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Modern Movement Architecture in BC


As part of a global movement concerned with re-evaluating and preserving the architectural heritage of post-war Modernism, the organization DOCOMOMO (standing for "Documentation and Conservation of the Modern Movement") was founded in Holland in the late 1980s and has since expanded to over 40 countries. Canada has three DOCOMOMO chapters, in British Columbia, Quebec and Ontario. The UVic CURA project team collaborated with DOCOMOMO.BC to research and document outstanding examples of post-war Modernism in this Province. The project produced a CD-ROM entitled BC.MOMO, available online at

For the CD-ROM, University of Victoria faculty and students researched eight samples of Modern Movement architecture on Vancouver Island: Pearson College International, Metchosin; the Robert Filberg House, Comox; the Home Lumber Company headquarters, Victoria; the Port Alberni Municipal Hall; the "Trend Home", Victoria; the Abkhazi Gardens, Victoria; Central Junior High School, Victoria; and the C.N.I.B. building, Victoria. Together, these structures represent a cross-section of the finest progressive, even visionary, design of the post-war period, when Victoria and the Island underwent rapid growth. The project reflects the heritage preservation work and concern for which Victoria is known as a pioneer in Canada.

During the completion phase of the project, the UVic team expanded their research to incorporate a study of the postwar subdivision of Topaz Heights in Victoria. The research on this and other local modernist sites became the basis for a publication, Victoria Modern: Investigating Postwar Architecture and Design on Southern Vancouver Island. This booklet was planned as the first of a series of studies on the issues raised by modern architecture and urbanism, a ongoing result from the Docomomo.BC project. Victoria Modern is available from the Maltwood Art Museum and Gallery.

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