Two Spanish architects are paying homage to Brandon’s agricultural history with a display at the Riverbank Discovery Centre.
The project is part of the Winnipeg-based contemporary garden, public art and local landscape showcase dubbed Cool Gardens.
It’s an annual event that, for the past four years, has attracted entrants from around the world and the Brandon project represents the first time an installation has happened outside the Perimeter Highway.
The Brandon project, dubbed Wheat Lookout, is the work of Marta Mila Pascual and Marc Torrellas Arnedo, of Barcelona, Spain, who say they tried to merge industrial and agriculture aspects into the design and focused on including hay bales to highlight the city’s rich agriculture heritage and reputation as a prosperous farming community.
“We discovered that Brandon is popularly called the Wheat City, so we decided to do something with bales to show that heritage. We really wanted to include that agricultural essence,” Pascual said.
The structure consists of 240 bales that create a landmark tower with a 360-degree view of the valley, terraces to provide seating and movable bales to allow users to make their own social spaces.
The Brandon exhibition is an opportunity for more people to enjoy the unique work, says Lois MacDonald, general manager of Brandon Riverbank, Inc.
“This is the first time that they have moved one of the projects outside the city of Winnipeg and we were happy to be the community that was included,” said MacDonald.
Four winning designs were selected, with the other three being brought to life in Winnipeg.
The annual event, which is sponsored by Canada Council for the Arts, Manitoba Association of Architects and the Manitoba Association of Landscape Architects, calls for entries internationally and the selected projects become installations. The Brandon project dovetails nicely with the work being done locally to promote the river corridor.
“We at the Brandon Riverbank have just finalized our 20-year master plan for the redevelopment of the corridor and it involves being a lot more proactive in involving community art and different garden installations,” MacDonald said. So, this was just an interesting way to get started in that direction and in keeping with some of the projects that we see being developed throughout the river corridor in the years to come.”
Cool Gardens is organized by StorefrontMB, and this year saw 45 entries from around the world.