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In answering the broader question of how the Jewish celebration of Sukkot is relevant to our world today, we examine the universal theme of interfaith understanding and how personal beliefs can be a blessing to others. We are captivated by the idea that a sukkah roof is both protective yet permissive – an “imperfect” covering that offers the occupants an intimate connection with the shared cosmo enveloping them, as if saying, regardless of our different walks of life, we are ultimately under one sky. The duality of a sukkah roof functioning as a microscope through which we examine our own faiths, as well as a wide angle lens broadening our perspectives on others, is the kernel of our design concept.

Entitled Eyepiece, the pavilion designed for the Britannia Sukkot Festival – jointly organized by the Jewish Museum Archives of BC, Grandview Woodland Food Connections and the Britannia Community – comprises interconnected triangular wooden frame-works, in which plant specimens are casted in thin lenses of bioplastics, creating a 100% biodegradable structure. These frames are in turn mounted on wooden poles of different lengths, some of which extend towards and eventually rest on the ground, supporting the entire structure.

The plant materials foraged for our design include indigenous wildflowers and wild berries – species familiar to the Coastal Salish people, some of which form part of their traditional diet. The reason behind our selection of plants is two-folded: First, we acknowledge the First Nations’ ancestral tie to the land since antiquity, and embrace their ways of celebration and feasting as part of our collective heritage. Secondly, through this authentic sampling of our ecosystems, we want to call to attention the subtle beauties of our land, and the fragile balance that allows them to thrive. By presenting a montage of specimens mimicking the setting of a natural history museum, we encourage the occupants to reexamine the deeper and broader meaning of our existence one plant at a time.

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Commissioned by: Jewish Museum Archives BC | Grandview Woodland Food Connections | Britannia Community Centre
Designed and Constructed by: FSOARK
Sponsored by: Holborn | Windsor Plywood | BsiBIO

 

 

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The two mountain peaks, known widely as the Lions in the west coast British Columbia, were never called that name before the arrival of foreigners. In precolonial time, the Squamish Nation had named the peaks “Ch’ich’iyúy Elxwíkn” (translated as “Twin Sisters”) in remembrance of a peace treaty formed by rivalry nations, through intermarriage between two Squamish sisters and two Haida brothers. As the legend unfolded, the Great Transformers would eventually turn the sisters into the soaring landmarks for future generations to remember their act of bravery and selflessness.

Throughout history, storytelling through oral transmission has been an integral part of the life of First Nations. It plays an important role in the preservation of their cultural identity, traditional knowledge and collective memories. Mystic, wistful, gentle yet dignified, the story of the Twin Sisters was often retold by great orators including Chief Mathias Joe, who shared many ancient tales like this one with others. In response to the call for a public art at a neighborhood park, in the namesake of the Squamish chief, we explore the First Nation people’s profound connection with the land through the silent art form of sculpture.

 

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Commissioned by: City of North Vancouver
Designed by: FSOARK | Spacemakeplace
Constructed by: Toby’s Cycle Work
Photographed by: Imu Chan
Graphics by: Imu Chan | Maria Barroso

 

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Over the last ten thousand years, glaciers from the North Shore mountains have eroded what probably began as a crack in the ground into a deep valley. At a rate of less than a centimeter a year, the geological transformation that led to today’s Lynn Canyon embodies this persistent and incontestable force of Nature – astonishingly gradual, phenomenally powerful and infinitesimally nuanced.

Our proposal for the plaza design at Lynn Valley Village provides an architectural reference to this broader geological context. We superimpose onto the existing ground surface a new paving pattern, in doing so translating the embodied energy of glacial formation into a visual language that is familiar to kids and fresh to adults. From the existing physical geometries and alignments, we have extracted a flow pattern that falls down the back wall, meanders between large pavement slabs, springs up to form benches, and cascades down stairs. The simple, abstract palette offers multiple non-prescriptive ways of engagements for all ages, and can be appreciated at ground level as well as from the elevated walkway above.

This project is a collaboration with Rebecca Bayer, with the assistance of Monica Lovato and Ray Sun.

 

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