The Remainder Binning

by Zbigniew

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“Binning’s approach to colour was now deeply influenced by his study of the regional character of the natural context of the city. He was convinced that the most appropriate colourization of buildings in Vancouver would best enhance the the urban scene by harmonizing with the northerly latitude and climate of Vancouver, with its surrounding rainforest, interlacing waterways, mist catching mountains and greyer skies. Binning’s attention to architectural colour now began to emphasize greens, blues and greys, the scheme he applied to the new B.C. Electric Building and to the revised colour coding of the three-dimensional ‘mural’ of its contiguous substation.”

Abaham Rogatnick, “A Passion for the Contemporary,” in B.C. Binning, Abraham Rogotnick, ed.

binningBinning House, via Coast Modern

“Bert Binning felt the need to build a house that would serve as a direct example of the new possibilities and give tangible evidence of the qualities they were advocating, and therefore set about designing one for himself …. Considering other houses built in 1942, this house was a radical and pioneering project.”

Douglas Shadbolt, “Postwar Architecture in Vancouver,” Vancouver: Art & Artists 1931 – 1983

“Glass doors are flung open to a swathe of giant conifers, while on the terrace, a man and a woman bask in domestic languor as sunlight pours into the room. The man and woman seem to be both outside and inside; even the living room carpet, mottled by sunlight and speared with the shadow of leaves, reads like moss-cover in a forest. The image is a luminous vignette of post war Modernism …. Such is its venerated status that to a cult of architectural critics and admirers, it is known simply as ‘the House.’ It has stood serenely in this leafy slop of West Vancouver for the past sixty-five years, even as the neighbourhood transforms harshly around it.”

Adele Weder, “The House,” B.C. Binning, Abraham Rogitnick, ed.

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“Binning has been commemorated by UBC by the B.C. Binning Memorial Scholarship …. As well, his name has been given to the larger exhibition space of the civically supported Contemporary Art Gallery built in 1999 in Vancouver. However, the construction of a new University Fine Arts Gallery remained at the bottom of UBC priorities until 1995, when a new gallery opened. Largely subsidized by a private donor, and named for the donor, it omitted any mention of Binning. The moment, on the occasion of Binning’s retirement, that Alvin Balkind melancholically labled ‘the end of the Binning era,’ was already a thing of the past.”

Abaham Rogatnick, “A Passion for the Contemporary,” in B.C. Binning, Abraham Rogotnick, ed.

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According to its blog, “The Land Conservancy is a non-profit, charitable land trust working throughout British Columbia.  TLC protects important habitat for plants, animals and natural communities as well as properties with historical, cultural, scientific, scenic or compatible recreational value.

“We are here for the long term.  When we take properties under our care, our goal is to protect them in perpetuity.”

That’s not going so well.

One of those TLC properties is the Binning House, at 2968 Mathers Crescent, West Vancouver, willed to the Conservancy following Jessie Binning’s death in 2007. Come 2013, with its finances in shambles and $200,000 needed to maintain the property, TLC attempted to sell the House to Bruno Wall, President of Wall Financial Corp., who had offered $1.6 million. With the home in private hands and public access and protection no longer assured, a British Columbia Supreme Court challenge resulted in the sale being blocked. The future of the home remains uncertain.

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Binning Tower at Wesbrook, University of British Columbia (UBC) is an unprecedented investment in the future – a lifestyle defined by education, arts, culture and recreation – from the team that also founded The Peter Wall Institute for Advanced Studies in the cultural heart of UBC. The same team was responsible for Wall Centre Downtown, Yaletown Park, Capitol Residences and Wall Centre False Creek, and is currently developing Shannon Wall Centre Kerrisdale and Wall Centre Central Park.”

The 217 units range in price from $529,900 to over $879,900.

There’s not a mention of one Bertram Charles Binning.

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