STREET FURNITURE | EXPO 67

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In 1968, Robert Fulford published This Was Expo, a souvenir picture book that is also an astute critical study. Fulford guessed that a key legacy of the fair might well be its architecture. The apartment complex Habitat, pre-built without being cookie-cutter, made Moshe Safdie’s reputation.

Fulford loved Buckminster Fuller’s American pavilion, a spectacular geodesic dome, then the largest ever built, and Germany’s airy tent, an innovation in space-frame construction. Fulford quoted one architect who found Expo’s buildings ‘the most exciting collection of buildings I’ve ever seen.’

Yet it wasn’t the buildings. Expo ‘67 was one of North America’s first encounters with a cityscape designed for pleasure, a place that mixed education and leisure and commerce, a place for friendly crowds to stroll and enjoy the view and eat well and shop and see a show.

Vancouver’s Granville Island, Halifax’s Waterfront Properties, Winnipeg’s Forks, and that place down by the bend of the Bow River in Calgary, they all have a little of Expo ’67 in their genes. Fulford credits a Colombian designer, Luis Villa, with the elegant design concepts that pulled it together.

– “An Expo ’67 Kaleidoscope: Ten Scenes from Terre des Homme,” The Beaver, April/May 2007

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