While St. John’s is well known for its RDF, it is also a place bursting with colour – from its eye-catching jellybean houses and vibrant arts and cultural scene, to the colourful characters that inhabit its legends and lore. Even though the city has seen some changes over the years, these things remain at the heart of what makes this place so special. And thanks to upcoming projects like the Wandering Pavilion, the City of Legends is about to become even better and brighter.
An initiative of Business & Arts NL business member Fougere Menchenton Architecture (FMA), the Wandering Pavilion is a small, temporary structure consisting of a floor, wall and roof that will transform and change function as it moves around the city this summer. In one neighbourhood, it may take the form of an artists’ workshop while in another, it might become a recording booth, performance stage or vegetable stand. Whatever its particular function may be at any given place, the pavilion will help build, engage and empower the community while giving community groups, non-profits, small businesses and interested citizens the chance to take their ideas for a test drive.
“I’m so amazed with the built environment in St. John’s, but I’ve noticed that other than a small group, many people don’t understand what architects do or really appreciate the value of architecture in the community. The Wandering Pavilion came out of an urge to advocate for the profession I chose and values I deeply believe in,” says Emily Campbell, intern in architecture at FMA.
“When I was in school (Dalhousie University), each year we completed a design build workshop. When students were out in the community designing and building, we got a lot of attention and were able to talk to and interact with the public in a way that wouldn’t have happened otherwise. The Wandering Pavilion draws on this experience to expand it to St. John’s.”
Campbell hopes that the pavilion will inspire people to put their ideas into action while making a positive impact on the community at the same time.
“People here have so many great ideas but many don’t have the time or resources to execute them. The Wandering Pavilion aims to remove some of the barriers to taking action and facilitate cool community projects that contribute to our city being a better place,” she says.
“St. John’s is going through a lot of change. Good architecture and design can help form community, generate tourism, and preserve and enhance our existing built environment. It’s as good a time as ever!”
Campbell says the goal is to launch the Wandering Pavilion in early July and keep it running until September. While a number of public consultation sessions have been held to determine its functions and locations, interested people can still get involved by filling out the form on the Wandering Pavilion website, or by sending a request to email@example.com.
“I hope that it will get people excited and inspired to do things like this on their own,” Campbell says.
“Maybe some of the things that happen this summer will be successful and carry on as a permanent thing. Maybe we’ll wander around the province or country. Maybe we’ll be able to change policy to make it easier for projects like this to exist.”