Mid-Century Modern: Focus on Factories
The third lecture in Architectural Conservancy Ontario - North Waterloo Region's series on Mid-Century Modern architecture, by UW Architecture School Professor Rick Haldenby, focuses on the beautiful industrial buildings designed by local architects Jenkins and Wright, Barnett and Rieder, and John Lingwood in the 1950s and 1960s.
After World War II, the expansion of the road network offered the opportunity to relocate industrial buildings to the edges of the cities. At the same time, new city zoning guidelines pushed for a separation of residential and industrial uses. A new suburban industrial landscape developed. Large single-story factories sprawled across the land.
The first examples of this new form were designed by architects. The buildings were simple and elegant, embodying the values and motifs of international modernism, which had itself been inspired by the enormous “Daylight Factory” buildings of the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth Centuries. Eventually, the same technological advances that inspired the modernists impacted the factories. There was a near elimination of windows in the production areas due to the change to artificial lighting.
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