April 28, 2005
by Canadian Architect
SPACEAGENCY invited architects, artists, designers and design students to submit innovative design proposals to rethink an existing space in Vancouver the alleyways in Gastown. The alleys can be considered as a new frontier for occupation with the potential to transform our consideration of the urban fabric. Balloon Caught, a design of large white balloons by Satoshi Matsuoka and Yuki Tamura was awarded first prize. The jury felt that the scheme with overscaled balloons caught between the alley’s buildings was the most inviting response for public interaction with the site. The strength of the design was its combination of the festive association with balloons to animate the space and the seduction of giant translucent orbs squeezed to heighten the spatial experience of the tight alleyways.
Along with a $2,500 prize donated by the Salient Group, Matsuoka and Tamura will have their work constructed in Gastown for a three-day series of events this summer. The Tokyo designers were one of five entries from Japan and one of 38 entries from architects, artists and designers representing five countries from Santiago, Chile to Moscow, Idaho in the US. Two $500 awards of excellence went to Valerio Ferrari of Paris’s VMCF Atelier and Toronto landscape architects Netami Stuart and Jane Hutton.
The jury members were Patricia Patkau of Patkau Architects; Peter Cardew of Cardew Architects; Lisa Rochon, architecture critic at The Globe and Mail; An Te Liu, Director of the University of Toronto School of Architecture; and Cameron Sinclair, Director of Architecture for Humanity.
All of the entries will be on display at BCIT from August 28-30. The intention of the events is to bring everyone in the neighbourhood together and to make the public discover the potential of Gastown’s alleys as urban spaces. For the series of events in August we will be working together with many different groups including the Portland Hotel Society, Archus (UBC School of Architecture’s Student Society), the Salient Group, sugar and sugar and more.
For more information, please visit www.spaceagency.ca