February 27, 2016
by Elsa Lam
Yves Patrick Poitras is the winner of this year’s Canada Council Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners.
The Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners ($34,000) is awarded to a recent graduate of a Canadian school of architecture who demonstrates exceptional potential in contemporary architectural design.
Yves Patrick Poitras, who studied at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design, won this year’s Prix de Rome for his proposal to explore how hybrid forms of architecture (blending offices, homes, entertainment, etc.) can make communities stronger and more efficient. Yves will visit Berlin and Hong Kong, cities that have successfully re-purposed their urban fabric by creating unique hybrid spaces.
Poitras’ proposal explains: “Calgary, like many Canadian cities, is a young city that has experienced new development. However, it has grown in size instead of density, leading to the development of separate neighborhoods where people live, work, and are entertained. As a result, almost no building or neighborhood is ever fully occupied at all hours of the day. The downtown core lies empty in the evenings and weekends while suburban neighborhoods are vacant in the mornings and afternoons. This has a tremendous consequence on energy use and street life.”
“In Hong Kong and Berlin, high density and re-appropriation of buildings for different uses has created urban fabrics that are in their whole, mixed use entities. In many instances, similar elements common to disparate building types have been aggregated to create hybrid building typologies. Lessons learnt from visiting and studying these examples may help us move away from developing cities as a series of isolated entities. Cities and buildings should instead be seen as a sum of parts that, when grafted together, can result in shared efficiencies and make our neighborhoods more dynamic at all hours of the day.”