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Gene Dub

City Hall

Gene Dub is one of Edmonton's most accomplished and controversial architects, and father of Edmonton's City Hall. Born in Edmonton on September 20, 1943, Dub is a second generation Ukrainian-Canadian. He was educated at the University of Alberta and the University of British Columbia. Gene is married to architect Eva Bartel-Dub. Their son and daughter, Michael and Claire, also study architecture. Dub was briefly a city alderman, from 1977-1980. He founded the architectural company, Dub Architects Ltd. in 1975. In 2004, he was named one of 100 Great Edmontonians of the past century by the Edmonton's Celebrate 2004 committee, for his work in preserving the history of Edmonton through the restoration of historic buildings.

Dub's company, Dub Architects, is actively involved in the design of Edmonton's commercial, residential and public real estate. Under his leadership, the company is not only committed to contemporary design, but also to the "preservation, renovation and conversion of existing historic buildings." In many cases, Dub's restoration of historic buildings focuses on optimizing their functionality. For example, Dub transformed the Macleod building, once an office tower and the tallest building in Edmonton for decades, into a condominium. Also, Dub's 7th Street lofts project will unite a 1929 brick warehouse, and a 1950s yellow brick warehouse, with a new building to create a condominium. As an architect, Dub has worked extensively towards revitalizing Edmonton's city centre by preserving its worthwhile historical buildings, and creating new, diverse buildings that enhance the attractiveness of the streetscapes.

Dub's architectural style incorporates a lot of glass, which give his buildings appealing, modern façades, while allowing natural light to enter. He remodeled the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton in 2005 by wrapping the brutalist-style building in a modern, glass enclosure. He also enhanced the Capital Health Centre by adding an entrance space constructed of steel and glass. Gene Dub and his company have won many awards for their work. One of their recent projects, the City Market Affordable Housing Design, in which a 1960s concrete structure just north of Jasper Avenue on 97th Street was renovated and transformed into 72 units of government-sponsored affordable housing, won a Prairie Design Award of Excellence (2008) and an Edmonton Urban Design Award of Merit (2007).

Topping the list of Dub's award winning buildings is Edmonton's City Hall, which the architect designed for a contest held by the city. His design was considered controversial, not only because of its price tag ($38 million) but because of its daring glass and steel pyramidal design above a concrete base. Built in 1992, it is a large structure with about 13,900 square metres of space above ground and 9,300 square metres below ground. The interior is lavish with Manitoba Tyndall stone, terrazzo marble floors and hanging glass walls. City Hall houses a council chamber, offices, committee rooms, several city departments, and the City Room (a large multi-purpose performance room with multi-level viewing and maximized acoustics). An outdoor plaza contains a restaurant, a 65 metre-high clock tower and a wading pool, which converts to a skating rink in winter.

Gene Dub continues to be an active architect in the city of Edmonton. He is now proposing to rebuild the Alberta Hotel, a luxurious four-storey inn, famous in the early days of the city. He has also purchased John A. McDougall's 95 year-old mansion, the Hilltop House, and he intends to restore the building. Recently, he was embroiled in a controversy over the City of Edmonton's plans to erect new welcome signs at the Eastern and Western borders of the city. In a design contest, the city chose Dub's daring crystal tower design, which resembles a 21 metre tall ice crystal shimmering with solar-powered lights and stretches diagonally over three lanes of traffic. The 2.5 million dollar price-tag of the design caused a public outcry against the new welcome signs, and City Council eventually voted them down.

References

Dub Architects. "Awards." Retrieved July 23, 2008

Dub Architects. "Company Profile." Retrieved July 23, 2008

Dub Architects. "Featured Projects." Retrieved July 23, 2008

Dub, Gene. "Principal, Dub Architects." (Interview) Alberta Venture. Retrieved July 23, 2008

Edmonton Public Library. "Eugene (Gene) N. Dub." Retrieved July 23, 2008

Hicks, Graham. "Gene Dub & Wife, Son & Daughter Architects." Retrieved July 23, 2008

Herzog, Lawrence. Real Estate Weekly 26(22), June 5, 2008. Retrieved July 23, 2008

Herzog, Lawrence. "The Chronicle of Significant Alberta Architecture." Real Estate Weekly 21(39), October 2, 2003. Retrieved July 23, 2008

McDougall, Ian. "Pricey Pyramids Nixed." Edmonton Sun, July 24, 2008. Retrieved July 24, 2008

McKeen, Scott. "Panel Picks Dub's Risky Design for City's Gateways." Edmonton Journal, February 8, 2008. Retrieved July 23, 2008

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