Yves Poitras named 2014 Michael Evamy Scholarship winner

Captivated by the idea of reimagining derelict residual public spaces between structures, the selection committee of the Michael Evamy Scholarship recently awarded Yves Poitras from the University of Calgary with the $5,000 prize for 2014.

“The public realm and new ways of thinking about the public realm is an important topic and one that was important to Michael Evamy,” said Donna Clare, a member of the selection committee. “The topic is as relevant today as it was when Michael was in practice.”

Yves’ submission highlights the fact that underground and elevated pedestrian systems have swept the population away, “removing the vestige of public life from the streets.” His study focuses on new opportunities within growing cities to reinvent outdoor spaces – drawing out and reintegrating the public within them. This includes the use of off-grade public spaces, rooftop plazas, and vertically integrated communities.

“Expanding the public realm, engaging both public and private development, is important to the health and future of our cities and communities,” adds Donna. “Yves’ desire to explore and compare historic and emergent conditions of the public realm is well considered. The places he has chosen to study offer a broad range of conditions and experiences. The selection committee looks forward to his findings.”

Yves’ research focuses on cities such as San Francisco, Barcelona, Paris and Copenhagen, which have successfully incorporated residual spaces into the public realm. The selection committee described Yves’ submission as clear and precise, and noted the importance of selecting a winner with an achievable project. Notable mention was also given to Liora Belford for her submission on sound architecture entitled Image Coming Soon #1.

DIALOG® established the Michael Evamy Scholarship Foundation to honour the memory of Michael Evamy, a partner instrumental in building its integrated practice from 1966 to 1993. The award provides financial assistance to the selected Canadian student attending a Canadian School of Architecture in the year prior to his or her final year of study, to undertake a specific research project based on a field of study of interest to him or her. The intent of the study is to enrich and advance the candidate’s personal and professional experience and knowledge on a topic relevant to the practice of Architecture.

The value of the award is $5,000. A secondary amount up to $3,000 is available for project-related expenses, including travel expenses, during the course of the investigation.