|Address:||638 Princess Avenue,Brandon|
Originally a parking lot adjacent to the A.R. McDiarmid Civic Complex, this space was transformed into a playful, multi-use greenspace that supplements and extends the programs hosted by the existing Brandon Youth & Cultural Centre.
The concept of “pods’’ was designed to complement the existing architectural language of the building and to serve as loosely programmed space for youth and cultural activities. Tthe greenspace now provides a community garden; an active play area for unorganized sports; a grassy berm for seating; café-style seating; and a fruit orchard. Poured recycled rubber paving was used to connect and enhance the “pod” design, providing a playfully patterned backdrop to the space.
The recycled rubber paving repurposed 1,050 tires for this project and reduced construction costs, as the rubber is poured directly onto the existing parking surface, requiring no asphalt removal. Additionally, the rubber acts as fall-protective surfacing throughout the entire plaza and changes in paving patterns define spaces such as the stage, and the basketball court.
The fruit orchard and cultural garden allow local programs to introduce ‘seed to plate’ concepts that include planting and harvesting in the gardens, cooking in the Civic Centre kitchen, and Farmers Markets. The grass berm offers an area for relaxation with 360 degree views of the plaza. It is designed to act as seating for an outdoor theatre where a film can be projected onto the building wall. The park also includes pathways, benches and bike racks.
A.R. McDiarmid Greenspace is the first project in Brandon to be designed through the lens of the City of Brandon Greenspace Masterplan. The project involved a public consultation, open house and an online questionnaire to gather community input. This ‘passive leisure space’ will be a catalyst in changing greenspace design in the community core.