Toronto’s beaches are eventful and lively during summers. Winters, however, can be quite harsh, leaving them desolated and empty. Raw Design, Ferris + Assiciates and Curio decided to take matters into their own hands and change the scenery with Winter Stations, an international design competition open to artists, designers, architects and landscape architects. “Snowcone” station was one of the five winning projects, chosen from almost 200 entries. The first edition of the competition (2014-2015) proved to be a success as the completed projects enlivened the heart of the Beach community from February 16, 2015, until March 20, 2015.
The task was to temporarily transform five stationary lifeguard posts. The organizers were looking for color, movement and humor to the landscape, as these installations were meant to bring people together in this area during winter days. The competition also offered designers the opportunity to promote and express their ideas in a public dialogue.
“Snowcone”, realized by local duo Lily Jeon and Diana Koncan from the Department of Architectural Science at Ryerson University, is based on “Warmth” – the theme of the competition. Its design concept revolves around the shape of an open pine cone which can capture snow, thus transforming itself into an igloo – a perfect winter structure.
The 3/4 inch geodesic metallic structure of the pine cone is anchored to the lifeguard post. It is covered in a skin of translucent acrylic leaves and transparent colored acrylic panels bolted to the exterior. The panels capture the sunlight, turning the cone into a colorful greenhouse. The heat is stored inside as snow fills the translucent leaves, following the same principles of an igloo.
This project checked all boxes to qualify as a winner: it was colorful, interactive and it tuned with the natural environment, attracting people of all ages and sizes. Surely the next edition will be a hit and, given this year’s winners, the stakes will be even higher!
By: Ana Cosma