Robson Street pedestrian plaza seeks designers


The City of Vancouver is, once again, planning on shutting down a portion of downtown Vancouver to allow for pedestrian-only traffic this summer.

VIVA Vancouver—a group responsible for modifying city streets into public spaces used for art, music, markets, and community-building—will transform the 800 block of Robson Street between the Vancouver Art Gallery and Provincial Law Courts into a pedestrian plaza from July to September.

In a competition called Robson Redux, VIVA is inviting professional designers and architects to submit designs for the space related to the theme of “connection”.

The winner will be selected by a jury that includes Matthew Blackett, founder and publisher of Spacing magazine; Amber Frid-Jimenez, principal of AFJD and associate professor at Emily Carr University of Art and Design; Nick Milkovich, principal of Nick Milkovich Architects; Margot Long, principal of PWL; and Ken Lyotier, founder of United We Can.

The winner will receive a small honorarium and up to $37,500 to cover costs of building their design.

Past winners include Hapa Collaborative, which created 2013’s Corduroy Road; Matthew Soules, Amber Frid-Jimenez, and Joe Dahmen, who designed 2012’s beanbag-filled Pop Rocks; and Loose Affiliates, who won the first competition with their orange-wave design Picnurbia.

Applicants must register to enter by March 3, and the competition closes March 21. 

Comments (5) Add New Comment
Lee L
Go-Kart track !!! yah!
Rating: -10
Close down Robson Square to traffic year round. The disruption to transit being on again/off again down Robson is silly to say the least. Open up the Square to be a permanent fixture for the People. In fact, go further, and close Robson all the way to the Stadium. Then open up Granville to all types of traffic. Makes more sense.
Rating: -13
Yeah, if you're going to let the pedestrians take over the street, it's only right to let the car drivers take over the sidewalks.
Rating: -7
Alan Layton
Even if they don't permanently close off this part of Robson they sure need to put in some benches on both sides of the street, or at least on the side opposite to the VAG. It's one of the best people watching areas of the city and with the food trucks people naturally want to sit while they eat. Also more shade trees would be nice since it's one of the few areas open enough to get full sun. Some shade at the edges would be welcome on those hot summer days.
Rating: -10
paycheque not honorarium
Designers, our ideas are not free! Stop prostituting them out in a "contest"!
Rating: -8
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