Growing our Community: A student design competition for a community garden pavilion


About the Project: Community Garden Pavilion

As part of Canada’s 150th anniversary, Aga Khan Foundation Canada (AKFC) and Just Food invite students from across Canada to submit a design proposal for an outdoor pavilion for a new community garden in Ottawa, Ontario.

Growing our Community will bring Canadians together in 2017 to plant and maintain a new community food garden. This project will enhance the quality of life in the neighbouring community and allow Canadians to explore the local-to-global connections around issues of food security and environmental sustainability. Growing our Community is funded by Ontario 150 and is part of Ottawa 2017’s community legacy project to install 20 new community gardens across the city for Canada’s 150 anniversary celebrations.

An event will be held on September 21, 2017, to celebrate the garden’s harvest and the winning pavilion design. The event will include artists, musicians, and youth speakers.

One design will be selected as winner of the Growing our Community design competition. The winning entry will have their design built at the Just Food Farm site, receive a $5,000 prize, and attend the celebration in Ottawa.

Download the poster here.


The outdoor pavilion will serve as a public gathering place at the farm, inviting visitors to reflect on the importance of local and global issues. For Canada’s 150th anniversary, the design of the pavilion will create a space that reflects shared Canadian values of inclusion, diversity, dialogue, and community building.


The pavilion will be designed for the Just Food Farm in Ottawa, Ontario. Located in Blackburn Hamlet community, the site includes a working farm, a barn, parking lot, and Just Food headquarters, surrounded by forest, and agricultural land. A competitive proposal will address the site’s rural, outdoor environment.

To download a site plan, click here.

Structure and Size:

The structure should provide shelter from rain, shade from sun, and withstand the effects of weather (including heavy snowfall) and public use. The structure should also be approximately 15’x 15’ in size, include seating, and be made of wood. The height should be 12’ and the interior a minimum of 8’0” (approx. 2400mm). There will also be an interpretive panel by the pavilion, which will include the concept behind the build. This will be a permanent structure.

Please ensure the pavilion design is easily accessible including low grade ramps at 1/20 slope to any and every raised floor area and 1500mm between structural and/or wall elements to ensure free movement beneath the pavilion canopy.

Competition Jury:

A jury of industry professionals will review all design submissions and select three finalists. The top three designs will then go to public voting.

Ewa Bieniecka
The Royal Architectural Institute Of Canada

Montreal native Ewa Bieniecka is a registered architect in Quebec. In a career that spans 30 years, Ewa’s experience includes competitions, major projects, rehabilitation, and restoration of heritage buildings. As a LEED accredited professional, she applies sustainable knowledge to all design projects. Previously, as an Associate at Arcop, and later Practice Leader at Architecture49, she worked on some of Canada’s most recognizable heritage landmarks. These include the East Block and the West Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the reconstruction of the Grande Allée Armoury in Québec City, and the rehabilitation of the Government Conference Centre in Ottawa. In addition to practicing architecture, Ewa was an adjunct professor at the School of Architecture at McGill University.

Michael J. Giroux
Canadian Wood Council

Michael is the President of the Canadian Wood Council, a National Industry Association representing manufacturers of Canadian wood products used in construction. Michael diverse work portfolio includes time with the National Research Council of Canada, the Cement Association of Canada and International Building Systems Limited wherein Michael was co-owner.

The foundation for Michael’s career was built on previous work in product engineering, process engineering and marketing/sales with iconic high tech companies such as Nortel, Honeywell / Sperry Aerospace and Spirent Communications. Supporting both halves of Michael’s career is a strong and diverse professional network and a solid educational background consisting of a Bachelor of Engineering from Carleton University and an MBA from the University of Ottawa.

Johanna Hurme
5468796 architecture

Johanna Hurme is an architect and a founding partner of Winnipeg [CAN] based 5468796 Architecture, established in 2007. In the past eight years the firm has achieved national and international recognition and its work has been published in over 150 books and publications. The Houston based Rice Design Alliance recently stated that they ‘truly believe 5468796 to be one of the most talented young design firms worldwide.’

5468796 makes design advocacy an ongoing pursuit through critical practice, professorships at the Universities of Manitoba, Toronto and Montreal; and through numerous public engagements. In 2012 5468796 represented Canada at the Venice Biennale in Architecture and in 2013 they were selected as recipient of the 2013 Prix de Rome Award in Architecture for Canada by the Canada Council for the Arts. Johanna currently on the Board of Directors of Winnipeg Chamber of Commerce, on the Council of Manitoba Association of Architects, and is a Chair and founder of the WCC’s Creative Council.

Michael Kinghorn

Michael Kinghorn has been exploring the use of found objects and recycling them into thought-provoking sculptural works from his studio in Wakefield, Quebec. Working with geometric forms, he combines found objects with layers of steel and cast copper or aluminium to create unique pieces that explore life in the 21st century. Michael has exhibited his drawings and sculptures in group and solo shows in the Ottawa region, Toronto, and Eastern Europe.

Maria Mingallon
Associate | Head of Buildings Structures

Maria Mingallon is an associate at Arup and a structural engineer. She also holds a degree in architecture from the prestigious Architectural Association in London. With more than 11 years of experience, Maria is a specialist in parametric design, advanced computation and digital fabrication of complex geometry structures. She has taught and lectured at several world renowned institutions, including the McGill School of Architecture and the Architectural Association. Maria has also received several awards, the most recent one in May 2015, when she was awarded the Visionary Prize as part of the 13th edition of the ‘Grands Prix de génie-conseil québecois’ by the Québec Association of Consulting Engineers. Since 2014, Maria leads the buildings team at the Arup office in Montreal with great success, where she continues to demonstrate that she does not stop at the first feasible solution but instead, she aspires to explore and innovate at every opportunity.

Eligibility for the 2017 Competition:

The competition is open to all students (undergraduate or graduate levels) currently enrolled in an architecture, civil engineering or design program at a Canadian university or college.

Submission Requirements:

Please choose a five digit number and place it both on top of the team information sheet submission and in a visible location on both posters. This ensures entries stay anonymous for the jury.

Entries must contain the following documents:

Team Information

• Full name, contact information, and institutional affiliation for all team members.
• A written summary (200 words maximum) describing how your proposed project addresses the purpose and themes of the competition. Please include a title for your project.

Design Submission

Images & drawings: Two A2 (420 X 594):

• Four main views or 3D elevations of the pavilion, indicating size and specific indication of materials
• A perspective showing the pavilion in its entirety.
• Site plan, showing the design in its context, scale 1:200 or 1:400 to fit given paper specifications.
Teams are asked to submit entries to [email protected] . The entries must be sent electronically as PDF files not exceeding 10MB each. The deadline for submissions is Sunday, May 21, 2017, 11:59 PM eastern standard time.

Selection Criteria:

• Creativity of the concept
• Originality, coherence, and clarity of the design
• Expression of the functional and thematic requirements
• Clarity of construction

Project oversight and build:

AKFC will be responsible for the construction of the winning design. At least one designated team member must be available to answer any questions the builder may have during construction (July-August 2017).


The budget for the creation and construction of the pavilion is $40,000 Cdn.


• First place winner will receive $5,000 Cdn.
• Return domestic airfare and two nights’ accommodation for team members to attend the official celebration of for the pavilion and community garden project in Ottawa (up to four team members).


Sunday, May 21, 2017, 11:59 PM EST Deadline for submissions
May 22-May 26, 2017 Jury review
Week of May 29, 2017 Finalists announced
June 1-June 22, 2017 Public online voting
Week of June 26, 2017 Winner announced
July-August, 2017 Construction of winning design
September 21, 2017 Official launch


Deadline for Submission:

The deadline for submission to the Growing our Community Architecture Competition:

Sunday, May 21, 2017, 11:59pm EST

AKFC will share select submissions through online and social media platforms. By taking part in this competition, entrants authorize AKFC to make public, exhibit, and disseminate their designs for marketing and promotion purposes.


Please check our Frequently Asked Questions for more information.

If you have any further questions, applicants may email questions to both:

Christine McGuire
Public Affairs Manager
Aga Khan Foundation Canada
[email protected]

Johan Voordouw
Assistant Professor
Azrieli School of Architecture & Urbanism
Carleton University
[email protected]

Aga Khan Foundation Canada is an international development organization and registered charity. Since 1980, AKFC has helped millions of people in Africa and Asia unlock their potential to build a better life.

Just Food is a community-based, non-profit organization whose mandate is to work towards vibrant, just and sustainable food and farming systems in the Ottawa region.

With the financial support of the Government of Ontario.

ON150 Primary Green

Just Food LogoGEFC logo