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Swim the Urban Reef this summer at 800-Robson Street

April 25 2014

Robson Redux Winner

This summer, the 800-block of Robson Street will become an "urban reef". The winning submission to the Robson Redux design-build competition was selected among 78 entries from as far away as Spain, Japan, and the United States.

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

People's Choice winner

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

How we chose the winners

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).

Transforming Robson Square every summer

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.