, or a piece of furniture. In fairness to what the system imposes on you, to take a major commission, a university building or an institutional building, and putting five or six years of your life into it, is a real challenge. The little control that you actually have is minimal. On the other hand you take a glass, or a spoon, or a chair and it is easy to conceptualize and have the simplicity we have been talking about.

KS: What about with your own residence? I know that you have mentioned before the significance of your house as you have continued to work on it. GA: I always have a problem with the word 'entitlement' in every aspect, because people feel they are entitled to work, they are entitled to housing, they are entitled to food, they are entitled to love and sex. As soon as you say that you are entitled to something you have lost the most important aspect, and that is gratitude for what you do get. With your own house, you don't answer to anybody except your family and that may be difficult enough.

The house, which is L-shaped in plan, takes advantage of south light, is oriented to south and west views, and is sheltered from cold winds. To provide privacy, the house is surrounded by an earth berm which shelters the brick patio. A fence composed of rough-sawn slats flows in a soft curve around the property and chatters in the wind. The main floor consists of two levels, one of which is raised to form the entry, living, and sleeping areas. The lower portion is a concrete slab covered entirely with Norway pine blocks, a material that offers warmth, scale, and resiliency.

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