Manitoba

Architecture students showcase design plans for rail property at the Forks

Masters students from the faculty of architecture at the University of Manitoba have spent the last year dreaming up plans for the development of the Rail Side Lands at The Forks. They unveiled those plans in the Forks food court Wednesday.

Masters students at the University of Manitoba have spent the last year dreaming up designs for The Forks

Stefan Klassen gives a tour of his design the 'Light House'

6 years ago
Duration 2:10
Masters student Stefan Klassen from the faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba gives a tour of his light house design for the Railside land at the Forks.

Masters students from the faculty of architecture at the University of Manitoba have spent the last year dreaming up plans for the development of the Rail Side Lands at The Forks. They unveiled those plans in the Forks' food court Wednesday.

Nine students were given development guidelines and separate parcels of land within the seven-acre surface parking lot at The Forks to work with.

The Rail Side Lands are sandwiched between the rail line and Union Station to the west and the Canadian Museum for Human Rights to the east.

Johanna Hurme, an architect with 5468796 architecture and professor at the University of Manitoba, said the challenge for students to create these designs presented an exciting opportunity.

"For them to be able to speculate on something that may start developing in the next few years here and for the students to see that their work has a real life application right off the bat." Hurme said, adding the students are also "showing the development community what these things could be."

Architecture student Francis Garcia had to incorporate both residential units and a grocery component into the design for his site.

He pushed that to include urban farming and social housing. His six-storey design includes recreation spaces, a community kitchen and a roof-top greenhouse for year-round food production to combat the lack of access to grocery stores in the downtown. He predicts it could also create employment opportunities within the development. 

"The idea is that it's not just a greenhouse but more like a social enterprise.- Francis Garcia

"The idea is that it's not just a greenhouse but more like a social enterprise." Garcia said. "I thought that maybe we could use urban farming, a modest way to improve the social skills [and] at the same time bring the community together and use that as a tool to help social housing," 

Francis Garcia showcases his urban farming and social housing design

6 years ago
Duration 1:21
Masters student Francis Garcia from the faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba has spent the last year dreaming up plans for the development of the Railside land at the Forks and unveiled those plans in the food court of the Forks Market on Wednesday.

The nine different design plans tackled the seven acres of undeveloped land the Forks North Portage Corporation currently owns and has plans to develop in the next few years.

"I think the thing that The Forks has always been missing is actual 24 hours a day presence. People living here, people invested in this place. It doesn't preclude what we are already doing, the four million visits a year, but I think it's an added layer to that," said Paul Jordan, the CEO of the Forks North Portage Corporation.

The Forks is also working with the city to acquire the Parcel 4 lands just north of the Rail Side Lands property adjacent to Shaw Park baseball diamond from the city.

The Forks has had multiple public consultations and plans to develop mixed use residential and commercial buildings in the next few years.

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