Dezeen Magazine

Winter Stations 2021 winners

Socially distanced Winter Stations 2021 beach pavilion designs revealed

A bright pink arch and a giant seashell are among the winning designs for Toronto's annual Winter Stations programme of temporary beach pavilions.

For this year's competition designers were asked to include social distancing measures, while the construction timetable has been pushed back due to the pandemic.

Other winning designs for Winter Stations 2021 include socially-distanced benches shaped like a computer loading symbol, a wooden pavilion filled with tree saplings and a windbreaker hugging a lifeguard post.

Now in its seventh year, Winter Stations invites architects and designers to create seaside follies to help residents enjoy the beach during Canada's long harsh winters.

ARc de Blob for Winter Stations 2021
Top: The Epitonium is based on the form of a sea snail. Above: ARc de Blob will have its own AR app

Four designs – ARc de Blob, The Epitonium, THROBBER and From Small Beginnings – were picked from over 400 entries this year, along with a fifth design from a new student category.

"Winning installations responded to the theme of refuge, which invited designers to reflect on the ongoing pandemic and consider what refuge means to each of us: a shelter, a place of comfort and security, a sanctuary," said the organisers.

"The design brief also asked designers to anticipate a more socially distant exhibition than year's passed."

THROBBER for Winter Stations 2021
THROBBER is based on a computer loading graphic

ARc de Blob was created by Austrian and UK team Aleksandra Belitskaja, Ben James and Shaun McCallum. A colourful mashup of traditional and futuristic architecture, the pink and yellow arch will contain a sheltered bench for people to sit in.

It will be accompanied by an app to allow visitors to Winter Stations 2021 to experience it in Augmented Reality (AR).

The seashell-shaped pavilion is called The Epitonium, after a kind of sea snail that has a protective spiral shell covered in ridges.

Designed by Iranian team M. Yengiabad, made up of Shahed M. Yengiabad, Elaheh M Yengiabad, Alemeh M Yengiabad and Mojtaba Anoosha, this Winter Station is meant to represent one of nature's beautiful refuges.

From Small Beginnings for Winter Stations 2021
From Small Beginnings will be covered in seedlings

German team Heidundgriess, made up of Alexandra Grieß and Jorel Heid, designed their pavilion to look like a computer loading animation. It's called THROBBER, after the technical name for animated graphics software uses to show that something is loading or buffering such as the rainbow pinwheel used by Apple.

THROBBER will have ten rainbow-coloured covered seating compartments separated by side panels, so people can sit while socially distanced while they wait for the pandemic to end.

UK team Jack Leather and Charlie Leather also looked to a brighter future with their pavilion From Small Beginnings. Shelves of stained timber surrounding a bench will be filled with spruce tree seedlings that can be planted out into a forest after the end of winter.

Embrace is the winning student entry
Embrace will be a windbreaker encircling a lookout post

Embrace is the design from the winning team of students from the Bachelor of Craft and Design Program at Sheridan College. Colin Laplante, Grace Im, Ziyu Li, Brayden Popke, Nicole Ruiz and Reem Yunis will build a sinuous windbreaker that hugs a lifeguarding chair.

Construction on Winter Stations 2021 has been delayed due to provincial lockdowns due to coronavirus, but the organisers are working with local officials to get them built once restrictions are lifted.

"Our plans and contingencies are in place and we are committed to launching the installations sometime this year," said RAW Design co-founder Roland Rom Colthoff.

"If that means postponing our event until restrictions ease, we might need to call them 'Spring' Stations, and bring safe, outdoor experiences to our city."

Winter Stations was founded by RAW Design, Ferris + Associates and Curio. Last year's designs were interactive and included a climbing frame and a bouncy castle.

Winter Stations exhibition 2021 is hoping to take place from 15 February to 31 March. See Dezeen Events Guide for an up-to-date list of architecture and design events taking place around the world.

Project credits:

Winter Stations 2021 partners: The Distillery District, Beach BIA
Sponsors: Ontario Association of Architects, Minto Communities, MicroPro Sienna, Context Development, RioCan, Urban Capital, Demirov Group, Parallax, Westdale Properties, Bousfields, kg&a, Sali Tabacchi Branding & Design, Meevo Digital