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The Western Front Front: Another False Front (2010)

Video documentation of the installation of Western Front Front: Another False Front. **

The Western Front Front: Another False Front
Architectural Intervention/Installation
8′ (H) x 54′ (L) x 6′ (W)

The Western Front Front: Another False Front is an architectural intervention constructed on the exterior of the Western Front building. Terris’ addition consists of a new, larger façade, including parapet and cornice. Exaggerating its formal elements, the structure has been built at one-and-a-half times scale, and installed on top of the existing façade at a slight angle.

Historically, wooden false fronts were ornamental structures erected on the front of goldrush-era buildings to make hastily built boomtowns appear more impressive. This created the illusion of larger, more important buildings mimicking those built of cast iron or brick in more established cities. Symbolizing the pioneering Western town, the false front is both synonymous with the artificial display of wealth as well as the rapid boom-and-bust expansions of early mining, railroad and forestry communities.

Drawing from architectural history to contemporary discussions around façadism (the practice of demolishing a building while leaving its façade intact), Terris’ project juxtaposes bygone projections of culture and prosperity with references to the rapidly expanding economic cycles of modern-day Vancouver.

* Photo Documentation: Rachel Topham
** Video Documentation: Vince Arvidson

Special Thanks to Sean Dingley and Nick Schweers at Bogdonov Pao Associates Ltd. – consulting structural engineers.