Inspired by the organic beauty of the area, the rock formations of Queen Elizabeth Park, and the area’s tradition of west coast modernism, this mid-block proposal presents an opportunity to interpret the context in new way: as an out-cropping of surface rock.
Formations on Queen Elizabeth Park appeared as a result of volcanic activity 31- 34 million years ago; basalt was formed into columns that show the pattern of cooling as the magma cut across layers of other rock. This formation of igneous columnar basalt left a “little mountain”.
Influenced by the unique and timeless character of the natural setting, three architectural themes have emerged:
1 VERTICAL LAYERING:The dominant architectural expression is a fragmented frame. Expressed in varying dimensions the vertical frames work to animate the façade and when viewed obliquely reveal a solidity and timelessness to the architecture.
2 FRAGMENTATION: To soften the architecture and ‘blur’ its edges into the natural surroundings, the vertical frames are fragmented or pixilated into wall segments. This fragmentation enhances the layered expression of the façade recalling the natural columnar basalt formations of Queen Elizabeth Park.
3 LANDSCAPE: The expression of seemingly random form and massing as a strong design expression of west coast modernism grew out of an ‘organic’ approach to contemporary architecture. This approach sought to unify architecture with landscape as a seamless composition to the point that buildings may appear to have risen from the landscape itself. The use of fragmentation or architecture with ‘rough/textured edges’ is prominent in the expression of the proposed building. In this way, the architectural expression is a hybrid of landscape and architectural elements that acknowledge the importance of the site.