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  Type_ Competition 

  Host_Storefront Manitoba



  • International design competition for a permanent bench in Victoria Beach, Manitoba.

  • An intervention that has the power to bring people together, a place to rest, people watch, and ponder one’s surroundings.

  • Honour the late architect David Penner who spent summers at the site with his family, friends, and dogs.

  • Budget: $10,000 CAD. 


(Honourable Mention)

Trees poke up between wood planks of his boardwalk; natural plants run rampant in the yard; a lantern cottage sits within a birch forest. 

Whimsical white poles are a recurring theme in David Penner’s work - a playful reference to the birch trees in his summer playground of Victoria Beach. The bench is inspired by David’s love for playfulness and nature, offering a moment of whimsy in the forest. 

 A single white pole leans down to the ground to support a circular bench hovering above the Victoria Beach forest floor - referencing David’s appreciations for undisturbed nature and exciting structural design. 

Etched into the pole is a quote from David, and on the circular bench seat are initials of the Penner family along with Stella and Rupert. 

The bench’s playful shape and perhaps slight bounce add an element of fun and surprise to the trails of VB.

Birch - Rendering.jpg
back red'd.JPG

 Inspiration images 

(from left to right): 

Penner Cottage, birch forest 

Railside at The Forks 

Central Park Pavilion 

Buhler Centre 

BM2023_black lines-01.jpg

A summary of comments from the jury:


This project is playful and engaging and captures the dynamic character of the forest setting without disturbing the ground it hovers over. Its whimsical form, both strange and familiar, is a nod to the Aspen birch, to David’s use of white poles as an architectural element – and to the great variety of mushrooms that colonize the forest floor. David was a big fan of seeking out mushrooms, both as remarkable flora and otherwise – a fitting tribute to David and the mystical experiences that nature offers.

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