Before and After: The Motherwell Building

Today I’ve decided to feature another Story and Van Egmond building in downtown Regina: The Motherwell Building (however, the report that these photos were taken from and a little internet searching says that it is currently called the Victoria Place Luxury Condominiums).  The building was originally built in the 1950s and sits on Victoria Avenue at Rose Street.  I see it from work everyday!

This building always strikes me as a little underwhelming, but I don’t think that it is.  I mean seriously – look at the photo from the opening (click on the image to see a larger version).  That building looks prestigious – especially with the huge Orwellian portrait hung on the side.  Ross Herrington’s report says that the building has had numerous alterations over the years, which you can tell from comparing the photos, however what I think makes this building feel unimportant and underwhelming is the street level windows.  The fact that they are covered up really makes this building’s “internationalist” style seem… well, un-international and uninteresting (not to mention totally disconnected from everything else around it).  If it were opened up, I think some of the initial visual prestige would return.  Just think how that corner would look if the black granite base were freshly polished with those windows uncovered to show the building’s lobby, or better yet a cafe, bookstore,…or anything!!

EDITOR’S NOTE: Upon further inspection, the ground level of this building contains parking and some duct work.  This only makes me believe more strongly that something needs to go in that space, becausing having such a prime street-level location in a building with interesting architectural details taken up by parking is a shame.

Before and After: The Motherwell Building

2 thoughts on “Before and After: The Motherwell Building

  1. wourliem says:

    Hurray! The Motherwell Building.

    I quite like this building, although I’m not quite sure why. This summer while I was wandering around 13th avenue, south of the tower, I just looked up and noticed the building for what felt like the first time. At that moment the sun was bringing out the light blues of the windows which perfectly complimented the newer, off-white, top four floors.

    Since the renovation perhaps the added height and slight set back from the original roof line makes the building more appealing. With a variation in set back and little nooks for balconies making the Motherwell less monolithic.

    The bottom floor, I think, is fantastic with it’s black stone and quirky patterned windows. I totally agree that there needs to be a presence on the ground floor and the current glazed windows don’t help at all. The Motherwell suffers some because of its unfashionable location away from shopping areas. My hope is that with a redevelopment of the old bus station to the south and something in the parking lots to north along Victoria Ave, Rose St. could push on in the next while and produce an interesting street-scape.

    Now if only some shop could take up that ground floor.

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