Museum of Contemporary Art Gateway Sculpture Garden
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This thesis comprises a design for a garden that serves as a gateway to the new cultural hub of the Museum of Contemporary Art (MOCA) in the Junction Triangle, Toronto. This contribution aims to capitalize on the cultural potential of such a dynamic site. The global concept of a therapeutic landscape, which acts as a framework for this thesis, has been applied to various outdoor settings that serve a wide variety of social and health-related functions in society. There are a range of motivations for the enduring aspirations of city planners and designers to integrate green spaces within cities. The targeted location for inserting greenspaces in this thesis will be vacant spaces. Despite the significance and advantages of vacant lands for city developers, cities were previously developed in ways that failed to leverage the social benefits associated with development of these lands for the surrounding communities. Some of these are associated with ecological, aesthetic, and design goals. The first premise of this thesis focuses on the healing effect of natural elements such as plants and water in harmonizing human health and well-being through their special connection to the human subconscious and imagination. The second recurring premise of this thesis emphasizes on the importance of art and engagement in cultural-artistic events in achieving inner peace. The conservation of our memories from past centuries could be an essential driver of current design values. Throughout urban history, gardens within cities have been infused with the human subconscious and have supported the health and wellbeing of their occupants. Not only do they act as hubs that foster human interaction with the natural world, they have also become important sites for social and cultural interaction. Previous to recent developments, including relocation of MOCA and the renovation of former factory lands into living and commercial spaces, the targeted site for this design thesis at Junction Triangle was considered as an urban vacant land due to industrialization and its proximity to the railway. This land, however, has a historical background worth to become a cultural garden for the Museum of Contemporary Art. The output of this thesis will thus be a complete garden for all the seasons that offers a safe, welcoming, and well-maintained therapeutic landscape as well as social and cultural opportunities for Toronto residents and visitors of MOCA. In addition to incorporating elements of nature that have an inherent healing effect on humans, the healing effect of the garden also arises from social collaborations between visitors and their involvement in cultural-artistic events, which are represented by sculptures and other elements throughout the garden.
Cite this version of the work
Melika Mehdizadeh (2020). Museum of Contemporary Art Gateway Sculpture Garden. UWSpace. http://hdl.handle.net/10012/15663