Winnipeggers challenged to reimagine Alexander Docks

Published Sunday, March 11, 2018 6:46PM CST

Last Updated Sunday, March 11, 2018 7:21PM CST

A competition is challenging Winnipeggers to come up with a new design for the Alexander Docks.

The waterfront site has been vacant since the dock was closed due to safety concerns in 2015.

The competition is called ‘On The Docks’.

Two Winnipeg architects launched it to inspire ideas and come up with imaginative solutions for the space.

Unlike other types of public brainstorming sessions, this one requires a little extra creativity.

The architects behind the competition want people to draw their ideas.

“It doesn’t look very awesome,” said six-year-old Felix Driedger commenting on the look of the site Sunday, while at the Alexander Docks working on his submission.

Driedger’s calls his vision for the site ‘Ultimate Underwater Zone’.

It includes tunnels, diving boards and a rollercoaster.

It’s the kind of creativity and participation co-organizers and architects Laurène Bachand and Aaron Pollack want to see from people who submit ideas.

“We hope to see designers submitting but also members from the community,” said Bachand.

“It’s a drawing competition, but we don’t evaluate the quality of the drawing, we evaluate the quality of the idea.” 

The Alexander Docks have an important history.

It was a gathering spot during the 1919 Winnipeg general strike, and served as shipping, transportation, and recreation hub.

In 2014, it became a place of public mourning and memorial for 15-year-old Tina Fontaine after her body was found in the water at the site.

Jino Distasio is with the Institute of Urban Studies at University of Winnipeg.

He said he would like to see something simple at the site.

“I think if we can just recreate the dock as a place to come observe reflect, to connect with the water, where people really want to gather again,” said Distasio.

Bachand and Pollock plan to send submissions to the city.

The deadline for the competition is April 24th.

First place takes home a $1,000 prize.

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