Toronto’s Winter Stations turn lifeguard posts into magical frozen beach attractions.

Toronto Turns Its Lifeguard Stations Into Magical Winter Beach Sculptures

Toronto Turns Its Lifeguard Stations Into Magical Winter Beach Sculptures

The Eye
Slate’s design blog.
Feb. 20 2016 9:13 AM

Toronto Turns Its Lifeguard Stations Into Magical Winter Beach Sculptures

eye_160220_flow1
“Flow” by Team Secret (Calvin Fung and Victor Huynh).

Winter Stations Design Competition

Update, Feb. 20, 2016: Photos of the installations, which have been assembled and are now open to the public, are above and below. Click here (or scroll down) to the original post to see the proposals and learn more about the competition.

eye_160220_flow2
Another angle of “Flow.”

Winter Stations Design Competition

eye160220aurora
“Aurora Borealis” by Laurentian University.

Winter Stations Design Competition

eye_160220_belly1
“In the Belly of a Bear” by Caitlind R.C. Brown, Wayne Garrett, and Lane Shordee.

Winter Stations Design Competition

“In the Belly of a Bear”
Inside “In the Belly of a Bear.”

Winter Stations Design Competition

eye_160220_lithoform
“Lithoform” by Ryerson University.

Winter Stations Design Competition

“The Steam Canoe” from OCAD University
“The Steam Canoe” from OCAD University.

Winter Stations Design Competition

eye_160220_sauna
“Sauna” by FFLO (Claire Fernley and James Fox).

Winter Stations Design Competition

eye_160220floatingropes
“Floating Ropes”by MUDO (Élodie Doukhan and Nicolas Mussche).

Winter Stations Design Competition

Original post, Jan. 14, 2016: Toronto is known for its harsh, unpredictable winters. But Winter Stations, a public art and design competition now in its second year, has invited designers around the world to create immersive temporary installations that transform its lifeguard posts into temporary installations engaging enough to lure people outside onto the city’s wintry beaches.

In the Belly of a Bear
“In the Belly of a Bear” by Calgary’s Caitlind R.C. Brown, Wayne Garrett, and Lane Shordee. People can climb up a wooden ladder into a domed interior lined in vintage fur sourced from second-hand shops and gaze out the large round window pointing toward Lake Ontario.

Courtesy of Winter Stations Design Competition

Floating Ropes
“Floating Ropes” by Montreal’s MUDO (Élodie Doukhan and Nicolas Mussche). A mass of suspended ropes forms a cube around the existing lifeguard chair to provide a perfect vantage point for the public to view the lake.

Courtesy of Winter Stations Design Competition

Founded by RAW Design, Ferris + Associates, and Curio, the competition has just announced four winners for the 2016 waterfront exhibition taking place from Feb. 13 to March 20 on the shores of Lake Ontario. In addition to the four competition winners, students from local universities have designed and will build three additional winter stations, for a total of seven.

Flow
“Flow” by Toronto’s Team Secret (Calvin Fung and Victor Huynh). This entry was designed to capture the transitory moment between freeze and thaw, with 3-D star-shaped wood modules that are meant to evoke ice crystals.

Courtesy of Winter Stations Design Competition

Advertisement

This year’s theme—“Freeze/Thaw”—was a challenge to designers “to respond to the changing [climatic] conditions and transitions of the Toronto winter,” according to a press release. “Designs may anticipate the coming spring or refuse to yield, reminding us December is only a few months behind and will return again. They may highlight a static moment or phase in our winter. Perhaps, most significantly, designs have the opportunity to observe, reflect or contrast the immediate waterfront landscape with its banks of snow and frozen ice.”

Sauna
“Sauna” by Kent, U.K.’s FFLO (Claire Fernley and James Fox). This immersive art installation built from timber has tiered seating—the higher, the hotter—and transparent exterior walls for voyeurs, with solar-powered lights illuminating the structure at night.

Courtesy of Winter Stations Design Competition

The temporary installations are built on the backbones of existing steel-pipe lifeguard stands, taking care not to permanently alter or damage them. No power or other utilities are available to the designers, who are asked to indicate how materials will be removed or recycled at the end of the exhibition.

“Inventive, playful and irreverent, all of the installations can be read like pieces of poetry on the beach,” Winter Stations jury chairwoman Lisa Rochon said in the press release.

Check out the student projects below:

Laurentian - Aurora Borealis
“Aurora Borealis” by Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. Made from sewn fabric, LED lights, and a welded aluminium frame, this kinetic sculpture hovers above the lifeguard station like a spinning chandelier. As visitors approach and touch the illuminated tubes, they respond to body heat by changing colors.

Courtesy of Winter Stations Design Competition

OCAD - The Steam Canoe
“The Steam Canoe” from OCAD University in Toronto. Composed of wood panels, this ode to an upside-down canoe creates an interior dome shelter for visitors. Evacuated solar tubes placed at the rear of the structure are designed to turn snow to steam, creating a halo of fog.

Courtesy of Winter Stations Design Competition

Ryerson - Lithoform
“Lithoform” from Ryerson University in Toronto. Inspired by frost formations in the lithosphere—the outer layer of Earth—this station creates a reprieve from harsh winter winds with fissures designed to create polychromatic filtered light effects.

Courtesy of Winter Stations Design Competition