Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

National Urban Design Awards — 2016 Recipient

Award Category: 
National Urban Design Awards
Student Projects

Brad Comis, Sebastien Sauve-Hoover, Danielle Soneff of Threshold Art and Design working with Jesse Sherburne.

The project installed three treehouses in downtown Edmonton: Two in Churchill Square and one in Peter MacDonnell Memorial Park. The installation remained for six months. This work highlighted the nature of private suburban environments by contrasting them against the backdrop of shared public spaces. The three distinct architectural styles reflect the variety in North American childhood lifestyle. Throughout the day, there were periodic sounds of domestic life emitted from within the treehouses. At night, they evolved again with illumination. Viewers could project their perspectives and histories on this iconic North American childhood symbol.

Jury Comment(s): 

"This is a playful and provocative design. It is accessible and evokes thoughts of human habitat and urban wildlife while making a connection to the built fabric. The designs of the tree houses relate to architecture styles from surrounding neighbourhoods and serve to inform the public about the diversity and history of form and style in single-family home architecture. The result is an engaging and thought-provoking project that has the potential to contribute to public discourse on urban design. The research and execution are impressive and multi-faceted. The design detail is commendable as are the simple yet powerful gestures of light and domestic sounds emanating from the birdhouses in the evenings."

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.Photo: Aspen Zettel Photography

.Photo: Aspen Zettel Photography

.Photo: Aspen Zettel Photography

.Photo: Aspen Zettel Photography

Photo: Aspen Zettel Photography