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Toronto tackles winter blues with 8 thought-provoking beach installations

These installations become part of the fabric of the city each winter and we hope to draw even more people back down to the beach this year
– Roland Rom Colthoff, Winter Stations co-founder

The windswept beaches of Toronto, Canada are set to once again host a seasonal design spectacle, with the eight winners of the third annual Winter Stations Design Competition revealed today (10 January).

Entrants were tasked with designing “playful” temporary installations – based around the beaches’ lifeguard stations – that can draw people to brave the chilly outdoors and interact with the icy environment.

The theme of the contest this time around is ‘Catalyst’, and the judges have selected submissions that will open up the waterfront landscape and reinvent the space for visitors – with thought put into how materials may be re-purposed or reused in future iterations.

Five winning designs were selected out of hundreds of proposals, with three student installations chosen to stand alongside them.

"Visitors will be able to touch and feel their way along the beach, experiencing luminous shelter from the wind, warming waters for their feet, and designs that celebrate the Canadian nation of immigrants," said Lisa Rochon, Winter Stations design jury chair.

Winter Station winners

The eight selected designs, explained by their creators

I See You Ashiyu by Asuka Kono and Rachel Salmela from Toronto, Canada

I See You Ashiyu

This installation uses the idea the Japanese hot spring and warm water to provide physical relief from the cold. By creating a landscape-based gathering space on the beach, this installation emphasises the contrast in the seasons and recalls memories of a summer beach.

North by studio PERCH from Montreal, Canada

North

Using the poetic concept of the great 'North', this installation conjures a powerful and eternal image that transports visitors to an imagined forest. The work suspends 41 fir trees in mid-air, creating an evocative and colour-saturated canopy that stands out against the white of winter.

Collective Memory by Mario García from Barcelona, Spain and Andrea Govi from Milan, Italy

Collective Memory

Inspired by the statistic that by 2031 nearly one-half of the Canadian population over the age of 15 will be foreign-born or the child of a migrant parent, Collective Memory aims to be the catalyst of present and shared anecdotes. Constructed out of recycled bottles – the archetype for the lost message – two translucent walls will shield the existing lifeguard structure, creating a threshold between shore and city.

BuoyBuoyBuoy by Dionisios Vriniotis, Rob Shostak, Dakota Wares-Tani and Julie Forand from Toronto, Canada

BuoyBuoyBuoy

Capturing the impression of a series of buoys moving in the waves, BuoyBuoyBuoy uses many small parts to create a whole. Each component is the silhouette of a buoy from afar creating a fog or a cloud around the lifeguard station like drops reflecting and refracting the light.

The Beacon by Joao Araujo Sousa and Joanna Correia Silva from Porto, Portugal

The Beacon

The concept translates into the archetypical lighthouse conical shape, reduced to its simplest expression and conformed to the lifeguard stand proportions and wrapped in aged wood. The Beacon will act as a temporary drop-off location for non-perishable items such as canned food or clothes.

Flotsam and Jetsam by University of Waterloo, Ontario

Flotsam and Jetsam

As visitors approach from the vantage of the city the 20ft high sculpture generates curiosity and invites a closer look. The installation reveals the realities of plastic consumption, resulting waste and its effects on the aquatic biodiversity of the planet we share.

Aurora by Humber College School of Media Studies & IT, School of Applied Technology, Toronto, Ontario

Aurora

From afar, the structure is incognito, reflecting the surrounding environment and fading into it. Entering the space, the explorer views misconstrued, mirroring illustrations of themselves and their surroundings.

Midwinter Fire by Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto, Ontario

Midwinter Fire

Midwinter Fire provides visitors with the opportunity to engage with an augmented winter forest creating an immersive experience that reframes Southern Ontario’s vegetation in contrast with the exposed winter landscape of the beach. This installation uses the simple idea of reflectivity to expand the illusion of an urban forest and to make the project disappear into the surrounding landscape.

All eight installations will be built from 13 to 19 February along Kew, Scarborough and Balmy Beaches. They will open to the public on 20 February, and will stay open until 27 March.

Engineering firm Anex will construct the main five winning designs, while the student teams are responsible for their own installations.

Winter Stations was co-founded by architecture firms RAW Design and Ferris + Associates, and art and design consultancy Curio three years ago to attract people to Toronto’s beaches in the winter. Many of the structures completed in previous years have taken on a second life after the competition and been retained.

"We're proud of the way Winter Stations has been embraced," said RAW Design principal Roland Rom Colthoff. "These installations become part of the fabric of the city each winter and we hope to draw even more people back down to the beach this year. It's an honour to be able to showcase so many inspiring designs and designers.”

Toronto  Canada  Winter Stations  RAW Design  temporary architecture  design  beach art 
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The windswept beaches of Toronto, Canada are set to once again host a seasonal design spectacle, with the eight winners of the third annual Winter Stations Design Competition revealed today (10 January). Entrants were tasked with designing “playful” temporary installations – based around the beaches’ lifeguard stations – that can draw people to brave the chilly outdoors and interact with the icy environment. The theme of the contest this time
CLD,VAT,AAC,ARC,DES
Flotsam and Jetsam by University of Waterloo / Winter Stations 2017
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