Originally designed for the Winter Stations International Design Competition at Woodbine Beach in Toronto, the Steam Canoe installation has been re-erected at the OMI Sculpture Park in Ghent, New York. On October 8th a team of OCAD U Environental Design students and alumni, under the direction of Environmental Design Assistant Professor Mark Tholen, brought the work to its new showplace. The team comprises Sanjana Chokshi, Supreetha Guntur, Nancy Le, Olayide Madamidola, Aruvi Rajasingham, Alejandro Rebollar Heres, Rachel Sau and Jason Wong.
THE STEAM CANOE
Inspired by the canoe, the vessel that symbolizes the development of Canada, the shelter cuts through the harsh wind of the cold weather, and creates an interior space when turned upside down. The shelter is located at the threshold between water and land. Solar radiation is initiating the underlying theme of freeze-thaw. Evacuated solar tubes are heating the open end at the rear of the volume, changing snow to steam, creating a halo of fog that emerges from within the heated structure. The shelter's entrance is oriented southwest in order to break the northern prevailing winds while opening itself up to the view on the Lake. On the inside, the lifeguard stand becomes a seat where one can gaze out the frosted window with frozen patterns of condensed steam and admire the view upon the lake. Thus, as the snow thaws and sublimates in the form of steam, people congregate, and grasp the phenomenal power of solar radiation in the winter.
The shell of the canoe-inspired structure is composed of panels made of wood laminated by the use of Grip Metal™, a Metal Velcro Fastening System. The Grip Metal is an innovative bonding system with micro hooks allowing bonding mechanically without the use of adhesives. It creates a very strong and light-weighted panel that is cost-effective, easy and very fast to manufacture. Snow will accumulate on top of the structure and slide down to the rear, where it is thawed through a solar heated glycol loop, when heated, the moisture in the warm rising air will condense in the cold environment of the structure and create a fog effect. As the fog travels upward, is trapped underneath the peaked roof to create a warming environment. In addition, the condensing fog on the glass above the stand creates a beautiful frosted ice pattern for diffuse light to come inside.
This project has been featured as well on World Architects due to it's innovations in materials, production and sustainability and has been nominated to receive the Materialica Award in the Student Category at the Materialica Expo in Munich, Germany (with the Steam Canoe panel construction). The winner will be announced on October 18th.
"The Steam Canoe structure was achieved with a combination of computer aided and manual tools including computer assisted parametric geometry, manual cutting of the computer generated forms and experimental production by using a traditional process of rolling the Press Laminated Timber Panels that make up the pavilion. The process of sandwiching two layers of 3mm Oak and one layer of 19mm Spruce was made possible by the mechanical fastening of two Grip Metal™ layers, a type of metal Velcro™ developed by Nucap Technologies: a thin continuous steel sheet with grip hooks on both faces of the sheet is pressed into the veneer and core lumber in this press rolling method.
Different radii are made possible by adjusting the feeding angle of the assembled panels carefully into the roll press. The results are strong and lightweight panels allowing an assembly into a pavilion without need for substructure – the external skin is the structure. The panels are assembled without the use of any glue and even though they have a stronger bond than traditional chemical adhesive methods, the components can be separated at the end of its lifetime into its pure material origins of wood and metal, making this a perfect innovation in material, process, application, product and sustainability."
- World Architects