Client: City of Winnipeg
Location: Winnipeg, MB, Canada
Completion date: 2012
Artwork budget: $575,000
Public Art Agent
Winnipeg Arts Council
Michael Fless, Andre Garand, Imre Naphrengyi
Parr Metal Fabricators Ltd.
City of Winnipeg
The Winnipeg Arts Council Public Art Program issued an international Call to Artists for a large-scale public art installation to be integrated into Millennium Library Park which was undergoing a major renovation. The artwork was to address the site (a busy downtown library), incorporate water and light, and serve as a legacy project for the 2010 designation of Winnipeg as a Cultural Capital of Canada. The commission was awarded to Vancouver artist Bill Pechet who created emptyful which is based on the shape of a container, over 10 meters high, made of stainless steel, lights, water and fog.
The integration of art into Millennium Library Park was always an extremely important component of the Park's much-needed rejuvenation. HTFC Planning & Design was engaged by the City of Winnipeg to create a vibrant public space in this busy downtown location that included gardens, programming space and public art. In addition to emptyful, an artwork entitled Sentinel of Truth by Darren Stebeleski was also commissioned. This work, made of weathering and stainless steel, includes text from library books and acts as an edge to the park.
Working with The City of Winnipeg, the Winnipeg Arts Council, The Library Foundation and The Downtown BIZ to redevelop Millennium Library Park in the heart of downtown Winnipeg, HTFC led a collaborative process that included community consultations, program development, design, technical research and review, and public art coordination. The 4,500 sq.m. park floats over a two storey parkade weaving together a prairie garden, an urban wetland, a river-bottom grove, a reading commons and a sun drenched lawn providing users with places to gather, read, perform, learn and play.The park is also a model for sustainable urban park planning. A rainwater harvesting system for irrigation, and passive windmill aeration system for the urban wetland collect, filter and manage water on the rooftop. The Native Garden Plantings in the park bring three iconic Manitoba ecosystems into the heart of the city providing inner city users and tourists direct contact with the diverse flora that can be found in the province of Manitoba. Artist and architect Bill Pechet worked closely with the landscape designers, engineers and contractors who were creating Millennium Library Park to successfully integrate the work based on the principles developed through the design consultation and research phase.
emptyful is inspired by the idea that Winnipeg, (and the surrounding prairies) is full of emptiness...a boundless space where various phenomena such as weather, light, seasons and human endeavour come and go. The shape suggests an experiment; it implies containment, but the open construction allows for the opposite: light, wind, rain and snow flow through easily. emptyful includes a rain curtain and fog which are lit at night with colours which cool and calm the summer heat, shifting greens, blues, aquas, and whites. Winter lighting settings are softly pulsing fire colours to bring a warm contrast to the cold evenings.