ERA Architects

The city as garden

Recently ERA’s Brendan Stewart gave a talk at Toronto’s Metro Hall, sponsored by LEAF and Park People, on the design potential of trees in cities. After setting the context of modern landscape design, beginning with André Le Nôtre’s French tradition and William Kent’s English tradition, the talk moved on to survey several interesting historical and international projects, including… Continue reading…

Construction and river valley tour, East Scarborough

Photos: Holly Pagnacco

Progress on the East Scarborough Storefront’s (ESS) soon-to-be grapevine pergola is running on time. We have just completed some 50 trellis modules which will form the roof structure for the grapevines to grow on. The youth spent weeks building these modules and have become confident measuring and cutting wood, along with many other skills.

As part of this ongoing learning process, our youth landscapers recently presented on the transformations the community could expect at ESS, including the pergola and deck, which the team has been working on since early July. Participants were surprised and inspired to see the impressive projects community youth are working on.

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Construction begins at the Storefront

Over the past couple of years, ERA has been working with The East Scarborough Storefront (ESS) on the Community Design Initiative (CDI), where Scarborough youth are educated in architecture and design by mentors from ERA, Sustainable.TO, and ArchiTEXT. In the current phase, we are working to bring more shade and plant life to the site. This will include several garden and landscape features, a pergola structure for grapevines, and a green-roof pavilion known as the Sky-o-swale.

Beginning earlier in July, five youth from the Kingston-Galloway-Orton Park community, who have cumulatively dedicated hundreds of hours to the CDI program, were hired by the ESS for a five-week period to physically build an exterior deck for public use (located under the Sky-o-swale), as well as 50 trellis modules that will form the roof structure for the grapevine pergola.

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Trees in Public Space: ERA’s Brendan Stewart Speaks

International Influences: Inspiring Ideas for Trees in Public Space, August 16, 2012, 7pm, Metro Hall, Toronto

Presented in collaboration with LEAF and Park People, Brendan’s talk discussed the rich aesthetic traditions and histories of planting trees in gardens, parks, and urban open spaces.

Through images of beautiful and inspirational designed landscapes from around the world, we discussed how designing with trees can enhance our experience of place. Brendan also inquired into the relevance of these traditions today and how they might shape our ideas about green space here in Toronto. In a preview to the talk, Brendan recently made an appearance on Global’s Morning Show.

To register and for more information, please see LEAF’s event page.

*Note: This event qualifies for ISA Continuing Education Units (CEU).