UOM_visionary (re)generation

International Competition -- HONOURABLE MENTION --
 
Urban re-genereration of the University of Manitoba’s Fort Garry campus
EXPLANATORY REPORT ON THE DESIGN CONCEPT.
 
Nowadays we live in a permanent unsettled environment. The flexibility and indeterminacy of the future has become part of our way of living. The solid modernity is being replaced by the liquid modernity.[1] Within this context and in reference to the traditional planning that orders the future, which should be today the tools to design a city?
 
Opposite to the academic tools based on the lining up of the streets, the height of the cornices, the relation between the typologies and the urban morphology, we propose a city not based solely on formal or morphological parameters, but on temporal parameters: a city that anticipates the future.
 
Our proposal for the area of Fort Garry Campus evolves with time. It is not solid but liquid. Time has always been the construction material of the remarkable cities. In fact, the bases of this competition show a great concern with the future and with a system that allows a flexible construction program based on phases.
 
The amazing setting of Fort Garry Camus is a great opportunity itself to develop this approach. A flexible city means an adaptable city, but not only with the city users but mostly with the built environment and the landscape. An environmentally friendly city that coexists and lives closed to nature; a city that searches the most efficient direction to reduce energy consumption and optimize the pedestrian’s zones, encouraging public transportation against the use of private vehicles.
 
[1] Liquid Modernity. Zygmunt Bauman.
The past. (1877-2013)
 
"Duration is the continuous progress of the past which gnaws into the future."[1]
 
Since its foundation, the University of Manitoba has maintained a strong interaction with the landscape. On the one hand the construction of Administration Building set up an axis through the land that conditioned all the future growth of the University, and on the other hand the agriculture research has defined a close system between the crops and the built environment.
 
[1] BERGSON, Henri. Creative Evolution. (Chapter I. The Evolution of Life).
 
The UOM is surrounded by the natural habitat of the Red River and it is located in a meander that could become a future oxbow lake (now impossible due to the University). The water, the floods, the riverbank are some of the most important landscape elements of the site. Along with the river, the prairie is the other important landscape structure of the site.
During the 1960’s the historical axis become stronger due to the construction of the University Center. In this way the relation with the original Administration building will be enhanced. The construction of the Campus Energy Plant and its continuous transformation and extension is one of the most important building elements of the Core Campus. At present the energy plant is supplied only by gas and diesel. It does not use any type of renewable energy at all. We believe that a sustainable proposal needs to consider this in order to improve it.
The Red River, the prairie, the crops, the historical axis, the energy plant are some of the elements that will structure our proposal. We consider the past like an active structure that can be reinterpreted.
The future. (2013-2026-…)
"...as we grow older, our future grows smaller and our past larger."[1]
 
This competition is heading Fort Garry Campus to a huge transformation making the 135 years old university young. Now the past is large but the UOM future is even larger.
 
The historical axis together with a new perpendicular one: the energy axis will become the main structural elements of Fort Garry Campus.
 
The deep ties of the historical axis with the landscape will be reinterpreted like an opportunity to create a new topography that will enhance the sense of community. Along the Smart Park the historical axis becomes a potential public realm. The new topography structures the future growth of the smart park buildings together with the existing ones.
 
From the primary community gardens this new topography transforms gradually in a new public realm to enhance the sense of community. The new BRT Lane together with the active transportation system and the Fort Garry Campus Magnets will help reducing the use of private car. In this way the present parking areas will be lowered gradually.
 
[1] BERGSON, Henri.
The new UOM historical entrance.
The new UOM historical entrance extends this original axis but with a new interaction with the land. The landscape becomes a new community space that can shelter different programs like parking, transit station, commercial and community gardens. With regards to Pembina Highway contact the UOM entrance elevates from the ground and becomes a new sign along the Highway. In this way the new UOM historical entrance transforms the rigidity of the original axis.
The area of Fort Garry Campus is a multiple and complex setting. It is made up of very different precincts (Southwood, Core Campus, Smart Park, Sport Park and Community Gardens). Our first aim was to find a transport system able to connect these diverse areas and so create a new city free of cars. For such purpose we propose a BRT system together with a bus interior circle lane.
The educational axis is set up in order to promote educational awareness. It is a mobile and flexible system that exhibits the work and the evolution of the University of Manitoba. This educational system is oriented to be a community space between the researchers, the students, the elder people, the indigenous and the public. The mobile lecture theaters can be arranged in different positions depending on the requirements of the exhibition like the indigenous history, the student's work or the actual state of Fort Garry Campus project.
The new energy axis is a multiple system that will connect Southwood with the Core Campus. At the same time it will become a new potential public realm due to the future Campus and Southwood energy Cathedrals.
All the Fort Garry Campus areas will be within walking distances from the bus stops. Most areas will be less than 300 meters from a station. But these bus stops have been conceived not only like a transportation node but like Magnets. [1]
The Magnets are urban seeds oriented to the future. A city that anticipates the future is a city that it is never finished. It is in permanent evolution. Each state or phase is a city by itself. It does not require anything from the future but at the same time it can be adapted to the future.
 
[1] Magnet is the name of a project designed by Cedric Price in 1995.
From the Magnets a polycentric structure made up of urban seeds is developed. The distance between these urban seeds is approximately 125 meters. Every seed is a hybrid structure compounded of strong public realm, housing of different density, parking, commercial and community services. The urban seeds evolve and change over time.
The urban seeds, like great squares, covered streets are pedestrian connection's nodes that promote the public realm. They are vibrant places where the community life of the city happens. They are permeable to the environment and interact with it. The parking is located on the basement clearing that way the car from the ground floor. Therefore, the basement is designed like a small interchange system for both residents and visitors.
The urban seeds grow and adapt to the clearing of the forest. They are the negative figure of the clearings. Their shape and position is demarcated by the limit of the trees. Thus, the clearing is defined like a new urban parameter being the maximum limit of occupation and what we call movement areas.
Within the movement areas the building is located based not only on the best solar orientation that allows taking advantage of the sun exposure but also based on avoiding the shade of the surrounding building.
The Magnets are made up of two different main parts, set up by many components: the Public Realm and the Private Housing.
Magnet growth _ phase 1
Magnet growth _ phase 2
Magnet growth _ phase 3
Magnet growth _ phase 4 _ densification
The Magnet structure is not an isotropic system. It deforms depending on the exterior limits (Pembina border, River border, Campus border, Stadium border, Housing hospital border, and low-rise border) and interior limits (the Community streets and the BRT streets).
 
There are two main street types: the community streets and the BRT streets. The first one is the private car road surrounded by the Low-Rise-High-Density Housing (LRHD) and the second one is the BRT Lane structured by the Green-Park-Houses.
The pedestrian routes and the slow city.
Opposed to the road and the vehicles, the path is everyday different: the ground erosion, the light, the clouds, the snow, the prairie, the birds or the deer. The path is the destination by itself, without any finish line. It is the landscape of sounds along the day, the smells, the touch of the leaves and of course the human encounter. But the true landscape is the silence, without any activated sense, just you with yourself.
In this way we have reduced to the minimum the amount of roads in Southwood precinct to give advantage to the pedestrian routes within a future slow city.
DESIGN TEAM:
Víctor Jiménez Jiménez / Teresa del Prado Palencia / Irene Braojos Entrena / Pablo Magán Uceda /
Inés Espigares Vazquez / Claudia Cerrada Isact / Syrine Karoui
 
MODEL:
Macgil
 
LANDSCAPE:
Miguel Pérez Carballo
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