UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Re-membering the Commercial Hotel in Edmonton, Alberta Lintott, Christine Anne


This Thesis Project is about remembrance and its embodiment in the retention of the physical history of place. That history is both individual and collective, oscillating through time, admitting the present into the past and the past into the future. The Project reflects upon the physical artifact and the circumstances of place which are its own history. Projected upon this reflection is the human experience of that artifact and of that place. In addition, within the realm of the artifact, exists the systemic, an interrelationship between and within which induces a conceptual and physiological layering. The systemic, in turn, has a temporal aspect which engages both of the focal ideas, memory and history. The figures which follow record the transformation (or remembering) of an existing Hotel structure, known as the Commercial Hotel, located in the Old Strathcona district of Edmonton. The program reinvents the existing hotel, bar, restaurant and retail components into a more intensive layering, or system, of variable accommodation, pub, micro brewery, restaurant and performance venue. The existing artifact is an armature for this reinvention, woven into the project additions, reassessing relationships to wall, vertical separation, and inside versus outside. The Project configures itself as having a strong street edge along the main thoroughfare of Strathcona, Whyte Avenue, consistent with the morphological history of this place, which is penetrated by a formal passage through the site. The passage opens up into a performance court, previously a parking lot, which is an extension of the pub and restaurant, and an opportunity for the site to intimately engage the variety of festivals which the Old Strathcona neighbourhood annually hosts. The site becomes a destination of multiplicity, beyond the established renown of the Commercial Hotel as a Jazz and Blues venue. In addition, this multiplicity is embodied by the opening up of the internal system of the existing building, through the vertical penetration of the brewery component. Thus, the systemic of relationships is continuously engaged within the memory of the artifact.

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