ARCH 425: Team Van Valkenburg

New Foundations is 1 of 11 installations by Associate Professor Elise Shelley’s ARCH 425 students. ARCH 425 is a 4th year course at Waterloo Architecture that investigates the modern designed landscape in connection with nature, social issues, and environmentalism.

Location: rare Charitable Research ReserveSite 12

Group Members:

1 Carson Brent
2 Lalonde Leanna
3 Lee Christian
4 Perry Caitlin
5 Strong James

New Foundations

Our group chose a unique site within the RARE field which was already home to a large wooden pavilion and was located far from the bordering roadway. In this situation it was determined that we would already have a defined space within which to work. Augmenting, expanding, delineating and reorienting this predefined space became key to our installation and was our primary point of connection back to the place making and historical layering evident in the work of MVVA. Through landscape design, we determined that we could refocus the site based on our own priorities, and thus build another layer of meaning into the site.


The characteristic austerity of the existing architectural intervention becomes the vehicle through which the temporal nature of the landscape is experienced by those visiting the installation. By placing a number of designed objects in the field beyond the wooden pavilion, the focus is drawn away from the pavilion itself and into the mutable landscape. These objects take the form of cylindrical planters, which contain plants specifically chosen for their change in colour over the course of the seasons. This colour difference becomes the measure of change with respect to the landscape, as the plants periodically alternate between receding into the existing landscape and standing out amongst the indigenous plantings. In this way the project relates back to Van Valkenburgh’s earliest experimental projects by utilizing the installation as an index of the passage of time.

Photography Provided by the Artists Courtesy of Waterloo Architecture.

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