Of the thesis entitled: 53 North: Tactical Infrastructure in Edmonton
Edmonton, Alberta has followed the typical North American pattern of growth, replicating the urban and architectural designs established further south. Long, straight city streets and a proliferation of voids within the downtown urban fabric are characteristic of many American cities, but when this condition is replicated in the far north, the negative aspects of the winter season are amplified as arctic winds sweep through the streets and open spaces. As urban design has failed to account for the winter conditions, architecture has overcompensated in its response. Mechanical climate control is overly relied upon creating sharply delineated areas between over-protection and total exposure, creating harsh transitions for the citizens as they move through built and unbuilt environments. The resulting effect on society is the worsening of an already negative perception of winter fostering a culture of avoidance, but as the urban design has made winter life more difficult the voids it has produced can also provide the spaces in which winter life can be embraced. For Edmonton to become a healthy “Winter City” it must attempt new approaches in urban and architectural design to resolve both its lifeless downtown core and the societal rejection of winter.
This thesis explores creating a new design tool whereby the intrinsic values of snow can be utilized to create winter public spaces to temporarily occupy the urban void. A new structure is proposed where City groups will act as coordinators sanctioning land parcels for urban interventions using the snow on each site and that cleared by the municipal workers, sculpted into basic forms. When used in combination, the forms create protective, desirable micro-climates which inject program and activity into the formerly vacant lots, introducing positive winter activity into the realm of daily life in Edmonton. The iterations in form serve a dual purpose by acting as a testing grounds, discovering new urban and architectural design strategies through experimentation and observation, informing future designs within the city.
The examining committee is as follows:
Rick Andrighetti, University of Waterloo
Adrian Blackwell, University of Waterloo
Jane Hutton, University of Waterloo
Helena Grdadolnik, WORKSHOP Architecture Inc
The committee has been approved as authorized by the Graduate Studies Committee.
The Defence Examination will take place:
Wednesday July 19, 2017
BRIDGE Centre for Architecture + Design
A copy of the thesis is available for perusal in ARC 2106A.