A. DESIGN PROBLEMS THAT HAVE BEEN ADDRESSED
The following are the main problems that have been addressed through the design of the park pavilion.
Resolutions to these problems can be found in sections B to D below:
1. Addressing year-round programming needs:
a) For the City's site partner, the Edmonton Speed Skating Association (ESSA), both their current and projected needs
b) For all park users (casual visitors, picnickers, toboganners, golfers, etc.)
c) Connections between pavilion and other park areas (views and way-finding)
2. Meeting City of Edmonton's by-laws and policy requirements:
a) Environmental sustainability and LEED Silver rating with high standard for daylighting and natural ventilation as per the City's Ecovision
b) Checklist for Accessibility and Universal Design
c) Edmonton Design Committee Principles
d) River Valley by-laws
3. Creating a flexible structure:
a) For minimal disruption if phased construction or future changes are required
b) To accommodate seasonal, day/night uses and various weather conditions
4. Reinforcing a community identity or 'Place-making':
a) Public art locations integral to design and use of the building (visual arts, performing arts and other arts disciplines)
b) Creating a primary amenity for Victoria Park that is a citywide destination
c) Reintroducing native species and biodiversity from the area's natural history
B. RATIONALE FOR THE RESOLUTION OF THE DESIGN PROBLEMS
The underlying principle of the park pavilion's design is to organize the plan, structure and landscaping so that the building can meet a wide range of weather conditions and programmatic uses in a simple way. The following are the basic elements of the design with a rationale for the resolution of the design problems: Plan: maximizes access to the skating oval and rationalizes the variety of uses
Design problems addressed: 1.a,b,c, 2.a,b,c, 3.a,b
The decision on the plan's orientation and its long and narrow shape were made to maximize view and access to the speed skating oval on the south-side (for skating during the winter and for passive recreation the rest of the year). The mass/siting of the building also reinforce the natural wind protection provided by trees on the other three sides of the oval and maximize the building's southern exposure to the sun in the spring, winter and autumn. The roof overhang protects the building from thermal gain from the summer sun.
The short axis of the plan is broken by The Passage to create a clear main entrance to the building from all directions: the parking lot to the west, the park trails to the east and the oval to the south. The glazed south façade opens to provide a direct connection into the oval area. The Passage can be left open in the summer (remainder of building can be secured independently). It is an unheated space in the winter, but acts as a wind-break and buffer for the heated interior spaces. The plan organizes access to most rooms directly from the two main areas (the Passage and the Skate change/Covered picnic area) without the use of corridors. The office/washroom/café block is accessible directly from the outside, giving these spaces the option of remaining open when the remainder of the building is locked. Minimized circulation space helps reduce the gross building area, while maintaining net internal areas prescribed by the programme, resulting in cost savings for the initial construction and the building's long-term operations. The adjacencies of the various program spaces were developed to allow the building to comfortably meet the variety of visitors' needs. For example, to access the ski-waxing facility, cross-country skiers can avoid passing through the busier portion of the building if they use the south entrance doors, east of the Skate change. The plan layout also rationalizes public, semi-public and staff/private areas and is designed so that various elements of the building can be accessed separately, this could help to increase the building's revenue potential. For example, if the building is rented for a late night event or is used outside of typical park hours by ESSA, the external washroom, kitchen/café doors and Passage doors can be locked, but still remain open for access from inside the building.
The plan locates all the possible second-phase ESSA facilities together on the east-side of the plan. If the pavilion is built in phases, later construction will not disrupt the pavilions' use. If the second-phase is not built for some time, the space allocated can provide further covered exterior space for passive use in the interim.
Roof structure: creates flexibility and protects spaces below from natural elements
Design problems addressed: 1.a,b, 2.a,c, 3.a,b
A long, flat roof stretches across the site supported by a simple grid of columns. Internal and external partitions are non-load bearing, which for a flexible distribution of the internal spaces below. For example, portions of the exterior wall can be completed removed in warmer months (like the Passage and Covered Picnic area) and the wall materials can be light. With the entire roof structure constructed during the first phase, second-phase construction is simplified, and less disruptive. The roof structure also allows changes to the layout in the future if the needs for the pavilion change over time. With the large roof overhang, interior and exterior spaces below are protected from rain and snow throughout the year. The overhang is designed to allow the low winter and spring sun to penetrate the building, but it will also shade the south-facing rooms from the midday summer sun. The large, flat roof structure has the added benefit of being easy to occupy and use as a green roof.
Roofscape: gives view, recreates historic grasslands and increases biodiversity
Design problems addressed: 1.b,c, 2.a,c,d, 3.b, 4.a,b,c
The topography of the site has been graded to allow access to the planted roofscape. Half of the roofscape consists of native planting; the other half a continuous wood deck. The planted areas will recreate a Fescue Grassland/Aspen Parkland, of which as less than 5% of this original landscape remains in the Edmonton region. Native plants will be selected for year-round colour, texture and scent, including some edible berries and herbs (e.g. Serviceberries) to augment visitors' picnics. The detailed planting designs could be created in partnership with an interested local group like the Edmonton Naturalization Group or through a Naturescape project (an initiative of the City of Edmonton and the city's school boards) with a local school. The grassland will contribute to people's appreciation of their local ecology, increase biodiversity (including attracting butterflies and birds), and reduce the need for watering, pesticide use and stormwater management. The mass of the berm and the greenroof will help to slow down heat transfer between exterior and interior spaces. On the roof, people will have views across the park, to the river, the University and to the downtown Edmonton skyline. This will also provide a good vantage point for viewing the skating oval on warmer winter days (on colder days, the skate change area provides a sheltered viewing space). In spring, summer and autumn, the roof will dry up faster than the fields after a rainstorm, thus making it a better option for a picnic when the sun comes out than the surrounding ground.
Design of openings (doors and windows): maximizes daylight and natural ventilation
Design problems addressed: 1.a,b, 2.a,b,c, 3.b
The pavilion's doors and windows are designed to bring natural light into every part of the building. For example, the clerestory windows that "'pop-up" above the roofline bring light into the centre of the pavilion. Also, the doors and windows are designed so that the building can passively adapt to seasonal conditions in simple ways. In the summer the large doors in The Passage and Skate Change/Covered picnic area can be secured in the open position to let air through the building. Further natural ventilation can be achieved through a 'stack effect' created when the clerestory windows above are opened. During the winter, the large Passage doors and three of the four doors in each of bays in the Skate change area remain closed to minimize direct drafts in these enclosed, but unheated/low-heated areas. With the low angle of the sun at this time of year and the glazed southern exposure, the Skate change area will benefit from passive-heating on sunny winter days.
Public Art: surprises and delights in an unexpected setting (public washrooms)
Design problems addressed: 2.c, 4.a,b See further info in Section C below.
C. DESCRIPTION OF THE DESIGN SOLUTION
The fundamental concept for the design of the pavilion is a flexible, building with a variety of spaces that can meet a range of user needs and can respond passively to environmental conditions: times of day, weather and seasons, in a simple and effective manner. The pavilion will be a hub of activity within Victoria Park, but its variety of spaces (inside, outside, over and under) will include spaces for large gatherings and individual quiet contemplation. The pavilion is a long and narrow one-storey steel structure. It has large glazed openings that allow spaces to transform from interior to exterior depending on use and seasons. A small berm on the east-side of the pavilion allows people to climb onto the building's prominent roof. The roof has large overhangs and a high parapet that becomes a handrail for the inhabited roofscape. The main storey's clerestory windows pop-up through the roof and become lounge chairs clad in the same wood-decking that is used on the ground and up the railings. The regularity of the hard surface on the roof is broken by large expanses of native plantings that recreate the region's historic fescue grasslands. The grasses, flowers and fruit are selected to enliven the space with colour, texture and scent year-round and to attract butterflies, birds and people.
There is a long tradition of messages in public washrooms with grafitti and, more recently, advertising. With this in mind, and as the washrooms will be one of the pavilion's heaviest used areas year-round by all the groups, we propose this as the site for a public art commission. This unexpected setting will challenge artists to make a site-specific response; the experience conceived by the artist can be either an individual experience (in the stall) or a collective one (in the main washroom space). There is a lot of potential for artist proposals from a range of artforms, but this commission would be especially suited to either:
- Text-based art (poetry, story-telling, visual art) in a variety of media: neon/illuminated signs, video/new media (using advertising video screen technology in stalls), painting, frits or etching onto stalls, mirror or walls; or
- A fieldwork across the space (e.g. colour-based work using the toilet partitions, mural and/or mosaic on the ground and walls).
Furthermore, the second-storey roofscape and/or the Covered Picnic area are easily adapted to become a stage for simple outdoor performances, with the audience seated in fold-out chairs or picnic blankets on the gentle slope of the natural amphitheatre towards the oval area.
D. SUMMARY OF TECHNICAL ASPECTS OF THE DESIGN SOLUTION
The following is a summary of some of the main technical aspects of the design solution:
STRUCTURE AND BUILDING MATERIALS
The proposal begins by manipulating the ground plane for several advantages: to facilitate access to the planted roofscape, to create dramatic relationship to speed skating oval. The pavilion structure is a straightforward steel frame supporting the large platform roof. An external envelope of metal cladding and translucent, insulated, polycarbonate panels provides a simple robust skin that can be opened and closed to facilitate passive heating and cooling. Internal finishes are equally simple and robust, but internal spaces are animated by the play of ample natural light. The external metal cladding wraps under the parapet fascia and extends into the continuous ceiling plane, floating above the internal partitions. The office/washroom/kitchen block, as the primary point of arrival to the pavilion, is given a distinct identity. Clad in horizontal wood siding, it emerges from beneath the primary roof, and its form is gently curved to both guide users through The Passage and direct users to washroom entrances.
HEATING AND COOLING
The building services strategy is addressed by a passive heating/cooling approach and supplemented by a horizontal ground source heat pump (particularly well suited to site conditions and building use pattern). Though intended for year-round use, the pavilion is seen as a building that can operate as a partially conditioned space. The Passage and Skate Change areas operate as large, semi-conditioned vestibules for the fully-conditioned spaces that adjoin them. Heating zones within the building correspond to anticipated use patterns and provide heating only where/when needed. It is not anticipated that mechanical cooling would be required.
Passive heating and cooling are provided by:
- Building orientation (southern exposure with roof overhang to mitigate summer heat gain)
- Green roof to minimize heat gain, provide thermal mass and evaporative cooling
- Operable facades and "pop-up" windows and louvres utilize stack effect to naturally ventilate LEED rating of Gold or Silver
Our team is lead by an architect with seven years of experience as a LEED Accredited Professional.
We have reviewed the design and determined that the design solution can achieve from 52 to 64 points, subject to further dialogue with building users/operators. This range means that the building will comfortably achieve a LEED Silver rating (50-59 points), but that it may be able to achieve a standard of LEED Gold (60-79 points). See the checklist below which demonstrates the possible points. Other points may be possible based on further information about the site and local conditions.
(Competitor's text excerpt)
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- Presentation Panel
- Presentation Panel
- Site Plan