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RECOLLECTING Expo 86 - 30th Anniversary ARCHITECT/DESIGN Lecture, May 19th @ Museum of Vancouver

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Fascinating night last night.  The Museum of Vancouver hosted a DESIGN lecture from 4 architects who were responsible for the main elements of the Expo 86 fair site:

1 -  Bruno Freschi - Head Architect of Expo 86 and designer of EXPO CENTRE/Science World dome

2 -  Clive Grout - architect of the BC Pavilion Complex, Canadian Pacific Pavilion, and the Washington State Pavilion

3 - Alan Hart -  architect for Skytrain (Expo and all subsequent lines) and for the Canada Gate -  Canada Pavilion

4 - Peter Cardew -  architect responsible for the main 86 entry gate and the Canadian National Pavilion

The museum recorded this so I will post later...but a great evening overall.

Some interesting tidbits that I never knew about:

* - Expo Centre/Science World was not originally supposed to be a braced dome similar to Expo 67's US pavilion -  it was to be a spherical black screen surrounding the OMNIMAX theatre (like a jumbotron stadium screen) that would show images of what was inside the dome (movies, videos etc) and other images of the fair.  People would have been able to see this from the entire site  Unfortunately, one of the upper management of the Expo 86 corporation was a signage expert and owned a company and this got nixed (too much competition?)  Bruno even had secured a Japanese company to do the work and install for free.  Would have been a world first.  The image that he showed last night was fascinating.  Will see if I can find it. 

*- WORLD WHEEL -  I had heard about this way back in 86 but still a cool idea.  Vancouver would have had a circular version of St Louis's Arch -  an enclosed Ferris wheel with gondolas running inside the ring.  This would have been the forerunner of the current Ferris wheel in a global city craze.

* - SKY TOWER -  another theme structure would have been an vertical communication tower/library where people could access other people/information from anywhere in the world (remember that this was 86)...cool design for it...will try to find pics.

*- SKYTRAIN -  wonder why the original stations look like they were designed by an engineer (practically efficient yet basic and a bit sterile)...it was because they had 4 years to design and build the entire original Skytrain line.   16 stations and expo connection too?  So they had to design it as components...and without glass (the govt was afraid of vandals).  Alan Hart said that this was such a unique system (very few automated, elevated transit lines around North America) that many thought the entire system would be a bust.  It was visionary and the best thing that the government could have built.  Skytrain made its 10  year user profections  by year 5. 

* -  EXPO 86 -  The Coup d'état! -  Lots of words about the firing of the big US theme park guru who was running the show prior to the actual fair opening.  Expo was very different in design before the change and after the switch up of management.  More to follow.





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