Waterfront Eyecare Centre - Penticton, BC
Posted by: Groundspeak Premium Member T0SHEA
N 49° 30.196 W 119° 35.387
11U E 312502 N 5486627
Quick Description: The only building of its kind in Penticton, the Waterfront Eyecare Centre was designed by George Angliss, a Penticton native.
Location: British Columbia, Canada
Date Posted: 9/5/2021 12:38:55 AM
Waymark Code: WM14X34
Published By: Groundspeak Regular Member Team Farkle 7
Views: 0

Long Description:
PIC Built to be a showroom for a Volkswagen dealership, Interior Volkswagen Sales, this Googie styled building has likely spent as much time as a medical centre of one sort or another as it has selling Beetles. When we first visited the building the sign over the main door read FYi Doctors. More recently the sign reads Waterfront Eye Care.

A rather interesting design, the building was given unusual inward sloping walls that are essentially all window with opposite sloping concrete buttresses with profile-matching cutouts. As can be seen in the circa 1950s photo below, the buttresses were added sometime after its construction, adding quite a dramatic flair to the building.

This building was the design of Penticton born artist and architectural designer George Angliss. Angliss is likely the first Penticton-born person to receive a commercial design commission in the City.

The building was entered in the City of Penticton Community Heritage Register on March 16, 2009.

Waterfront Eyecare Centre
Description of Historic Place
The Waterfront Eyecare Centre building is a one storey flat-roofed commercial building located on the north side of Front Street in Penticton, British Columbia. The building is notable for its striking location at the base of a clay bank overlooking Okanagan Lake. It is also notable for its use of concrete, glass and metal, and its inward-sloping display widows.

Heritage Value
This historic place is valued as an early expression of the International Style of commercial architecture in the Okanagan. This represented a radical departure from earlier commercial buildings in Penticton, which primarily displayed brick façades and classical detailing. The uniqueness of the Waterfront Eyecare Centre building is evident in its stylistic detailing, which includes a flat roof without a ledge and large single-paned windows arranged in three rows and divided by metal mullions. The windows are sloped inward to reduce the penetration of sunlight into the showroom for enhanced viewing, characteristic of the architect's innovative approach. The building is dramatically sited at the base of a hill overlooking Okanagan Lake. Sympathetic changes in the 1990s included the addition of concrete buttresses, a new roof overhang, and a renewed colour palette symbolizing the colours of the Okanagan landscape.

The Waterfront Eyecare Centre building is also valued as an expression of the social changes occurring in Penticton in the mid 1950s. The building's original purpose was a showroom for Interior Volkswagen Sales, indicating a period of prosperity and growth, increased consumerism, and motor vehicle culture. During this time automobile-related travel expanded and Penticton became a destination for motor holidays. The Hope-Princeton Highway was completed in 1949 and the Summerland-Penticton route was upgraded in 1952. During this time, autocourts and holiday parks were built near the lake front. The Volkswagen dealership was designed to serve customers from Hope to Grand Forks.

The building is valued for its association with the artist and architectural designer George Angliss. Angliss was born in Penticton, studied at the Vancouver School of Art and the Ontario School of Art with a career that spanned 46 years and included work as a graphic artist, architectural and theatre designer and builder, art director, and instructor at the Alberta College of Art. While very well known in the arts community, especially in Alberta, Angliss was also very active in the architecture field. As an early builder of post-World War II post and beam buildings in the South Okanagan and Alberta, he was strongly influenced by other mid-century contemporaries such as Bert Binning and Ron Thom (members of British Columbia's "Art in Living Group"), who also blurred the lines between art and architecture. George Angliss's architecture displays practicality, innovation and resourcefulness, and shows influences from individuals such as Frank Lloyd Wright, Richard Nuetra and styles such as Japanese, Bauhaus, and West Coast architecture, demonstrated by his application of simple esthetics in his approach to light and space. He was likely the first Penticton-born person to receive a commercial design commission in the City.

The building is also noteworthy for being the cornerstone for a node of modern architecture on the Okanagan Lakeshore which now includes the Penticton Art Gallery and Lakeview Terraces.

Character-Defining Elements
Key elements that define the heritage character of this site include:
  • prominent location at the base of the East Hill overlooking Okanagan Lake
  • International Style form comprising a flat-roofed concrete frame and a curtain wall of plate glass rectangles divided by vertical and horizontal bands
  • inward-sloping curtain walls and windows
  • concrete buttresses

  • From Historic Places Canada
Photo goes Here
Interior Volkswagen Sales
Photo goes Here
Waterfront Eyecare Centre
Type of Structure: Building

Upswept Roof / Folded Plate Roof(s): no

Large Dome(s): no

Large Sheet Glass Window(s): yes

Boomerang and/or Arrow Shape(s): yes

Amoebae Shape(s): no

Atomic Model(s): no

Starburst(s): no

Exposed Steel Beam(s): no

Flying Saucer/Rocket Shape(s): no

If I knew, I'd be an architect: yes

Physical Address:
200 Marina Way
Penticton, BC Canada
V2A 1H5

Web Address or URL: [Web Link]

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