The inaugural Winter Stations competition last year was a wild success, with Toronto locals gathering around playful architectural installations and enjoying themselves at the beach — in the middle of another harsh winter. Winter Stations organizers RAW Design, Ferris + Associates, and Curio decided to launch the second edition of the competition, which invites architects worldwide to propose lively, winter-resilient temporary installations to be built in the heart of Toronto's Beach communities. Outdoor activities don't have to be a summer-only thing!
This year's "Freeze/Thaw" theme had participants design a structure responsive to the climatic conditions brought about by the winter season. Out of 380 competitive entries, the jury picked four winning designs, which were ranked in no particular order. The winning proposals — in addition to three student-designed proposals — will be constructed into enticing public installations from February 10-14.
The installations will officially debut on February 15 and stay open to the public until March 20, 2016.
Have a look at this year's winning entries below.
In the Belly of a Bear
by Caitlind R.C. Brown, Wayne Garrett and Lane Shordee | Calgary, Canada
"Juxtaposing a dark, charred aesthetic against the bright, stark landscape, In the Belly of a Bear invites the public to climb up a wooden ladder into a domed interior lined densley in thick, warm fur. Within this cozy, warm space, visitors can find reprieve from the cold outside or gaze out the large round window pointing towards the lake. A truly collaborative effort, In the Belly of a Bear was envisioned by a team of three Calgary-based artists, each bringing a distinct discipline to the project."
by MUDO (Elodie Doukhan and Nicolas Mussche) | Montreal, Canada
"Creating a highly sensory experience, Floating Ropes appears as a suspended cube of ropes, offering a playful and porous matrice into which visitors take shelter. At the centre of the multilayered rope forest, the lifeguard chair provides the perfect spot for the public to view the lake from a unique perspective. Based in Montreal, architecture collective MUDO bring a handcrafted approach to their work - ranging from microarchitecture to urban design."
by Sandbox (Calvin Fung and Victor Huynh) | Toronto, Canada
"Capturing the transitionary moment between freeze and thaw, Flow re-imagines a single ice crystal as a 3D star-shaped module digitally fabricated through slot-fitting wood connections. While capable of crystallizing into a solid state, the material is able to be easily reconfigured, like a liquid, due to the system's loose bonds. Submitted by graduate students Calvin Fung and Victor Huynh, Flow is a reflection of the duo's interdisciplinary backgrounds."
by FFLO (Claire Fernley and James Fox) | Kent, UK
"Inviting the public to embrace this year's Freeze/Thaw theme, Sauna is a completely immersive art installation bringing heat to the blustery lakeshore. Built from timber, the interior is comprised of tiered seating, the higher the hotter. Meanwhile its transparent exterior walls allow walkers by to get glimpse of thawing bathers within, with solar powered lights illuminating the structure at night. The design was submitted by FFLO, a UK-based practice with a comprehensive background in landscape architecture."
Building upon last year's participation from Ryerson, three schools submitted designs this year: Ryerson University’s Faculty of Engineering and Architectural Sciences, Landscape and Design; OCAD University’s School of Environmental Design; and Laurentian University's Faculty of Science, Engineering and Architecture.
by Laurentian University | Sudbury, Ontario
Project team: Chris Baziw, Ra'anaa Brown, Trevor D'Orazio, Andrew Harkness, Matthew Hunter, Danielle Kastelein and Terrance Galvin, Director of Architecture | Laurentian University
"Made from sewn fabric, LED lights and a welded aluminium frame, Aurora is an kinetic sculpture that hovers above the lifeguard station like a spinning chandelier. As the visitor approaches and touches the illuminated tubes, they respond to body heat by changing colour."
The Steam Canoe
by OCADU | Toronto, Ontario
Project team: Curtis Ho, Jungyun Lee, Monifa Onca Charles, Reila Park, Hamid Shahi, Lambert St‐Cyr, Jaewon Kim, Jason Wong and Mark Tholen, Assistant Professor - Faculty of Environmental Design, OCADU
"Composed of wood panels, OCADU’s design resembles that of an upside down canoe, creating an interior dome for the public to take shelter. Evacuated solar tubes placed at the rear of the structure are designed to turn snow to steam, creating a halo of fog emerging from within this ‘steam canoe’."
Lithoform by Ryerson | Toronto, Ontario
Project team: Remi Carreiro, Aris Peci and Vincent Hui, Associate Professor, Ryerson University
"Inspired by the natural formations formed by frost in the outer layer of earth, or Lithosphere, Lithoform aims to create a reprieve from the harsh winter winds. The structure's cleverly designed fissures create a polychromatic cavern of filtered light around the lifeguard station."
This year’s Jury includes: Jane Hutton, Landscape Architect/Assistant Professor, Harvard University GSD; Alex Josephson, Architect/Co-founder, Partisans Architecture; Lily Jeon and Diana Koncan, Winter Stations 2015 Winners (Snowcone); Catherine Osborne, Editor-in-chief, Azure Magazine; and 2016 Jury Chair Lisa Rochon, Senior Fellow, Global Cities Institute U of T and Founder, Friends of the Beach Parks.
You can check out each proposal's project boards in the thumbnail gallery below.
All images courtesy of the Winter Stations design competition.
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