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).
Peter HemingwayPeter George Hemingway, architect, critic (b at Minster, England, 1929; d May 1995). Peter Hemingway earned a diploma from Rochester Technical College in Kent and immigrated to Canada in 1955. He worked briefly at the Alberta Department of Public Works and in 1956 established an architectural practice in Edmonton. Responsible for a small yet critically praised corpus of buildings, all in or near Edmonton, Hemingway contributed frequently to professional publications and in 1982 served the Alberta Association of Architects as its president. Two of his buildings, the Coronation Pool (1968-70) and the Stanley Engineering Building (1968), won Massey medals for architecture. Other significant projects were the Central Pentecostal Tabernacle in Edmonton and the Yellowknife Court House.
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.
William Bernstein and Ruth Cawker, Building with Words: Canadian Architects on Architecture (1981).