Toronto’s Winter Stations are back and this year they celebrate resilience

The pop-up pavilions offer shelter – and inspiration

Now in its 8th year, the annual Winter Stations design competition returns to Toronto’s Woodbine Beach with a series of experimental structures.

Designers from around the world have submitted work to the competition, which challenges them to dream up lifeguard stations that will encourage people to head to the beach in winter. The theme this year is resilience.

Wildlife Guard Chair. Mickael Minghetti & Andres Jimenez Monge. Photography: James Bombales

Five beach stations have been named winners, and they range from the Wildlife-Guard Chair – shaped like a northern cardinal bird and designed by Mickael Minghetti and Andres Jimenez Monge – to The Hive, a hexagonal dome inspired by bees and designed by Kathleen Dogantzis and Will Cuthbert.

Another winning design is Cemre Önertürk & Ege Çakır’s Enter-Face pavilion – a pair of boxes with room for one person to enter each, and watch the world around them. The designers describe it as a comment on our pandemic-driven relationship with the digital screen.

Enter-Face by MELT, Turkey. Photography: James Bombales

A student team from the University of Toronto, John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design also made the cut this year, with a submission designed as a direct reference to the challenges of the last two years. The bright red shelter, named Introspection, contains a lifeguard tower at its centre – which the design team says expresses the ‘inherent stability within us’.

The structures are all on display at Woodbine Beach until the end of March.

THE HIVE by Kathleen Dogantzis & Will Cuthbert, Canada. Photography: James Bombales
Christopher Hardy, Tomasz Weinberger, Clement Sung, Jason Wu, Jacob Henriquez, Christopher Law, Anthony Mattacchione, George Wang, Maggie MacPhie & Zoey Chao, Lead by Associate Professor Fiona Lim Tung, University of Toronto John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. Photography: James Bombales
S’winter Station by Evan Fernandes, Kelvin Hoang, Alexandra Winslow, Justin Lieberman & Ariel Weiss, Led by Associate Professor Vincent Hui, Ryerson University’s Department of Architectural Science. Photography: James Bombales
One Canada by Alex Feenstra, Megan Haralovich, Zhengyang Hua, Noah Tran, Haley White & Connor Winrow, Led by Assistant Professor Afshin Ashari, University of Guelph, School of Environmental Design & Rural Development. Photography: James Bombales

Read next: This transparent pavilion floats above Greenland’s shore like a shard of ice

Defunct Toronto silo is a giant camera obscura

This ‘living’ swimming pool is a first in Canada



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