WESTMINSTER WOODS URBAN DESIGNTHE CAIRN
In 2006 the original farmhouse that sat on the 200 acre farm that comprised the land for this new residential subdivision was destroyed by fire. With the option of restoring the old house now gone the developer chose to build a small memorial or cairn near the location where the house once stood. Its purpose would be to provide a link to the past history of the site. The cairn incorporates a stainless steel plaque with a photo and brief history of the house in a landscaped parkette setting. Its location was chosen for its proximity to the actual site of the Tolton House and its easy accessibility from the main sidewalk. In this way the Cairn is not a token reference to the old house in an out-of-the-way location but rather becomes a familiar part of the community's pedestrian network. The Cairn's architectural style is modern, simple, low and integrated within the landscape buffer zone of the boulevard. The contemporary design is meant to gently contrast with the more traditional vernacular architecture and urban design of its surroundings in order to underline its special importance and function within the fabric of the neighbourhood. A few elements of the design have significance. The landscape screen provides privacy for the new homes adjacent to the site. The sunken garden contains stones recovered from the old house and is planted with grasses suggesting the open fields of the farm. The benches provide a small rest area for the use of the neighbourhood, another element in the overall urban space network of the community.
||Civic Art / Urban Design
||Architecture / Urban Design / Landscape
||<1,000 sq ft approx