Calvin Fung and Victor Huynh, authors of the Fluid Architecture and laureates of the 1st prize in the Laka Competition 2015 were recently chosen as the winners of Toronto’s Winter Stations design competition. Their entry Flow was chosen as one of four international projects and built at the beaches for the months of February and March.
Nearly 400 design submissions were entered for the competition that looked to enhance the waterfront landscape during the winter months. The theme of “freeze / thaw” asked designers and artists to respond to the changing climatic condition and transitions of the Toronto winter. The designs were expected to be playful and provocative, creatively utilizing materials and site to inform concepts that echo the freeze / thaw narrative and will engage the public.
Snow structures are constructed and celebrated by Canadians every winter. Flow attempts to capture the transitional moment between freeze and thaw. It begins with the reinterpretation of a single ice crystal. The elementary particle is reinterpreted as a 3D star-shaped module digitally fabricated with slot-fit wood connections. Informed by aggregation processes exhibited by natural granular material such as snow, the system contains over 1000 modules. It is capable of crystallizing into a meta-stable, solid state, yet the material is able to be easily reconfigured, like a liquid, due to the system’s loose bonds. While snow melts away eventually leaving little trace behind, Flow serves as a reminder of the snow structures that once speckled the landscape. The dynamic process of freezing and thawing, like water transforming from solid to liquid, is expressed in an equally charged wave-like form capturing the flow of energy.