Public Realm: Emergent Form

Lindsay Horan | Senior Research Studio

Marc Boutin | Supervisor



Guided by an understanding of the city and architecture as a continuum I was interested in expanding this notion to include the collapsing of time and architecture. Globally my approach was to examine the morphological condition of the city by looking at the overall morphology of Calgary over time. For instance, discovering how the grid system has not changed much over time but with the introduction of new elements to the system it has adapted; for example, with the rise of the automobile came the +15 system as a way to separate the people from car fumes. In addition, the flyover system as a mutation to the grid in order to accommodate the increase in the volume of automobiles.  But also how the lotting morphology within the city blocks has evolved over time from one of front-facing dense typology to over time becoming one of an object-based typology, reinforcing a notion of the monumental. The intensive mapping process lead me to a particular site in the city that hasn’t changed much since its inception. The site contains many Brutalist buildings with elevated plazas that connect to the +15 system that was also conceived during this time. The site is relatively underutilized and somewhat forgotten. The Calgary Board of Education (CBE building) remains vacant. Many of the buildings in this site were built as public buildings,for instance: the Calgary library, social housing, and the separate school board. Besides being built in the same era of late modernism they are all connected with elevated plazas and the +15 system creating a Brutalist district in the city that exists in its own world one level above the street. …Read More