Public, a Vancouver design and architecture firm, has been awarded the 2015 Professional $50,000 Prix De Rome in Architecture by the Canada Council for the Arts.
The award, presented to a young architectural firm, will allow Public to study the different public space in cities that include Rotterdam and Tokyo as well as Singapore and Oslo to help improve Vancouver’s public realm.
Key to Public’s win was identifying how Vancouver, as a geographically constrained and rapidly urbanizing city, could still achieve compelling public spaces. The firm’s winning submission pinpoints what is lacking in Vancouver’s current public realm and proposes a course of research to inform the types of gathering spaces that will best serve Vancouver in the future. With these issues in mind, Public’s’s team will travel across the globe, immersing themselves in the urban fabric of Rotterdam and Tokyo, with secondary stops in Singapore and Oslo. The team plans to present their findings at the 2016 Vancouver Biennale Exhibition.
“Historically, public space making has been an afterthought in Vancouver, particularly with the city’s pre-occupation with residential real estate development,” continued Wakelin. “We’re hoping our findings will impact the future of Vancouver’s city planning, and steer our collective conversation towards creating more spaces for people to gather — spaces that affect all of us.”