Edmonton has a rich and varied Modern architectural legacy, with many subsets and some world class examples.

The Modern architectural style was popular after the Second World War until the late 1970s. New found wealth from oil and gas development caused Edmonton to expand rapidly, and as a result the city has a rich legacy of Modern buildings. The new Modern buildings were in contrast to earlier styles that were often decorated with classical embellishments. Modern design was guided by ideas of function over form, natural influences, and minimalism. The Modern style is quite broad, and has many unique subtypes. Modern architecture in Edmonton also includes some examples that are eclectic and creative mixes of various styles.


  • Paired down decoration, lack of ornamentation
  • Emphasis on rectangular forms and horizontal and vertical lines
  • Open, flowing interior spaces
  • Generous use of glass and natural light
  • Utilizes modern materials and construction systems


Character Defining Elements

Artificial stone, Barrel roof, Brick cladding, Cantilever projections, Carving, Clerestory windows, Columns, Cornice, Curtain wall, Curved facade, Decorative brick, Dome, Flag pole, Flat roof, Frieze, Gable roof, Glued-laminated timber, Heavy timber construction, Irregular footprint, Metal structure, Mosaic tile, One storey, Polished stone, Porch, Portico, Poured concrete structure, Quoins, Rectangular footprint, Rubble stone cladding, Smooth stone, Square footprint, String course, Tensile cables, Three storeys or more


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