PLANT Architect Inc.

PLANT Architect Inc.

Toronto, ON, CA


WALKING LINGERING WALKING | Traces of Centuries and Future Steps

By PLANT Architect Inc.
Aug 28, '12 3:20 PM EST

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. For some time, we have been exploring the choreography of space by creating a dialogue between elements that require the physical engagement of people. This activation of linkages initiates the revelation of site, space, history, and ecologies, enhancing community ritual and creating loci for gathering. Walking acknowledges time as a significant factor of experience.

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 reveals the space and pace between moments of punctuation. Like the sites themselves, 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 11,000 m2, upper-level podium into a metropolitan haven for lingering, strolling, community gathering and art installations, 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. This walk reveals 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 seasons, naturally blurring the geometry of plantings inspired by Paul Klee’s Polyphony into a more Fauvist set of drifts as the years pass.

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 a paced Walk from the street into a natural forest ravine terminating at the Memory Wall. Together, these elements define the grounds, provide areas of repose and gathering to punctuate the walk, and choreograph movement through the site during ceremonies and daily visits. Walking and gathering are promoted by the site’s design to reinforce collective remembrance and to create 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