Stephanie White worked as an architect in Calgary at the end of the second oil boom, taught architecture in several U.S. and Canadian universities, and has a PhD in urban geography. She edits and publishes On Site Review, a Canadian magazine about architecture and urbanism. She lives in Calgary.
The essence of a vibrant, growing, and changing Calgary is captured over the life of its development.
Calgary is a typical boom-and-bust town that was first based on ranching and farming, then oil and gas, and now energy. And energy is what its citizens have, whether for skiing, work, or construction. It is a city that leaps ahead eagerly to new futures and rarely looks back., but Calgary can also be an unsentimental city, discarding its ideas, plans, and buildings with ease.
Unbuilt Calgary is a survey of 30 projects that were proposed but not realized, schemes that were situated at critical times in Calgary’s development, and proposals that indicated the city’s ambitions through its first 100 years. Unbuilt Calgary looks back to ideas and notions that might have been, and building endeavours that would have changed the shape of the city for better or worse. The 30 critical projects are accompanied by drawings and models to illustrate something of Calgary’s irrepressible exuberance.
“In her new book, Unbuilt Calgary, author Stephanie White examines 30 failed architecture and design plans and paints an extraordinary picture of what Calgary might have looked like had these ideas come to fruition.”