Alexandre Fida is making a difference.
Alex lives in Prince Edward County. Between all of the projects he has on the go - does he ever sleep? I am impressed by his sense of design and a wilingness to experiment, to take on the projects others long abandoned, and bring new life to old buildings. On top of that, he has redesigned Angeline's and the Walter in Bloomfield, where he is the Innkeeper.
Let's start with the House of Falconer. This building of historic significance was mouldering in neglect for as long as I lived in Picton (16 years), and certainly much longer. The last owner of the building was Thera Falconer, who ran an antique boutique on Main Street. She passed away in 2008.
The house was built circa 1858 by Captain Downes (an accomplished artist). It is a quaint Victorian cottage style building with a towering gable peak at the front. Inside is 12 foot ceilings and large, bright windows lighting the front parlours. As is the case with so many heritage buildings, it stood by while other buildings around were removed and replaced with strip malls, parking lots and a large, monolithic bank plunked directly in front of the former front gardens, blocking the best sightlines of the house. I was expecting the bulldozers to show up, as they have so many times along thoroughfare of Picton, to remove the building and erect another shortsighted retail space or parking lot.
Alex aims to restore as much of the original fabric of the building as possible, treading lightly. Along the way, he has been dusting off old chandeliers, discovering vintage film projectors and quirky retro mermaid wallpaper, amongst other things.
Alex is also working with a team of restoration and landscape architects, and documenting the process with photographer Johnny Cy Lam.
Alex commissioned me to design a logo and identity for the project. I wanted to use lettering with character, a hand-rendered font that reflected history and Alex's European heritage. I did some digging and utililized a type based on a turn-of-the century German script.
Looking at the history, character and scope of the project, I was also inspired to design and interwoven monogram. This design also incorporates a vine, I thought it captured the process of growth and change, and a bit of the 'beautiful decay' that attracted Alex to the project.
The House of Falconer is currently home to artist's studios and is holding an Open House, this Friday (June 12) from 5-9. 1 Walton Street, Picton. Meet the creative residents and visit their studios/shows - food from the Hubb as well.
Alex is also working on restoring a series of reclaimed buildings, including a beautiful log building from South Bay that was meticulously indexed, moved and rebuilt on the property behind Angeline's in Bloomfield. He's dubbed it the Babylon House (it was moved from a property on the cryptic-sounding Babylon Road).
I had the pleasure of working with Alex on the identity for Angeline's in Bloomfield as well. We decided on a two-colour rendering of the Inn - it's a beautiful building with a lot of great detail.