Landprints: Design for the Ephemeral

Project of Juliana Morar, Northern Land Studio, with Celia Lee, Sustainable Calgary’s Active Neighbourhoods Program.

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When we  think about a Light Rail Transit (LRT) station parking lot, a clear picture comes to mind: dedicated parking stalls lined between vehicular access lanes, separated by vegetated islands and completed with narrow pedestrian pathways.  With this traditional layout, parking lots occupy an overwhelming surface, creating an intense vehicular realm that separates the LRT station from the very community it serves. More often than not, the adjacent community is separated from the parking lot by a concrete wall, increasing this disconnection.  

Our project challenges the traditional concept of dedicated parking lots, proposing shared, adaptable spaces, open for use to all, dedicated to none.  To achieve this, we’ve created a process-based design methodology that identifies the processes within a space as ephemeral flows: flows of pedestrians, cyclists, vehicles, stormwater. We propose spaces that adapt to these flows and to the various needs of the communities who might use the space at different times of day.   

Can a parking lot be a park?  A market?  A concert venue?  A shared space?  A flood management tool?   An oasis from the heat island effect?  We think so!  We call this new, adaptive space the caboodle.   

Celia LeeANC