EDMONTON – Borden Park has been a popular attraction for Edmontonians ever since it first opened in 1906, but time slowly took its toll, and 100 years later, the city decided to give the park a much-needed overhaul. The latest addition, designed by Toronto-based outfit gh3, is a pavilion that adds vital amenities to the park’s civic infrastructure.

‘The building recalls the iconic geometry of classical parks and pavilions,’ say the architects, pointing to the surrounding curving paths and loose axial relationships, typical of traditional English school of landscaping. Inside, the core of the circular pavilion contains public toilets and vending machines, encircled by a small seating area, offering unobstructed views of the park through its elegant, laminated timber truss structure.

From the outside, the pavilion is clad with triangulated, highly reflective glass panels, effectively dissolving into its surroundings, even though the architects’ original proposal called for a more transparent structure. ‘In order to reduce solar heat gain in the pavilion we added a reflective coating to the glass,’ the architects explain, noting that ‘the reflective nature of the glass lends itself to integrating the pavilion into the landscape by mirroring the surrounding vegetation.’

Photos Raymond Chow