Winter Stations 2023 reveals winning designs

Winter Stations has announced the five winning designs of the 9th edition of its competition. The projects will be showcased alongside three student designs from Toronto Metropolitan University, Waterloo Department of Architecture and Guelph University.

The competition will once again transform the lifeguard stations at Toronto’s Woodbine beach, with plans for five exhibited stations, and one digital contribution along the east end beaches. In addition, two winning stations, Conrad and (the)HOME, will anchor a satellite exhibit sponsored by Brixen Developments in Mississauga as Winter Stations expands its footprint westward. Then in the spring, the exhibit will move to Sir Casmir Gzowski Park in Etobicoke’s Sunnyside neighbourhood sponsored by Mirabella Condominiums.

The theme for this year is Radiance, and designers were asked to celebrate their growth, inner strength, and freedom in defining and showing what Radiance means to them. 

“It’s been a reflective couple of years, but we’re making our way to better and brighter days and we wanted to reflect that change in this year’s theme. We hope your presence radiates with us along the beach, as we enjoy the fun, interactive and colourful winning designs,” says RAW Design Architect Dakota Wares-Tani.

The 2023 Winter Stations winners are: 

CONRAD (Novak Djogo & Daniel Joshua Vanderhorst), Canada 

Sponsored by Brixen Developments 

Conrad was the name of a raccoon that died on the corner of Yonge and Church in the summer of 2015. And though Conrad was just a raccoon, he was human enough to inspire compassion and warmth in the hearts of people across the GTA. This is a monument in his honour 

the (Home) by Scott Shields Architects (Yulia Belova, Andrew Shields), Canada 

Sponsored by Brixen Developments 

With the world moving through major economic and political changes while still recovering from years of pandemic, we imagine the best manifestation of this year’s theme of radiance in a simple definition of “Home”. Home, whether it’s a space or beloved neighbourhood, is a place blessed, where one feels security, strength and freedom thus casting a radiance of inner beauty and potential to the outside world. 

Playing with the idea of emitting and transmitting light, we introduce a simple shaped pavilion with carved bright-coloured walls to offer a constantly changing experience throughout day and night. While the dawn light shines through the colorful glass and letters creating a vivid kaleidoscope pattern, dusk brings a completely different experience with the light originating from within and spreading its sculptured glare to the outside. The red lifeguard tower stands in the center of the pavilion, resembling a person residing at homeplace.

LIFE LINE by WeatherstonBruer Associates (James Bruer, Nick Roland, Jacqueline Hampshire), Canada 

Radiance is a collective experience. The act of emitting and receiving positivity has an impact that reaches far beyond its origin point. LIFE LINE proposes an interactive station that materialises the transfer of joy through a shared, auditory experience. 

LIFE LINE references the built infrastructure of the waterfront, the linear landscape of the beach and the distant horizon line. Participants can place a ball at the top of the tube, and send it rolling through a series of windchimes, creating a captivating soundscape for others to enjoy. Listening stations along the length of the tunnel project the sound outward and allow for multiple points of engagement. The experience of LIFE LINE is playful from near and far, and interprets radiance as joy that starts with the one person and radiates outward to many.

3 Surfaces Pavilion (S-AR: Cesar Guerrero, Ana Cecilia Garza, Orlando Garcia), Mexico 

Three surfaces form this pavilion. The first, a pavement that marks the area on which the other two surfaces are placed. The other 2 surfaces, one smaller than the other are curved pieces that take advantage of their shapes to structure itself and at the same time open up possibilities for inhabitability or programs. The user can gather around or inside the pavilion, stand, sit, or lie on the surfaces that call to be inhabited in very different ways.  

The materials for the construction are very simple, modular metal frames that are covered with wooden boards. The wood gives texture to the elements, which is reinforced with bright yellow paint for the curved pieces and dark gray for the base or pavement of the pavilion. At the end of the life of the pavilion, the boards and wooden structure can be used to build other types of simple street furniture or boundaries for areas such as bridges, streets or gardens.

delighthouse (Nick Green & Greig Pirrie), United Kingdom 

As though the winter sun has split through the prisms of an icy sky, rays of colour fold around a timber tower standing proudly in the distance. Inspired by lighthouses in coastal settings across Canada and beyond, delighthouse is a self-assured landmark guiding visitors to approach. While traditionally lighthouses are warnings, this installation is a welcoming beacon of hope, fun, energy, and pride. The confident and colourful pattern, evoking a sense of play, casts onto ground panels radiating out from the tower to embrace visitors. 

Scaled to house the lifeguard stand, the tower is clad in painted timber boards. Structurally, eight tapered timber frames lean inwards, joined to form the tower, with strength derived from each part coming together as a whole.

Ripple Hut by Cesar Rodriguez Perfetti, Jake Kroft, Breno Gualter, Dean Roumanis, Lead by Associate professor Vincent Hui, Toronto Metropolitan University Department of Architectural Science 

Canoes have been a fundamental method of transportation for thousands of years. They have contributed immensely to humanity’s growth, inner strength, and freedom. Ripple Hut emulates the form of aggregated canoes and offers an alternative approach to the beauty and craft of canoe fabrication. The structural connections of the pavilion depict ripples in the water. Small apertures in the framework of the pavilion will provide framed views of the surrounding context while the composition of the shells will protect visitors from the harsh winter conditions.  

Radiance is expressed in the pavilion through form, materiality, and spatial interaction. Ripple Hut will be perceived differently in various contexts through haptics and the effect of light and shadow. The pavilion will serve as a place of convergence for visitors and will invite users to interact with its spatial and material conditions.

WE[AR] by Saina Amin, Craig Klomp, Lauren Mac Isaac, Catherine Yan (Design team), Mahmoud  Afshari, Kaveh Eshraghian, Roozbeh Moayyedian (Tech team), Lead by Assistant Professor  Afshin Asari, University of Guelph, School of Environmental Design & Rural Development  

Radiance is not dependent on any one item, person, or location; rather, it is contingent on our capacity to come together to realize both our individual and our community’s full potential. When we work together, we produce more energy and more force, and the resultant domino effect is unstoppable.  

WE[AR] encourages connection, humanism, and the strength of living in community by demonstrating the power that can be achieved when a community pulls together. WE[AR] is an interactive virtual installation that considers the local and regional contexts in which it is shown to present social issues and it exemplifies the power of unity in the face of societal crises. Whether it is in Canada, the United States, Ukraine, Africa, Iran, Afghanistan or anywhere in the world it demonstrates the strength of solidarity in addressing social challenges. Human rights, women’s rights, LGBTQ2S+ rights, pay disparity, mental health, racial discrimination, and sexual violence are among the issues addressed.  

WE[AR] stands for a worldwide movement of solidarity and unity, and it begs us all to shine our own light to these critical societal challenges. It encourages visitors to explore the installation at their own pace, striking up conversations with other visitors and, most importantly, becoming allies to these communities. As more individuals congregate and interact with the exhibit, it leads it to respond and strengthen its look.  

Each member of any community, no matter how large or small, benefits from the presence of solidarity because it fosters a sense of shared purpose and responsibility among its members and encourages them to help one another in times of need. A shining example of justice, solidarity, and humanity may be achieved when we act as one.

Winter-net station by Chiun Lee, Diana Si, Justin Park, Razmik Garboushian, Likhita Varikuti, Simon Liao supervised by David Correa, Fiona Lim Tung, University of Waterloo Department of Architecture. 

Freshly fallen snow is typically seen as a white blank canvas waiting for humans and animals to leave their mark on it. Winter-net looks to utilize snow’s ability to stick to porous surfaces as an ink for creative expression. Radiating from a central lifeguard stand, a series of layered nets woven between a structure of wooden posts filter and catch snow and sand over time as they are carried along by the wind. This accumulation inhibits light filtration and creates distinct shadows. While walking through Winter-net, participants are encouraged to interact with the nets in a similar way by covering them with snow to create a variety of forms and light conditions throughout. 

The 2023 winning installations are slated to launch Family Day weekend and would be on display until the end of March with plans for more exhibits in the Spring, sponsored by Mirabella Condominiums, with details forthcoming. The satellite exhibit in Mississauga will extend through the Spring and Summer months.