“Griffintown Interrupted is an international ideas competition which invites speculation on temporary inhabitation, the urban potential of post-industrial lands, and the possibility of dynamic, incremental architectures…an open platform for discourse and debate which blurs the line between competition and collaboration, merging the traditional aims of the competition (winning authorship) with an emerging trajectory for architectural practice (distributing authorship).”
The juried shortlist for Griffintown Interrupted is now viewable at the competition site, where you can vote for your favorites for the five intervention sites.
We were intrigued by the structure and tactics behind this competition, which required minimal investment from participants, and questioned the status quo of corporate development schemes. Thus F.A.D. submitted an entry for the Basin Edge site, but unfortunately for us, was unable to sway the jury:
“Life begets life as the edge of the canal reclaims its role as a vibrant location of exchange and dispersed regenerative processes. As the temporary home for Griffintown’s nomadic herd of goats, the wharf becomes the central staging area for a productive cargo that migrates throughout the surrounding metropolis. Grazing on a sophisticated diet of cosmopolitan weeds and overgrown lawns, the herd is ever on the move to new pastures of vacant and feral surfaces. In return, the goats provide organic fertilizers, reduced fossil fuel usage, soil regeneration, and the unique pleasures of a living pastoral urbanism.
Ruminant Cargo is installed on the two concrete rubble strips that flank either side of the existing central promenade of the wharf. Using three adaptable organizing elements – mobile structures, open roaming areas, and sunken remediation gardens, the installation can last for a year or much longer, depending on Griffintown’s future.”
Modular, Mobile Shelters: Disused or damaged shipping containers are refurbished to provide robust shelters for the goats, as well as spaces for goat caretakers, a cafe, or meeting places. The structures can be arranged to maximize microclimate benefits.
Temporary Goat Staging and Harvest Areas: These areas are enclosed by movable fencing that is adaptable to the current amount of goats on the wharf. Goat manure is collected on the impermeable surface and transported to the agricultural depot at Signal House and anywhere else it can be used to regenerate urban soils.
Pocket Greywater and Urea Gardens: Existing concrete rubble is removed and used in the central promenade for additional seating. Excess construction fill from surrounding areas is placed into lined planters. Nitrogen rich goat urea runs into the sunken planter from the adjacent harvest areas to provide organic fertilizer.
Granted, urea gardens might not have had major curb appeal. We were interested in renewing the raw productive qualities of the Wharf’s surface, but in an entirely different manner that would engage the public and the prescribed programs of two of the other intervention sites; an opportunistic production-maintenance scheme that gleans from what is already there. Our submission was clearly motivated by findings and questions in our ongoing research. Specifically, we have been investigating where and how to create central staging areas for migrant herds of goats within a city, rather than transporting them back and forth from the urban edge. A derelict wharf in a semi-depopulated city seemed a great location for experimentation.