From the COLDSCAPES design competition earlier this year, an exhibition of the winning designs is currently on display hosted by the Kent State University Cleveland Urban Design Collaborative — a timely event as the weather grows colder in the U.S.
Last Friday's exhibition opening also celebrated the book launch of "COLDSCAPES: Design Ideas for Winter Cities", the sixth volume in CUDC’s Urban Infill Book Series. The COLDSCAPES exhibition will be open for one month at Star Plaza in Cleveland, Ohio.
Below are some images of the exhibition and the top three winning designs.
From the COLDSCAPES announcement:
"COLDSCAPES aimed to provoke a critical assessment of idealized representations from warmer seasons and challenge designers to engage more creatively with the unique conditions presented by winter. Submissions explored new visions and emerging possibilities for enhancing livability in cold weather cities. [...]
Over 80 registrants from around the globe participated in the 2013 COLDSCAPES Competition, providing submissions that explored a range of ideas for improving livability in cold weather cities. The esteemed jury, with backgrounds in architecture, urban planning, landscape architecture, and public art, narrowed the field to 3 winning submissions and 10 honorable mentions, which convey the most compelling visions for winter cities."
POLAR77 by Wendy Wang and Ryan Ort, Boston, USA
Project Summary: "More than 50% percent of livable space in the world has an average winter temperature below 15⁰ Celsius. Winter recreation activities and unique winter landscapes are the main attractions for people to go outdoors. In today’s current conditions, it is important to use sustainable materials wherever possible. Sustainability emphasizes the use of recycled materials, locally sourced materials, and in the landscape using native plant species. The design for POLAR77 meets all of these important factors in creating a sustainable, cold-friendly space by using shipping containers which can be recycled from the globally located seaports and native plants which will contextualize each space to each individual location."
Second Hinterlands by Noel Turgeon and Natalya Egon, Chicago, USA
Project Summary: "Those who reside in cold and snowy cities know the thrill of a winter storm and the fleeting blanket of white that comes with it. It allows for an appreciated quietness, followed by social and cultural interactions truly unique to the urban environment. Schedules interrupted and plans cancelled, time is quickly filled with spontaneous events borne out of the dramatic shift in the urban landscape. This break in routine, while inconvenient and inefficient to some, is unparalleled in its impact on city dwellers. The experience of the city is altered overnight; for a short while the city transforms from a system of streets, transportation networks, landmarks, and nodes into a landscape of concealment and exposed void, dramatically simplified yet overtly dynamic. “Second Hinterlands” proposes a defined and intentional shift in our current snow collection and clearing practices following the winter storm. Rather than the immediate clearing of the city streets, “Second Hinterlands” identifies a portion of the city that is transformed via the lack of snow removal and strategic snow relocation. Shifting territories every year, each winter brings new forms, drifts, and an entirely unique exposed landscape. Inhabitants actively engage themselves with the newly formed landscape while neighborhood boundaries dissolve as the softscape of snow meets the hardscape of the city."
The Freezeway by Matthew Gibbs, Edmonton, Canada
Project Summary: "The Freezeway’s vision is to create an iconic and vibrant city that forges its identity from embracing its climatic setting. Moreover, it aspires to create communities and a culture that longs for the winter season with excitement and anticipation.
Utilizing Edmonton’s cold climate, which is on average below freezing for 5 months a year, the Freezeway uses a climate adaptive approach to address the way we live, and the way we move in a winter city.
Celebrating the magnificence of the winter season in the urban environment, the 11km year-round greenway, combats the typical sedentary nature of the season by creating a winter skating lane that allows you to skate to work, the Oilers arena, or simply just to have fun. It is an urban design intervention that at its heart addresses the need to promote: winter programming, active lifestyles, sustainable forms of transportation, social activity, an iconic identity.
Furthermore in a changing climate, land-based skating (vs pond-based), will be more resilient since it requires far thinner ice. As soon as it’s cold enough for ice it can be up an running, creating a refreshing and warming new approach to living in a cold climate."
"14 design projects selected as winners and honorable mentions in the COLDSCAPES Competition will be on display inside the Snowball Pavilion for one month in Star Plaza.
The Snowball Pavilion is designed to accumulate snow and lit from the interior, creating a warm glow on cold winter nights."
For more info, click here.
Images courtesy of COLDSCAPES 2013.
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