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Substance Over Spectacle presents the best and brightest architectural work in Canada over the past 10 years, providing a glimpse of a specifically Canadian architectural practice that reveals a national sensibility that is unlike any other architectural trend in the world. Andrew Gruft argues that Canadian architecture is very much influenced by the country’s physique—geographically large, environmentally diverse—as well as its political and social heart, being sparsely populated (less so than California), and living in the shadow of America and other nation-states.

The book includes 25 “projects” from across the country—including schools, art galleries, subway systems, power plants, and private homes—which represent modern Canadian architecture at its finest. The book also explores issues of viability, sustainability, community, and utility as they relate to the Canadian architectural experience.

In addition to full-color photographs and architectural plans, the book includes essays by some of Canada’s leading thinkers on architecture and design: George Baird, Sherry McKay, Marco Polo, and Georges Adamczyk.

Thoughtful and wide-reaching, this book of new perspectives on the idea of national architectures will be of great interest to those working in the field, as well as those interested in issues of architecture and design on a grand scale.

Includes over 100 full-color photographs. Co-published with the esteemed Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.

Andrew Gruft is professor emeritus in the School of Architecture at the University of British Columbia. His field of interest has been contemporary architecture and urban design. He has curated and written about Canadian architecture for galleries and museums around the world.