February 1, 2006
by Canadian Architect
Preface by Barry Downs. Vancouver: Blueprint, 2005.
This weighty publication is devoted to one of the originators of Canada’s “West Coast Style,” Fred Thornton Hollingsworth. Born in England and raised in Vancouver, Hollingsworth designed the first of many houses in 1946 (his own), establishing a highly respectable and prolific architectural career that spans more than half a century. A preface by Vancouver architect and former partner Barry Downs, along with essays by Greg Bellerby, Rhodri Windsor Liscombe and Hollingsworth himself provide a solid contextual foundation for the projects that follow. Inspiration from Hollingsworth’s tenure with Vancouver’s leading postwar design firm Thompson Berwick and Pratt and his adherence to organic modernist principles are seen in the many projects featured in this book, which are divided into three phases: early work from 1946-1960, middle work from 1960-1979, and later work spanning the years 1980-1994. With the exception of the Red Feather Building, the Pullan Studio, Berkeley Hospital, and the University of British Columbia’s Faculty of Law, every project in the publication is a residence of some sort, often sited in lush or rocky landscapes with dramatic views. Although the earlier elegantly simple post-and-beam structures of the 1940s and 1950s gradually evolve to more materially disparate and textural complex forms and arrangements by the end of the 20th century, it is clear that the overriding principles of space, site, and materiality continue to inform Hollingsworth’s distinctly humanistic approach.