Saskatchewan Architecture: A Visual Journey, 1930-2011

29 October 2013

Architecture of Saskatchewan: A Visual Journey, 1930-2011
by Bernard Flaman
Published by University of Regina Press
Review by Keith Foster
$49.95 ISBN 978-0-88977-250-2

Saskatchewan is more than a land of living skies and gorgeous sunsets; it also comprises the buildings that dot our prairie landscape and adorn our cityscapes.

Architecture of Saskatchewan: A Visual Journey covers the period from the 1930s to the new millennium as a companion volume to Historic Architecture of Saskatchewan, published in 1986, which focused on Saskatchewan’s early heritage buildings.

An architect in the field of heritage conservation, Bernard Flaman wrote the introduction to each chapter and the text accompanying the photos. A man of few words, he introduces the chapters, then lets the photos speak for themselves.

Flaman uses both black and white and colour images. He took many of the photos himself, supplemented by archival sources and other photographers.

This 179-page hardcover coffee table book often shows multiple images of the same structures, displaying the changes or additions that have taken place over the years, or simply showing the buildings in different seasons or at different times of day.

The photos create some strange images, especially if one adds a little imagination. The Saints Peter & Paul Ukrainian Church in Saskatoon resembles a short caterpillar with wrinkled skin. A round window protruding from the wall of La Troupe du Jour Production Centre in Saskatoon looks like a large glass eye staring out at the street.

Other sites include the recently demolished Moose Jaw sports complex, better known affectionately as the crushed can because of its inverted roof. Sometimes we really don’t appreciate a structure until it’s gone.

Architecture of Saskatchewan: A Visual Journey is a tribute to the architectural monuments that adorn our province, and quite rightly belongs on every coffee table in Saskatchewan.


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