Carleton Architecture Students Win Vimy Ridge Design Competition

Three Carleton University architecture students have won a national design competition for a water feature at the Vimy Foundation Centennial Park in France, commemorating the legacy of the Battle of Vimy Ridge.

Scott Normand, Kevin Complido and Brendan Dyck are master’s students in the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism. Titled The Ridge: To Venerate A Buried History, the proposed design is to be installed this summer and unveiled in the fall.

Photo courtesy of The Vimy Foundation

“We are honoured to have the fountain selected and are very excited to see it built in such a hallowed space,’’ said Normand.

Commissioned by the Vimy Foundation and the Love Family Foundation, the water feature will be a central element in Vimy Foundation Centennial Park initially designed by Ottawa landscape architect Linda Dicaire.

The battle’s anniversary is April 9 and is known as a turning point in Canadian history, where four Canadian divisions fought together for the first time. More than 10,000 were killed and wounded.

The students intended their project to be tranquil and thought-provoking, and to reinforce the dialogue of peace and remembrance.

“We came up with a rough concept very early and decided to follow through with it over the Christmas break. Our team is made up of three University of Manitoba graduates who all ended up together at Carleton for the master’s program. We were all familiar with each other’s style and work ethic and we all understood the gravity of a project like this.”

The park, designed by Canadian landscape architect Linda Dicaire, opened in 2018 and complements the Canadian National Vimy Memorial, where visitors gather to reflect upon the legacy of those who served in the First World War.

“What made The Ridge stand out from other designs was its use of echo chambers and agitators below the surface which reverberate the sound of flowing water to create a contemplative environment in the park,” said selection committee members Jon and Nancy Love.“I’m delighted to have a team from our school win this opportunity,” said Azrieli Director Jill Stoner. “Their design reflects the visceral power of water to embody elemental connections between memory and landscape.”

The Student Design Competition was open to all 2019 fourth-year undergraduate and graduate students in Canadian universities studying architecture, landscape architecture, industrial design and fine arts. The prize includes $5,000 funded by The Love Family Foundation, of Toronto.

A second team from the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism was shortlisted for a project titled Peace Through Reflection. The team includes Luke McElcheran, Felix Mayer Michelle Duong and Vedad Haghighi.