TORONTO — The Bentway, in partnership with the City of Toronto, Waterfront BIA and Toronto Downtown West BIA, is hosting a design competition coined Waterfront ReConnect that aims to create immersive installations at two key intersections along the Gardiner.
In August 2021, The Bentway put out a call for professional Canadian artists and designers to develop creative interventions that reimagine the experience of two key under-Gardiner intersections for pedestrians and cyclists: York Street and Simcoe Street.
Six design teams from across the country were selected to participate in the competition.
One winning proposal for each intersection will be selected by a jury and constructed in 2022. These demonstration projects will serve as pilot projects, testing experimental and innovative approaches, indicates a release, adding they will remain in place until the Gardiner Expressway is rehabilitated in this area between 2025-2028.
Descriptions of the installations are as follows:
York Street Intersection
- Future Forest by sans façon + zeidler: Drawing inspiration from the shifting relationship to the natural environment in cities, Future Forest contemplates what it would mean to redesignate the Gardiner Expressway as a productive, constructive and an environmental investment for the city at large through the planting and nurturing of the Gardiner’s own native forest.
- Waking the Shore by LeuWebb Projects + DIALOG + Mulvey & Banani Lighting: Reflecting on the city’s unique relationship to Lake Ontario, the deep histories of place, and the broader journey to a more sustainable, humane and ecologically just future, Walking the Shore features sculptural forms of rising waves, kinetic wind chimes and solar-powered illuminations under the Gardiner.
- Boom Town by 5468796 Architecture Inc.: Inspired by the ongoing transformation of the Gardiner Expressway and the ubiquitous presence of equipment deployed to inspect and maintain the overhead structure, Boom Town is a theatrical reimagining of the waterfront gateway which brings to life a cast of playful characters and animates the space with personality.
Simcoe Street Intersection
- Pixel Story by O2 Planning & Design Inc. + Mulvey & Banani Lighting + ENTUITIVE: Referencing the multitude of vantages and scales at which to view the Expressway, Pixel Story embeds wayfinding for various distances, speeds and modalities through visual cues that showcase the attractions and experiences of the waterfront on both sides of the Gardiner, enticing visitors to move forward or pause to observe.
- Patina of Life by Daily Tous Les Jours + SvN Architects + Planners + Latéral: Patina of Life is an artwork that reintegrates nature as part of the everyday experience of the city and proposes a series of interactive pathways, each consisting of a framework of life-supporting modules that combine to surround pedestrians.
- Fragments of a Home by SOCA + Tiffany Shaw-Collinge + SHEEEP: Oscillating between private and public spaces of domestic life, Fragments of a Home presents a catalog of architectural memes and follies that invite open-ended associations of comfort for passersby, while extending an understanding of “home” beyond the individual to broaden our collective relationship surrounding safety, connection with an environment in transformation.
For more on the proposals visit https://www.waterfrontreconnect.com/proposals.
To register to watch the presentations visit https://www.eventbrite.ca/e/waterfront-reconnect-virtual-design-presentation-tickets-212038030457 .
To take the online survey visit https://www.waterfrontreconnect.com/feedback