The windswept beaches of Toronto will come alive once more this winter as the third annual Winter Stations Design Competition transforms lifeguard stations into playful art installations.
Five winning designs were selected out of hundreds of submissions by the design jury of the Winter Stations Competition. They include designs from international and local artists, designers, architects and landscape architects that all celebrate Toronto’s winter waterfront landscape and aim to draw people outside to interact with the cold, icy environment. They will be joined by three student installations from the University of Toronto, University of Waterloo and Humber College.
“Winter Stations 2017 delivered, once again, gutsy and lyrical transformations of ordinary lifeguard stands,” says Lisa Rochon, Winter Stations Design Jury Chair. “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.”
The theme for Winter Stations’ third year is Catalyst. The jury looked for installations that open up the waterfront landscape and reinvent the space for visitors. Artists and designers were also asked to consider their entries as a catalyst for change – with thought put into how materials may be re-purposed or reused in future iterations.
“The idea of reuse is particularly relevant as we have found many of the Winter Stations installations have taken on a second life after the competition,” says Winter Stations co-founder Ted Merrick of Ferris + Associates.
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. Now in its third year the concept has evolved to include sister exhibition, Ice Breakers presented in collaboration with Toronto’s Waterfront BIA, launching January 21, 2017.
“We’re proud of the way Winter Stations has been embraced. 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,” says Roland Rom Colthoff, RAW Design.
The Winter Stations finalists are:
I See You Ashiyu by Asuka Kono and Rachel Salmela. Toronto, Canada.
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 emphasizes the contrast in the seasons and recalls memories of a summer beach.
North by studio PERCH. Montreal, Canada
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 midair creating an evocative and colour-saturated canopy that stands out against the white of winter.
Collective Memory by Mario García, Barcelona, Spain, and Andrea Govi, Milan, Italy
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, Julie Forand. Toronto, Canada
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, Porto, Portugal
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.
Building upon last year’s participation from OCAD, Ryerson University and Laurentian University, 2017 sees teams from three schools submitting design concepts; University of Waterloo, University of Toronto and Humber College School of Media Studies & IT, School of Applied Technology.
Flotsam and Jetsam by University of Waterloo, Ontario
Project team: Nicola Augustin, NegarBehzad Jazi, Anne Cheung, Bryce Clayton, Catherine Cohen, Mona Dai, Sarah Donaldson, Parshan Fatehi, Allegra Friesen, Golnaz Jamshidi, Carly Kandrack, Ryan Pagliaro, Elida Pletikapic, Alexandra Sermol, Kirsten Sheppard-Neuhofer, Eric Sviratchev, Joel Tremblay and Danny Wei.
As visitors approach from the vantage of the city the 20-foot 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.
The Illusory by Humber College School of Media Studies & IT, School of Applied Technology, Toronto, Ontario
Creative Team: Jenessa Atkinson, Aaron Bavle, Jason Carreiro, Gabriela Merka-Derez, Kimberly Michelle Czornodolskyj, Karun Ramani, Trish Roque, Roxanne Van Dam, Qiao Wang, Faculty Advisor: Cole Swanson, Professor/Program Coordinator, Art Foundation, Humber College.
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, University of Toronto, Ontario
Creative Team: John Beeton, Herman Borrego, Anna Chen, Vikrant Dasoar, Michael DeGirolamo, Leonard Flot, Monika Gorgopa, James Kokotilo, Asuka Kono, Karima Peermohammad, Rachel Salmela, Christina Wilkinson, Julie Wong, Rotem Yaniv. Faculty Advisor: Pete North, Assistant Professor
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 February 13 to 19 along Kew, Scarborough and Balmy Beaches in the heart of The Beach community, broadly located south of Queen Street East, between Woodbine and Victoria Park Avenues. Installations will debut on Family Day, February 20, 2017, and will stay open to the public until March 27, 2017.
This year’s Jury includes 2017 Jury Chair Lisa Rochon, Senior Fellow, Global Cities Institute and Founder, Friends of the Beach Parks, Winter Stations 2016 winners Victor Huynh and Calvin Fung (FLOW), Dragana Maznic, Design Director, Great Gulf, Marc Ryan Principal/Co-Founder of PUBLIC WORK, Betsy Williamson Principal at Williamson Williamson, Christina Zeidler President and Developer, Gladstone Hotel.
Winter Stations sponsors for 2017 include Great Gulf, Pomerleau, the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), City of Toronto, Urban Capital, Demirov Fine Homes, Toronto Arts Council, Bridging Finance, Bousfields, Marlin Spring, Makita and Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA), Devine Park LLP and Toronto Windsurfing Club. Partners include Ice Breakers, The Beach BIA, Design Xchange and Friends of the Beach.
All five winning installations will be built by the designated build team, Anex. Student teams are responsible for their own installations.