Posts tagged with "Beaches":

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Montreal’s Village au Pied-du-Courant brings a pop-up tropical beach to a wintery city

Canada is better known for its winters, not its beaches, but a new collaborative development in Montreal could change that. Each summer weekend, city dwellers flock to the banks of the St. Lawrence River for high design and a playful, but sincerely socially-engaged tropical beach experience, free for all to enjoy.

Now in its third year, the Village au Pied-du-Courant is designed by 16 teams of architects and artists but is developed collaboratively as a shared public space that sustains the city’s art and creative scenes. Separated from the river by freight tracks and wedged between a busy thoroughfare, the artificial beach is open through September and attracts visitors of all ages.

On a recent visit, children were happily flinging sand and scrambling over the pyramidal L’Oasis de Las Verduras (green oasis), by local firm Cultures Associées, as parents watched from blankets on the sand. After a few tropical cocktails from the on-site bar, some beachgoers were taking naps in fabric hammocks suspended from the installations. Rows of cerfs-volants (kites), constructed of woven plastic beach chair material by Machine Design Appliqué, provided pockets of shade to solitary magazine readers on the otherwise treeless site. Twenty-somethings, slushy mixed drinks in hand, activated a giant fan with foot pedals attached to a beached boat in shooting distance of a rousing game of pétanque (a French version of bocce).

Ambient house music floated from le gazebo f(ê)te, designed by local architects Amélie Ricard and Shanie Jalbert-Bossé, setting the festive atmosphere. An angular stage, constructed from interlocking plywood at a modest budget of around $2,500, exemplifies the ad-hoc elegance of the beach. Framed by the massive Jacques-Cartier Bridge in the distance, the platform hosts a slatted DJ booth and is surrounded by potted palms.

Across the sandy court sits a small museum, constructed of aqua plywood slats with an entrance of bisected circles, that details the history of Village au Pied-du-Courant through citizen-contributed photographs and ephemera. Designed by Table Architecture, one wing is devoted to the Village’s library, which contains thematically relevant books on participatory art, the construction of public spaces, and local history curated by LAAT, a nonprofit that distributes literature on the arts, geography, and architecture.

Next door in FÉLIX & CO’s bureau mobile (mobile office), where workers can charge their electronics and upload photos of the Village to social media. (The organizers have a weekly Instagram contest where the best photos tagged #piedducourant are featured on the Village’s Facebook page.) If you’re stuck at your desk reading this, search the tag for a vicarious trip to the beach.

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Toronto Design Competition hopes to lure people to the beach in the dead of winter

Believe it or not, Toronto’s beaches are not a particularly huge draw during the winter months—insiders say it has something to do with temperature. To try and change that—to make the city's beaches seem appealing even in frigid temperatures—some optimistic Canadians have launched an international design competition to transform the city's sandy stretches. The inaugural Winter Stations Design Competition was launched last fall and invited artists, designers, architects, and landscape architects to turn the city's "utilitarian lifeguard stations" into “whimsical pieces of wintertime public art.” Fittingly, the competition asked those entering to incorporate the concept of warmth into their designs. Check out the four finalists below alongside a proposal from the Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Science at Ryerson University. These five installations will be on display from February 16–March 22. Sling Swing by WMB Studio
From the competition website: A playful take on how the iconic deckchair might adapt itself to the cold winter months, Sling Swing is meant to huddle beach goers together in pockets of warmth. The colourful canvases evoke a sense of summer beach nostalgia, while the breeze ensures a continuously animated installation. WMB studio is a London and Liverpool based design collective founded in 2013 with a background in architecture, design and art.
Driftwood Throne by DM_Studio
From the competition website: Using reused timber, DM_Studio's design transforms the modest lifeguard stand from a simple, discreet metal object into a strong, faceted sculptural form that provides seating and shelter from the winter wind. Founded by Daniel Madeiros, DM_Studio is an emerging London based practice aiming to breach the boundaries between architecture, art and design.
Wing Back by Tim Olson  
From the competition website: Appropriating the tall, swept typology of a wingback chair, this installation creates an over-sized seating structure designed to gather people together. The tall wall provides shelter from northern winds, and a central fire ring will provide warmth in the depths of winter. Tim Olson is a designer whose work ranges in scale from architecture to furniture and art installation. He currently works for the design-build company Bensonwood in New Hampshire.
HotBox by Michaela MacLeod and Nicholas Croft
From the competition website: HotBox mimics the typology of the ice house traditionally used in northern climates, heightening the contrast between inside and outside and allowing visitors to experience warmth through visual, auditory, tactile, and associative means. The design was submitted by architects Michaela MacLeod and Nicholas Croft who began collaborating on installations and public art projects two year ago.
Snowcone by Diana Koncan and Lily Jeon and the Department of Architectural Science, Ryerson
From the competition website: Snowcone mimics the protective organic form of the pinecone and marries it with the simple, effective technology of the native igloo. Snowcone was the winning project of a design charette held within the Department of Architectural Science to chose the fifth Winter Station. Fourth-year undergraduate students Diana Koncan and Lily Jeon are leading the design.
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Beach-Topped Barge Proposed For Hudson River

As New York City's +Pool—the world’s first floating swimming pool—gets closer to the water, it was high-time for another river-based project to make itself known. The latest comes in the form of City Beach NYC, a beach-topped barge that would float in the Hudson River. The idea for the vessel comes from Blayne Ross, and it was designed and engineered by Matt Berman, and Andrew Kotchen from workshop/apd, and Nathaniel Stanton of Craft Engineering. While the project is described as a beach, it doesn’t actually offer New Yorkers the chance to swim—that is, unless they dive off the barge and into the Hudson, which is not advised. This barge, though, has more than beach chairs and umbrellas. Its sandy topper lifts up 16-feet on either side to create space for a food court, two local restaurants, changing rooms, a guest services desk, and a “kids history & marine science lab.” There is also a double-height restaurant that is “the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely lunch or dinner.” The team will be launching a Kickstarter for its project on June 19 and is aiming for a 2016 opening, the same year +Pool aims to be in the water. The race is on. [h/t Curbed]
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Rebuild By Design> Sasaki’s Plan To Save the Beaches of the Jersey Shore

In early April, the ten finalists in the Rebuild By Design competition unveiled their proposals to protect the Tri-state region from the next Sandy. And in the near future, a jury will select a winner—or winners—to receive federal funding to pursue their plans. But before that final announcement is made, AN is taking a closer look at each of the final ten proposals. Here’s Sasaki's plan to save the Jersey shore. The plan presented by Sasaki—along with Rutgers University and ARUP—is focused on preserving and protecting the Jersey shore's iconic beaches. "Ultimately, the Jersey Shore’s future resiliency must be linked to projects that deepen the physical extent, ecological reach, and cultural understanding of the beach," the team explained in a statement. Their plan includes moving new development from barrier islands that were severely impacted during Hurricane Sandy, to areas farther inland. According to Sasaki, this would protect development projects and diversify the tourist economy. In Asbury Park, the team creates a "hybrid boardwalk-dune"—a structure that preserves the function of a traditional boardwalk, while also providing a natural habitat and storm-surge mitigation. And for inland inland bay communities, Sasaki "[reclaims] the inland bay’s underutilized water spaces as public places."
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With $8 Million in Funding, East River Blueway Prepares to Transform Brooklyn Bridge Beach

Last week, Manhattan Borough President Scott M. Stringer and City Council Speaker Christine C. Quinn announced an $8 million achievement of capital funding for the East River Blueway proposal for redevelopment of the Brooklyn Bridge Beach. The proposal, set by President Stringer and Assemblyman Kavanagh in collaboration with WXY architecture + urban design, will redesign and improve the stretch of East River greenway in Lower Manhattan from East 38th Street to the Brooklyn Bridge. At a press conference on the esplanade underneath the bridge itself, Council Speaker Quinn declared that the City Council of New York had matched Borough President Stringer’s $3.5 million allocation, realizing their $7 million monetary goal for the creation of salt marshes, access to the natural beach, an improved esplanade, and reconstruction of piers for fishing and boating in the 11,000 square foot area they call Brooklyn Bridge Beach. The officials also announced that Council Member Dan Gardonik provided an additional $1 million in funding to go toward the construction of a kayak and canoe launch on the East River at Stuyvesant Cove, which stretches from East 18th to East 23rd Streets. "New York has always been a city of water, and this project will re-connect us to one of our greatest resources," Council Speaker Quinn said in a statement. "The waterfront is an asset to New York City—we must embrace it." These plans, however, are only a small part of the extensive, 82-page East River Blueway proposal. As Stephen Miller of Streetsblog points out, the conference presented no specific plan for development besides the previous WXY conceptual renderings, no timeline for construction, and no indication of the cost of the entire project. Several companies are attempting work along the same East River front in hopes that a continuous greenway is achieved. Mayor Bloomberg's "Seaport City," a Manhattan landfill extension on levees planned as protection from storms similar to Hurricane Sandy, is proposed adjacent to Brooklyn Bridge Beach but Borough President Stringer avoided the question when asked to comment.
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Fake Proposal For an Urban Beach Gets Raleigh Thinking About Vacant Land

After a long, cold winter, many of us are itching to lock away our wool coats, slip into our flip-flops, and dash to the beach. That's especially the case for Matt Tomasulo, the artist behind the Raleigh Beach proposal that would transform the corner of West Hargett Street into an alluring summertime oasis in inland North Carolina. His Raleigh Beach rendering depicts sunbathers soaking up the sun while lying on the sand as swimmers cool-off in the pools. Tomasulo, who is also the founder of CityFabrics, a company that prints figure-ground city maps on t-shirts, wallets, and more, daringly printed and posted a large rendering on his Raleigh Beach proposal on a fence at the vacant lot in Raleigh just outside of downtown, later splashing the scene online on the proposal's Tumblr, Twitter, and Facebook pages where it attracted hundreds of followers and received both positive and negative reactions from the community. This isn't the first time Tomasulo has stirred things up—in a good way—in Raleigh. The designer was also responsible for last year's Walk Raleigh "guerilla way-finding" movement, in which he and a small group of students posted 27 colorful signs on three street corners in Raleigh that stated how long it would take to walk from one destination to the other. His goal was to promote a healthier community by encouraging people to do more walking. The campaign successfully generated discussion about walking in Raleigh and attracted the attention of over 23 cities who wanted to bring the movement to their own city, leading Tomasulo to launch the Walk [Your City] website. Small-scale interventions like the Walk Raleigh campaign are part of a growing trend toward Tactical Urbanism to transform American cities. This time, though, Tomasulo confessed that his Raleigh Beach concept is fake and that the proposed scene would not be coming to Raleigh this summer, despite bold letters on the sign stating, "Coming this summer!" But with enough support, one day it could. His aim was to pique the community’s interests, start a conversation about the transformation of the empty, unused downtown lot, and encourage people to think about the best way for it to serve the community. If he can rally enough support for the project Tomasulo might be able to convince the property owner, 607 West Morgan Street, to transform his city-beach rendering into a reality. After all, urban beaches like this aren't unprecedented. Paris has famously shipped tons of sand and palm trees onto the banks of the Seine in the summer for its Paris Plage program. The French city—which has been ahead of its time on other urban interventions like a High Line style park, the Promenade Plantée, that predates New York's wildly popular example—announced last year the Paris Plage could become a completely car-free waterfront. Paris Plages 2012 en panoramique by mairiedeparis