LU architecture students showcased at design competition with 'Aurora Borealis' design concept

A luminous red-violet chandelier that echoes the northern night sky will adorn the beaches in Toronto, thanks to the ingenuity of a design team from the Laurentian University School of Architecture in Sudbury.

Toronto's 'Winter Stations' competition enlists creatives to transform lifeguard towers along the beaches

The "Aurora Borealis" kinetic winter sculpture design team: students Matthew Hunter, Danielle Kastelein, Andrew Harkness, Trevor D'Orazio, Chris Baziw and Ra'anaa Brown (seated). Not shown: Laurentian University School of Architecture director Terrance Galvin. (Marina von Stackelberg/CBC)

A luminous red-violet chandelier that echoes the northern night sky will adorn the beaches in Toronto, thanks to the ingenuity of a design team from the Sudbury's Laurentian University School of Architecture. 

Six students, with the guidance of school director Terrance Galvin, are the only group from northern Ontario to be selected to compete in an architecture design contest in Toronto called "Winter Stations".

It invited submissions by creatives from around the world to imagine playful, evocative temporary structures that would transform the beaches' uniform lifeguard towers into an interactive meditation on the theme "Freeze/Thaw". 

The Laurentian team submitted a design called "Aurora Borealis" — a nod to the dazzling colours that dance so iconically across the black night skies in Canada's north — and beat out hundreds of other submissions for a top spot in the competition.  

Standing about about 4.5 metres tall "[and] made from sewn fabric, LED lights and a welded aluminum frame, Aurora is a kinetic sculpture," said a description of the project on the web site

And, thanks to developments in pigments that can change with heat, visitors can change the colour of the dynamic, illuminated tubes by "thawing" them with a warm touch. 

Listen to the complete interview with some of the design team here

What exactly is a winter station? A team of students at the Laurentian School of Architecture have a pretty good idea. They actually won an award for their design of one. We had three of the team members join us in studio to tell us all about it. 7:40


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