27.3.12

MINTO PARK'S IMAGINARY MAKEOVER

Modern Ottawa Blog Street furniture Minto Park
A little over three years ago, the city had plans to improve street furniture with their Integrated Street Furniture Program. I'm not quite sure what happened to that, but I'm assuming these are the types of projects that die in this city with the change of governing bodies. It's unfortunate. Perhaps, it would be better if these types of projects were handled by the councillors of each ward.

Modern Ottawa Blog Street furniture Minto Park
I often dream of redesigning various public spaces around town, and the Minto Park in Centertown is one of them. It's a relatively small park nestled between Elgin St and Cartier St. It's in an area near houses and a main street that's relatively busy. I often see people walking their dogs when I'm in the area. There are picnic tables and benches, but the outdoor furniture is quite dated and tired. It could benefit from a little makeover in my opinion.

Modern Ottawa Blog Street furniture Minto Park
There are three focal points, consisting of (1) a memorial for women victims of domestic abuse,  (2) a large planter surrounded by grass, and (3) the bust of an Argentinean general. It's a weird combination. They are completely unrelated to one another.

Modern Ottawa Blog Street furniture Minto Park Modern Ottawa Blog Street furniture Minto Park
The bust was apparently chosen because it was available in the city's collection. The memorial on the other hand,  was erected after a series of particularly brutal murders of women in Ottawa in 1991. Also, a memorial service is held each year in honor of these women. It would therefore be more meaningful to make it the focal point of the park and eliminate the sculptures that take away from it. This would make for a more coherent design.

Modern Ottawa Blog Street furniture Minto Park
Modern Ottawa Blog Street furniture Minto Park
If it was up to me, I would move the memorial at the center, add flowers (maybe white tulips) and remove the bust. To complete the design, I would install two modern sculptures like the ones from Antony Gormley. I think the ones named Shrive (on the left) and Gut 1 (on the right), are particularly fitting. They would be facing the memorial.

Modern Ottawa Blog Street furniture Minto Park Modern Ottawa Blog Street furniture Minto Park
Then, I would soften the natural color palette of the park by planting lots of cherry blossom and magnolia trees. This would create a breathtaking view for the surrounding residents and visitors, almost like and enchanting forest.  Since pink is a very feminine color, it would tie in well with the memorial. I imagine it would become a great spot for beautiful pictures too!

Modern Ottawa Blog Street furniture Minto Park Modern Ottawa Blog Street furniture Minto Park
After that, I would update all the chairs and trash bins which look too severe and dated. Replacing them with lighter and curvier furniture to give it a more feminine look in keeping with the theme. The brown picnic tables, chairs and trash bins would be replaced by bright pink steel tables, benches and light trash bins. 

Modern Ottawa Blog Street furniture Minto Park
Finally I would replace the old light posts with these eco-friendly solar lights called Invisible Street.   They seamlessly blend with the natural surroundings. I would make sure there would be enough light so that the park would feel safe at night as well. 



7 comments:

  1. Great post. The pink cherry blossoms would look great in the area and would mirror the same trees around the path at City Hall, not far from the park.

    Incidentally, the planter was removed from the park recently. Maybe someone's beating you to the chase.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks Travis. More trees, specially in a park can only be a good thing in a city. It would be great if someone already started something to improve the area :)

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  2. Absolutely love the design, especially the pink touches! This is a horribly boring park, yet a public space that is widely used and hugely visible!

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  3. Hats off to such an amazing imagination! A worthy read for those who want to gain insights about furniture choices.

    ReplyDelete

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