Studio Instructors: Nicolas Koff and Marisa Bernstein
Studio Members: Tayler Bishop, Meaghan Burke, Rui Felix, Kaari Kitawi, Andrea Linney, Carla Lipkin, James MacDonald-Nelson, Kaly Manson, Riya Sarker, Grace Yang, Michael Yu
Fort York’s Revival
From the earliest days of settlement on the shores of lake Ontario, the site of Fort York has played a multitude of somewhat divergent roles. Through its key location at the historical intersection of the Garrison creek and the lake- shore, it has over the years been used for sustenance, protection, transportation, recreation and education. With each incarnation, the site gained in complexity, culminating in its present multi-layered state. In recent years Fort York has been going through a revival in an attempt to rise up to its iconic status as one of Toronto’s foremost historical attractions and most up-and-coming entertainment venue. A new master plan has now been put in place in order to help the Fort reach its full potential and last September marked the opening of one of the master plan’s key pieces, the new visitor centre designed by Patkau Architects.
The fringes of the fort, where important hydrological landmarks like the Garrison creek and the lakeshore were originally located, nonetheless remain overlooked in the shadows of large transportation axis like the Gardiner, Bathurst Street and the northern rail corridor. These neglected edges currently sever the fort’s connections to both natural resources and adjacent communities and are ripe for a redesign. This studio investigated strategies to reclaim these forgotten sites to the south, east and north of Fort York through the creation of fluid landscapes.
“Thanks to movement, accomplished simultaneously in time and in space, and that carries time within space, parts of space will be able to represent parts of time.” Elie Rabier
Fluid landscapes can be defined by their adaptability, flexibility and uncanny ability to accommodate and record the changing character of places. These qualities make fluid landscapes extremely appropriate typologies for edge conditions, which by nature mediate between distinctly programmed sites and thus welcome a variety of different uses and flows.
The term “fluid landscape” can adopt a variety of meanings: In its most literal sense it can be seen as a landscape that has the ability to channel and express the dynamism of local hydrological systems; from a slightly more abstract point of view it can also be seen as a place that is spatiotemporally fluid, physically bridging past, present and future and constantly changing based on local cultural and natural forces. Throughout the semester studio members have thus mapped and investigated a variety of dynamic components including hydrology, fauna, flora, history, inhabitation, performance, etc...