Hemingway believed that the Prairies needed simple yet striking forms to provide a foil to the otherwise overwhelming landscape. He wrote: "The most powerfully original buildings in the post-war era have come from here (the Prairies). I would go further and say that perhaps the only truly Canadian - as against adopted - architectural images have come from the Prairies, out of this harsh necessity for strong forms in a landscape wide as Heaven or Hell." His principal buildings, designed between 1968 and 1976, testify to such views. The Stanley Engineering Building employs structural steel as both decorative and structural elements; The Coronation Pool has a state-of-the-art cable-stayed roof structure; and the four pyramids of the Muttart Conservatory, which are set into Edmonton's river valley, have proven to be enduringly popular with the public and critics alike.
Remembering Hemingway at a public meeting following his death, fellow architect Kees Prins, according to the Edmonton Journal on 14 May 1996, celebrated Hemingway's courage, and observed: "Hemingway stood as an advocate for purity of line and shape in an age when the bottom line counts as much as architectural integrity." His papers may be found at the Canadian Architectural Archives, University of Calgary.
Author GEOFFREY SIMMINS