Spe­cial Cat­e­gories

Azure - - CONTENTS -

Win­ners in So­cial Good, En­vi­ron­men­tal Lead­er­ship, Ideas/ Pro­to­types, Un­built Build­ings, A+ Stu­dent Award

“What I love about this project is that Duke Univer­sity took a stand and said, ‘Land­scape is part of our fu­ture, not a box to check off ’” CLAIRE WEISZ

When Duke Univer­sity faced an in­fras­truc­tural prob­lem, in­stead of opt­ing for a short-cut so­lu­tion, it took on a holis­tic vi­sion. The school de­cided to re­duce its re­liance on potable wa­ter by com­mis­sion­ing Nel­son Byrd Woltz Land­scape Ar­chi­tects to cre­ate a re­splen­dent, multi-pur­pose land­scape fea­tur­ing a stormwa­ter re­use pond. To­day, Duke Pond de­liv­ers up to 380 mil­lion litres an­nu­ally – rep­re­sent­ing a fifth of the univer­sity’s wa­ter con­sump­tion needs – to the cam­pus chiller plant. But the pond ac­com­plishes so much more. What could have been a hole in the ground edged by rip-rap was in­stead imag­ined as an idyl­lic five-hectare nat­u­ral land­scape of bald cy­press trees, shrubs and herba­ceous plants, and fea­tur­ing a pavil­ion, a board­walk and a bridge all con­structed with lum­ber sal­vaged from trees cut for the project. The school is now us­ing the pond as re­search, mon­i­tor­ing it for classes in en­vi­ron­ment, bi­ol­ogy, and engi­neer­ing. The project gives stu­dents a stel­lar ex­am­ple not only of bio­di­ver­sity, but of how com­mu­nity build­ing and en­vi­ron­men­tal stew­ard­ship can go hand in hand.

“Casey House is re­ally good ar­chi­tec­ture that’s tack­ling an im­por­tant cause. Its crafts­man­ship just ties ev­ery­thing to­gether” MICHEL ROJKIND

Sia­mak Hariri with Michael Boxer, David Hine Engi­neer­ing, En­tu­itive, ERA Ar­chi­tects, An­dria Fong, Ed­ward Joseph, Kaizen Food­ser­vice Plan­ning, Cara Kedzior, Rico Law, Mark Hartley Land­scape Ar­chi­tect, Mul­vey & Banani, Jeff Strauss, Swal­low, Howard Wong and WSP Canada When Canada’s first stand­alone care cen­tre ded­i­cated to HIV/AIDS opened in 1988, it was imag­ined to be tem­po­rary. Yet, 30 years later the need for Casey House is more com­plex than ever. Treat­ment has come a long way, but there is still a stigma as­so­ci­ated with the disease. An old Vic­to­rian on Toronto’s Is­abella Street is now the an­chor for the hospi­tal that ac­com­mo­dates 200 day-pro­gram clients and 14 in-pa­tient rooms. Lo­cal firm Hariri Pon­tarini worked with her­itage spe­cial­ists ERA Ar­chi­tects to re­vive the red brick man­sion, bring­ing it back to its for­mer grandeur. Then the firm an­nexed a nar­row glass vol­ume onto it, adding an­other 5,481 square me­tres. The three-storey ad­di­tion em­braces the orig­i­nal build­ing, reach­ing around and over it to pro­vide a wel­com­ing en­trance. In fact, the en­tire build­ing ex­udes a sense of warmth, most no­tably from a cen­tral court­yard that the rooms face out onto, so those who can’t get out­side have a view of honey lo­cust trees and a wa­ter fea­ture. Tinted mir­ror win­dows adds a layer of pri­vacy. The in­te­rior is a mix of dark wal­nut and chunky lime­stone; on the ex­te­rior, lime­stone and bricks com­bine to cre­ate a patch­work fa­cade that mim­ics a quilt, a sym­bol fre­quently as­so­ci­ated with the fight against HIV/AIDS. Here, the sym­bol rep­re­sents per­fectly what the ar­chi­tects en­vi­sioned for Casey House: a safe haven that of­fers the sup­port of a hospi­tal and the com­fort of home.

“Cities are in­ten­si­fy­ing so quickly that you have to uti­lize ev­ery square inch in a mean­ing­ful way, so mak­ing use of vol­umes that al­ready ex­ist is a re­ally com­pelling and nec­es­sary idea” ME­GAN TORZA

When the first el­e­vated por­tion of the Gar­diner opened in 1962, Toron­to­ni­ans saw the raised ex­press­way as ei­ther a sym­bol of in­no­va­tion or a mon­stros­ity that chopped the city off from its lakeshore. To­day, for Adam Nick­lin and Marc Ryan, co-founders of Pub­lic Work, it is an op­por­tu­nity for a new kind of ur­ban­ism. Their multi-phase plan, devel­oped with ur­ban de­signer Ken Green­berg, will trans­form 1.75 kilo­me­tres of dead space be­neath the high­way into a lively park called the Bent­way. The park’s name refers to the “bents,” the T-shaped con­crete col­umns on which the road­way sits at an el­e­va­tion of up to 15 me­tres. Th­ese grand struc­tures de­mar­cate space, di­vid­ing the nar­row strip of land into 55 “civic rooms,” which will even­tu­ally be­come year-round am­phithe­atres, play­grounds, bike paths, pic­nic ar­eas and mar­ket kiosks – all partly shel­tered from the el­e­ments by the road­way over­head. Last win­ter, the first com­pleted phase opened: a fig­ure-eight skate path that in sum­mer months con­verts into a walk­way for pedes­tri­ans and rollerbladers. The plan is to fur­ther off­set the harsh con­crete with warmer fea­tures, in­clud­ing a fi­bre­glass-en­cap­su­lated glu­lam-tim­ber pedes­trian and cy­cling bridge sus­pended from the free­way by ca­bles, and a park (or “wharf”) that ap­pears to float above na­tive grasses and rain gar­dens that dou­ble as storm wa­ter man­age­ment sys­tems. With condo tow­ers lin­ing the wa­ter­front and fill­ing in the down­town core, this ne­glected strip of land has al­ways been ripe with po­ten­tial. In the com­ing years, some 70,000 nearby res­i­dents, and the city at large, will fi­nally get to use the back­yard that’s been there all along.

“This project is a tremen­dous re­flec­tion of qual­ity and thought­ful­ness right in the heart of Montreal, and it is so well ex­e­cuted” ME­GAN TORZA

Saint Joseph’s Or­a­tory is one of Montreal’s most vis­ited tourist at­trac­tions, with more than two mil­lion vis­i­tors – some on their knees seek­ing sal­va­tion from a site al­leged to be a place of mir­a­cles – climb­ing its 283 out­door steps an­nu­ally to reach its doors. That’s a daunt­ing his­tory to mess with. Yet mess­ing with the site is what Montreal-based firm Le­may has been tasked with, de­sign­ing an $80 mil­lion up­grade to im­prove ac­ces­si­bil­ity for those with lim­ited mo­bil­ity, and to en­hance the acous­tics for ev­ery­one. From the out­set, “con­tem­po­rary yet re­spect­ful” have been the watch­words for the firm, which is now oversee­ing re­al­iza­tion of the project, ex­pected to reach com­ple­tion by 2019. The fo­cus is pri­mar­ily on the vis­i­tor fa­cil­i­ties, in­clud­ing in­te­rior ac­cess from street level to all the build­ings that are open to the pub­lic. Th­ese in­clude the Holy Fam­ily Plaza, a multi-pur­pose pedes­trian mall mid­way up the flank of Mount Royal, and a new bell tower. A mon­u­men­tal struc­ture be­fit­ting Que­bec’s only car­il­lon, the tower houses a large mu­si­cal in­stru­ment com­posed of 61 bronze bells that were orig­i­nally made for the Eif­fel Tower. The car­il­lon, as well as a ter­raced land­scape and other hard sur­faces planned as fea­tures en route to the hill­top, com­bine into one gi­ant earth chime. The ar­chi­tects in­tended th­ese new struc­tures to act as acous­tic pan­els that project the unique in­stru­ment’s sound over as much of the grounds as pos­si­ble, pro­vid­ing au­dio ac­com­pa­ni­ment to en­hance vis­i­tors’ as­cen­sions. Some of the ren­o­va­tion bud­get will go to re­fur­bish­ing the site’s ex­ist­ing in­fra­struc­ture, such as the mu­seum that con­tains some 30,000 arte­facts, among which is the Or­a­tory founder’s pre­served heart. But the re­de­vel­op­ment’s lofti­est achieve­ment will be re­al­ized with the up­com­ing re­vamp of the basil­ica’s gi­gan­tic dome. The new cupola will in­clude a stair­case through a void be­tween the in­ner and outer dome struc­tures.

In our digital re­al­ity, is there still a place for build­ing by hand? That ques­tion led Kyr­i­aki Goti and Shir Katz on a vis­ually pow­er­ful ex­plo­ration of the po­ten­tial of hu­man touch as a pri­mary de­sign tool. Called Tan­gi­ble For­ma­tions, their joint master’s the­sis de­vel­ops a struc­tural sys­tem of ba­sic build­ing blocks that re­quire no ad­di­tional ma­te­rial in or­der to be us­able. The blocks are straight­for­ward enough. They em­ploy gran­u­lar jam­ming, a process in which loosely packed par­ti­cles are ma­nip­u­lated into a solid-like state when vac­uum pres­sure is ap­plied. Think sand gran­ules in­side a bal­loon. For Tan­gi­ble For­ma­tions, the ma­te­rial base is wood­chips packed into clear plas­tic bags and formed to the de­sired sil­hou­ette by squeez­ing and mash­ing, the same way you might shape a pil­low be­fore sleep. In this mal­leable state, the bags can be stacked and in­ter­locked, but when air is sucked out, they turn into rigid forms. In or­der to build a data archive, the de­sign­ers went a few steps fur­ther, map­ping each form’s ge­om­e­try us­ing a hand-held HTC VIVE con­troller equipped with sen­sors. The archive will ul­ti­mately pro­vide users with a li­brary of ope­nended build­ing op­tions. A short video doc­u­ments the project’s seam­less tran­si­tion from tan­gi­ble to digital. With min­i­mal text and no di­a­logue, it il­lus­trates what is ul­ti­mately most fas­ci­nat­ing about Tan­gi­ble For­ma­tions: a drag-and-drop plat­form with po­ten­tial to de­moc­ra­tize the de­sign process and em­power even non-prac­ti­tion­ers to build by hand.

“Shir and Kyr­i­aki didn’t just end up with para­met­ric forms, they learned from try­ing and pil­ing shapes that are al­most like CMU blocks. There’s a lot of po­ten­tial in look­ing at things that are gen­er­ally hard, and then imag­in­ing them soft” CLAIRE WEISZ

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Canada

© PressReader. All rights reserved.