John di Castri, wooden “Trend House,” Victoria

John di Castri is one of Victoria, BC’s best known architects. This house seemed strangely familiar to me, and then I discovered that di Castri had left Victoria for Oklahoma to study for three years with Bruce Goff (see Goff’s influence here). The house above is a “Trend House” by di Castri built in 1954. The “Trend House” was a cross-Canada program intended to foster use of BC lumber in residential projects. From the BC 150 Applied Arts Project site at the Emily Carr University of Art & Design:

“In the early 1950s, the BC lumber industry sponsored the building of model homes in ten major cities across the country to promote the use of Western woods and plywood in residential construction. The first of these so-called Trend Houses was built in Thorncrest Village, a Toronto suburb, in 1953. Based on the success of this pilot project, an expanded plan was undertaken in the spring of 1954 in which 10 more modern houses were erected and opened to the public. Designed by prominent local architects, these houses also featured the latest in modern planning and design, as well as Canadian-designed furniture, fabric, craft, and art. The Trend House program was significant in promoting modern architectural ideas and materials used in BC to a wider Canadian market, as illustrated by the Victoria Trend House above. Sources: Text: Allan Collier, Western Homes and Living, May, 1954. Photo: Jack Cash, Western Homes and Living, May, 1954″ Note: di Castri is to be distinguished from prominent BC sculptor Bob di Castro.”

Below, two well-maintained “Trend Houses” by di Castri, also in Victoria and environs, both by “White Oval” on Flickr. Click on photos for more information.

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2 Responses to “John di Castri, wooden “Trend House,” Victoria”

  1. Andrea Says:

    In my habit of always pointing out relationships between your posts and obscure rock/ pop music, allow me to direct you to the Second Old Life Compilation, a local Victoria release which features the same trend house in the first and third pictures above.

    Photo of cover art: http://web.uvic.ca/~cas/compp.JPG
    Now defunct record label’s website: http://oldliferecords.com/

  2. Benoit Says:

    Are these really houses? Very ugly.

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