Skip to main content

»
Endangered Species Phase 1
Endangered Species
Phase 1

"Buildings, like living things, can be classed in species, and just as we do not wish various animal species to become extinct, we should not want various types of architecture to become extinct. Like the whole question in the animal kingdom, it is virtually impossible to re-create a building that has disappeared (or if not impossible, certainly well outside the realm of the probable). I would suggest that this argument--and it should be seen as an ecological argument--is totally applicable to our architectural heritage, and at every point we must weigh the costs and benefits involved in the destruction or retention of any particular building."
  -- John Sewell, former Mayor of Toronto, 1972

Preservation of Canadian Modernism is at a crossroads. Indifference and hostility have led to the demolition of modern buildings across Canada and as these buildings fall, those who designed and built them age and die. Ironically, this comes at a time when modern architecture and design are enjoying renewed interest amongst professionals and the public.

The demise of many fine modern buildings like the Inn on the Park, Trend House, Toronto’s Terminal One, Wawanesa Insurance, the Salvation Army Headquarters, Union Carbide to the Shell Oil Tower, illustrate that little has changed. And now Riverdale Hospital awaits a similar fate?

Endangered Species investigates the notion of modern architecture as an endangered genus. Is modernism bound for extinction? Endangered Species, the book and exhibition opens the debate.
The book and exhibition Includes the Catalogue of Destruction with essays by Carole Pope, John Martins-Manteiga, Steve Russell, Gene Threndyle, Jose Castel-Branco, Luigi Ferrara, Peter Kuitenbrouwer and Adam Sobolak.

Exhibition will feature body parts of long lost buildings like the Shell Oil Tower, Wawanesa Insurance and Union Carbide, on exhibit like some long extinct beasts.
Dominion Modern and the School of Design, George Brown College is presenting the exhibition, ENDANGERED SPECIES, in two phases.

The exhibit and accompanying book includes work by SCHOOLOFDESIGN students, as part of the Director's Design Competition, "Endangered Species" represents a photographic exploration of post-war modernist architecture listed to be demolished in Toronto, The Greater Toronto area, and beyond. The Director's Design Competition was launched in 2003 in the spirit of promoting the creative talent from the school and to encourage young designers to use photography and design as a tool to improve the quality of self-expression and communication.

Curator: John Martins-Manteiga
Installer: Robert Chandler, Yvonne Whelan
Graphic Design: Justin Aitcheson

Dominion Modern @ the SCHOOLOFDESIGN
March 3- 4, 2007
 Hours: 1-6pm
@ The Institute Without Boundaries

207 Adelaide Street East (at Jarvis), Toronto
 Ontario, Canada
Free Admission

To order the book, Endangered Species, please go to the Publications page.