Killarney Park : creating a centre for play in the community
Public parks play an important role in the health of the community. Not only are they places to play sports and run the family dog, but they also provide an essential interface between the natural world and the built environment. Located in East Vancouver, Killarney Park and Killarney Community Centre were built (in 1962) as a sports-oriented facility. While the extensive sports fields are quite well-used during game times, the sparse landscape consisting mostly of flat turf lined with street
... lined with street trees goes largely unused for purposes other than sports-playing. As well, the current park design fails to meet several programmatic needs of the community. Tai chi practitioners and local youth find themselves without an appropriate venue for their interests. Killarney Park has failed to evolve to meet the needs of the evolving community of Killarney. By formally addressing the issues of structure, community, ecology and play, the design proposal considers the whole community and its needs. The proposal for Killarney Park results from a layering of social, cultural and ecological programs where stormwater management systems interface explicitly with the main circulation system to put the site's ecological functioning in the public eye. Existing sports facilities are maintained, while community and ecological programs are layered to make full use of the site's potential as a community hub. The design for Killarney Park is a place of local celebration where sports viewing, outdoor movie watching, and local produce selling all find a home. The needs of the natural world are addressed by enhancing the stormwater infiltration and fruit production on the site. By layering the ecological functioning of the site with its community programming, this project explores how the neighbourhood sport-park can benefit not only the community and its people but will add to the the healthy functioning of the local ecosystem.