Winter Stations winning art installations launch in Toronto’s Beaches

The sixth annual Winter Stations Design Competition has launched at Toronto’s east beaches, featuring three winning submissions from international architects and designers, and a bonus installation by students from Centennial College.

“Every year Winter Stations transforms our beach with bright colours and powerful art. What started as a grassroots event has grown into an international phenomenon,” says Brad Bradford, Councillor, Ward 19 Beaches-East York. “It brings visitors from near and far to our neighbourhood, celebrates the community’s creativity, and offers some welcome relief from the dark Toronto winter.”

Founded by RAW Design, Ferris + Associates, and Curio, Winter Stations Design Competition was conceived as a way of using design to inspire Torontonians to visit the beach in the winter.

This year’s Beyond the Five Senses theme tasked designers to explore how our senses interact and overlap to provide us with a picture of our environment and how we interact with it.

“We wanted this year’s theme to look beyond the five senses to bring interactive art to the water’s edge,” said Winter Stations co-founder, Roland Rom Colthoff, RAW Design. “Winter Stations has always been about bringing joy, warmth and conversation to the long, cold Canadian winter landscape.”

The 2020 Winter Stations winners are:

Mirage, by Cristina Vega and Pablo Losa Fontangordo

Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Mirage has been designed to react to the movements of the sun and the people. Depending on where the visitors are positioned, they will see either a red transparent sun setting or a light and bright rising sun laying on the horizon. As they walk closer, they will discover the thin structure that makes these two simultaneous realities possible.

Kaleidoscope of the Senses, by Charlie Sutherland of SUHUHA

Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Kaleidoscope of the Senses re-purposes the existing lifeguard chair, bringing together a balanced yet dynamic composition of elements which are both a visual and experiential celebration of the senses and a metaphor of the body in space.

An open bell tower structure creates clanking metal sounds in the wind, while a diagonal black chimney draws up the aromas of oils set into the beach sand at its base. A horizontal white extrusion reflects the expansive horizon, framing a view of the water and back to the city. This is all underscored by a lateral red beam, establishing a tactile bench within the structure, the only point of physical contact with the observer.

Noodle Feed, by iheartblob

Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

Noodle Feed goes beyond physical senses and creates a shared augmented reality environment where people can interact in new ways and consider that the world is much more than we perceive. The colourful forms and tangible nature of the ‘noodles’ are designed to attract attention, while the rough matte texture of recycled sailcloth contrasts with the soft, springy cushioning of the objects, inviting visitors to move them into chairs, beds and shelters.

An Augmented Reality App lets visitors leave digital traces of their time at the installation, including photos, stories and drawings that can be seen by other users in physical space

The Beach’s Percussion Ensemble (Centennial College)

Photo credit: Khristel Stecher

This installation consists of three structures of varying sizes formed of a series of stacked wooden rectangular prisms laid out in a circular shape around a giant steel drum.

Where the prisms overhang, metal bells of varying shapes and sizes will hang. Some of the structure’s prisms might also be made into steel drums. The elements of the lake’s environment will release the bells’ sound like a wind chime. Visitors can use sticks chained to the structure to play along with the sounds produced by the lake’s elements. Graffiti artists will also be invited to tag the structure.