Category Archives: Architecture

Home Renovations Are Fascinating

I love watching shows where they renovate a house, show new houses, or build tiny houses. They’re very interesting to me. I like to see how things change and how spaces can be used. It’s fascinating to see how unusual places can be changed to look more like a home, such as warehouses, barns, and even gas stations.

But the house I’m currently living in is going through a bit of a renovation, too. Mainly floors, paint, and curtains.

Living room floor. It used to be carpeted, but will be covered with a laminate.
Temporary sheet covering the dining room window.
Basement floor. The basement will be completely finished with laminate covering the floors.

A few things will be done. Soon, there will be blinds up for the west-facing windows. Not curtains. It becomes very hot in that side of the house during summer. The living room will have a laminate floor, as will the basement. The basement’s walls will be painted, and the kitchen, too. It’s going to be interesting to see how things change.

Maybe this is why I like to play The Sims.

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Edmonton Tour: Skyscrapers and More

I love skyscrapers. I love architecture. Here you’ll see some of downtown’s taller and older architecture. But this is only part one! There will be a couple more posts that feature some of the more beautiful architecture.

First up is MacEwan University. It’s a unique set of buildings downtown.

And here is the main entrance.

Not under construction yet, you can see an ad for the Encore Tower, which will be a forty storey condo building. Behind to the left is Fox Tower I and on the right is one of the Icon towers.

Here is the Quest Condominium building.

Here’s an older building I don’t quite remember the name of.

And this is the Neon Sign Museum. The entire museum is on the wall of that building, which is an old AGT building, now Telus.

The building in the middle is Manulife Place, now the second tallest in the city, though was the tallest for many years. To its right is Commerce Place.

Here’s a closer look. I really like these two buildings.

Here’s the Epcor Tower. It’s the current tallest in the city, though a couple under construction will be much taller.

And the always attractive Manulife Place again.

The gold towers are Scotia Place, which are going to change colour soon. They don’t make the gold glass anymore, and it’s too expensive to maintain.

And this is downtown’s famous hotel, the Fairmont MacDonald Hotel. It’s a very expensive luxury hotel. Don’t mind my finger.

This used to be a place where you could make phone calls. The payphones have been removed. Now you can get a little shelter from the rain and look at lots of posters and ads.

This is the Alberta Hotel. It was reconstructed recently. Every brick was catalogued and stored for a long time, then they rebuilt it from the records they had.

And there’s Canada Place, the federal government’s home in Edmonton. It’s actually a massive building, though not tall. It’s quite long and has the largest floor space of any building downtown.

A look down Jasper Avenue, the main street through downtown.

The Sunlife building, my old workplace. That was a long time ago.

And that is downtown. At least, those are the skyscrapers and older buildings. Next time, I’ll show you around the Arts District, a very lively area with some unique architecture.

Comments are always welcome!

Edmonton Tour: A Changing Downtown

Before I lived in Japan, I lived in Edmonton. And now I’m back. During the eleven years that I was away, a lot had changed. And the biggest changes are happening now. There are massive construction projects going on. In this first part of my Edmonton tour, I’ll show you some major construction projects downtown.

The biggest one is the ICE District. One of the centrepieces of this project is Rogers Place, the new home of the Edmonton Oilers. They’re going to start playing there this fall.

Can you imagine walking up these stairs?

A bit further west, there’s this office building. It’s pretty narrow, but from what I’ve seen of the rendering, it’s a lot of glass.

Moving back to the ICE District, here is the office for the project. Inside, there’s a model of the project, which you can see as the glowing buildings in the window. The three tallest towers will be the three tallest buildings in the city. The tallest will be the tallest building in Canada outside Toronto at 251 metres tall. It’ll be the headquarters of Stantec and above that, condominiums. Can you imagine living in the penthouse?

While walking east, I came upon the Fox towers. The one on the right is finished, while the one on the left is under construction.

This building, Ultima, was recently completed. Looks pretty tall and pretty good.

Back to the ICE District. Here is the main construction site for the Stantec tower and the hotel. Lots of cranes and a big hole in the ground.

There’s a tower that’s been topped out. It’s the City of Edmonton Tower, and will house a lot of offices for the city.

A close-up reveals a gentle curve.

I went up into a parkade across the street to get this photo. It looks much bigger in person. This is where the Stantec and hotel towers will go.

You can see the location of Rogers Place in relation to the hole.

And here’s the City of Edmonton Tower from the other side. You can see the curve here, too.

In the heart of the financial district is the Kelly-Ramsey Building. This office tower is on the site of a historic building that burned down.

Luckily, they were able to save the outside of the building, took it apart brick by brick, and then rebuilt it as part of the podium of the tower.

And that is all I managed to get. There are several other construction sites, most notably the Royal Alberta Museum.

Next time, I’ll give you a tour of the skyscrapers I saw in the early part of my walk.

Comments are appreciated!

Urban Development Fascinates Me – Rogers Place and Skyscrapers

Yesterday, I was downtown Edmonton with my wife, and we went past some major construction sites. Downtown is filled with cranes, and one of the biggest projects is the ICE district, which includes the new home of the Edmonton Oilers, Rogers Place. It also includes the two new tallest buildings in the city and right next to it is the City of Edmonton tower.

I enjoy seeing urban development and watching how it changes the area. Construction is fascinating, and I always wonder what kind of businesses are going into the new buildings. I took a couple pictures of Rogers Place, which you can see below. And notice the halo around the sun?

In this picture, you can also see the City of Edmonton tower under construction. It’s the one with the crane. It has an interesting curve on the south side.

Anyone else interested in architecture and urban development? Let me know in the comments below.

Some Amazing Home Libraries

I’ve posted about home libraries before, and there were some impressive ones. Bookbub has now shown us twenty more amazing home libraries. I’ve seen only one of them before, so all the others are completely new to me. Let’s take a quick look through them all. I suggest going to the Bookbub page while you see what I have to say about them.

1. The bedroom is interesting. A bit too white for me, though.

2. The blue room looks like it has a good sized bookshelf, but I’m not impressed very much. Looks classical, though.

3. The green one is also classical, but like the blue room, doesn’t impress me. Maybe I’m not so interested in the classical?

4. Now, this is more like it. I like this one. It’s big and airy. The bookshelf is fairly big, too. I like the big open space this room provides.

5. I hadn’t thought of this before. A walk-in closet converted into a home library. This is an interesting idea, though nowhere to sit. I could go for it, though.

6. This is another simple design, but look closely at it. There are books in every single possible space. Even under the sofa. I like it.

7. This is impressive. High bookshelves, and a nice view through the window. This is probably one of my favourites.

8. Another classical design. For some reason, I like this one better than the other ones. It seems cozy.

9. Wow. That is a tall bookshelf! My only question is how they get the books down. I haven’t been able to find a ladder.

10. These blue bookshelves aren’t doing anything for me. Not interested in the room’s design.

11. This isn’t bad. Love the amount of bookshelves, but I don’t think the room’s design is very inspiring.

12. Very red! Actually, my dream home office/library has red walls, but dark red. And the shelves have to be wood, not painted red. And I’d like a modern couch and desk.

13. The couch dominates in this one. The shelves seem smaller than in other rooms. Looks comfortable, though.

14. This is Neil Gaiman’s library. Impressive collection, though I don’t like the ceiling. To me, it feels unfinished. But maybe he likes this design.

15. Simple. Nice TV. I could go for this, but it’s not the greatest. But I could live with it.

16. This is interesting. I like this one. Maybe it’s because of the shape of the room. I tend to like rooms that aren’t the standard cube. We have angles here!

17. I am impressed! That bookshelf is incredible. Extremely high. I’d be afraid of falling down. But very nice.

18. This is kind of cozy, but I’m afraid it’s not my kind of design. I think I’d pass on this one.

19. Very simple. Looks like it belongs in a museum, though. The books all look fake in this picture. They’re all the same colour!

20. The colour looks a bit old-fashioned to me. Not really liking this one very much.

I think that out of all of these rooms, I like the design of number 7 the most. I could see this in my future home. Modern, spacious, and lots of bookshelves.

How about you? Which ones do you like?

Tiny Houses and More

Lately, I’ve been getting into watching videos on YouTube about tiny houses. You know, a house smaller than your entire living room. What fascinates me about them has a lot to do with wondering how they deal with living with such a small space. How do they organise everything? How do they make such a small house look bigger by optimising space? It’s all very interesting.

But I think another reason I wonder is because my family often went camping when I was a kid, and we had a trailer that we stayed in several weekends every summer. I have fond memories of playing in the sand, eating small boxes of cereal, and going down to the river to play on our private beach (a sandbar).

But back to tiny houses, here’s a sample that’s very interesting. It’s a pretty unique design.

This video and many others can be found on the Tiny House Giant Journey channel on YouTube.

Want something a little more futuristic? How about this guy’s Star Trek themed house?

Sometimes just looking at people’s unusual homes is very interesting. What do you think about living in a tiny house or a themed house?