The question that drives this proposal for Riverdale park is: how can we provoke a program that synthesizes the users’ engagement in the view of the cityscape with the desire to move down a steep slope?
One possible synthesis is found in the prevalent cultural activities of youth in the urban context. For example, graffiti and skateboarding are both activities that are direct responses to the forms presented by the urban landscape – the walls as canvases in alleyways; the stairs, railings and ramps are runways and props. Parkours is another mode of urban expression that recontextualizes “play” in the urban landscape. While the city of Toronto indulges in the zoning of such recreation, the park as a public realm provides opportunity to celebrate these subversive forms of street art.
In the context of Riverdale park, where the existence of the urban landscape sandwiches the park – the city of Toronto to the West and Broadview Avenue to the East – the proposal bifurcates the site to connect the urban landscapes in a blatant gesture. Yet this project proposes anything but one path: the pathway dissolves into multiple-detours, leading the user to intimate and open spaces, stairways of varying cadence, exterior and interior rooms as well as elevated platforms and balconies.
As the diagram to the right indicates, this projects proposes to rewrite the definition of a pathway, to provide a nuanced experience that is representative of the urban will to embrace difference in dynamic forms.
These are drawings from my first architectural project. The program for the building was to develop space for a fashion institute, namely to be used as a permanent site for Toronto Fashion Week.
The proposal was part of the first year studio course for Masters of Architecture I at Daniels, U of Toronto ALD.
The concept for the space is creating a runway that has private as well as public viewpoints, built within a structure that is exposed by translucent glass walls.