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Competition: Toronto Winter Stations 2020


A single-stage international design competition has been launched for a series of C$15,000 (£9,000) temporary winter installations on Toronto’s beaches

The sixth annual Winter Stations contest seeks proposals for temporary structures to entice visitors to the area during winter, designed to meet the theme Beyond the Five Senses. 

Up to four winning designs will be displayed to the public between 13 February and 29 March 2020 on Woodbine Beach at the western end of Toronto’s beaches district, overlooking Lake Ontario. Winning schemes will be attached to existing lifeguard stands on the beaches and will be expected to withstand harsh weather and potential night-time vandalism.

The competition brief reads: ‘When we think of our senses we commonly refer to sight, sound, touch, taste, and smell. But we now understand there are many more, such as our sense of balance and proprioception. Our senses interact and overlap to provide us with a picture of our environment and can inform how we interact with it.

‘The theme of Beyond the Five Senses may explore these interactions and intersections, as well as the multitude of other senses we have or may have, to demonstrate our subjective relationship to reality or display a distorted one. Installations may show how our senses work or appeal to one or more specific senses. Ideally, the exhibition will present some understanding of how humans (and of course animals) make meaning of their world, both internal and external.’

Toronto’s beach district stretches from Victoria Park Avenue to Coxwell Avenue. It is popular with tourists, swimmers and volleyball players during the summer months but is less busy when cold weather arrives.

Proposals may be any size but must be feasible within the C$15,000 construction budget which covers C$5,000 for materials, and C$10,000 for labour including any taxes.

Previous winners of the contest, first launched in 2014, include Obstacle by UK-based Kien Pham, The Beacon by Portuguese practice João Araújo Sousa & Joana Correia Silva Arquitectura, Driftwood Throne by London’s DM_Studio, and Sauna Ice Bath by FFLO.

Participants should consider whether their installation could be relocated or its materials repurposed and recycled after the programme finishes. Anonymous applications should include two A4 sides featuring concept designs along with a 150-word explanation and additional documents detailing the team’s background and relevant design experience.

Four winning teams are set to be announced on 6 January. Each will each be assigned a project manager and local construction crew by the competition organisers RAW Architects, Ferris + Associates and Curio. The winning concepts will be installed for six weeks early next year.

A C$3,500 honorarium and a C$1,500 travel and accommodation bursary will also be available to selected winning teams. The competition is free to enter.

The deadline for submissions is 17 November.


How to apply

Visit the competition website for more information

Contact details

Email: info@winterstations.com