Sunday, 16 October 2011

Buildings, brain damage and food

Acid wash architecture

There has been a small kerfuffle about what to do with the old YWG airport terminal now that the fancy-pants James Richardson International terminal is opening. Heritage advocates are crying out for somebody to save it, because it is an excellent example of mid-century modernist architecture. That may be, but modernist architecture happens to be the acid wash jeans of the architecture world. Nobody, for example, would ever say “Wait! Don’t throw out those parachute pants -- they’re still perfectly good!”

Modernism ranges from the bland and block-ish, like our terminal, to the Jetson-ish stylings of the Winnipeg Clinic building, where the designers gambled on the look of the future and lost. But looks aside, the terminal building has a couple of other knocks against it: size and location. It is big and expensive to maintain, and it’s located (obviously) at an airport, which drastically limits potential uses, as does the purpose-built interior that would require massive renovations for almost any other use.

Heritage advocates should pick their fights. We have a hard enough time preserving our turn of the century classics in the exchange district to be distracted by this. If a legitimate proposal comes forward that doesn’t require a bundle of government money, then fine .. but otherwise take one last good look and say good bye.


Blog action day

Apparently today was blog action day. Apparently this year’s subject was food. I do not have anything to contribute because (and this is true) I was busy building a garden. A small raised vegetable garden for next summer. Plus I completely forgot that it was blog action day. That was a factor too.

Since I have failed you, here are a couple of other local Blog Action Day blogs that are worth reading: Conceited Jerk & One Man Committee


Brain damage in two languages

I read that bilingualism prolonged cognitive function in people suffering from Alzheimer's disease. Brain scans showed that “bilingual patients had twice as much atrophy” when diagnosed as unilingual patients, leading to the conclusion that speaking two languages helps you overcome brain damage from the disease. That is one possibility, but I think the researchers are missing the obvious conclusion: that speaking French causes brain damage.


Late addition: Ramblin' Dan

I feel I'm not offering you enough with this post, so here is a video for you ... local artist, prolific songwriter, and old buddy of mine "Rambling" Dan Frechette, with a reggae-ish tune recorded at the Park Theatre a couple weeks ago:

Check out Dan's YouTube page for more, or better yet: go pick up one of his albums!


Reed Solomon said...

I liked the old airport, and if it could have been saved it would have been nice, but if they're going to build a place for the Aviation Museum anyways, I hope they can at least incorporate some aspects of the old airport building in it. Perhaps an observation deck.. as I'm not sure the new airport has one (which is a tragedy) Perhaps they could recycle some parts of the old building. As far as modernism goes in this city, The old airport was the building I appreciated most. I won't cry if it gets torn down, if like the Eatons building its beyond saving.

cherenkov said...

I don't think the new terminal has an observation deck, but it's much more open to the outside so there are probably areas where you can see the airplanes taking off and landing -- especially after the old terminal gets torn down. ;-)

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