March 4, 2016
by Elsa Lam
The winners of Winnipeg’s 2016 Cool Gardens have been announced. Cool Gardens is a public exhibition of contemporary garden and art installations that offers a shift of sensation for the summer—cooling—as a general theme for public projects in the downtown. The exhibit aims to bring architects, designers, landscape architects, and artists together to celebrate contemporary garden culture and the local landscape. The presentation of the cutting-edge garden designs, places design culture at the centre of summer activities in Winnipeg and at the same time, offers a pleasant relief from the summer exasperations.
The winners are:
THE WHEAT LOOKOUT
by MARTA MILÀ PASCUAL + MARC TORRELLAS ARNEDO
The Wheat Lookout is a straw bale installation that celebrates the agricultural heritage of Brandon, The Wheat City. It will be located on the Assiniboine riverbank, next to the Riverbank Discovery Centre, creating a social meeting point. The meeting point is a compact element that is adjustable according to its use: landscape, social or educational. Various components: The tower, the sandbox, the terraces, and the railing, created by movable straw bales, allow users to make their own social spaces to contribute to variability and adaptability.
by MATT HAGEN + BRYDGET LEWICKI
A hidden retreat, a play-scape for passersby, simple yet intriguing, the Cool Dunes are a heat absorbing topography filled with crushed limestone hills of varying heights. It takes inspiration from the site’s existing gravel base and limited shade in the summer months. The Dunes’ undulating topography creates pockets of cool shade. The outer surface of the Dunes absorb heat from the sun, but when disturbed, cool stone from below the surface is exposed. The Dunes provoke exploration by contrasting the typical: resembling a gravel pit, but within a city environment. Throughout the summer as visitors climb, play, and experience the Cool Dunes, the landscape changes – gradually returning to a level plane before its removal.
by ‘OPEN DESIGN COLLABORATIVE’ – BRAD PICKARD + APRIL HIEBERT, VICTORIA YONG-HING and MARK BAUCHE
Big Red responds to the rich history of The Forks as a natural and cultural intersection where the Assiniboine River flows into the Red. This proposal offers Winnipeg an engaging and temporary landmark that is visible from points along the Red River, including the Esplanade Riel and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights’ Tower of Hope. The installation is an assembly of stacked red sandbags arranged to create a red ‘X’ that transforms the manicured slopes of the Red River into an active social zone. In the spirit of this historic gathering place, Big Red activates the river’s edge by creating an armature to support seating, socializing, relaxing and play. Reminiscent of the sandbagging efforts during the great Red River Floods, the build of Big Red is envisioned as a social event and community-building process in which volunteers gather to help construct the work.
2 degrees, by LADR Landscape Architects
by ‘LADR Landscape Architects’
BEV WINDJACK + RENÉE LUSSIER + CHRIS WINDJACK
2° merges sculpture and agriculture, livening Provencher Boulevard in front of La Maison des Artistes with a whimsical garden space for people to relax and daydream in. The garden recalls St. Boniface’s historic ties to the livestock industry, and symbolizes the positive steps we can take to reduce emissions and move towards a bright future. A mowed path traces a timeline from current methods, through better practices, and towards regrowth, winding its way though a pasture of clover, entering a field of flax, and ending in a shaded grove. Whimsical cow forms and black emission cubes follow the timeline, the cows becoming more ordered and the cubes shrinking as better herd and land practices lower emissions by 1/3. Black emission cubes become green vegetation cubes in the shaded grove, revealing that less land needed to produce feed crops, more gardens can be planted.
For more information and to see all of the submitted entries, visit http://www.coolgardens.ca/