The Century is a classic of early-twentieth-century Art Deco styling, but I also appreciate the somewhat understated courtyard that it presents. There’s such great texture in the brick, and the setting looks almost boring until the lovely structures in the windows and their frames become apparent.
This was a sight, descending the steps to the courtyard of Latimer Hall, that was once everyday and pedantic to me. Now, the sight of it is a powerfully nostalgic mix of strange perspectives and a dozen mishmashed textures and patterns: tiles and bricks and precast and cast-in-place and trees and bushes. In the long run, that red-green-and-gray color scheme means a lot more to me than I thought it did.
The University of British Columbia’s campus has the odd quality that many modern campuses do. The vast majority of the buildings are post-war additions, and carry the strong characteristics and visions of each of their respective architects. This particular building caught my eye for the way it integrates a Japanese-style bridge, pool, and island into the courtyard of what could otherwise be a glossy but unremarkable structure.
The combination makes me think of the entrance to some sort of futuristic dojo in a cyberpunk novel. No wonder William Gibson calls Vancouver home.