UBC Graduate Research

Hotel Canada : Re-Imagining a National Narrative Chan, John


Long ago, we diverged from one into many. Now from every corner of the world we converge, from many, back into one. Human civilization has reached a new evolutionary era. The concepts of nationality and identity, the understanding of which has been repeatedly shifting throughout history, are once again being redefined. At the cutting edge of this upheaval is the perplexing nation of Canada; a humble and unassuming nation that is nevertheless the heir to all of human history up to this point. Meanwhile in the realm of architecture, globalism and pluralism have opened up new potential for how the built environment can develop. Since time immemorial, architecture has been intrinsically linked with the development of collective identity. In Canada however, the identity represented through architecture, during a period of nation-building in the country’s formative years, strikes a starkly foreign contrast to the present reality. What is nationhood? What is authenticity? Do these concepts matter anymore? This thesis ruminates on architecture’s role in the construction of identity.

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