Alberta is a land of contrast, but like the yin yang symbol, inherent in the contrast is a sense of balance
Think of the iconic image of the prairies with an expansive wheat field, a horizon line and the big blue sky. The contrast between land and sky is clear but a sense of balance is the overriding feeling of the scene. We sought inspiration for our design in images like this.
First we looked into the traditional ways of place-making on the Alberta landscape and chose to focus on a few key elements; berming, boardwalks, wind rows and water retention ponds, while referencing the ingenuity of rural farmers in wooden lattice work.
Secondly, we looked at the sites themselves, specifically focusing in on the Victoria and Castle Downs parks. Within these sites, we first looked at the existing paths through winter and summer; then the road systems within the park and the surrounding neighbourhoods; and lastly, sun angles, wind direction and use. The results of these studies inevitably informed the orientation and location of the pavilions.
Use of park facilities also became very informative for our designs. The parks were very formally organized, revolving around very structured play areas including baseball fields, soccer fields and hockey rinks. There was no real place for informal gathering. This created an opportunity to develop a place for informal gathering within a formal park setting.
Sustainability was ensured in various ways: by using berming as natural thermal insulation; by incorporating native Albertan pine in a lattice form construction; and by orienting the pavilion to shelter from prevailing winds and to allow for maximum daily exposure to sun, enabling the building to store solar energy and provide greater passive lighting. Further, water retained within a pond is circulated through the building for the flushing of toilets, during summer becomes a feature in which children can be educated upon the natural filtering processes of a pond and in winter, transforms into an ice-skating rink for public use.
The form of the building is defined by use of a traditional construction method like berming juxtaposed against the more modern lattice work which is similar to the lattice structures of a bee hive honeycomb or cellular makeup of a leaf.
Consistent with the idea of public art bettering the public realm, we have created a place that is flexible enough to be a platform for whatever art may be displayed. Ali may be displayed on the boardwalk, in the pond, on the lattice... There is nothing to disallow the use of any of the pavilion as a backdrop for artwork of any description.
The result of combining all these elements is a gestalt which references the rich tradition of Alberta place making while reinterpreting it for the enjoyment by a more modern community.
(Competitor's text excerpt)
12 scanned / 11 viewable
- Presentation Panel
- Presentation Panel
- Site Plan
- Conceptual Sketch