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April 25, 2014 at 5:36 PM

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Robson Redux: winning entries for the summertime transformation of the 800-block

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Urban Reef: Winning entry in the 2014 Robson Redux design competition.

Urban Reef: Winning entry in the 2014 Robson Redux design competition.

Get ready for another round of summertime fun at Robson Square. The City of Vancouver has revealed the winners of the Robson Redux design competition – a competition that invited submissions on the transformation and pedestrianization of the 800-block of Robson Street over the summer months.

Urban Reef, the design shown above, was the jury’s choice and will receive a $40,000 honorarium to cover the building and placement of the installation. The design is the brainchild of Kaz Bemner, Jeremiah Deutscher, Michael Siy and Kenneth Navarra.

You can read the City’s media release on the subject below. There’s also a great interview with the designers in Spacing Magazine.

The winner of the People’s Choice award has also been announced:

Robson - Tempo Vancouver - Detail

With the award going to to “Tempo Vancouver,” submitted by an international team from Toronto, Stockholm and Tehran.

There were 79 excellent designs submitted for the competition – a testament to the strong interest in expanding Robson Square and enhancing this important public space. Big kudos to all the designers who took the time to participate in this initiative!


City of Vancouver Media Release: Swim the “Urban Reef” this summer at 800-Robson Street

The 800-block of Robson Street will become an “Urban Reef” this summer. The winning submission to the Robson Redux design-build competition was selected among 78 entries from as far afield as Spain, Japan and the US.

Urban Reef is a sculpture that invites people to sit, relax and play. The shape is a series of sections that morph into one another to create a dynamic form that sparks curiosity and invites exploration. The design was created by Kaz Bemner, Jeremiah Deutscher, Michael Siy and Kenneth Navarra – a team of local architects, designers and carpenters.

Installation of Urban Reef will take place in early summer, and it will be accessible from Canada Day (July 1) through Labour Day long weekend (September 1).

A jury reviewed submissions considering creativity, design originality, feasibility and this year’s theme of “connection.” Jury members included Matthew Blackett (Founder and Publisher, Spacing Magazine), Amber Frid-Jimenez (Principal, AFJD and Associate Professor Emily Carr University of Art and Design), Nick Milkovich (Principal, Nick Milkovich Architects), Margot Long (Principal, PWL) and Ken Lyotier (Founder, United We Can).

A design honorarium and up to $40,000 will cover costs of materials, fabrication, construction, installation and de-installation.

The competition’s People’s Choice winner is “Tempo Vancouver” submitted by an international team from Toronto, Stockholm and Tehran.

VIVA Vancouver’s Robson Redux design-build competition invited emerging and professional designers to submit their design ideas for turning Robson Street into a pedestrian place. A public space program, VIVA Vancouver works with community partners to turn road spaces into temporary or semi-permanent public places. For the past three years, the 800-block of Robson has transformed throughout the summer months to encourage people to slow down, pause and connect with each other in an inviting urban setting.

To see images of the winning design, visit

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