In "LAN2014: Design Studio 4," graduate landscape architecture students were asked to design an extension for the West Toronto Railpath, a linear park that runs alongside a set of train tracks in the city's west end. Their instructors were Behnaz Assadi, Megan Esopenko, and Francesco Martire.
Louisa Kennett and Allison Smith
"This proposal for the West Toronto Railpath extension looks at how landscape design can promote public health by facilitating physical activity for all ages and abilities in an urban setting," Louisa and Allison write. "A 'spine,' composed of hollow steel tubing, allows for continuous engagement along the linear site as it twists into elements of play and fitness, strategically placed in response to the adjacencies."
Xueni Hu and Ruiqi Zhao
Bingqing and Ruixian were interested in the way wind from passing trains affects the environment on the path. "The linear park is covered with tall grasses," they write. "A corten steel wall is added along the edge of the railpath, which helps to guide the train-induced airflow [...] People are immersed in the grassland. Walking on the trail, they can easily feel the passing of the train and the flow of wind through the movement of the grass."
Joshua Bauman and Lauren McLachlan
"Our proposal challenges the perceptions of wild urban animals by intentionally emphasizing their ecological relationships in an otherwise anthropocentric infrastructural corridor," Joshua and Lauren write. "We developed a site language by incorporating diverse animal habitats into the built environment, using repeated sculptural forms along the linear landscape. This strategy can be repeated along other railway corridors and other infrastructural rights-of-way."
Morgan Quinn and Gal Kaufman
"The primary function of trains is to make connections between distant places, but in west Toronto the rail line has created a physical and psychological barrier that has severed neighboring communities," Morgan and Gal write. "Perspective Park employs a series of raised paths that lift visitors and create connections across the divide."