• Richard Davignon

Seven Reasons Why Contemporary Modern is King in Calgary

Updated: Aug 23, 2019

1. We are a young, cosmopolitan, and confident city. Our adventurous, if not rebellious, spirit has us always looking forward as opposed to the past. This is true for our design tastes, as well, as we are able to embrace modern esthetics just as easily as we embrace new technology.

2. We are a cultured city. Maclean’s magazine recently cited Calgary as “THE” most cultured city in Canada based upon our attendance to live art performances and museums. Our affinity towards the arts speaks to our broad range and understanding of those fundamental features that underlie modernist ideals.

3. We are an affluent city. Calgary has the highest concentration of small businesses and the most millionaires on a per capita basis in Canada. This reality affords many Calgarians the opportunity to demonstrate their modern and contemporary tastes through the esthetic of their home.

4. Calgary has modern architectural roots. Modern architecture came of age just as Calgary’s growth began and we’ve a downtown core full of mostly modern skyscrapers.

5. We’ve lots of housing to play around with. With the exception of some 100 year old heritage homes, much of Calgary’s housing stock isn’t very interesting, or even well made, which makes tearing down and starting fresh appealing. As well, home ownership is the norm in Calgary as opposed to long-term, even life-long, renting like in some Canadian and European cities.

6. Inner-city property in Calgary, where we see the most innovative designs, is still largely available and accessible in comparison to other cities. Calgary’s geography has allowed for expansion with few physical constraints like mountains or oceans so we have the opportunity to build outward and thus, not fully exhausting our inner-city land.

7. New, innovative designs built by internationally renowned architectural firms have helped give Calgarians fresh eyes, with projects like Calatrava’s Peace Bridge and Norman Foster’s Bow, raising the bar. Modern isn’t odd and unfamiliar anymore, it’s au courant and there is much more on the horizon including Bjarke Ingels’ Telus Sky Tower, Allied Works National Music Centre, and Snohetta’s new Central Library to name just a few and we haven’t even mentioned the East Village yet.

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