Six Finalists shortlisted for Canadian National Holocaust Monument

The Canadian Government recently announced that six teams were chosen as finalists in a national design competition to create concepts for the future National Holocaust Monument, which will be built in the heart of Canada’s capital, at the corner of Booth and Wellington streets, near the Canadian War Museum.

A Call for Qualifications was launched in May 2013, inviting teams of professional artists, architects, landscape architects and other design professionals to submit their credentials and examples of prior work at the first stage of a two-phase national design competition. Teams had to be led by a Canadian citizen. International candidates were, however, deemed eligible as team members.

Three of the six teams include a landscape architect including Daniel Roehr, SWA Group/Terraplan, and Claude Cormier. The full list of finalists includes

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Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg design recommended for Lansdowne Park

Design B - Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg

The Ottawa Citizen is reporting that Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg, a Vancouver based firm has been recommended by the jury. The Design was displayed as Design B by the City of Ottawa to the jury who deliberated on the design over the weekend. The City has not officially announced the winning proposal however I expected something to be announced soon.

For more information go to the [SOURCE: Ottawa Citizen - It’s Design B. Jury selects less flashy urban park proposal]

Lansdowne Park Design Competition entries revealed

*UPDATE*
Seems who ever wins of June 4 when the winner of the Lansdowne Park Competition will have to deal with a large amount of consultation with stakeholders and be ready to compromise on parts of there design as Parks Canada and Ontario Heritage Trust raise concerns about some of the design – Read more at the
Ottawa Citizen – Lansdowne makeover hits new snags

Recently the City of Ottawa revealed the five designs submitted by design firms for the redevelopment of the Lansdowne Park area. The designs where labeled as anonymous entrants (although if you have seen prior work of the entrants you can guess who’s design is who’s). The entrants included the following design firms:

  • Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates
  • Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg
  • SWA Group
  • West 8
  • Williams, Asselin, Ackaoui & Associates

What is encouraging is that 5 firms developed differing designs and approaches to the space, often competitions can fall flat as the designs can mimic each other. This also shows that the competition brief was not too restrictive in its design constraints on entrants. The entries all offer different approaches but it is great to see entrants have given thought to the integration of  storm water, heritage, planting, public art with some being more resolved and effective than others.

The design presentations are all of good quality and show that as landscape architects we can produce amazingly presented design work. However, some of the presentation graphics where more polished than others; this may have to do with the size of the firm or there international resources and will be seen if this made a difference when the design firms for each entry are revealed.

The design entries are interesting with many different approaches to spatial arrangement, program & function, circulation, aesthetics, seasons, public art, water, budgets. However, I feel that the all the designs have the same issues which is true of much of current landscape architecture. These issues are compartmentalization, under programming (lack of cross programming) and international design style.

Compartmentalization and under programming are interlinked in that when designing we draw a bubble around an area and state this shall be X and this is Y. Programming should be cross programmed and programs should be allowed to extend beyond the boundaries of an area to create a more dynamic design. Some of the greatest cities and designs in the world are when two uses and/or programs intermingle to create an interesting and energetic place.

International design style which has in recent years grown more pronounced as the globalisation of landscape architecture services takes place. In some ways international design can be beneficial as firms can offer a unique perspective on the area and use their experience of other cultures and designs. However, often the culture of the place can be lost or represented with the token piece of public art or a local sport placed in the design. The design entries presentations sometimes fell into this ‘international design style’ in which the design could have been anywhere in the world or northern hemisphere. How we improve on this is yet to be determined and will be one of the many issues that as landscape architects we face as we design landscapes across the globe.

I also found it interesting that only one of the design entries featured French text for a design competition held for a site in the capital of an officially bilingual country. Maybe it wasn’t a request of the brief; however I find it interesting to see what language was used when presenting a design in a different country and culture from the design firms.

Overall to decide on a winner will be hard and will require deliberation, resident feedback and evaluation of budgets. I hope that the winning design is implemented in its entirety over a well staged implementation. Congratulations to all the teams for producing amazing presentations that shows that landscape architects can produce high-quality world class designs.

Below are the plans and one image from each design. If you would like to see all the designs and presentations go to the City of Ottawa – Lansdowne Park.

IMAGE SOURCE: City of Ottawa

IMAGE CREDITS: All images are copyright of the entrants – currently anonymous

Short list announced for Lansdowne Park competition *UPDATE*

The City of Ottawa released the names of the 5 firms that have been short listed from the 21 submissions received to  compete for the design of Lansdowne Park’s open space.

The short listed firms are

  • Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates – Cambridge, Massachusetts
  • Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg – Vancouver, British Columbia
  • The SWA Group – Sausalito, California
    Partnered with: Corush Sunderland Wright Ltd. (Ottawa), The ARCOP Group, J.L. Richards & Associates (Ottawa), WESA (Ottawa), BuildGreen Solutions, CMS Collaboratie Inc., Professional Environmental Recreation Consultants Ltd. (PERC), PHA Lighting Design, Ned Kahn
  • West 8 Urban Design & Landscape Architecture – Toronto, Ontario
    Partnered with: Robertson Martin Architects Inc., The Municipal Infrastructure Group (TMIG), Halsall Associates (Ottawa office)
  • Williams, Asselin, Ackaoui & Associates Inc. (WAA) – Montreal, Quebec
    Partnered with: Éclairage Public Inc., Michel Dallaire Design Industriel Inc., Les Architectes FABG, Vinci Consultants, Linda Covit

With this selection, the work of the design firms will begin promptly with the gathering of information and ideas for the new open space. On Wednesday, February 24 and Thursday, February 25, the selected design firms will be meeting with the City, the National Capital Commission (NCC) and the Parks Canada Agency in a design symposium. Community groups and citizens will be able to learn about the design teams’ background and past projects, and provide comments about what they think should be built in the open space.

For more information go to the Lansdowne Park’s open space website.

[SOURCE: City of Ottawa]

RELATED STORY: Ottawa Citizen – Five firms compete for Lansdowne redesign

*UPDATE*

Joanne Chianello of the Ottawa Citizen wrote a follow up piece about the Lansdowne Park Competition reporting on the initial meeting between the City, NCC and the design teams.

Competitors where given some advice and on the designs for the site including

……. more than one presenter that proposals needed to be environmentally sustainable, “preserve the historic integrity” of the site (including the Aberdeen pavilion), with an emphasis on “soft over hard landscape.”

Later in the day the design teams presented their previous work to the City and NCC.

Read the full article at the [SOURCE: Ottawa Citizen - Designers told to ensure Lansdowne’s uniqueness]

Architects resign from Ottawa Urban Design Review Panel

Earlier this week, Councillor Peter Hume, Chair of the Planning and Environment Committee was informed by letter that all of the architects that were members of the Downtown Ottawa Urban Design Review Panel had resigned. The panel was established in 2005 to peer review design of new developments in the downtown area.

Metro quoted Rick MacEwen, a resigning member of the panel as saying

Councillors have consistently ignored the city’s official plan by accepting cheap and easy designs for new buildings……

To read more about why the panel resigned go to the [SOURCE: Metro - Design lost on city says architect]

RELATED ARTICLES:
CBC News – 7 architects resign from city’s design review panel

Ottawa Citizen – Frustrated architects dump review panel