Posts tagged with "Canada":

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Canada’s first Holocaust memorial opens, designed by Studio Libeskind

On Wednesday, Canada opened its first Holocaust memorial, making it the last Allied nation to erect a structure of remembrance for the victims of the genocide. Designed by Studio Libeskind, the memorial was chosen in 2014 from a shortlist of proposals by other familiar names like David Adjaye and Ron Arad. The completed structure is located in Ottawa, and was supported by the National Holocaust Monument Development Council as well as the Canadian government. Landscape photographer Edward Burtynsky and museum planner Gail Dexter Lord served principal roles on the design team alongside Daniel Libeskind, and were joined by Claude Cormier as the landscape architect and the University of Toronto's Doris Bergen as a content advisor. Seen from above, the memorial clearly resembles a stretched Star of David – the same star Jews were forced to wear during the Holocaust. It is also meant to honor the other groups persecuted – including Jehovah's Witnesses, queer individuals, political prisoners, the mentally ill, and others – many of whom were forced to wear differently colored stars or patches to distinguish their identities to Nazi officers. Constructed of six concrete and metal walls, the monument forms chambers of reflection at varying sizes, including a tall triangular contemplation room nearly closed off to the rest. Huge in scale, some of Burtynsky's photos are painted onto the walls by an artist's team led by William Lazos. They depict concentration camps, the railways that led people to them, and other eerily vacant landscapes. Conifers are planted surrounding the memorial, giving an even heightened sense of stillness. According to the project's Instagram, these plants were meant to typify Canada's boreal forest, and represent "the struggle of immigrants — those who’ve come to Canada and survived and thrived in difficult conditions." The choice to focus on landscape was well-considered – particularly, as Lord outlined to The Art Newspaper, because of the importance of landscape imagery in Canadian history, identity, and popular imagination. “You can look at a landscape and just think it’s just beautiful, but in fact, some of the most terrible things that have ever happened to human beings happened there,” Lord said. Lord went on to say that she hoped the monument inspired visitors to reflect on the horrific deeds committed not just during the Holocaust, but by colonists to the indigenous peoples of Canada. Pastoral landscapes often have a disturbing habit of distracting from the violence of their history, and Canada's green hills are not exempt. This point also resonates with one of the central stories behind the monument: that Canada refused to offer asylum to many victims of the Holocaust. In one devastating instance, a German ship called the MS St. Louis containing 937 Jewish refugees was turned away from Cuba, the U.S., and finally Canada. After returning to Europe, 254 of its passengers perished in concentration camps. They are memorialized in many places, most recently by a Twitter account that went viral after the travel ban at the beginning of President Donald Trump's term of office (which has similarly denied refugees seeking asylum from political unrest). Canada's new monument is meant, in part, to honor their lives as well, and acknowledge the state's role in their demise at a time of extraordinary need. Another narrative highlighted by the memorial centers on the contributions of Holocaust survivors to Canadian society after the war – some 40,000 of whom moved to Canada upon release from concentration camps.
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Habitat 67 made into commemorative stamp as building turns 50

Today precisely marks the 50th anniversary of Expo 67 in Montreal, the renowned world's fair that captured the creative spirit of late 20th-century architecture and design. To commemorate the occasion, Canada Post and architect Moshe Safdie unveiled a stamp which features the image of Habitat 67, the experimental urban housing project that was built for expo’s living exhibition. Since 1967, the model community has become an icon of Canadian identity and was officially designated as a National Heritage Site. This, however, is not the first time that Habitat 67 has made its way into the realm of memorabilia. Back in 2012 it won and online competition to be manufactured as a LEGO replica set, though to the dismay of its fans, production of the miniatures never materialized. The stamp is the first in a series of ten that celebrate the sesquicentennial (150-year) anniversary of Canada. The event also coincides with Habitat ‘67 vers l’avenir / The Shape of Things to Come an exhibition of Safdie's work at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQAM) Centre de Design, on view from June 1 to August 13, 2017. 
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WIDC: Isn’t it good, Canadian wood?

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Timber was the obvious choice for the Wood Innovation and Design Centre (WIDC). This sturdy carbon-storing material is increasingly an alternative to concrete or steel in mid-rises and “plyscrapers.” For a province-owned building in Prince George, British Columbia, mandated to use local products, Michael Green Architecture (MGA) won the competition with a “dry structure” using no concrete slabs above grade (except one small vibration-controlling roof panel, notes project manager Mingyuk Chen) and deploying wood everywhere from posts and beams to mullions.
  • Facade Manufacturer Guardian Industries Corp.; Brisco Wood Preservers; Kawneer
  • Architects Michael Green Architecture
  • Facade Installer PCL Constructors Westcoast, Inc. (contractor)
  • Facade Consultants RDH Building Engineering, Ltd. (building envelope); Equilibrium Consulting, Inc. (structural engineer)
  • Location Prince George, BC (Canada)
  • Date of Completion 2014
  • System Cross-laminated timber (CLT)
  • Products Columns and timber by Structurlam; facade and glazing by Guardian Industries Corp., Brisco Wood Preservers, Kawneer; Blinds and shades by Hunter Douglas Architectural
The 97-foot WIDC was North America's tallest all-wood building when it opened in 2014. A site-specific code amendment allowed nonresidential construction for this project, recalls Chen. Its lowest three floors house programs of the University of Northern British Columbia and Emily Carr University, with wood-industry offices above. Materials include cross-laminated timber (CLT), mainly Douglas fir, for floor panels, shear walls, and core shafts and stairs; Douglas fir glulam for columns and most beams; laminated veneer lumber for the window mullions, entrance canopy, and feature stairs; parallel-strand lumber for load-transferring beams; and Western red cedar, charred or natural, for cladding. The facade, notes principal Graham Finch of envelope specialists RDH, uses Kawneer curtain-wall units of aluminum veneer attached to wood framing, with high-performance triple glazing and irregular patterns varying from solar-gain-maximizing southern fenestration to prefabricated structural insulated panels on the north. CLT is counterintuitively fire-resistant, Chen notes, needing no chemical treatment; if exposed to fire, it forms a carbon “sacrificial layer” slowing the char rate. Onsite dampness mitigation poses minimal challenge, Finch adds, noting that timber construction is widespread in Europe and ready for prime time here. “It forces you to go back to first principles and rethink.... It's not that it's hard; it's new, it's unique,” he says. Growing the WIDC's materials, he adds, took Canada's forests under three minutes. RDH Managing Principal/Senior Building Science Specialist Brian Hubbs will be speaking about "Facades for Wood High-Rises" at Facades+ New York City on April 6+7.
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Alberta’s only Frank Lloyd Wright building to be rebuilt

Thanks to the Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative, Banff National Park in Alberta may once again have its own Frank Lloyd Wright-designed building almost 100 years after the original structure was demolished. The Banff Park Pavilion was originally built in 1914 on commission from the Canadian government and designed in conjunction with Francis Conroy Sullivan (Wright's only Canadian student). It only stood for 25 years but was demolished in 1939 due to structural damage. The pavilion went through several stages of use in its brief life. It was initially conceived as a visitor center by the Department of Public Works by the National Parks Service, with the local community putting forth ideas about its design. However, given the timing of its completion at the start of World War I, it was repurposed by the Department of Defense into a quartermaster's store. After the war the pavilion was used for its original intended purpose: a picnic area and shelter. However, its location on the bank of the Bow River was prone to flooding and frost heaving, which damaged wooden floor supports. It was torn down in 1939 despite the resistance of park-goers. The Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative is dedicated to rebuilding Frank Lloyd Wright structures on their original footprints according to their original design, allowing for changes only due to modern building code requirements. The Banff Park Pavilion will be their first project. The building is a great example of Wright's signature Prairie School architectural style, common in the American midwest but rare in Canada. According to the Frank Lloyd Wright Initiative, it was in fact the only building of this style in the country. It will also be the second Frank Lloyd Wright building in Canada. The number of yearly visitors to Banff National Park has grown to almost 3.6 million annually, and the pavilion has the potential to once again become a well used feature of the park as well as a tourist attraction in its own right. According to Canadian Architect, the proposal was accepted by the Banff Town Council, who is now conducting a feasibility study as Phase I of the project. The Frank Lloyd Wright Revival Initiative is accepting donations that will go toward funding the project.
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Canadian music finds a new home at Calgary’s National Music Centre

Looming over 4th Avenue in Calgary's East Village is the new home for the National Music Centre (NMC). Known as "Studio Bell" and designed by Brad Cloepfil of Portland and New York-based firm Allied Works Architecture, the 160,000 square foot structure comprises two volumes connected by a skybridge.

Clad in terra-cotta, the building appears to shelter the historic King Edward Hotel, a venue renowned for its jazz scene. As for Studio Bell's programming, five levels are dedicated to exhibition space, displaying more than 2,000 objects of musical memorabilia and significance meant to inform and inspire visitors. Here, emphasis will placed on Canadian music.

In addition to this, recording, teaching, and event spaces, along with galleries, will be available for workshops and other programming. The galleries will be adaptable, doubling-up as low-key performance venues while alterable for the needs of exhibitions. A Canadian Music Hall of Fame can serve as a performance hall for an an audience of 300 people. The centerpiece of the building, the hall offers mobile acoustic walling and overlooks the lobby.

“They turn their heads; they’ve never seen a building like this in Calgary and I think a lot of people never expected such a building to ever be built in Calgary,” said NMC president and CEO Andrew Mosker. “We invented an institution,” said Brad Cloepfil. “[Mosker] had a dream of an institution that was more than a museum, kind of more than everything. A kind of music institution that doesn’t exist—education, performance, everything.” “Entering from the street, the building is filled with the reverberation of voices and music, drawing visitors up into five floors of performance, exhibit, and collections spaces,” Cloepfil added. “The apertures at each gallery create a threshold of sound, introducing the content and programs of the particular exhibition. The spaces between are filled with silence, with views that frame the city and landscape beyond.”
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Yabu Pushelberg designs a super-Canadian interior for the Canada Olympic House in Rio

Certain things come to mind when conjuring images of Canada: maple leaves and syrup, poutine, Drake running through "The Six," and Mounties—to name a few. Upon first viewing photos of the Toronto-based Yabu Pushelberg's design for the Canada Olympic House (COH)‚ it's apparent what country the house belongs to (without being too kitschy). The mostly red and white structure features sculptural installations and furniture by Canadian artists and designers. "Our aim is to show the world that Canadian design is progressive and sophisticated. The design for Canada Olympic House is bold, smart, fresh and unexpected," remarked Yabu Pushelberg cofounder George Yabu. Cofounder Glenn Pushelberg also said "The Canada Olympic House design is conceptually powerful and aims to represent all things Canadian with respect to excellence." In an impressive feat, the entire project (assembly and installation) had to be completed in less than two weeks, and will have to be broken down in the same amount of time. The quick turnaround inspired much of the design, which uses simple, low cost materials. The entry features a bold, red 8-foot-high hoarding printed with white lettering that welcomes visitors and leads to a lobby that features a bright white vinyl floor printed with Canadian Olympic Team graphics. In the spiral stairway leading to the second floor is a mobile made of suspended red and white canoe paddles designed by Toronto-based artisans Moss & Lam Art Studios that guides visitors up to the celebration lounge. The lounge is furnished with modular furniture from the Canadian Tire Canvas Collection, which is interspersed with custom made tables by Saint-Damase Furniture. A deconstructed Canadian flag made of  strips of painted canvas, also by Moss & Lam Art Studios, is suspended from the ceiling. The Petro Canada Pantry is stocked with snacks and illuminated by three glowing canoes—custom made by a Canadian artist—alongside vintage photos of Canadian Olympic athletes. In the backyard terrace red and white ombre Muskoka chairs evoke a "quintessential" Canadian yard. Finally, the team store is inspired by a modern log cabin and features goods from Hudson's Bay, which also provided textiles for the project, as well as plenty of #TeamCanada merch.
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OMA’s Pierre Lassonde Pavilion in Quebec City edges closer to completion

The Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec (MNBAQ)'s new Pierre Lassonde Pavilion, designed by International firm OMA working alongside with Provencher_Roy architectes of Montréal, is set to open in just over two months time. As work edges closer to completion, MNBAQ has announced that the building will open on June 24 of this year, coinciding with the Québec’s national holiday, “La Fête nationale.” As a result, there will be three days of free public programs and festivities. Once open, the pavilion will offer 160,380 square feet of space—an increase of 90 percent on the MNBAQ's current capacity for exhibition space. Here, both permanent and temporary exhibits will be hosted inside column-free galleries that make use of a hybrid steel truss system for structural support. Also included will be a 250-seat auditorium, café, and museum store, all encapsulated by three tiered cuboid volumes, the highest of which (at 87 feet) will overlook the street. Within the staggered volumetric space, a series of mezzanines will create a visual link between the exhibition spaces and aid spatial orientation through a spiral staircase that offers "orchestrated views." On top, roof terraces will provide space for outdoor displays and activities while the 41-foot-high Grand Hall will connect the building to the street, looking onto the sheltered Grande Allée. Also on the pavilion's exterior, a pop-out staircase symbolizes the visual connection of the cascading volumes from an external perspective, also giving users views on to the park. Pierre Lassonde, chair of the MNBAQ board of directors, said, “We are delighted to be only weeks away from welcoming the public into this brilliantly conceived design by OMA, which will do so much to help us celebrate the art and artists of Québec. With this beautifully functioning and symbolically important addition, our museum now rises to a new level of service for the people of Québec City, and a new prominence for visitors from around the world.” “Our design stacked three gallery volumes in a cascade that continues the topography of the park. The activity of the city extends below, providing a new point of interface between the city and the park,” said OMA partner Shohei Shigematsu. “Art becomes a catalyst that allows the visitor to experience all three core assets – park, city, and museum – at the same time.”
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Visually impaired students get help navigating Rutgers University with help from 3D-printed maps

For visually impaired students, navigating around a building or a college campus is often a challenging task. That's set to change, thanks to Jason Kim and Howon Lee, researchers at Rutgers University School of Engineering in New Jersey. The duo has developed 3D printed braille maps of their campus. Kim, a senior mechanical engineering student and Lee, an assistant professor at the Joseph Kohn Training Center (an institution that helps the visually impaired), designed the maps with the help of CAD software, SolidWorks 3D. When complete, the maps are about the size of a standard iPad. Like normal maps, some will be fixed to the walls of the university, however, these will only offer a limited selection of braille labelling. The maps are intended to be carried around in a binder by students for easy access personal reference.   https://youtu.be/nvo3Z9Af1so Before starting the project, both said they knew nothing about the format of braille and had a lot to learn. Visiting the Joseph Kohn Training Center multiple times the pair received feedback from faculty and students, being able to finish the map by the end of summer. “One of the things we saw with conventional braille printed on paper is that it doesn’t last long,” Lee said. So far, only one map has been produced, though Lee hopes to lower production costs with the aim for every interested student to have a map by the start of the new first semester. Lee also spoke of his interest to develop more maps for the rest of the Rutgers campus and city of New Brunswick, NJ. The idea is to “give freedom, extended freedom, to navigate and go from one place to another without worrying too much,” he said.
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Private company proposes cable-car system for Toronto

Toronto's Don Valley could be set for a cable car network connecting the downtown district to the greener area around Evergreen Brick Works. The project has private backing from a Swiss-Canadian company. Steven Dale, CEO of Bullwheel International Cable Car, sees the scheme as bridging the gap for the last leg of the journey to get to the Brick Works, which is currently only accessible via a shuttle bus on public transport or by personal vehicle. According to Next City, the Brick Works sees 500,000 visitors arrive each year by car. The added infrastructure could potentially boost the local farmers market and see an increase in use at the children's garden and event areas as well the general area itself which offers a welcome break from urban life with parks and trails. Going over, rather than around or under, appears to be the preferred solution for swift access to the environmental center that is awkwardly sprawled across one of Toronto's ravines. Dale argues that the proposal isn't about developing infrastructure. He maintains that the cable car's primary function would be recreational, viewed and used as a civic landmark, able to offer views over the ravine.  The system would also see no state interference, being privately run and funded. Dale hypothesizes that a journey would cost around $10 to non-locals with the entire scheme estimated at requiring $25 million to fund. As for the network itself, six towers, constructed on state land across the ravine will allow up to 42 cable cars to travel back and forth, travelling from the Brick Works in Don Valley down to Playter Gates in Downtown.
The company added that each gondola would come tooled with a bike rack to facilitate cyclists as well as other measures being in place to accommodate disabled access. "I don’t know why we’d reject any means of getting people around," Dale said. “We’re trying to come to grips with what kinds of ways we can provide people greater access to the ravines without being too obtrusive … The concept of a cable car that goes through some land that is beautiful and scenic is very appealing." Despite the audacious scheme, no planning proposals have yet been submitted to the city authorities. That said, the Don Valley Cable Car project will host a meeting on March 8 by the proposed station location at Broadway and Danforth to provide further information to locals.  
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Arquitectonica leads design team for three Toronto towers

Arquitectonica in collaboration with New York firm S9 Architecture and Toronto-based Sweeney & Co. Architects have designed three mid-rise residential towers in Toronto, the tallest of which will be 526 feet high. The project is being spearheaded by WAM Development Group and will occupy a four-acre plot between 245–285 Queen East and Sherbourne and Ontario Streets as well as 348–412 on Richmond. Upon brief observation, the towers look like three lowercase i's aligned in a row. This is due to a recreational floor two-thirds up each of the towers. These spaces will house indoor and outdoor amenities including a living garden patio. The tallest tower, 45 stories tall, sits in the middle flanked by the other two slightly smaller buildings, both 466 feet high (39 storeys). At pedestrian level, the towers will be connected by a retail podium and public space. According to regional commentary forum Urban Toronto the "massive redevelopment will completely change the height, density, and urban character of Queen and Sherbourne." In terms of density, the trio of towers will add 1,645 housing units to the vicinity, being divvied up into 340 single bedroom; 832 single-bedroom with "den"; 235 double bedroom; 69 two-bedroom with "den", and 169 three-bedroom apartments. Of the 1,645 units, 1,110 are currently planned as rentable spaces. As for the public realm, brick paving has been used to contrast the glazed facade of the towers, creating a much more localized place and offering an alternate sense of scale. Within the area, protection from the elements will come in the form of a glass canopy so to maintain the aspect of openness.
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Five installation winners announced for this year’s prestigious International Garden Festival

In its 17th edition, the International Garden Festival has announced five new winners selected from 203 projects comprising 31 countries. This year's winners were presented at Les Jardins de Métis, Reford Gardens in Quebec, Canada. This year's winning gardens will be on display at the same location from June 23 to October 2, 2016. Visitors will be able to view the 27 contemporary gardens and engage with the interactive spaces that are the product of more than 85 landscape architects, architects, and designers. The winning gardens are: Le Caveau by architect and landscape architect Christian Poules Basel, Switzerland According to the Festival:

The growing plane is shrouded in the intimacy of Le caveau (the cave) - a four-sided room of stacked gabions full of stones. Stone that allows light to filter through its gaps and washes the room with its shadows. It is a room of reflection. It is a room for dreamers. Just as the plane levitates before us, we are held in the balance of the stone and life itself. The personification of our own imaginations suspended in time. The primitive plane symbolizes a beginning - the seed and the soil, the tilted horizon between earth and sky.

Carbone by Coache Lacaille Paysagistes: Maxime Coache, landscape architect; Victor Lacaille, landscape designer and Luc Dalla Nora, landscape architect) Nantes, France According to the Festival:

This installation evokes the cycle of production as a parallel to the carbon cycle. The garden landscaped or the landscape gardened. Regenerating the forest and sowing where we have harvested brings nature back to life. Transmit the love of landscape to those who will outlive us.  A sculpted tree trunk, partially cut into pieces helps to illustrate the primary material used to build furniture. A stump and its roots, a tree trunk cut into parts and five modules made of timber, some lightly burned on the surface. A young tree grows where the tree might have grown tall had the tree not fallen.

Cyclops by architect Craig Chapple Phoenix, Arizona According to the Festival:

Cyclops is a singular object on the landscape as well as a singular frame of the landscape. Made up of 258 8-meter long timber and 1 x 6 boards, they are held in a concentric ring by 2 steel rings suspended from the surrounding trees by stainless steel cables. Cyclops is held in a tenuous balance with the environment that provides for it. The central 1.5 m opening at the bottom of the cone is a highly-charged occupiable space for the viewer to both view the canopy in a new way but also truly feel the focus of the suspended weight as the physical latent force in the trees themselves. The viewer finds himself playing the central role of the work in rediscovering their relationship to the energy in their environment.

La Maison de Jacques by intern architects Romy Brosseau, Rosemarie Faille-Faubert and Émilie Gagné-Loranger Québec, Canada According to the Festival:

La maison de Jacques (or Jack’s House from the children’s fable Jack and the Beanstalk) is different from the one we know. You might think you have just stepped out of a children’s story. The house is a green grove that is enveloped in bloom. You enter by walking on stepping stones that traverse a ground-cover made of small. Once inside, you wander between the rows of beans of tightly winding their way up a light wooden structure. The walls divide the space into a series of small hidden gardens, singular in their proportions. These cocoons are ideal hiding places for a game of hide-and-seek. One remains a secret, inaccessible...

TiiLT by SRCW: Sean Radford, architect and Chris Wiebe, designer Winnipeg, Canada According to the Festival:

Finding roots in the formal geometries of the labyrinth and the many informal camping traditions in the Canadian landscape, TiiLT is a transformable and inhabitable place for visitors to act, or to idle, however they may be inclined. Each structure may be flipped between two orientations, responding to the position of the sun, offering alternating views and shifting pathways through the site. The toggling movement conjures a school of fish, or a flock of birds, flitting in opposite directions yet connected as a whole. The straw-like lightness of the structures and brilliant yellow skin recall a field of floral blooms, contrasting the surrounding green landscape and blue sky.

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Bjarke Ingels designs a pixelated mountain of residences in Toronto

Just when it seemed that the Bjarke Ingels Group (BIG) had enough projects on its plate, it looks like the firm's gone back to the building buffet for a residential complex in Toronto. Backed by developers Westbank and Allied REIT, the as-yet-unnamed project calls for more than 500 apartments spread over 725,000 square feet. The building consists of 12-foot-by-12-foot "pixilated patterns"—read "cubes"—that are stacked and rotated at 45-degree angles. From straight above, the complex resembles a plain rectangle with a public courtyard in the middle. In reality, the apartments stack and mass to form five peaks ranging in height from 15 to 17 stories, marking a return to Ingels's favored mountain typology. The block-wide building will lift up from the sidewalk at three points to allow pedestrians to travel between blocks. Toronto–based landscape architects PUBLIC WORK are collaborating with BIG on the project. There will be around 13 different floor plans, with a private terrace for each apartment. Ingels, the firm's founder and principal, explained the design to The Globe and Mail, likening the scale of the project to "a bundle of homes rather than a big new building.” The effect, Ingels explained, is similar to “a Mediterranean mountain town.” Canadians don't need to look far for another design precedent. It's difficult not to draw a comparison between BIG's proposal and Habitat 67, Moshe Safdie's iconic Montreal apartment complex.