This is a glimpse of the future of Toronto. It's the winning entry in a contest to design a pavillion for the 2015 Pan-American Games Award Pavilion in Toronto.
Yes, those are hundreds of weather balloons filled with helium, clustered attractively together to create a surreal plastic cloud layer over the area. It will shelter people from sun during the day, and at night the underside will be illuminated with lights to create a spectacular outdoor theater.
Writes John Hill on A Daily Dose of Architecture:
The competition — presented by AIAS, the Vinyl Institute, and the Canadian Plastics Industry Association — asked students to design a pavilion utilizing vinyl that "should showcase the athletes' accomplishments and Toronto's pride in hosting the Pan Am Games." The winning entry, "Tkaronto I gs2v," is by Manuel Gross, Yannick Vorberg, Patrik Staub, and Stefan Vetsch, recent graduates of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, Switzerland.
The Awards Pavilion is located on the site of the Pan American Village near the waterfront and downtown Toronto. The Village and Pavilion are designed for use beyond the games; the former as housing and parkland, and the latter as a theater, stage, and social spot.The winning design was inspired by the name Toronto, which means alternatively "place where trees stand at the water" and "meeting place" in the native Iroquois language. The trees are abstracted as a roof that hovers over much of the site; cloud-like, vinyl is incorporated in the form of standard weather balloons. As these renderings attest, the presence of these helium-filled orbs is striking from afar and underneath.
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