5 000 SF
Featured in: The Huffington Post B.C. April 2014, The Province April 2014, Vancouver Courier April 2014
Background: The City of Vancouver has some great programs to get residents out, active and involved in the city. A branch of the city that facilitates these gatherings is Viva Vancouver, whose goal is to creatively transforming streets into vibrant public spaces in order to enhance the city’s sense of community. The Robson Redux Competition is a successful Viva Vancouver event that is entering its fourth year of implementation. It is aimed at temporarily transforming the iconic 800 block of Robson Street from a busy, traffic filled arterial road to a vibrant, engaging and pedestrian friendly space over the summer months when Vancouver residents love to be outside and soaking up the sunshine.
This is the first year, 2014, that Robson Redux was opened up as a world-wide public design-build competition. Viva Vancouver received almost 100 submissions from local designers and from designers all over the world. One SEED jumped at the opportunity to participate in the competition, as we are always interested in improving our communities through design. We joined forces with the talented Intern Landscape Architect, Amelia Sullivan and undertook a collaborative process. Our key objective was to combine our knowledge sets and holistically design a proposal that fulfilled this year’s theme of connection. It was important for us to reveal the site’s rich history, and to cause passersby to pause and connect to one another and the unique space.
With our proposal, REVEAL. PAUSE. CONNECT. we stitched together the Law Courts, the Vancouver Art Gallery, Robson Square (and its hidden oases), and the UBC Campus. We celebrated this unique space where the building scale steps down and the planted elements step up. We fostered all forms of connectivity in our installation. Benches and tree stumps of varying sizes and placement provided seating for personal reflection, people watching, and gatherings. The outdoors were woven throughout with plantings and trees where one could see, smell, touch, and hear nature. The installation prioritized accessibility and created fun and playful space for children. Iconic upright frame elements provided glimpses of unique aspects of the space and surrounding City. We even created the opportunity to connect with friends and family in other spaces through an integrated web platform.
The proposed tilted grid in paving materials extends Cornelia Oberlander and Arthur Erickson’s living green elements and playful steps. The meandering and ramped path through the space echoed the design of these two iconic Vancouver designers. The striking sight lines along the meandering paths framed views to places to be discovered and enjoyed.
Check out the full submission online here.
Special thanks to Chris Wimbles of TSL Laneway Homes for heading up the build and construction component of our proposal!