The term blog is short for weblog, thereby a resource filed on the inter-webs to record your personal information. It’s like Evernote before the idea of Evernote; except you don’t have any privacy and thus your journal notes are published to the entire world.
Therefore, I am going to log, for future reference, architecture firms that deserve more recognition. There are many amazing architectural firms that are not well known to the public|1| (OMA, Shop Architects, Morphosis, Studio Gang… I could continue) but there is a plethora of fantastic firms that also deserve more recognition within the architectural community.
Therefore, the (seminal) Firm Deserving More Recognition Award is the Winnipeg-based architectural firm 5468796. 5468796 is deserving of this award, but they were mostly selected because I needed a dedicated weblog just to continually remember their stupid name.
5468796 produces intriguing architecture, yet they must be the SEO’s (search-engine optimization) nemesis. Hell, they are probably the poster-child of what NOT to name a business.
I have probably bookmarked their webpage half-a-dozen times, but even searching through the Bookmark Manager, I still cannot find their page. I start typing numbers, but they still are not found.
So then, I always have to type an extremely long Google Search: toronto canada architecture firm numbers company license number awards architect magazine.
Indeed, I usually get the same search results when I my cat walks across the keyboard.
Their name is apparently derived from the trivial numbers assigned to their corporate identification number. While, this creates the impression of being a collective – as opposed to the lone, rogue architect – I worry that it could ultimately limit their clientele, and thus their income.
I can imagine a potential client calling their office and asking, “Hi, is this 456879?”
And then the person answering the phone jokingly responds, “Sorry, you have the wrong number (…Dial Tone…) this is 5468796!”
Now, after doing further research, perhaps the reason I can never find their firm via Google Search is because, I know they are Canadian – yet I inherently assume they are from Toronto. But, who knew there was actually stellar architecture being produced in the interior Canadian Province of North North Dakota?
The founders of 5468796, Johanna Hurme and Sasa Radulovic, didn’t want to get “cute” when naming their firm; however, they decided to get cute when designing their website.|2| Architects have a tendency to over-design their websites to showcase every creative Adobe Flash tool they know; thereby, making the sites extremely difficult to navigate.|3|
Thus, here a few of 5468796’s projects in an easier to navigate format than their own website.
Open-Air Performance Venue
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
- The OMS Stage has amazing lighting qualities; emanating into the space during the day, and projecting from the space at night. Only the best architecture has the ability to both surprise and delight, and the OMS Stage surprises and delights, indeed! The typical vacant bandstand is now an attractive object – to be embraced.
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
- It’s extremely difficult to infill an existing historical neighborhood with condominiums and NOT have neighbors grabbing their torches – bemoaning the “destruction of property values.” However, this 8-unit development is contemporary in appearance, yet remarkably accommodating to its surroundings. Nothing honors historic homes more, than a building that embraces (and literally reflects) the neighborhood characteristic – while still employing a completely disparate aesthetic.
Proposed Office Tower
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
- I know some people proclaim that architecture “doesn’t count if it’s not built.” But ideas count, and the Bond Tower is a fantastic idea. Situated within a narrow site, the Bond Tower rises as a thin black bar. The building is proportioned nicely, and has intriguing views into, and from within the tower; however, I need to complement 5468796 for eschewing the typical modern architecture color palette (white) and making the tower a bold black.
I now wonder if modernists, and Richard Meier, have it backwards. The color white (within materials) reflects all light – and thus is the absence of embracing nature and its surroundings; while the color black welcomes and absorbs ALL wavelengths of the light spectrum.