The summer is here, the posts are few and sporadic...
A few days ago the winners of the Where's the Square competition were announced and that saga has ended. For me it was the locations that the entrants have selected, rather than the designs themselves, that determined how convinced I was of success of each entry. Many locations did not 'speak of what it means to be "Vancouver" ' (per competition brief) to me. Here is where the competition played a trick on all its ambitious entrants - unless one has selected the perfect site, the design itself seems secondary. And selecting such a site proved to be very, very, very hard indeed!
The jury unanimously selected an entry - this one did not even appear on the shortlist - by Mark Ashby Architecture and Greenskins Lab (Mark Ashby, Kevin King, Isabel Kunigk, and Daniel Roehr). That name would be good for a band of some sorts, too. Their entry entitled "The Band" envisioned a linear space running by the BC Place; along that space would centre various cultural institutions and the like. These institutions sequentially program a certain stretch along "the band". Unfortunately, it is VAG's new location - taken for granted, but now in peril -that determined along with GM Place the location for "the band". The band - complete with garden plots, market/cafe, farmer's market infrastructure, interactive light standards, permanent umbrellas, and a floating island - would have connected the downtown with the seawall, allowing the existing building to stay in its path thus creating "interesting programmatic tensions".
The very few and very tiny images released by VPSN :
( Dear VPSN,
Please send me bigger images!
I asked nicely earlier, and...
People's Choice Awards went to:
#1 - Vancouver Carpet by Hapa Collection (Joe Fry, Xenia Semeniuk, and Doron Fishman)
#2 - Waterfront Square by MPA Design ( Michael Alexander and Michael Painter)