Toronto, ON, CA
Walking helps us measure ourselves against the earth. Walking connects our bodies with our imaginations. Walking allows us to understand, reveal, and form site. Walking exposes time as a marker of experience.
WALKING LINGERING WALKING is an installation that depicts and interprets our built work, experimenting with, and challenging the ways in which people perceive and move through space. We like to explore the choreography of space by creating a dialogue between architectural and landscape elements. The physical engagement of these elements initiates the revelation of site, space, history, and ecologies, enhancing community ritual and creating loci for gathering.
The film-strip-like installation choreographs the visitor’s experience of two of our projects: the Nathan Phillips Square Podium Roof Garden at Toronto City Hall and the Dublin Grounds of Remembrance in Dublin, Ohio. The journey of images unfolds within the space as a set of slow, walking sequences that include views of both the city (Toronto) and the natural landscape (Dublin). Intertwined and continuous, this visual commentary celebrates the spaces and paces between moments of punctuation, and it challenges how we depict these experiences outside of the spaces themselves. Like the depicted sites, the installation must be walked to be understood. This collective experience of walking creates common ground—a physical and intellectual platform on which to share, discover, and interact.
The Podium Roof Garden is the first transformation in the Nathan Phillips Square Revitalization project AGORA/THEATRE. This new urban garden transforms the abandoned upper-level podium into a metropolitan haven for lingering, strolling, and gathering—fulfilling the original potential of Finnish architect Viljo Revell’s iconic 1965 design. The modernist building forms, urban landscape, and Toronto skyline are revealed in a panorama along the half-kilometre journey around the Podium. The walk documents the passage of time as the shade structures mark the movement of the sun over the course of the day. The growth of the garden reflects the changing of the seasons, and will naturally blur the geometry of plantings inspired by Paul Klee’s Polyphony into a more Fauvist set of drifts.
The Dublin Grounds of Remembrance is a one-acre park honouring the service and families of veterans. The challenge was to create a place for reflection, remembrance, and community gathering on a site with no prior military significance. Eschewing a traditional “monument”, the Grounds posit a demarcated landscape circumscribed by a bronze Guide Rail that frames an 1840s Cemetery, and organized with a Loggia, Sycamore Grove, and paced Walk from the street to a natural forest ravine that terminates at the Memory Wall. Together, these elements define the grounds, provide areas of repose, punctuate the walk, and choreograph movement through the site during ceremonies and visits. Walking and gathering reinforces collective remembrance and creates new significance for the land.
WALKING LINGERING WALKING | Traces of Centuries and Future Steps
13th Annual International Venice Architecture Biennale
29 August—25 November 2012 | Palazzo Bembo, Venice
Location: Venice, IT
Additional Credits: PLANT Design Team: Chris Pommer, Lisa Rapoport, Mary Tremain, Lauren Barhydt, Angelica Demetriou, and the studio | Photography: Nathan Phillips Square – Steven Evans; Dublin Grounds of Remembrance – Chris Pommer and Steven Evans | Special Thanks: Reale Born (fabrication), Midtown Reproductions (output), Arrow Graphics (fabrication/expertise).