UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Celebration of place/place of celebration Stuart, Richard Glenn


Edmonton is home to one of the world's largest continuous urban green spaces, the North Saskatchewan River Valley. Despite, deep incision, the river valley is used by a large number of citizens on a yearly basis especially in the summer. Due to the extreme climate, residents of Edmonton have had to make the most of the short summer months. As a result of this seasonal enthusiasm, Edmonton has also become host to many of the largest festivals in North America. The Edmonton Folk Music Festival is an annual event that has enjoyed solid international success. It present home in the River Valley is in Gallagher Park, a 56 acre park located on the South side of the river valley. The park is in many ways an excellent location for the festival, with a natural amphitheater and a sense of singularity in the Edmonton landscape. Successive sell-outs of the festival have left organizers looking for ways to enhance the festival experience for attendees, and helping the park to have a more valid year round identity within the context of the Edmonton River Valley. Thus my final design will be an attempt to mesh the aims of the festival wit the identity and desires of the park planners. The design process was started by first reviewing the context of the park in terms of it placement within The river valley, the parks immediate context, and then the uses placed upon the park by it's present user groups. From this information a master plan of design with detail was drafted in order to demonstrate how some of these issues could be translated into physical form. Physical enhancements involved the reconnection of the park to the greater River Valley system. With the reintroduction of green into the verge lands surrounding the park, connecting the Ravine to the River creating a sense of place to an areas that is presently void of identity. Improved edges to existing and the development of a cross axis that runs through the park unite disparate areas and makes connections beyond. The present Ski Lodge would be relocated to the base of the stairs at the junction of the two sides of the park and would function with year round flexibility. Experiential enhancements would also include the development of a landing or viewpoint at the top of the hill, where passers by could stop to enjoy the music and the views of the river valley. This design movement would also create a home for a large festival figure whose appearance would announce to commuters on the adjacent freeways that the festival had begun. A large retention pool that collects water from the site during wet times which serves as a year round water feature, cooling the site in the summer and functioning as a skating rink in the winter. The cumulative effect of all of these design moves would be to take Gallagher Park from a place of little perceived spatial variations to a place where a great variety of different areas existed. This would enable the Festival to refine the sense of place while simultaneously enhancing the overall city image of Gallagher Park

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