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01.31.20 – MArch student Christian Huizenga's design work will beautify a public park in BC

As Master of Architecture student Christian Huizenga gets ready to defend his thesis project at the Daniels Faculty, he's simultaneously putting the finishing touches on an extracurricular architectural feat.

In 2018, Huizenga and his brother, Aaron, entered a competition to design a multi-use pavilion for Tait Waterfront Park, a new public green space located on the south bank of the Fraser River, in Richmond, British Columbia. Theirs was one of 19 submissions. A few months later, following a juried selection process, they found out that they had won. Richmond city council soon approved a $130,000 budget for design and construction.

The pavilion's design references the nearby river, with an undulating aluminum roof. "It draws on vernacular architecture in the area," Huizenga says. "And also on formal notions of movement of water. The roof structure is a series of wave-like figures coming together. It all funnels into a native garden that will surround it."

The design was strongly influenced by Huizenga's graduate studies at the Daniels Faculty. "Because of my comprehensive studio, I was pretty excited about trusses and the merging of timber with structural steel," he says. "This project utilizes some very unique Vierendeel trusses that connect to Douglas fir structural rafters."

"And I've learned a lot of technical skills at Daniels. Before coming here, I had not really used 3D modelling software. This project was completely designed digitally."

Photo: Huizenga at work, at Fabrikaat Custom Fabrication.

Huizenga is now making periodic trips to the west coast to help fabricate the pavilion at Fabrikaat Custom Fabrication, his brother's Vancouver-based metal shop. The in-house fabrication process puts him in complete creative control, and it's also less expensive than contracting out the carpentry and metalwork, meaning he'll be able to realize his complex roof design without exceeding the city's budget.

The pavilion is scheduled for completion in July.

To view more of Huizenga's work, visit his website.