BCP Competition Winner: CANOPY PARK
Winners of the Brunswick-College Parkette Design Competition
Neighbourhood First Choice:
Photo: HVRA Past Chair Gus Sinclair presents award to
(L) Mladen Pejic and (R) Drew Adams, for Canopy Park
Drew Adams and Mladen Pejic
University of Toronto, Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design
See complete submission here (pdf)
The proposal is for a simple, elegant gesture which reinforces the natural axis of the park, terminating on the historic, St Stephen’s-In-The-Fields Anglican Church, while creating a distinction between an upper path and a sunken sitting area.
This simple parkspace creates a respite from the bustling city. The undulating canopy form provides colonnade-like characteristics and a sheltered siting area. Perennial plantings have been identified for their low-maintenance and drought resistance as well as calming, floral qualities. The softness of the these native wildflowers contrasts the hard edges of the canopy and planting walls. The addition of Trembling Aspens provides an ambient white noise, akin to that of a water feature, with leaves that rustle in the softess of breeze.
2nd choice of
The canopy structure could be a very positive element; should be flatter to help ensure a successful “Green Roof”.
Well detailed with an excellent and strong concept, with good pedestrian flow, interesting canopy structure and successful patio seating area.
Stormwater concept is progressive.
This revitalized parkspace aims to announce and give identity to a vibrant and, at times, overshadowed neighbourhood while overcoming the particularly challenging site conditions and providing a realizable vision for the space.
Competition Coordinators' summary notes
Extremely popular – maybe the most popular – with visitors to the display who love its green roof canopy and its underground “silva cells” which guarantee a water supply to its vegetation in times of drought. The greenness of Canopy Park is a huge draw for local residents who love all things green but it does pose problems:
The green roof, planted with drought-resistant sedums may pose water and dirt-shedding problems and it will need at least some maintenance – which Parks may not be able to provide (or encourage, by others, on a canopy built on city property.) The abundant native wild flower plantings featured in the design are also impractical, in this intensely urban setting, since they will require frequent weeding and re-planting and they are liable to shed seed, which may not be welcome elsewhere. Maybe better to plant with perennial, drought-resistant grasses. Canopy Park is also favoured, orally, by some at Kensington Gardens, who urge a shaded environment for its clients. BUT not by all at KG, who point out that few of its clients use even the gardens that are located within KG property.
Canopies are not favoured by City Parks because of potential maintenance and snow-shedding problems and because they encourage sleeping over by vagrants. For these reasons, Parks is unlikely to allow a canopy over its property (as featured in Canopy Park) however it cannot prevent a canopy being erected over Kensington Health Centre property – where it might be attached to the KHC building.
The wooden benches under the canopy are also problematic in that they have no dividers to prevent their being slept upon and they have unbroken edges which would encourage skateboarding.
The engraved “Harbord Village Parkette” in large letters on the low concrete wall which encloses the flower bed beside the canopy was a hit with some visitors. Any chosen name could be used if this idea is adopted