Giant hammock to rope Winnipeggers into Upper Fort Garry this summer

Two landscape architects are planning to transform a Main Street spot into something new by weaving a whole lot of rope into a giant hammock and canopy.

Landscape architects Danielle Loeb and Rachelle Kirouac won the Cool Gardens competition to create project

A rendering of what the giant hammock will look like at Upper Fort Garry. (Danielle Loeb/Submitted)

A new installation at Upper Fort Garry aims to rope Winnipeggers in this summer.

Two landscape architects are planning to transform the historic spot at Main Street and Broadway into something new by weaving a whole lot of rope into a giant hammock and canopy.

Danielle Loeb and Rachelle Kirouac, who both work at HTFC Planning and Design, earned the opportunity to make the hammock and canopy by winning the Cool Gardens competition —  a competition similar to the one that picks warming huts at The Forks in winter.

"It's an initiative to just kind of bring light to urban spaces and to encourage people to come out and explore," said Kirouac on CBC Radio's Up To Speed on Wednesday.

They have enlisted people from around the city, including Mayor Brian Bowman and a class from Brock Corydon School, to help weave bright sailing rope.

"We recognized that we are talking to people who have a range of experience with weaving and at the best of times this rope is kind of a quarter inch-thick blue nylon sailing rope, so it's a little tricky to deal with even if you are an experienced weaver," she said.

"So we put an instruction sheet together with some recommendations, a bunch of links and said, 'Have at 'er.'"

That rope will then be used to build a fort, a net structure that kids can climb on or play underneath, and a 2.5-metre-wide and five-metre-long hammock.

"A bunch of the public can get really comfortable snuggling up with each other," Loeb said.

The rendering shows the length of the giant hammock going up at Upper Fort Garry. (Danielle Loeb/Submitted)

There will also be a canopy part which will be up in the trees.

The architects said finding the right material for the huge hammock took some work.

"First and foremost, we wanted something that was going to be very durable because this installation goes up July 7 and is up until the end of September," Loeb said.

"We also wanted to make sure that it didn't hold water. At first we started looking at cotton rope but then we thought once it starts to rain it's going to be heavy and probably pretty wet and gross to hang on."

Eventually they found a local supplier of a Canadian-made sailing rope.

While at first people were a little confused when they were asked to weave, Loeb said they became excited when they heard about the overall concept.

"I think it will be really fun to see how it all comes together," she said.

The giant hammock will be constructed on site from July 3 to 7.

with files from Up To Speed