This building is 7 blocks from my house. I think it’s a residential building, but the lack of windows on the near side makes me wonder. It’s on the western edge of the shopping district of Kensington, in Calgary’s northwest community of Hillhurst. This building sits near the major intersection of Kensington Drive and 14th Street, which is where the picture was taken from. Doesn’t do much for the urban landscape to be coloring buildings pea soup green and black with steel trim. Was it intentional?

Our first house, the one we built and moved into August, 2006 (and subsequently moved out of June, 2007 into our present home), was not totally unlike this color scheme. Though it was more brown and less green, it was, at least to me, not what I’d hoped for. In fact, several other houses built around us appealed to me much more than ours did. Our excuse was that we were choosing a color that would encompass 4 exterior sides of a 2000 square foot home that was based on a sample 3″ by 1″. Not sure what other builders do, but ours didn’t offer us any kind of solution where we could see a mock-up of our house similar to how you view a car color on a manufacturer’s website. Were I in the industry, I’d recommend builders provide their clients with a computer simulation or something, because people want to know what their choice is going to look like before they commit to it. And while on the subject, I’d do the same thing for kitchen countertops. Those samples are even smaller.

So do I blame the owners of this building for this color scheme? Not if it was by accident. But do something to fix it, because it’s certainly not doing Calgary any favors to have this structure complimenting what is already a dreary landscape. That we drive by this building twice daily and only noticed it a couple of weeks ago says something in itself.

About the author cdub

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  1. That is pretty ugly, but I don’t think it’s because of the colours specifically. I think you could put any colours on that building in that kind of rectangle design and it would look bad. Plug other ones in mentally, see – it’s not getting any better. Can’t polish a turd. Ugly building can’t be saved by paint..

    By the way if you are in the position of having a house painted again, ask for Benjamin Moore paint and also one of their designers to be involved. They have precisely what you a speak of – they can take a photo of the house, or one like it, and assign colours to the exterior with their actual paint palette. I’ve seen the program, it’s brilliant and I can’t think of doing it any other way.


  2. I agree. A beautiful building can be ruined by paint (several houses in James Bay come to mind) but an ugly building can’t be saved by paint. I think in this case, however, a more widely appealing color would have done this building at least a favor. Which enters an interesting question… What qualifies as a beautiful building?

    Future post to come on this subject…


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