Century Garden Park | ?m | ?s | City of Calgary | PFS Studio

Surrealplaces

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I I think if they open up Olympic Plaza little more, it would be a better public space. I’m not sure if that location will ever make the plaza as good as some of those other places in the pics, or Tomkins Park.
Maybe they can make Olympic Plaza a little more like that when they finally get to updating it.
 

adamyyc

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I used to live a few blocks from Berczy Park and can confirm that it quickly became a favourite for locals! I wasn’t sure about the dog fountain when the concept was initially pitched, but, quite liked it when the fountain was unveiled. It added some whimsy, which is what I think public art should do. Would love to see a similar concept in Calgary - although maybe a fountain isn’t the best idea given our limited spring/summer seasons.

I also agree that we don’t see classical park design executed in Calgary much these days on new parks. I’d love to see more straight lines, symmetry, and tree/bench lined straight paths where the context makes sense.
 

JonnyCanuck

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There was a missed opportunity in the refresh of Central Memorial Park. Yes, an improvement over what it was before (fountains were added) but stopped short of what it could have been if imagination (and I suppose the budget) was allowed to roam.
Another more recent park is the one on the corner of 12 Ave & Macleod Tr SE. Compared to the original concept, it turned out to be a real disappointment. So much so that I don't even think it has a name and is not listed on the city's website.
 

UrbanWarrior

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I think it's just called "East Beltline Park" and yeah it really is terrible. At least it's a decent piss patch for the dogs of EVP.
 

people.talking

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It would be nice if CMP had brick or cobble stone paths rather than gravel, and Maybe a nice plaza area around the central fountains. I do like the splash park and the small cafes that are there though. They refresh looks good but there is indeed some areas for improvement.
 

CBBarnett

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It would be nice if CMP had brick or cobble stone paths rather than gravel, and Maybe a nice plaza area around the central fountains. I do like the splash park and the small cafes that are there though. They refresh looks good but there is indeed some areas for improvement.
For CMP I think they were hemmed in by heritage, in a sense they wanted to rejuvenate and bring forward the original Edwardian garden design. Not dissimilar to the Century Gardens and their quest to maintain elements of the brutalist original, incorporating heritage elements came at expense of functionality and current/future park context.

Both parks are now centre to a growing major city with huge immediately adjacent population density increases since they first were imagined - CMP in the early 1900s and Century Gardens in 1975. This corresponds to many multiple times the daily traffic as when they were first imagined (let alone cultural changes on how space is used). Adhering to heritage goals is often on the list but is ranked too highly IMO. In both cases, the narrow and constrained paths and the unusable grass spaces were a product of sticking to heritage elements too strictly as to limit the potential future use of the park. Ironically, I guarantee CMP's pathways would be 5x wider if we had the population density we have now nearby it back in the early 1900s when it's original designers were at work.

As for gravel v. concrete: many giant and 100,000x more popular European parks use gravel as their primary pathway system material. We don't seem to have the right texture, climate, maintenance or attention to detail to pull it off here as gravel appears cheaper, bumpy and trashy in many cases. It certainly doesn't have to and there are many, many examples of it working well (Berlin's Tiergarden, all of Paris' parks etc.)
 

ByeByeBaby

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Would love to see a similar concept in Calgary - although maybe a fountain isn’t the best idea given our limited spring/summer seasons.

I think fountains are great; our spring/summer/fall isn't that much shorter than Toronto's, and most park usage is in the spring/summer/fall anyways. And they can be activated in the winter. I was in Central Memorial Park yesterday, and noticed that the City has put up massive artificial evergreens in the fountains; hopefully they'll be trimmed with lights by Christmas. And the fountain in City Hall plaza has the fountain-shaped light sculpture put up every winter.
 
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The Familia

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This city needs a grand fountain (sorry, Olympic Plaza doesn't cut it). Even Edmonton has two substantial water features with high powered jets (Legislature and City Hall). Calgary has the two baby ones in Central memorial park and a couple boring spray jets in Olympic Plaza. I don't count spray/splash parks or pads as they are rather small scaled. I hope during the Olympic Plaza redo they transform the fountain into something grand.
 

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