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Borden Park by gh3, Toronto (Images supplied by City of Edmonton)

Five Edmonton parks may get new pavilions with unique designs after a first-of-its-kind architectural competition.

"Through this competition, we were hoping to raise the bar when it comes to designing civic buildings in Edmonton," said Carol Belanger, architect for the City of Edmonton. "The competition is a success, as firms offered our judges a tremendous collection of ideas that take these five park pavilions from the ordinary to the extraordinary."

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Castle Downs District Park by gh3, Toronto

The five winning firms and their pavilion concepts are:

  • Mill Woods Sports Park: ‘Net Zero’ Pavilion by Dub Architects Ltd., Edmonton
  • John Fry Sports Park: John Fry Sports Pavilion by Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative, Calgary
  • Victoria Park: Victoria Park Pavilion by Rayleen Hill Architecture, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia
  • Castle Downs District Park: Castle Downs District Park by gh3, Toronto
  • Borden Park: Borden Park by gh3, Toronto
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John Fry Sports Pavilion by Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative, Calgary

The competition was the first time the city solicited designs for infrastructure projects.

"The response surpassed our expectations," said Belanger in a news release. "Through our efforts to design civic buildings that are creative and inspiring, yet cost-effective, we are transforming Edmonton into a vibrant and inviting place to live."

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Mill Woods Sports Park: Net Zero Pavilion by Dub Architects Ltd., Edmonton

Each design had to respond to requirements user groups identified, such as public washrooms, change rooms, storage areas and warm-up space.

The city received 135 design entries from 64 architectural companies from Alberta, across Canada and the United States.

The five winners have the opportunity to enter into an agreement with the city to complete the concept design work on each pavilion, which will include further consultation with interested groups.

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Victoria Park Pavilion by Rayleen Hill Architecture, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia

Public consultations will be held before each project is approved.

The budget for all five pavilions was $13.2 million, with much of the funding coming from the government of Alberta’s Municipal Sustainability Initiative.

The Borden and Castle Downs pavilions are scheduled to open in 2012.  The remaining pavilions should open in 2013.

The winners were selected by a jury consisting of leading architects and design professionals from Toronto, Vancouver and Montreal and City of Edmonton representatives.

The designs will be on display at city hall April 18 - 21.