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Green Shed: Pandora Park Community Garden Design Competition

In dense urban settings, community gardens are an invaluable public resource – they not only provide the opportunity for city dwellers to grow their own food, but they may also educate the wider community about organics, food security, and sustainability.

Pandora Park Community Garden Society invites student and professional architects, landscape architects, builders, engineers, gardeners and designers of all kinds to take part in Green Shed: Pandora Park Community Garden Design Competition. The goal of this international competition is to generate buildable designs for a storage shed and outdoor common space for a new community garden that will showcase sustainable building strategies and materials. The winning design will be built by a team of volunteers over the summer of 2010.


Pandora Park Community Garden is currently under development as part of the City of Vancouver’s 2010 in 2010 initiative – a project to create 2010 new community garden plots across the city. The competition encompasses the northwest corner of the garden, an area that has been reserved for public amenities including picnic facilities, storage for garden tools, a beehive, and a small fruit tree orchard. With stunning views of the north shore mountains and surrounding park and garden, the site offers the possibility to design a space for contemplation and congregation, in addition to serving the gardens needs for seating and storage.

Pandora Park is an older, medium-sized inner city park on Vancouver’s east side. The park serves the Hastings Sunrise neighbourhood, which is home to a wide mix of income levels, ethnic backgrounds and types of housing. The neighbourhood to the east of the park, with the exception of lots facing Nanaimo Street, is zoned for single-family homes. The neighbourhood surrounding the park west of Nanaimo Street is a mix of low-rise apartments, condominiums, and single family homes. Much of the housing in the area serves low-income households with no access to garden space. Directly south of the park lies a busy commercial district along Hastings Street, which boasts a wide variety of food markets, restaurants and small shops.


The primary objective is to demonstrate that natural, hand built, recycled, or otherwise sustainably produced building materials and technologies can be used in a contemporary aesthetic and community garden context. Entrants are therefore encouraged to use materials in innovative ways in the tradition of Samuel Mockbee’s Rural Studio. Materials may include, but are not limited to: rammed earth, cob, straw bale, reclaimed wood, off-cut dimensional lumber, and salvaged materials from any source. A list of identified salvaged materials from local builders and suppliers is provided below.

Generate buildable designs for a storage shed and outdoor common space for a new community garden that will showcase sustainable building strategies and materials.


  • First: Construction of Winning Design, Publication in SABMag, Cash Prize;
  • Second: Publication in SABMag, Cash Prize;
  • Third: Publication in SABMag, Cash Prize;


  • The competition is open to all.
  • There are no restrictions on team size or number of entries per team, although each entry requires a separate registration and entry fee.
  • Cross-disciplinary collaboration is encouraged.
  • Non-designers who wish to enter the competition may be eligible for draughting/graphics assistance in preparing their submission – contact the organizers at for more information.

How to enter?

Register to the contest and then submit your entries.

Submission Requirements:

  • A maximum of three (3) tabloid (11″x17″ ) panels, portrait format, to be submitted as a single PDF of maximum size 15MB on a Mac/PC compatible compact disc marked with the entrant’s identifying code. Only the identifying code is to be shown on the panel filename and presentation boards. Entrants may choose their own six character identifying code, which may be any combination of letters and numbers provided that they do not form a word or provide any clues to the entrant’s identity. Panels should include a site plan, building plan, section(s) and elevations, as well as any construction details, diagrams or 3-D models required to illustrate the design concept. Panels will be viewed electronically for preliminary review; shortlisted entries will be printed and mounted in sequence on a single board.
  • A written description of the design of no more than 200 words clarifying the concept and sustainable design strategies, to be submitted as a pdf with the entrant’s identifying code followed by “_text.pdf”, (for example, an identifying code of A0B1C2 would use the filename A0B1C2_text.pdf).
  • The entrant’s contact information, to be submitted as a pdf with entrant’s identifying code followed by “_contact.pdf”, (for example, an identifying code of A0B1C2 would use the filename A0B1C2_contact.pdf). Entrants should include the following information: Names of all members of the design team, name of firm (if applicable), and the mailing address, phone number and email address for the team captain.
  • Entries must be received at the competition office no later than 5pm, 26 March 2010. Entries received after this time will not be reviewed. No materials will be returned.

Entry fee

  • Early Registration $35
  • Standard Registration $50