by LADR Landscape Architects

2016 Competition Winner  

2° merges sculpture and agriculture, livening Provencher Boulevard in front of La Maison des Artistes with a whimsical garden space for people to relax and daydream in. The garden recalls St. Boniface’s historic ties to the livestock industry, and symbolizes the positive steps we can take to reduce emissions and move towards a bright future. A mowed path traces a timeline from current methods, through better practices, and towards regrowth, winding its way through a pasture of clover, entering a field of flax, and ending in a shaded grove. Whimsical cow forms and black emission cubes follow the timeline, the cows becoming more ordered and the cubes shrinking as better herd and land practices lower emissions by 1/3. Black emission cubes become green vegetation cubes in the shaded grove, revealing that less land needed to produce feed crops, more gardens can be planted.

Big Red by OPEN Design Collaborative

2016 Competition Winner  

Big Red responds to the rich history of The Forks as a natural and cultural intersection where the Assiniboine River flows into the Red. This proposal offers Winnipeg an engaging and temporary landmark that is visible from points along the Red River, including the Esplanade Riel and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights’ Tower of Hope. The installation is an assembly of stacked red sandbags arranged to create a red ‘X’ that transforms the manicured slopes of the Red River into an active social zone. In the spirit of this historic gathering place, Big Red activates the river’s edge by creating an armature to support seating, socializing, relaxing and play. Reminiscent of the sandbagging efforts during the great Red River Floods, the build of Big Red is envisioned as a social event and community-building process in which volunteers gather to help construct the work.

The Wheat Lookout by Marta Milà Pascual + Marc Torrellas Arnedo

2016 Competition Winner  

The Wheat Lookout is a straw bale installation that celebrates the agricultural heritage of Brandon, The Wheat City. It will be located on the Assiniboine riverbank, next to the Riverbank Discovery Centre, creating a social meeting point. The meeting point is a compact element that is adjustable according to its use: landscape, social or educational. Various components: The tower, the sandbox, the terraces, and the railing, created by movable straw bales, allow users to make their own social spaces to contribute to variability and adaptability.

Cool Dunes by Matt Hagen + Brydget Lewicki

2016 Competition Winner  

A hidden retreat, a play-scape for passersby, simple yet intriguing, the Cool Dunes are a heat absorbing topography filled with crushed limestone hills of varying heights. It takes inspiration from the site’s existing gravel base and limited shade in the summer months. The Dunes’ undulating topography creates pockets of cool shade. The outer surface of the Dunes absorb heat from the sun, but when disturbed, cool stone from below the surface is exposed. The Dunes provoke exploration by contrasting the typical: resembling a gravel pit, but within a city environment. Throughout the summer as visitors climb, play, and experience the Cool Dunes, the landscape changes - gradually returning to a level plane before its removal.

A Blanket A Day by Micah Lexier

2016 Invited Artist

Every day, for the duration of the 2016 edition of Cool Gardens, a blanket designed by Micah Lexier will be given away for free. The imagery on the custom-woven, cotton tapestry references graphics from elementary school readers, seating plans, and board games. We look forward to seeing how recipients activate their blanket, and we encourage them to use #ABlanketADay to show off their new threads. Keep an eye out for a member of the Cool Gardens organization who will venture out into the city each day to select an individual to be the recipient of the blanket.