Architects are panning the Canada Pavilion for the 2010 Olympic Games, designed by a U.S. firm and unveiled yesterday in Vancouver, saying it is the latest of a string of dowdy pavilions erected to represent Canada at international events. Heritage Minister James Moore unveiled the temporary interactive hub, designed to boast about Canada’s sporting achievements and serve as a gathering place to watch events. Architects said they felt let down by a design they condemned as an ugly, unimaginative embarrassment.
The $9.2-million pavilion is being built by a Chicago-based company, Giltspur Exhibits, which was awarded the contract on Nov. 17, leaving only 81 days to build it before the Olympics open on Feb. 12. Even if it had to be built quickly and on a tight budget, said Canadian Architect magazine editor Ian Chodikoff, an architect based in Canada could have created something that would better showcase the country’s design talents to the world.