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Winner of Lansdowne design contest to be unveiled today

The winning entry for the design competition for the eastern half of Lansdowne Park is expected to be revealed sometime today.

The winning entry for the design competition for the eastern half of Lansdowne Park is expected to be revealed sometime today.

The five entries, which range in estimated cost from $33 million to $88 million, were revealed anonymously May 20.

Displays of the designs have been touring the city under the labels Design A through E for the previous three weeks.

A seven-member competition jury had been deliberating over the entries until Friday before taking a break and getting back to work yesterday, said urban designer George Dark, who is heading the jury.

Dark would not comment on any of the entries specifically, but praised the thoughtfulness and creativity of all the entries.

“It’s very rare to see this kind of consistent quality and this incredible range of ideas and creativity. It’s an incredibly big deal,” said Dark.

However, the designs are not getting the same reception from all members of the community.

Walter Hendelman, a member of Friends of Lansdowne, questioned why the submissions had not followed the competition guidelines more strictly.

Dark admitted that the guidelines are just to provide a backdrop and starting place, and submitting ideas that followed them to a tee is basically the kiss of death in design competitions.

“One of the things that a designer would tell you, if you got 20 of them in a room, is that the more you break the rules, the more you have a chance to win,” he said.

One of the difficulties in selecting a winning bid is seeing which elements are fundamental to the park or impossible in the design and must be revised, Dark said.

Hendelman also said none of the submissions stated the proportion of open public space compared to the commercial property.

“How much of Lansdowne Park is going to be accessible to the public versus how much is going to be commercial? I’m looking for a number,” said Hendelman. “If the public is confused or has lost interest, I really don’t blame them.”

 
 
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