A spirit of place, a landscape design for the 1999 Pan American Games Athlete's Village at the University of Manitoba Fort Garry Campus
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The Pan-American games are going to be held in Winnipeg in 1999. The University of Manitoba campus, the oldest academic institution in Western Canada, will play host to many important events, the foremost being the site for the main Pan-American Village. Over six thousand athletes, coaches, and officials will be housed within the secured perimeter around the University. In addition, there will be daily influxes of hundreds of security personnel, media, dignitaries, and volunteers. The University of Manitoba Campus will literally be in the international spotlight. Massive exposure, such as the Games promise, demands that the exterior environment of the Campus reflect the positive image of the University as a forward-thinking institution; a place of creativity and insight. The hosting of the Pan-American Games provides the University of Manitoba with a unique opportunity to develop an exterior environment which is more sensitive and expressive of the native landscape vernacular of the Prairies. Utilizing indigenous materials in a landscape design for a demonstration site within the Athlete's Village at the University of Manitoba is an important first step towards endowing the University with an identity more in keeping with its location on the Prairies. Indeed, an expression of the regional native landscape will facilitate the cultural understanding the games strive to impart, by giving a sense of place to all the participants.