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Fine Design for Functional Fun in City Parks

Borden Park Pavilion Design

April 15, 2011

Five City of Edmonton parks will soon sport a dash of style thanks to the creative efforts of architectural firms that competed to design unique and inspiring pavilions for Edmontonians to use year-round.

“Through this competition, we were hoping to raise the bar when it comes to designing civic buildings in Edmonton,” said Carol Belanger, City Architect for the City of Edmonton. “The competition is a success, as firms offered our judges a tremendous collection of ideas that take these five park pavilions from the ordinary to the extraordinary.”

The five winning firms and their pavilion concepts are:

  • Mill Woods Sports Park: ‘Net Zero’ Pavilion by Dub Architects Ltd., Edmonton
  • John Fry Sports Park: John Fry Sports Pavilion by Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative, Calgary
  • Victoria Park: Victoria Park Pavilion by Rayleen Hill Architecture, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
  • Castle Downs District Park: Castle Downs District Park by gh3, Toronto
  • Borden Park: Borden Park by gh3, Toronto

This is the first time the City has used a competition to solicit design concepts for infrastructure projects. This method was chosen to encourage the best creative minds from large and small architectural design companies from across North America help continue the trend for creating esthetically pleasing architecture in Edmonton.

“The response surpassed our expectations,” said Belanger. “Through our efforts to design civic buildings that are creative and inspiring, yet cost-effective, we are transforming Edmonton into a vibrant and inviting place to live. These parks will become even more thriving as the functional pavilions respond to the needs of Edmontonians.”

Pavilions in parks increase the range of ways Edmontonians can enjoy parks. The Concepts had to respond to requirements user groups identified, such as public washrooms, change rooms, storage areas and warm-up space.

The City received 135 design entries from 64 architectural companies from Alberta, across Canada and the United States for this competition, which was sanctioned by the Alberta Association of Architects.

The five winners now have the opportunity to enter into an agreement with the City to complete the concept design work on each pavilion, which will include further consultation with stakeholder groups.

Once final concepts are approved, the City will hold public consultations to gain feedback from Edmontonians to finalize pavilion designs.

The proposed concepts are a result of needs identified in the master plan for each park, all of which were developed in consultation with area stakeholder groups.

A total of $13.2 million has been budgeted for all five pavilions, with funding for the projects coming from the Government of Alberta’s Municipal Sustainability Initiative and organizations, such as community and sports groups, that are partnering with the City on three of the projects.

Work on completing the designs for Borden and Castle Downs pavilions will begin in about two months and the buildings are scheduled to open to the public in 2012. Work on the remaining pavilions will start in about eight months, with the buildings scheduled to open to the public in 2013.

The winners were selected by a jury consisting of leading architects and design professionals from Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal and City of Edmonton representatives.

All designs will be on display in City Hall for public viewing from April 18 at 1 pm to Thursday, April 21.

Competition instructions, guidelines and background information can be found at www.edmonton.ca/DesignCompetition.