Reface Downtown Edmonton Highrises

Edmonton’s downtown is currently a hotbed of activity with the arena and museum projects, new tower construction, and community revitalization. I believe there’s an opportunity here to reface or paint some of Downtown Edmonton’s existing highrises along with the new development. For all the home renovators out there, think of this as freshening up a few rooms with a new coat of paint while making an addition to your house.

In my opinion, the brown and beige office towers, apartments, and condos in the area bounded by 101st street to 107th street and 98th ave to Jasper ave are most in need of some care and attention. These are the buildings from the 1970s and 1980s that followed the style of the “brutalist architecture” of exposed concrete. Towers like Coast Hotel, JACOBS, Chateau Lacombe, Telus Tower, ATB Financial (new and old), and SunLife Financial. All could see exterior revitalization like Park Hill Flats in Sheffield, England. Edmonton could feature artists (local and beyond) who can bring a fresh, vibrant look to our downtown using whole buildings as their canvas.

Upon sharing this idea on Twitter, there seem to be a number of like-minded individuals who support this. My challenge is how does one move this from idea to reality? I’ve created a project on MakeSomethingEdmonton.ca to help reach a broader audience. Please share this post or the Make Something Edmonton project with the folks you know, leave your comments and ideas below, or contact me directly on one of the many social media platforms.

4 thoughts on “Reface Downtown Edmonton Highrises

  • Trent

    What are you going to call this initiative? “Lipstick on a pig”?! LOL no offence but personally I don’t think it’s necessarily the mundane colours of the buildings as much as it is simply the architecture, design and layout of downtown as a whole. At the root, the style and layout of dowtown (and much of Edmonton) is simply unimaginative, drab, and working class. Commissioning some local artists to paint murals on them will appear more of a novelty (like lights on the high level bridge) and an amateurish cover up over time as designs become outdated and paint wears away. Maintence would be a nightmare. Who will fund this? Tax payers? Businesses? Or will artists do it in their spare time for free? As a tax payer I wouldn’t want to waste money on this and I can’t see a lot of money being generated from donations. Your hearts in the right place but the proposal isn’t well thought out rather more of a whimsical idea.

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