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Sutherland Hussey Harris director wins Canadian winter beach huts competition

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Charlie Sutherland of Sutherland Hussey Harris has been named as one of the three winners in the global competition to design winter beach huts for Toronto

The proposal by the co-founder of the Edinburgh-based practice was chosen, along with concepts by iheartblob and a collaboration between  Spanish architects Cristina Vega and Pablo Losa Fontangordo, from more than 270 submissions to the annual open call.

The single-stage international design competition for a series of C$15,000 (£9,000) temporary installations on the Canadian city’s waterfront was launched last October.

The sixth annual Winter Stations contest sought unique and entertaining proposals for pop-up structures to draw visitors to the area during winter, designed to meet the theme Beyond the Five Senses. 

The 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.

The schemes will be attached to existing lifeguard stands on the beaches and will be expected to withstand harsh weather and potential night-time vandalism.

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.

Dubbed Kaleidoscope of the Senses, Sutherland’s contest-winning ’open bell tower’ concept is described as both a ’visual and experiential celebration of the senses and a metaphor of the body in space’.

A contest spokesperson said: ’[The structure] creates clanking metal sounds in the wind, while a diagonal black chimney draws up the aromas of oils set into the beach sand at its base. A horizontal white extrusion reflects the expansive horizon, framing a view of the water and back to the city. This is all underscored by a lateral red beam, establishing a tactile bench within the structure, the only point of physical contact with the observer.’

Winter Stations co-founder Roland Rom Colthoff, of RAW Design, added: ‘We wanted this year’s theme to look beyond the five senses to bring interactive art to the water’s edge. Winter Stations has always been about bringing joy, warmth and conversation to the long, cold Canadian winter landscape.’

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 colder months.

This year’s four winning teams will each be assigned a project manager and local construction crew by the competition organisers and their winning concepts will be installed for six weeks early next year.



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