Victoria Park presents an interesting set of design challenges with regards to the site characteristics and functions. The park engages a variety of participants and provides node of recreational activity within the context of the city. In developing a design response to the programmatic requirements of this pavilion, we also viewed the site as a point at which various facets of urban life intersect and interact.
DESIGN PROBLEMS AND RATIONALE FOR THEIR RESOLUTION
The siting of the building within Victoria Park creates an interesting challenge in that the pavilion must relate to the skating rink, engage the road, and resolve itself with the natural beauty of the site. In addressing these elements, we felt that there must be a visual connection to the paths people would be taking on the site: approaching by car, foot, or bicycle, and create an engaging transition to visitors' park activity - in particular speed skating and other winter sports. We also believed that the pavilion should not disturb the plant life of the site unnecessarily, and furthermore should engage these elements.
Program and Phasing
In this design, the program has been organized by both phasing and function into three modules. The order of construction goes from the entrance back (from West to East). This improves constructability and at the same time places the most public space at the front (change area, restrooms), then transitions so that semi-public is in the middle module (multipurpose room, future concession stand), and club space for the speed skaters is at the rear (training room, Zamboni storage).
Circulation within the Program
The secondary axis of the pavilion is defined by a main hallway intersecting the three program modules at an angle. The circulation axis runs from East to West in order to engage the path of the sun. As the program shifts from public to private, the hall tapers and compresses to reflect those functions along its axis. This tapering also mimics the focused sightline of the speed skater's field of vision. Entering the building one is in a space of activity and openness, then as one continues along the corridor the space compresses, focusing attention on the destination.
Public / Private Use
The issue of dividing public and private space is addressed by locating the public programming at the front, so that it is the most easily accessed by casual park users, and simultaneously providing the Edmonton Speed Skating Association with a zone of the building specifically for their use.
Relationship to the Environment
Where is the relationship of building to nature more essential than when building on urban green space? We regarded the relationship of this pavilion to nature as the interaction of two systems: the metabolism of the pavilion, and the existing of the site.
One of the driving factors in this design was visual connection. In other words, we wanted to create moments in the space that prompt consideration of the relationship of building to site, interior to exterior, earth to sky. The skylights in particular have an important function in addition to providing natural light and ventilation. They offset the structure of the building by providing an airy contrast to the solid, heavy aesthetic of the structure, particularly the roof. The combined effect is a suggestion that the earth has opened up to create a habitable, thickened precipice where earth and sky meet. The pavilion, in its essence, inhabits the "in between space" where ground and air intersect - and the louvers create those moments of intersection.
The overarching principle of our sustainability techniques for the pavilion is to conceive of the building as a metabolizing body. The 'body of the building' should be designed to metabolize efficiently and interact responsibly with its surroundings. Moreover, it acts as a hybrid of the natural and the man-made. Life a living thing, the building's body has a beginning and an end, and these things must also be considered in terms of the sources and eventual destination of materials before and after the building life. This concept has manifested itself in all major design decisions, including the use of recycled materials, the incorporation of earth and plant life into the design, the heating, cooling, and ventilation of the pavilion, and its visual connection to the site.
Two large panels at the entrance of the building have been incorporated as wall space for public art. The artwork to go here could be sculptural or multimedia, preferably evoking the athletic spirit of the park, or further exploring "forces" and "intersection" themes explored in the pavilion design.
(Competitor's text excerpt)
11 scanned / 10 viewable
- Presentation Panel
- Presentation Panel
- Site Plan