by Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative
Edmonton City Hall (north east corner 104 avenue & 99 street)
The modern military is a longstanding citizen of the City of Edmonton; the complex and layered relationship speaks to the region’s special recognition and care for the Canadian Forces and the soldiers’ integration into the community as Edmontonians themselves. Commemorating this unique relationship called for a celebratory art work, atypical of traditional memorials that could be timeless and capable of dynamically capturing all voices of the military and their kin.
Memoryscape asks visitors to assemble their own understanding of the modern military role as peacekeeper and community member. The work’s components comprise images, personal experiences, and associations that can be assembled and re-assembled into emergent narratives as the viewer walks through the site. Memories come in and out of focus as visual connections and reflections [both literal and figurative] are established, broken and re-visioned.
Formally, Memoryscape speaks to the ambiguous distinction of the individual to the whole; a sentiment which reinforces the connection between troops and their community abroad and at home. The location of the piece is a commentary on liminality; a tribute to the layered roles of military personnel and their families as they transition from supporter to supported. Engagement with the piece offers visitors an experience that is as open-ended as it is intimate.
About the Artist:
The Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative is a research-based critical practice. The work in the studio is focused on the design opportunities that lie at the confluence of different disciplines, seeking a density of meaning that can only be achieved through the synthesis of art, architecture, urban design, and landscape architecture.
The concepts of negotiable space and imprintable architecture have been central contributors to the value of the design projects pursued. Equally important is the firm’s capacity to dynamically and responsively engage clients in order to develop project accountability. MBAC’s resultant design portfolio has received numerous international and national awards for architecture and public space design and has been internationally published and exhibited.
Recent work includes the Eau Claire Plaza Redevelopment, one of Calgary’s premiere public spaces; the revitalization of Calgary’s river pathway system through a series of plazas and nodes; the restoration of the historic Calgary Public Building; the Calgary Centre for Global Community; The National Mountain Centre; and The Roadshow: Architectural Landscapes of Canada.