June 30, 2007
by Canadian Architect
Designing Gould Street is an open, international student design competition to propose an innovative, imaginative series of spaces that will transform the existing Gould Street corridor of Ryerson University in Toronto, Canada into a pedestrianized environment. The competition is held in conjunction with the 8th annual international pedestrian conference, Walk21 Toronto 2007: Putting Pedestrians First. The conference is co-hosted this year by the City of Toronto and Green Communities Canada and will run from October 1-4, 2007.
For the last two years, there has been much discussion about how Gould Street should be rethought to make it a safer and more student-friendly. In fact, there has been an active voice asking for a pedestrian-plan for Gould Street in the student papers for over a decade. The time is right to give Gould Street serious considerationthe Ryerson Master Plan (by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, Daoust Lestage Inc, Greenberg Consultants Inc., and IBI Group) is currently being put together: for more information, please visit: www.ryerson.ca/about/masterplan/mp_team.html.
This ideas competition will serve to add to the energy growing around the campus. The reconsideration of how a North American urban street encourages more pedestrian-focused activity is part of the wider movement of pedestrianizing roads and streets, not only in North America but in the rest of the world.
The three-block stretch of Gould Street running east/west from Yonge Street to Mutual Street will be the focus of the design competition. Gould Street is a city-owned right-of-way that has a typical width of 90 feet and a relatively flat surface. It is intersected at six points along its length: OKeefe Lane, Victoria Street, Bond Street, Church Street, Dalhousie Street, and Mutual Street.
The Gould Street corridor is anchored to the west by Yonge Street, an active commercial strip that is well used by both pedestrians and vehicles. On the southeast corner of Yonge and Gould there is an opportunity to connect to the northern portion of the existing TTC (Toronto Transit Commission) Dundas subway station underground platform. It is possible to introduce a surface-level access point that would open up from a 4-storey commercial structure onto the south side of Gould Street. A new mixed-use developmentToronto Life Square (formerly known as the Metropolis)is being completed that will have its main loading bay entry located on the south side of Gould Street and OKeefe Lane. The main Ryerson University library is across the street from this development.
Ryerson Universitys early buildings front Gould Street; the main quadrangle is sited on axis along the north side of Gould, with the monumental statue of Egerton Ryerson located at the intersection of Bond Street with Gould. To the south are Lake Devo (formerly called Devonian Square) and the recently completed G. Raymond Chang School of Continuing Education building. Gould Streets Lake Devo and Victoria Street, as well as portions of Gould and Bond Street are remnants of the early landscaping design at Ryerson University from 1977.
Opposite the quadrangle to the south is the Image Arts Building, soon to include the Black Star Historical Black & White Photography Collection and Mira Godard Study Centre renovation/addition expected completion for 2008. Immediately east is the Student Centre and Oakham House, a converted Victorian home used for conferences and meetings. Crossing Church Street is the Rogers Communications Centre to the north and the Engineering and Computer Science Building to the south. Rounding out the end of Gould and Mutual Street is a large concrete mixed-use residential/commercial Merchandise Loft building (155 Dalhousie Street) to the south, with the International Living Learning Centre (133 Mutual Street), a student residence/hotel/hospitality-training centre located at the eastern end of Gould.
Students (individually or in groups) are being asked to design Gould Street as an urban and campus space serving the needs of the communities who use this space for daily movement and special events. The competition is intended to produce visionary ideas for the transformation of streets that respond/react to the Toronto Official Plan and the Ryerson University Master Plan (2007).
The challenge is to provide conceptual designs for a strong pedestrian-focused street that enhances the existing buildings and spaces along the street. The existing landscaping and city standards are to be reimagined with your proposal, suggesting how Ryerson and the city of Toronto may change more of its streets based on your ideas. Your design should be inclusive of all users for both the road and sidewalk (both vehicular, human-powered) and should propose, where appropriate, traffic-calming measures or “shared streets concepts” that will benefit all students of Ryerson, visitors and residents of the city of Toronto for years to come.
The competition proposal is open and one-staged. The submission should:
clearly indicate an original vision for the Gould Street corridor
identify key street-closures/traffic-calming areas and relates these design moves to the main traffic/use zones
propose potential lighting and surfacing materials, including possible street-furniture, seasonal and temporary uses for the street
increase the uses and functionality of the street for all users with innovative spaces/places for diverse programs
take advantage of sustainable planting and landscaping in an urban environment
show an appropriate flow of movement of pedestrians and vehicles that doesnt adversely affect the function of the city emergency vehicles (i.e., bollards that are quickly removable in case of emergency), commercial properties loading requirements, and the continuous, easy flow of Ryerson students, staff, and visitors across Gould Street
recognize the growing 24-hour nature of the area which includes a vibrant night-school (one of the largest distance education programs in Canada) and growing residential population making use of the amenities.
The competition launches on July 1, 2007, with the submission deadline set for September 17, 2007.
Any individual or group who are students and registered in an academic institution may enter the Designing Gould Street competition. This is an international competition open to all countries, and to all students in full-time design programs. Winning entrants will be contacted prior to the Walk21 Toronto 20007 Conference.
The top three winning entries will be announced during the conference. The first-place winner will be contacted and will be asked to be present during the Announcement of the Winning Submission (October 02, 2007). Winners may be asked to provide proof of student affiliation. There are no registration fees for this competition.
Students may enter their boards as part of a studio entry (creative work produced for a credit course). Students who are directly employed, partners, and professional associates or related to any of the jury members are enjoined from participating in this competition. If it is determined that any entrant is in any material way related to a juror, that students project will be disqualified.
The jury is comprised of: Daniel Egan, Manager, Pedestrian and Cycling Infrastructure Unit, City of Toronto; Thomas Kong, Assistant Professor of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (2006), School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Anders Nereim, Associate Professor and Chair of Architecture, Interior Architecture, and Designed Objects (1989), School of the Art Institute of Chicago; Manuel Ravinsky of Ryerson University; and a City of Toronto Urban Designer/Planner yet to be determined.
The jury, by a majority vote, will determine the first, second, and third place winners of the competition. If a jury member cannot be at the judging, a replacement will be found. The three honourable mentions will also be determined by a majority vote. The selection criterion cov
innovative and original response to the design brief
quality and clarity of the presentation
development of a workable and memorable pedestrian-focused site response
resolution of a need for access to the street that balances the different users of Gould Street
The jury will award three cash prizes and three honourable mentions. The prizes are $5,000, $2,500, and $1,000. The top three awards and the honourable mentions will also receive a free registration to the Walk21 Toronto 2007 conference in Toronto during October 1 to 4, 2007. Honourable mentions do not include a cash prize.
For questions or further submission details, please visit www.ryerson.ca/gouldcompetition/ or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.