Catching some rays and lounging around is a favorite summertime activity and Vancouver has made it part of their mission to offer locals that opportunity with their annual VIVA Vancouver project. This year's installation is an Urban Reef by Kaz Bemner, Jeremiah Deutscher, Michael Siy and Kenneth Navarra – a team of local architects, designers and carpenters. Built from CNC-cut wooden shapes, the modular benches create a dynamic space on the pedestrian-only, 800-block Robson Street for people to hang out on all summer long.
Each summer Vancouver works to create vibrant pedestrian spaces to help people make the best of the good weather and sunshine. The VIVA Vancouver program supports parklets, hosts concerts and events and also closes down the entire 800-block Robson Street for a pedestrian-only plaza. Each year in this ped-zone is a new custom installation to engage passersby. This year, Urban Reef won the design competition, which included 78 entries from around the world. Local designers, Kaz Bemner, Jeremiah Deutscher, Michael Siy and Kenneth Navarra, are behind the prefab and modular Urban Reef installation, which opened up on Canada Day and will be there until September 1, 2014.
The modular bench seating is built from computer-designed and CNC-cut wooden segments that gradually morph to create a variety of engaging shapes. Sit on the bench segments, lounge on flatter areas or stand next to taller segments to eat street food from nearby vendors. The three benches curve around informal performance spaces and encourage socializing and engagement. The segments were efficiently prefabricated off site to minimize waste, and off-cuts of the locally-sourced wood were donated to a local art school. Once on site, the segments were put together quickly and reduced overall construction time. Once summer is over and Robson Street is returned to the cars, Urban Reef can be moved to another park for permanent installation.
Images ©Latreille Delage Photography – www.ldphoto.ca