The second year of the annual WinterStations project is now well underway. This year the international competition asked artists and designers to address the theme of Freeze / Thaw and respond to the changing climactic conditions and transitions of the Toronto winter. So far, this turns out to be rather prescient, with a relatively warm and snowless winter. Last year the exhibition opened on a record cold day and the shore remained frozen over through the end of March, when the installations were dismantled. We'll have to wait and see what the rest of this winter holds. Sun or shine, snow or sleet, we may not be able to predict the weather, but we can announce the winners of the WinterStations 2016:
Floating Ropes, MUDO (Elodie Doukhan and Nicolas Mussche), Montreal, QC, CA
In The Belly Of A Bear, Caitlind r.c. Brown, Wayne Garrett and Lane Shordee, Calgary, AB, CA
Flow, Team Secret (Calvin Fung and Victor Huynh), Toronto, ON, CA
Sauna, FFLO (Claire Fernley and James Fox), Turnbridge Wells, Kent, UK
Lisa Rochon, Senior Fellow, Global Cities Institute U of T and Founder, Friends of the Beach Parks and Design Jury Chair commented:
The winners of the Winter Stations 2016 International Design Competition will stun visitors for their daring and irreverence. The design jury faced the alarming challenge of reviewing 380 submissions from around the world to select, ultimately, a short-list of four winners. This winter along the waterfront in Toronto's eastern Beach neighbourhood, expect a range of sensorial experiences, from "Floating Ropes," a cube defined by a forest of suspended thick ropes to "In the Belly of a Bear" a giant wooden ball with an accessible lounge at its core lined with vintage furs. In "Flow," digitally-fabricated wooden stars will be interconnected as hundreds of jagged wooden shapes mimic the complex structure of ice crystals. And, finally, Winter Stations 2016 gives Toronto its first public sauna, inspired by the wood-burning saunas of Finland, with the added bonus of transparent walls. At night, solar-powered lights will illuminate the heated room and bathers inside, making this intervention a popular - and long overdue - destination by day and night. Combined with the installations designed by the participating universities, the Winter Stations promises to convert the eastern waterfront into an all-ages playground that doubles as a showcase of avant-garde architecture.
For 2016, Ryerson University's Faculty of Architectural Science is returning, joined by two newly participating academic institutions - Ontario College of Art and Design University (OCADU) and Laurentian University - who will also be designing and building their own WinterStations. We look forward to seeing all of the WinterStations installed the weekend of February 13, with an official opening of Monday, February 15th, 2016.