The lost spaces competition is a call for ideas to reframe how underused spaces in Calgary might be used. The aim is to address a particular challenge of public space – what to do with seemingly remnant pieces of public property. The challenge: what opportunities do lost spaces afford?
A “lost space” is any space that remains under-utilized within our urban environment. They might be leftover pieces, a ghost of the planning past. Lost spaces are part of the public realm, rarely designed to function with both social and environmental benefit to the city. You may consider a lost space as a passageway, a roundabout, space between two buildings, a highway shoulder, or tenants of the city’s history and memory. We’d like to ask you to dream, take risks and stretch what we think is possible. Submissions are due March 30, 2015. More about the competition, here.
Presented by the Ministry of Culture of Albania and Tirana Architecture Week 2014, ”Lost Architecture – [En]Visioning New City Squares” attracted international entries from students and practitioners under the age of forty alike. Designers were invited to submit proposals for the improvement of Pyramid Square in Albania’s capital, Tirana, and tasked with reflecting the city’s rich history and evolving identity.
Amongst the proposals received was one from a Canadian team comprised of architect Naiji Jiao and landscape architect Seven Xiru Chen, whose entry “The Pyramid Park” was awarded first place. Read more about the winning entry after the break.
ABSTRAKT Studio Architecture has won a nation-wide competition to design Canada’s national memorial to the victims of communism in Ottawa. Select from six finalists, ABSTRAKT’s provocative design superimposes 100 million singular pixel-like memory squares, each representing the fingertip of the lives lost, on a folded triangular concrete plane.
“As the most prolific communist murderer Joseph Stalin famously said: ‘One death is a tragedy; one million is a statistic’… This ‘statistic’ takes main stage in our design by realizing its sheer enormity, thus raising awareness that every human life is unique and precious,” stated ABSTRAKT.
Inclusivity as Architectural Program: A Reflection on Vancouver’s Woodward’s Redevelopment Five Years On
Officially opened in 2010, the Woodward’s Redevelopment project designed by Vancouver based Henriquez Partners Architects and situated in the city’s Downtown Eastside (DTES), was a contentious proposal from the time of its inception, and has continued to be so in the almost five years since its completion. Yet as the large-scale mixed-use complex, and its role in the community, nears the first of many milestone anniversaries, it offers us a chance for critical reflection and allows for perceptions and understandings to be gathered and assessed.
What has made Woodward’s an interesting case study, however, is the project’s attempt to act as a model for responsible development with respect to the regeneration of its surrounding urban and community context. Yet there has also been much criticism, with fears over rapid gentrification and claims that it has displaced some of the community’s most at-risk residents. For managing partner Gregory Henriquez, however, it was seen as an opportunity to introduce a place of inclusivity into the neighbourhood and as a chance to “share a portion of the wealth created in real estate development to support the greater good.”
REX has shared with us their competition proposal for Calgary’s New Central Library (NCL). Though Snøhetta and DIALOG ultimately won the competition, REX was shortlisted as a finalist with an unconventional scheme that was based on adaptability, serendipity and treating the librarians as curators. By literally stacking the library’s program according to the client’s desired sequence, REX formulated six typological clusters hoisted on top an illuminated plinth.
Check out the complete proposal, after the break.