The beach might be the last place you’d want to go in Toronto’s freezing winters, but these incredible pavilions could convince you otherwise. The second annual Winter Stations design competition just unveiled this year’s winning teams, who will transform a series of lifeguard towers along Toronto’s Kew, Scarborough, and Balmy Beaches into seven unique and interactive installations. In the original spirit of Burning Man, the winter-friendly pavilions will be temporary, site-specific, and free of corporate sponsors.
Inspired by Winnipeg’s Warming Huts competition, Toronto’s Winter Stations aims to celebrate the city’s winter waterfront landscape with world-class art and architecture. This year’s theme of Freeze / Thaw challenges designers to “respond to the changing climactic conditions and transitions of the Toronto winter” through playful, engaging, and provocative means. “The public participation in Winter Station’s inaugural year proves that even the most overlooked winterscapes can be injected with vibrancy and life,” said Ted Merrick of Ferris + Associates. “Our ultimate goal for year two remains the same – to encourage the community out of hibernation and back to the beach.”
The seven winning designs will be largely constructed indoors and then assembled “like Lego” on the beach, Merrick told The Star. The most intriguing pavilion is ‘In the Belly of a Bear,’ a spherical cozy dome with a porthole that’s clad in scorched wood and lined with faux fur on the inside. Other pavilion designs include a boxy viewpoint surrounded by hanging sailing ropes; a working transparent sauna; the Flow, a pointy cluster of 3D-printed stars inspired by ice crystals; the Steam Canoe, a timber dome that uses solar tubes to turn snow into a fog-like vapor; Laurentian University’s Aurora Borealis, a kinetic chandelier-like sculpture that recreates the changing colors of the Northern Lights in response to body heat; and the Lithoform, a frost-inspired multi-faceted structure with indoor seating.
The Winter Stations will be open to the public from February 15, 2015 to March 20, 2015 and can be found on the lakeshore from Woodbine to Victoria Park Aves.