yowLAB co-director Sarah Gelbard has partnered with Ottawa (de)Tours to create a “walking seminar” on brutalist architecture downtown.
It has been said that brutalist architecture is “unloved but not unlovely”. Beyond the monolithic, opaque, concrete façades are buildings filled with drama, mystery, and strong civic focus. In the postwar building boom and leading up to the Centennial, grand and heroic ideals of civic welfare and cultural identity were translated into a new vision for Ottawa. The abstract, technically efficient, and impersonal nature of modernism was too closely tied to war. The strong character of brutalist architecture embodied renewed hope, stability, and humanity. Ironically, today we tend to misread these buildings as imposing and inhuman “eyesores”. . .
As a little teaser, listen to Sarah’s interview on CBC In Town and Out from earlier this year and check out Centretown Buzz article. Tina Barton joined Sarah earlier this month for a preview of the tour. You can read her thoughts on “Is there any beauty in brutalism?”
The first block of tour dates is now available for booking.
Additional dates will be added throughout the summer and fall.