Roll Out the Rail Carpet

ElliottJocic: Hamilton is a medium sized city on the western end of Lake Ontario working to shrug off its reputation as an ailing steeltown. While metropolitan Hamilton is growing, the downtown exhibits many of the same conditions that afflict de-industrializing cities. A notable exception to this trend is the corridor along James Street North connecting the core and the harborfront. In the last decade this stretch has become the locus of a uniquely inclusive and animated culture economy that hosts a consistently lively monthly street party.

Roll Out the Rail Carpet is a ground plane intervention that announces and intensifies the unique social character of Hamilton’s James North neighbourhood. Located at the intersection of James and Murray Street West, at the northern edge of the James Street commercial and arts district and adjacent to the former CNR train station, the site occupies the historic entry point for newcomers to the city.

As a “carpet” of recovered rail sections arrayed in a geometric pattern and embedded into the sidewalk, the project demarcates a permeable space that operates either as a room in which things occur, or a stage that is viewed. Through the decorative repositioning of recycled steel, the project seeks to acknowledge the historic, though diminishing, importance of that material in Hamilton while marking the ongoing evolution of the area.

Landscape Architects: ElliottJocic / Vesna Jocic & Nicko Elliott
Client: City of Hamilton / Department of Culture & Recreation / Art in Public Spaces Initiative
Location: Hamilton Canada
Completed: 2012
Budget: $24,845


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