Faulty Tower: the Canadian Museum for Human Rights as Tourist Trap, Failed Memorial, and White Elephant


In coming years, as the novelty of a human rights theme park wears off, the pressing question will likely be: What else can we use it for? Repurpose it as the amusement park or resort it already is in design? Or, perhaps more appropriately, rebrand it as the Museum of Human Ego, paying homage to all the architectural follies that government patrons have perpetrated? The latter would include Pierre Trudeau ignoring the Washington embassy selection committee to bestow the plum commission on his pal Arthur Erickson; Lloyd Axworthy, as foreign affairs minister, overruling another jury’s design choice for Canada House in Berlin; and the Tories’ commissioning of the spectacularly ugly Canada Pavilion at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver. We could showcase them all in this behemoth of a venue, itself an architectural testament to public-private megalomania. Whatever the ultimate fate of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, we’ll frogmarch politicians and school kids through this white elephant as we utter a collective promise: never again.

via Faulty Tower · thewalrus.ca.


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