Canada's new beacon to human rights is taking shape, and the project at The Forks appears as big as the museum's more than $300-million price tag.The "complexity" is all in the architecture, I fear, since the thinking behind this shrine to political correctness, this tomb of the all-too-well-known victim, is about as simple--and as wrong-headed--as can be.
Underway for more than a year, the construction of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights is a spectacle amid cranes and noise.
"This building is definitely unique. I don't think you would be able to find anything else like it in the world," construction manager Todd Craigen of PCL Constructors Canada said yesterday while giving the Winnipeg Sun a tour of the site.
"This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity -- to have a chance to work on a building like this and a project like this."
After more than seven years of planning and controversy over its location and spiralling cost, New Mexico architect Antoine Predock's 265,000-sq.-ft. vision is taking shape over nearly three acres toward an opening in 2012.
"The building is going to be amazing. And it really motivates us in terms of what we need to do to get the content going so people are wowed by the outside, and then come in and are moved and touched," said Angela Cassie, the museum's director of public engagement. "So it's very exciting."
The crew of up to 160 members has dealt with challenges other than some extreme cold prior to this past week. The museum's unusual dome-and-spire shape, depicting a mountain and clouds, means a complex geometric task.
"In the past, where our guys would have two-dimensional drawings and take those into the field and build from those," Craigen said, "we're now put in a position where we're taking a three-dimensional model and creating our own three-dimensional, isometric-view drawings and using those to communicate to the guys in the field -- to enable us to build this thing properly."...
As for its being our "beacon"--frankly, if we're counting on this eyesore to light our way, we're going to be spending the bulk of our time stumbling around, blind, in the dark.