Posted on Feb 27, 2012 | 0 comments
Creators: Ted Cavanagh, Richard Kroeker, Roger Mullin, Alden Neufeld, and 23 designers/builders of the Faculty of Architecture and Planning, Dalhousie University
Nominator: Grant Wanzel
Le Théâtre Petit Cercle playfully engages the infamous Suette winds of Cheticamp in this community project moored to a playground slide. In 2004, the French-speaking town celebrated 400 years of European settlement in Canada by hosting an international festival. This permanent outdoor theatre for children’s festival events has become the seed for a future arts camp to promote Acadian culture and local ways of building. Beginning with a surrealistic, derelict playground, instructors and students learned lessons from local construction, building rock-ballasted wooden cribwork walls “transparent to the wind.” The playground slide with windsock banner anchors the structure at a child-height entry, and suggests making an exciting, sliding “grand entry.” The walls are woven onto vertical ribs made from one-by-fours laminated each side of tapered blocking. One-by-three slats are set diagonally, screwed onto the inside and outside of the ribs creating a “cavity” partly filled with rock to ballast the structure during a Suette. Like boat hulls or baskets, the three dimensional curvature creates stiffness with relatively thin material. In fifteen days, the theatre was designed, built and nearly paid for.