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Image by Justin Dream

Winter Stations

Urban Design Competition Entry

In the depth of winter, the Forest Refuge provides a sensory respite of sound, colour, smell and touch, in an otherwise snowy Toronto landscape.

This annual competition required participants design a 'refuge,' to be installed using a pre-existing lifeguard station, located in a breach area of Toronto, Canada. Our proposal suggests an immersion of the senses.


The Japanese practice of Shinrin-yoki (Forest-bath) recognizes the therapeutic benefit of being immersed in nature.  Shinrin-yoki bridges the gap between our senses and the natural world.


A circular field of suspended bamboo canes screens the lifeguard station at its center. Swaying and rustling together in the wind, they draw visitors to the station, inviting them to touch and enter the refuge, transporting them from the snowy landscape to a bamboo forest.

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The lifeguard tower forms the support and centre for the refuge. Wrapped in vivid fabric, it offers a shock of bright colour in an otherwise colourless landscape. Within, the visitor is enveloped in the

auditory space of the refuge, alive with the clink and rustle of bamboo. The visitor wends an aimless path, becoming part of the shared experience for other visitors.

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Fold Architecture 2020

For Winter Stations Competition, Toronto Ontario


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