Building New Brunswick takes us on a journey through time and place to discover this province’s architectural legacy. Beginning with the homes of the Mi’kmaq and Maliseet, we move forward through the past: Acadian and Loyalist settlement, colonial and post-colonial periods, both post-World War eras, and on into the 21st century. A wealth of photographs, engravings, and architectural renderings complement the text. Examining domestic buildings, public architecture, commercial structures, bridges, and industrial sites, this beautifully designed book documents the history of the province’s architecture and the many influences contributing to its visual landscape. Building New Brunswick will be published to coincide with a major exhibition on New Brunswick architecture, also curated by John Leroux, scheduled to open at the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in Fredericton in June 2008.
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New Brunswick’s architecture has traditionally exhibited excellence in craftsmanship, faithfulness to materials, and harmony with the environment. In Building New Brunswick, John Leroux examines the built heritage of the province, from pre-history until today — from the humblest dwelling to the grandest public edifice. Archaeology, the transmission of craft through the centuries, and historical records tell stories about the lost dwellings of the First Nations and the destroyed farms and forts of the early Acadians. After the arrival of the Loyalists in the 1780s, and until about 1900, many architectural styles flourished. With superb building skills, easy access to the world’s best materials, and the wealth generated by shipping and the lumber trade, New Brunswick saw the construction of Gothic Revival churches, elaborate factories and railway stations, vigorous streetscapes, rows of mansions, and graceful farms. By the early years of the twentieth century, a tentative Modernism had emerged, and between the two world wars, architectural styles were torn between tradition and a wider international movement. In this expansive volume, Leroux also documents more adventurous takes on modern space and aesthetics, found particularly in churches constructed from the late 1940s to early 1970s and in the expressive spaces of the Modern Movement. He observes that structures such as the initial Université de Moncton buildings, the Hugh John Flemming Bridge in Hartland, and the Centennial Building in Fredericton will be increasingly valued as central to New Brunswick’s heritage. By the late twentieth century, the province began to witness surprising interpretations of Postmodernist, Neo-traditionalist, Contemporary, and Green architecture, marking a renewed enthusiasm for celebrating form.About the Author:
Architect John Leroux has worked with several architectural firms in Toronto, Atlanta, and his hometown of Fredericton,. An award-winning expert in historic building evaluation and restoration, he has also taught and lectured on architecture, art history, and design. He has published two books on Fredericton landmark architecture and has written numerous articles, including a biweekly column in The Telegraph-Journal. Also contributing to the book are New Brunswick Museum curator Gary Hughes and historians Robert M. Leavitt and Stuart Smith.
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