The Blum Residence is an Expressionist house with a main split level and full-height basement. The home is distinguished by its rambling massing with curved corners, flat thin-shell concrete roof and dramatic crescent-shaped full-height fieldstone supports, flanking each side of the front façade. A balcony with a low wooden balustrade lines the main storey of the house. A curved fieldstone wall and wooden flat roof garage fronts the south side and a gravel driveway lines the southend of the property .
January 4, 2020
Field Documentation Type:
The definition of expressionist architecture is notoriously difficult . However, the movement has its roots in Northern Europe, in particular Germany and the Netherlands, from about 1905 to the 1930s  and had a revival in the 1950s and 60s (sometimes termed as neo-expressionism) . Expressionist architecture broke with traditional architectural forms and became very sculptural [2, 3], for example the Einstein Tower, Potsdam  or Sydney Opera House, Australia.
The Blum Residence was designed by Gerhard A. Blum and constructed in 1963 in the expressionist style . The dynamic curvilinear sculptural massing of four circular pods arranged in a shamrock-like composition, was originally built on a large acreage with unencumbered views of the Rocky Mountains . The living spaces are sandwiched between two thin shell curved concrete roofs and anchored to the land with massive crescent-shaped walls with rustic rounded fieldstone veneers .
The use of thin shell concrete in Modern design allowed the traditional roof forms to be manipulated into highly varied sculptural forms, as it allowed tensile forces to dissipate . As well, it permitted the architect to design large, open expanses of space, to allow for more open concept design in the interior . The expansive thin shell concrete roof and floor slab are stacked with recessed living spaces, and supported by inconspicuous round concrete columns around the building perimeter .
The Blum Residence became a Municipal Historic Resource in 2018 due the exceptional rare representation of the Expressionist style in a residential context in Calgary, it’s masterful use of thin concrete shell technology, and the fact that it illustrates the remnants of the area’s large lot estates that were subdivided from larger farming and ranching settlements from Calgary’s early development in the 1880s .
Gerhard A. Blum
Originally from Germany, Gerhard Blum began his career as a mason and trained as journeyman mason between 1946 and 1949 . In 1952 Gerhard and his wife, Irma, made the journey from Germany to Canada, where he studied architecture at the University of Manitoba . By 1954 G.A. Blum & Associates was established and were responsible for designing the Kingsland Community Hall (1961) and the Summit Complex on Sulphur Mountain in Banff (1980) . He also taught architecture for a time at SAIT, and in Zambia, Africa .
Municipal Historic Resources
Municipal Historic Resource Designation is a voluntary decision and prevents demolition or alteration of historic elements, but allows the normal actives associated with the resource to continue . An evaluation of the significance and integrity value of the property to determine its eligibility is required prior to designation (see the evaluation handbooks for the City of Calgary and the Historic Resources Management Branch, Alberta Government). The act of designation, provides owners with the opportunity to apply for financial incentives and grants that can assist them with preserving their property .
 Colquhoun, A (2002), Modern Architecture, Oxford University Press USA – OSO, Oxford.
Working in partnership with the Historic Resources Management Branch, this project was conducted by the School of Construction, Southern Albertan Institute of Technology (SAIT). The survey was conducted with three different laser scanners (Leica BLK 360, GEOSLAM ZEB REVO, and a Leica C10), over a period of three months. The survey produced hundreds of scans which were processed and registered in Leica Cyclone Core v.9.3.
Open Access Data
This dataset was donated to the Alberta Digital Heritage Archive by Rick Duchscher, P.L. (Eng.), P.Tech. (Eng.), Centre for Innovation and Research in Unmanned Systems, Geomatics Engineering Technology, School of Construction, Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT).
The Capture2Preserv team received a fully registered and merged point cloud from SAIT, which was over 1 billion points (and over 24 GB). The dataverse where Capture2Preserv stores all of data has a limit of 3 GB for data upload. Therefore, the merged registered point cloud has been divided into 20 sections to reduce the size of the files. The raw data files for this project are available for download from the archive repository. Scans are .las file format. Please download the metadata template to access metadata associated with each file. All data is published under the Attribution-Non-Commercial Creatives Common License CC BY-NC 4.0 and we would ask that you acknowledge this repository in any research that results from the use of these data sets. The data can be viewed and manipulated in CloudCompare an opensource software.