OOTS: Ever-blooming architecture

Last weekend, I had one of those What the heck is that?!? must-stop photographic urges as my husband and I drove along King Street in Kitchener, Ontario on our way to its conjoined city Waterloo.

I ran over, furiously snapping, as is my wont, and accosted two passersby, who told me that this is the new University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy Building, designed by Hariri Pontarini Architects and Robbie/Young + Wright Architects.

[Well, really, for the sake of Truth in Blogalism, I should note that what they really said was: Oh, it’s U of W’s new pharmacy building, or words to that effect. The rigorous linkiness is not their fault.]

The glass cladding covers enlarged watercolour images of what are clearly old medicinal plants.

At home, Google found me this January 24, 2009 Globe & Mail review by Lisa Rochon, which describes the building’s story in greater detail.

The reviewer feels that the botanical images, while cool, feel rather out of place in the context of the building design. I disagree, and think that time will be kind to this unlikely combination. But then, perhaps that’s my High-QQ-factor coming through. Full disclosure: For me, the initially controversial OCAD Sharp Centre for Design was a case of love at first sight.

So. What do you think of all those flowers?

More grist for the Out on the Streets mill for VP at Veg Plotting, who advises us to keep our eyes fresh for ideas in our own back yard.


  1. Oh wow! I love it! πŸ™‚

    Thanks for thinking of Out of the Streets – I was expecting plastic flowers, nothing as mind blowing as this! It adds a new twist to the vertical gardens concept doesn't it? πŸ˜‰

  2. I think that it is gorgeous Helen! As you know I work downtown in the financial district and I am surrounded by glass boxes. I also have a condo downtown and again glass boxes. After a while, they all look the same. This is a great way to "dress up" a glass building, and will look great summer or winter!

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