~ I DEEPLY & TRULY HATE ugly architecture. In a recent video by Amazing Polly in which she discusses a range of topics, about 1/2 way through, she talks about the death of beauty and the kind of architecture inflicted on people by modernist architects. Watch her video first.
A building can inform, delight, ennoble, send a message about goodness, beauty, and truth. Even simply functional buildings can have a touch of whimsy, detail, and design that makes if more than functional. Deliberately ugly, functionalist, offensive modern architecture is meant to desolate the eye, the heart, the mind, and keep us trapped in the here and now, oppressed and oppressing, surrounded by the excretions of our betters.
The Roger Scruton video Polly mentions.
Anyhow, here’s my comment, following her statement that Canada never had a period of attractive architecture:
I dare to disagree with you, Amazing Polly. Canada had a period of beautiful buildings, circa 1800-1900+. The work of Maritimer William Critchlow Harris, the Ottawa Parliament builders, the Italianate homes , and many of our older pre-20th century church buildings. In some places (here and there in Toronto, more so in smaller & midsized communities) this heritage of lovely banks, public buildings, homes, and churches still exists, though some need TLC & renovation back to their more original design.
Sadly, as you say, brutalist & alien-invasion clever architecture has ruined many bigger communities & downtown cores, and too many architects still seem concerned with making a statement than following any line of truth, beauty & goodness, or even blending their building with the surroundings.
Here in my little town, the local RCMP have moved from a small and not unattractive brick building to a shiny metal, steel, and ominous structure, which is a statement of surveillance and domination, which doesn’t fit the town or setting, and was obviously designed by somebody with skill but little talent.