Winter Stations Competition 2020

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Winter Stations International Design Competition, Architecture Contest 2020

Winter Stations Architecture Competition

6 Nov 2020

The submission deadline has been extended, to November 24th 11:59PM EST.

19 Oct 2020

Winter Stations is a single-stage international design competition held annually in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Participants are tasked with designing temporary winter art installations which incorporate existing lifeguard towers spaced strategically across the city’s Kew and Woodbine beaches. The structures (not in use in the wintertime) must not be ignored in the design and can be used as either an armature for the installations, a central feature, or other- wise linked to the installation.

Winter Stations Competition 2020

Winter Stations Architecture Competition 2020

As in previous years, Winter Stations intends to build approximately four winning proposals for a six-week exhibition along the waterfront, funding permitted.

While Toronto beaches are not typically as well visited in the colder seasons, Winter Stations has captured the imagination of the city. Designers can expect their designs to be well-visited, and should anticipate public interaction.

The competition is open to everyone in the world. There is no fee to enter.

2021 Theme: Refuge

For the Winter Stations 2021 edition, we may reflect back on the year we have left behind and consider what refuge means to each of us: a shelter; a place of comfort and security, a sanctuary. As a community we may offer refuge. As individuals, we may protect one another, providing respite from danger or insulation from harsh realities. Refuge evokes discovery and the idea of exploring remote places. It reflects a renewed appreciation of the outdoors, while highlighting the importance of our safe spaces.

Each Winter Station practically acts as a refuge from the elements, so this year we suggest design competitors play with the literal and figurative, exploring what refuge means as we re-examine the importance of public space. How can we evoke refuge in an exhibition that will necessitate physical distance between visitors? And how can we promote interactivity when our ability to relate with the stations may have to omit physical touch in the name of safety.

In The Belly of a Bear Toronto beach installation:
In The Belly of a Bear Toronto beach installation
photo : Khristel Stecher

The Lifeguard Stands

The lifeguard stands are essentially identical. They are sturdy steel structures to which the installation can be fastened. The method of fastening is up to each competitor, however it must not result in any damage to (or modification of) the structure.

Please assume minimal security and the possibility of vandalism or simply wear and tear from the curious. There would be no power or utilities available. Installations should not propose use of electricity or fire. Proposals should indicate how materials would be disposed of, recycled and/or repurposed at the end of the display period.

Submission Guidelines

The entries must be submitted electronically as two separate PDF files not exceeding 7MB each. Each entry should contain, in order, the following documents (in English):

Page One – 11 x 17” (279mm x 432mm) – Project Summary

1 page maximum

A maximum of 150 word text describing the project and presenting the experience offered by the visitors

Layout of selected images and drawings describing the project

Page Two – 11 x 17” (279mm x 432mm) – Images and Drawings

1 page maximum

4 main views or elevations of the installation indicating size and specification of materials

Entrant is free to choose the scale

A perspective showing the design in its entirety

Rough-order-of-magnitude cost for artwork installation

Winter Stations Design Competition 2017 – Aurora Borealis Winter Stations Design:
Aurora Borealis Winter Stations Design Competition 2017
image : Khristel Stecher


Each document must include the name of the project however there must be no information on page one or two of the design proposal that would identify the entrant.

Only single-page PDFs will be accepted.

Proposals may be landscape or portrait format.

Please be aware that submissions will be reviewed by the jury as hard-copies (i.e. do not attempt to attach hyperlinks, videos, or any other digital content to the pdf files).

Submissions by email will not be accepted; if you wish to submit, please do so electronically through this website by signing up, logging in, and following submission instructions.


Proposals should adhere to the following budget for submissions:
$5,000.00 CAD for materials
$10,000.00 CAD for labour


An honorarium will be provided to winners and allocated as follows:
Design Fee – $3,500.00 CAD
Artist Travel and Expenses – $1,500.00 CAD (if applicable).

Winter Stations Competition 2020 information / image received 151020

Location: Toronto, Ontario, Canada

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Comments / photos for the Winter Stations Competition 2020 page welcome