9930 Groat Road, Edmonton
(now known as Hawrelak Park)
Designed by: Bittorf and Wensley Architects
Original Owner: City of Edmonton
In Edmonton’s early years the site of today’s Hawrelak Park was known as Mayfair and owned by the Strathcona Land Syndicate. The city obtained title to the land on November 21, 1922, through a tax forfeit. For the next 30 years, the site was used as a garbage dump and for a gravel extraction and crushing operation. In 1954 it was proposed that the land be made in to a park and planning began two years later. Construction of the site commenced in 1959, and the adjoining 73 hectares were leased for the Mayfair Golf and Country Club. The park was officially opened on July 1, 1967. The total cost of the park structures was $275,000.
The design of the pavilions mark a distinction from the rectilinear International Style and favour the organic modernism put forth by architects such as Finland’s renowned modernist, Alvar Aalto, and the regionalism of West Coast post and beam construction shown in the early Vancouver work of Ron Thom. The pavilions are sited in a natural park setting and reflect the landscape through the organically-shaped concrete columns, the glue-laminated wood beams and wood-shingled roof. The structures appear to emerge from the ground to shelter the extensively-glazed interior space of the pavilions. Adhering to another modernist principle, the pavilions successfully merge the interior and exterior space through the extensive use of curtain wall glazing.
“Edmonton’s Modern Movement of the 1960s”
Lawrence Herzog, Inside Edmonton, Vol 25 No 28, July 12, 2007
Mayfair Park Pavilions
on Capital Modern
Additional Information on Alvar Aalto
courtesy of Artsy.net