“Lithoform”: geometric refuge for Winter Stations 2016

The first thing you may notice about Lithoform, Ryerson’s submission for the Winter Stations Design Competition, is its geometric structure and colourful jagged roof. However, if you step inside the installation, filtered light from the roof creates a colourful ambience that is warm and inviting. The contrast of the harsh exterior and pleasant interior is what fourth-year architectural design students Remi Carreiro and Aris Peci want audiences to notice in their design.

“We want it to be a warming environment where [the audience can] feel like they are protected from the weather. We think it’s a spot along the beach that they can relax in,” said Peci.

Lithoform is one of seven art installations selected to be displayed at the Beaches. The winter stations will be on display from Feb. 13 to March 20. The main idea of the competition is to transform a lifeguard stand into a piece of art. Contestants also had to integrate the theme of freeze/thaw inspired by the changing Toronto winters.

After seeing what students could accomplish with last year’s Snowcone submission, Carreiro and Peci decided they wanted to get involved in this year’s competition. The pair have been working on Lithoform since they came up with the design proposal in October. They used a 3D modeling software called Rhinoceros to minimize any outdoor construction.

“It’s exciting to physically build something for once instead of only getting it to a finalized digital state,” said Carreiro in an email.

The frost/thaw theme was a big part of Carreiro and Peci’s design. Taking inspiration from the cold environment, they came up with the idea of frost wedging. Frost wedging in stones occurs due to the repeated freezing and thawing of water in rocks, causing them to crack. The fissures within the geometric structure mimic this natural cycle.

“I think it’s an adventurous design. I think that it is going to be an excellent piece to showcase Ryerson students’ ability to design an innovative piece but also be able to make it,” said Vincent Hui, a professor from Ryerson’s architectural science program and the team’s mentor.

The installation is currently in construction, which Peci says will be the biggest challenge. The pair plan to use acrylic panels for the exterior and plywood covered with soft fabric for the interior. Carreiro is in Norway on exchange which means he won’t be there to help build the project. Despite being in different parts of the world, Peci and Carreiro still manage to work on the project together by using social media. There are also about 15 student volunteers from the department of architectural science to help construct the installation and the Design Fabrication Zone is providing tools to cut materials.

“I’d be remiss to say but this is a great, collaborative team effort,” said Peci. “Everyone is coming together to help. It’s a great exercise with a lot of people. It’s a really good showcase for what the department can do together, not just what me and Remi can do.”

Featured image courtesy of Aris Peci