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The 2020 - 2021 Barkman Concrete Student Design Competition task is to design, layout, and detail steps or stairs to the sunken patio on the northside of the Architecture 2 Building.

Barkman Concrete Student Design Competition Announcement

September 16, 2020 — 

Barkman Concrete Student Design Competition
Deadline: December 2, 2020 @ 11:30am

Concrete is known as grey. But concrete has amazing properties! Every year Barkman Concrete Ltd. honours pre-cast design proposals of students that challenge and celebrate the material. The Barkman concrete design competition is unique among faculty-wide design competitions since it promotes communication between industry, educators and students.

Contest task
The task is to design, layout, and detail steps or stairs to the sunken patio on the northside of the Architecture 2 Building. Barkman Concrete Ltd. is expecting compelling ideas for an inviting spatial solution that includes areas to sit, learn, linger, relax etc. outside of room 121B. Room 121B is a studio space and has two doors that open to the rear patio which slopes upwards 2.50m, in between existing concrete walls. You are encouraged to experiment with features (wood, plants etc.) to compliment the stairs.

The unit(s):

  • can be a dry-cast or wet-cast product(s)
  • needs to be of a weight between 1300 to 1500 pounds so that it can be installed by the equipment of a contractor (1 cubic foot concrete weighs 145 pounds)
  • needs to easily slide out of the formwork form
  • needs to be functional and aesthetically pleasing
  • needs to be assembled to overcome a difference in height of 2.50m
  • needs to be applicable to other locations and their design

The winning design will be chosen based on the plausibility and creativity in how to create a space and shape steps in an intriguing, makeable and affordable way.


The Barkman Concrete design competition is open to any student enrolled in the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba (in the 2020 -2021 academic year) and is a required assignment for students in EVLU 4002. Team entries are welcome. Only one design per team or person is allowed.

Schedule and adjudication

Explanation of project                           1:30pm-2:15pm, Wed. Sept 16, 2020
Barkman virtual plant tour                 12:45pm-2:15pm, Wed. Oct 7, 2020
Review of draft, via zoom                   11:30am-2:15pm, Wed. Nov 25, 2020
Submission, via upload (TBA)             11:30am – Wed. December 2, 2020
Adjudication                                          Friday December 4, 2020

A jury of Barkman Concrete representatives will undertake the adjudication and December 4, 2020. The call for entries aims at establishing prizes (total money of $3000) generously donated by Barkman Concrete Ltd. as part of their Scholarship Fund for students in the Faculty / Department of Landscape Architecture.

Submission instructions and further details can be found online at:

For further information please contact Professor Anna Thurmayr Anna [dot] Thurmayr [at] umanitoba [dot] ca


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