DYK Post

University of Calgary Architecture Students Built a Beautiful Parklet Located in Front of Cafe Mosaics on Whyte Ave

DYK Post

A couple of University of Calgary architecture students built a beautiful temporary parklet.

They call it The Electric Barn, or Barn(E), and it’s beautiful – especially at night.

The bike-powered LED-lit parklet (aka. urban park) is located in front of Cafe Mosaics on Old Strathcona’s Whyte Avenue.

The students won a design-build competition and were given the honor to design and build the parklet.

One of the project creators writes:

The idea was that it provides an urban refuge for pedestrians. In addition to providing seating, plants, and shade, we built a busker stage, which will be used every saturday for a performance lineup for the summer months, and a bike generator that regenerates a battery that lights up the structure at night.@wyuen1

He goes on to say:

The hope was that this ‘electric barn’ would create vibrancy on the streets of Edmonton.@wyuen1

The students are getting a ton of praise on multiple posts found on reddit.

However, as to be expected, they are receiving a bit of criticism as well. Some are complaining about the removal of parking spots, others complaining about this parklet making it difficult to turn right on the road ahead. For shame.

What is a parklet?

A parklet is a sidewalk extension that provides more space and amenities for people using the street. Usually parklets are installed on parking lanes and use several parking spaces. Parklets typically extend out from the sidewalk at the level of the sidewalk to the width of the adjacent parking space.Wikipedia

The Whyte Avenue Parklet Render // @wyuen1
The Whyte Avenue Parklet Render // @wyuen1

HUMAN POWERED — The LED lights that light up the parklet at night are powered solely by a bike hooked up to a battery.

All of the lumber used on the project were gathered from an abandoned barn

Although the parklet seems rather large, it takes up just two parking spots in front of the cafe.

The parklet will be displayed in front of Cafe Mosaics until the end of August, so be sure to stop by before then.

When it is eventually taken down at the end of next month, the lumber will be re-recycled once more and given to Edmonton’s Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.

Enjoy yourself at Whyte Avenue BarnE // @wyuen1
Enjoy yourself at Whyte Avenue BarnE // @wyuen1

EVERY SATURDAY — There will be events held at the urban park every Saturday from 4:00 PM to 9: 00 PM. It is described as an intimate outdoor music event showcasing local established and emerging artists.

The events are complete free to attend, and are family friendly.

The events will be occurring every Saturday from this just-passed July 23rd, up until August 27th. They ask that you invite your friends to attend.

The guys behind the project write:

The first ever URB PRK at Cafe Mosaics Vegetarian + Vegan Waterhole emerged from a vision to bring more life to the urban streets and communities by creating urban spaces that involve the community, young emerging talent, and local business owners. We do this because we love our city and can only see it growing into it’s own biosphere of goodness. What makes Edmonton particularly splendid are the crazy and amazing people with big hearts and deep aspirations!keytothewest.ca

Here are a ton of photos from start to completion.

People are loving the addition to the area. Here’s some of the love being sent by locals:

One local writes in this parklet’s regard:

Just drove by this the other day, looks really great in person, I didn’t even realize how much functionality it has!@Woodenboy

Great job! You have completely outdone anything the city considers tasteful art in the last 20 years. Please what ever you did to get here, get other students to do the same in the future.@SDH500



The Whyte Avenue Parklet Planning // keytothewest.ca
The Whyte Avenue Parklet Planning // keytothewest.ca

Correction: A prior version of this article stated that the students attend University of Alberta. They attend the University of Calgary.


Jody Mitoma

Founder of Edmonton Talks News.

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