159 competitions documented 412 competitions listed
4 536 projects 43 089 documents

11 built gardens, 92 potential gardens

by Jean-Pierre Chupin, published 2008-07-01
In this July 2008 update, the L.E.A.P. celebrates, in its own way, the 400th anniversary of the foundation of the city of Quebec by presenting ALL the propositions conceived for the Ephemeral Gardens competition. 5 were awarded by the jury presided by Pierre Thibault, 6 were directly invited, but non-the less 92 are still to be discovered.

The winning projects who are actually presented to the public in Quebec City are also presented on the official website of the 400th (http://monquebec2008.sympatico.msn.ca/MonQuebec2008/?module=static&id=19), but as usual when a competition receives a large number of project entries, organizers do not give themselves the means or judge necessary to render justice to all the other projects and idea originators from several European countries and America. The Laboratoire d'Étude de l'Architecture Potentielle picks up where they left off, assuming an academic mission of archiving, analyzing and diffusing all project according to the principle that competitions is first and foremost a place of convergence, debate, comparison, judgment but mostly of excellence and of… … … knowledge.
It is important to present these projects from an equal point of view, in order to appreciate their diversity and in this case their inventiveness. Landscape architecture is certainly one the fields most open to creativeness et experimentation in the first part of the 21st Century and the L.E.A.P. will allow more and more room in the next few months to documenting competitions concerning landscape. As for the 400th, visitors will gain to discover the gardens in Quebec and will have to do so before the end of the summer. But there will be many visitors from abroad who will only get to know these projects through the pages of the Canadian Competitions Catalogue in order to appreciate the longevity of these potential gardens, which will last as long as the C.C.C” shall live: statistics don't lie, over 3000 visitors a month worldwide and, for more dynamic competitions numbers climb easily to 5000 visitors, not withstanding the reference game that enriches great internet search engines.

As for the political situation of competitions in Canada, things are moving slowly, but certain indicators are showing a change of opinion from institutional decision makers. In the case of the Province of Quebec, which was ahead for a while but has slowed lately, it is to be noticed that by the end of 2008 a great international competition for the new Beaux-Arts Museum of Quebec should be launched. Also a few competitions have been announced regarding cultural buildings, particularly public libraries, still a far cry from the 200 annual competitions launched in Switzerland for example. It is to be noticed that the researchers from the prestigious E.T.H. of Zurich, under the direction of Joris van Wezemael, are in contact with those of the L.E.A.P. in order to set up a systematic documentation of these numerous competitions (http://research-design-competitions.org/fr/node/33). We also salute the arrival of a new Japanese player (AKICHIATLAS.com) whose director Nanae Hirota is launching a well-conceived portal - albeit not free of charge - on international competitions.
Regular observers of the C.C.C. will have noticed a 4-month gap separating us from the last February 2008 update. After a few months of reorganization following the renewal of the working grant of the L.E.A.P. allotted for the next 4 years by the Fonds Quebecois de Recherche sur la Société et la Culture, our efforts are now focused towards setting a new research program including a new researcher, Professor Louis Martin of Uqam.

The C.C.C., floret of the L.E.A.P., is more and more called to become a public resource of international caliber more than a research tool like it was at its creation. We intend to solicit private financing in order to insure the evolution and durability of this immense garden of projects… … almost eternal, the C.C.C.that is :)
IMPORTANT NOTICE : Unless otherwise indicated, photographs of buildings and projects are from professional or institutional archives. All reproduction is prohibited unless authorized by the architects, designers, office managers, consortiums or archives centers concerned. The researchers of the Research Chair on Competitions and Contemporary Practices in Architecture are not held responsible for any omissions or inaccuracies, but appreciate all comments and pertinent information that will permit necessary modifications during future updates.