DESIGN PROBLEMS THAT HAVE BEEN ADDRESSED
1. Provide an environmentally sustainable and flexible pavilion that accommodates program space for the public, the Edmonton Speed Skating Association and the City of Edmonton through aIl seasons and as their needs evolve.
2. Ensure that aIl public spaces in and around the building meet universal accessibility design guidelines and provide recreational and educational opportunities for aIl ages.
3. Design for LEED Silver rating as per Edmonton's Ecovision Plan including a high standard of daylighting and natural ventilation.
4. Protect and enhance existing site aesthetics and biodiversity. Improve the health of the Victoria Park and Edmonton's "ribbon of green" tablelands through effective naturalization, public engagement, educational opportunities and ultimately, stewardship.
5. Promote public use and access to natural green spaces, which can be linked to improved human health and weIl being; physical, psychological and spiritual as weIl as prevention of Nature Deficient Disorder in youth. Action to restore local biodiversity is necessary to support the overall sustainability of the city's river valley ecosystems.
6. Provide for a phased construction if required due to funding cash flows as weIl as potential for expansion. Ensure a low impact development in aIl phases. Rationale for the Resolution of the Design Problems: With proximity to several existing multi-use trails along the river valley ribbon of green, Victoria Park is the perfect location to encourage and support alternative transportation. For walkers, joggers, cross- country skiers and cyclists, the new pavilion will become an ideal refreshment, rest and meet-up stop for social, athletic and destination visits with friends. By providing a small dock at the river's edge, canoeists, rowers and kayakers can be encouraged to pull up and visit Victoria Park. A commissioned art piece along River Road is visible from the river, and multi-use trails, becoming a city landmark directing Edmontonians where to enjoy aIl that Victoria Park has to offer its citizens.
A community garden is proposed around the perimeter of the skating oval where winter snow cleared off the ice surface is piled. City educational programs such as composting courses would be a natural fit. A site for a small orchard, protected from deer, could be planted along with additional fruit bearing trees and shrubs accessible to aIl users, human or wildlife, of the park. Historically, numerous market gardens flourished along the Edmonton river valley including land west of Victoria Golf course until the Great Road Bridge was built in the 1950's. This new community garden will provide local, sustainable food production opportunities while celebrating Victoria Park's history as a market garden. A photo exhibit storyboard inside the new pavilion will delight and inform Edmontonians of this history and its multi cultural roots. Natural insect control will be encouraged to protect the garden and gardeners health. Rather than harmful sprays and pesticides, provide bat and bird boxes and appropriate companion planting strategies.
DESCRIPTION OF THE DESIGN SOLUTION
The design of the proposed Victoria Park Pavilion is a celebration of the park's namesake and the era in which the park was conceived. Victoria Park will be celebrating its 100th Anniversary in 2012, potentially timed for grand opening. This year 20 Il marks the 100th anniversary of international Women's Day and it was a result of women's groups that the park was named after Queen Victoria. The pavilion is reminiscent of a welcoming Victorian Country Lodge, where winter visitors can warm up by the fire and summer visitors can enjoy the shade on the veranda that overlooks the garden. In honor of the parks past history as the site of a horse stables and the Loyal Edmonton Regiment Color Ceremonies, a horse and sleigh sculpture will direct visitors from the existing parking are a to the pavilion which is found nestled by the trees to the north of the skating oval. The sleigh will delight children as they imagine this mode of transportation in days past. The motif of horse and sleigh could be utilized on signposts and weathervanes, garden trellises, room signage and pavilion decor. Careful placement of the pavilion ensured that aIl existing trees are maintained and adherence to sustainable sites performance benchmarks will ensure that tree roots are protected during construction. This positioning also maintains existing vehicle access and staff parking and allows the mature trees to shade the building in summer. The only portion of the site that will be disturbed will be where the portable trailers and propane tank are to be removed. Top soil and wood from the existing steps and pathways from the trailers will be reused in the adjacent landscaping and outdoor classroom area. A specimen laurel willow tree will shade the outdoor classroom gathering area and will be nominated as an Edmonton Heritage Tree. Rainwater harvest will be utilized for adjacent garden areas. An old-fashioned hand water pump will access water from the system. A water plant display can be located in a horse trough with an integral floating solar powered fountain to prevent mosquito development. It is the intention to retain and reuse the other structures within the designated site.
The former amenity building will be renovated to become the Zamboni storage and workshops for the Edmonton Speed Skating Association (ES SA). The existing Zamboni storage can become a storage and workshop area for the community garden program upon completion of the new pavilion. The small rink side structure could be revitalized as a sheltered lap timing and photo finish view point for ESSA in the winter, and a community garden shed in the summer. In terms of phasing and funding, the renovation portion housing ESSA support space could be Phase 2 development and the upper floor then left as shell in space for future development.
Existing universal design access pathways will lead visitors from the public parking lot or River Road trails through a beautiful natural treed archway to the main entrance pergola that features rafters in the shape of super sized skate blades. The structure on the west resembles a stable while the veranda frames a Victorian country home. Pavilion entry vestibules are air locks to prevent heat loss in winter. Once inside, Queen Victoria's hearth will welcome and warm you. This fireplace will be a focal point for winter use visitors and can be enjoyed from the skate change room as well as the lobby. If desired, the ESSA training room located on the upper floor could also have a fireplace hearth and mantle where awards are proudly displayed. Life cycle costing and further energy study will determine if this feature fireplace will be a sustainable ceramic
European import from Queen Victoria's home continent or an energy efficient local pellet fuelled model. Both options will be effective radiant heat providers to these central areas of the pavilion. The shared office is conveniently located for use by both the City's pro gram team and the ESSA. The office has strategic over view of the entrances including the receiving and drop off area. Public washrooms and vending areas are centrally located. The kitchen canteen can serve customers directly into the skate change or in the summer, to the outdoor veranda and gazebo. Direct access to the kitchen canteen is also available for users of the Multi-purpose Teaching room, which itself is closest to the proposed outdoor classroom. Within the Teaching room will be the "Truth Wall" showing the straw baIe wall construction, another touchstone to the former stables situated in Victoria Park. The Ski Waxing Space and the Storage Room for cross-country skis and snow shoes are in close proximity to each other with easy access to the outdoor trails and outdoor classroom. In the warmer months, a convenient water bottle fill-up station will be much appreciated by cyclists near the bicycle racks, and reduce the amount of plastic collected on site.
The mechanical room is located on the upper level directly above the washrooms and janitor room. This central location will maximize energy efficiencies, heat recovery and exchange potential. The ESSA Training room is ab ove the skate change area, which was programmed to identical area requirements, and thus simplifies structural framing. When in use the ESSA stationary exercise bicycles generate power to run an interactive energy use display in the lobby. The training room has south views to the tree canopy and the skating oval, in addition to clerestory natural lighting from the roof light. If required for accessibility, a chair lift can be installed on the staircase. The central stairwell volume is utilized for natural cooling as will strategically placed operable windows in summer months. An integrated design approach has considered mechanical, electrical and building envelope design. Straw baIe wall construction for the north, west and east walls will increase energy efficiency from prevailing winds, while predominantly south glazing in energy efficient state of the art timber framed wall construction will maximize thermal performance, views and natural light. The roof will be framed with timber trusses, detailed to provide high thermal performance and utilizing metal or Enviroshake roof cladding. Foundations will be concrete beams on concrete piles or steel screw piles. Exterior cladding will be a combination of FSC and repurposed timbers, recycled durable composite wood balusters and possibly decking. Skate change and lobby flooring considerations are recycled rubber tire tiles as is the ecopath to the skating rink. AlI materials will be carefully selected to avoid VOC while achieving the best results for life cycle use. Victorian themed durable architectural detailing and trims will help create a timeless and cherished pavilion in harmony with history, its mature park setting and with respect for Edmonton's goal for Design Excellence.
SUMMARY OF TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE DESIGN:
The architectural and structural intent of the proposed pavilion has been described above in the design solution. The technical aspects of the design both respect Victoria Park's history and strengths, propose simple historical solutions while weaving in appropriate leading edge sustainable materials, building systems and technical solutions. Many of the proposed design elements, features, uses and artwork are intended to be low impact effective construction solutions with high impact civic attachment and sustainability. These are solutions and suggestions that will provide a framework for the Festival City of Edmonton and community partnerships to continue to build a truly greener and liveable city and support aIl that Edmonton is famous for and strives to be. Proposed mechanical and electrical systems are LEED best practices and will reflect a prudent blend off life cycle cost considerations including capital costs, utility consumption and simple straight forward systems that can be understood and operated in an efficient manner. Considerations include high efficiency heat recovery systems, reduced power consumption, individual zone control, water reducing plumbing fixtures, waterless urinals and fire separation and compartmentalization in lieu of sprinklering. Fireplace heat will be supplemented by passive in floor heating and forced draft which will average building thermal mass and yet maintain responsive temperature control. Natural daylighting will be supplemented, via daylight and occupancy sensored operation and by high performance energy efficient luminaires, including LED, pulse start metal halide, T5 and T8, and solar powered fixtures. There will be zero direct-beam illumination leaving the building site. A naturalization planting strategy will enhance surrounding plant communities and improve habitat for local wildlife increasing the natural characteristics of the park and supporting the biodiversity of the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Planting a shelter belt or windbreak will eliminate the wind tunnel effect currently created by the break in the tree line at the northwest corner of the building site and improve energy efficiency of the pavilion. Planting stepped buffers made up of low and medium native trees and shrubs strategically placed between existing trees and fields will promote a healthy ecosystem. Within the City of Champions, the goal is to surpass the criteria and expectations of the Edmonton Urban Design Awards by also addressing Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES 2009) guidelines, which are designed to complement LEED guidelines by extending the principles of sustainability from building and construction to overall site development.
FESTIVALS AND CITY CONTEXT:
In addition to the community garden and outdoor classroom suggestions, portable pumpkin and gourd barrels, similar to the existing wave petunia barrels, could be strategically placed on site at edges of open spaces in the park. These provide fast growing temporary ground coyer resulting in a fall harvest Pumpkin Festival. Excess produce can be sold to the public and donated to the Edmonton Food Bank. A winter horse drawn open sleigh ride would accompany special public events or private bookings around the grounds and potentially connect to accessible river valley destination points such as the Victoria toboggan hills, Fort Edmonton and John Janzen Nature Park. The frozen manure is gathered for use in the community garden. In the summer, a similar event could take place with a horse drawn surrey. With its diverse public usage, Victoria Park has the potential for many interconnecting partnerships in addition to the Speed Skating Association, including other sports and recreational groups, picnickers, family gatherings, natural history focused groups, nature appreciation clubs, gardeners guilds, art guilds, history clubs, food cooperatives, craft guilds, photography clubs, educational and research projects at all levels of schooling.
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