Pan Am Games Pavilion Toronto – Student Competition

Pan American Games Pavilion Toronto, AIAS Architecture Contest, Student Competition Canada

Pan Am Games Pavilion Toronto : Competition

Ontario Building, Canada – Canadian Student Competition: Winners

14 Apr 2011

Pan American Games Pavilion Toronto


International Student Competition 2011 l First Place

Organised by AIAS – American Institute of Architecture Students

Manuel Gross l Patrik Staub l Yannick Vorberg l Stefan Vetsch

Pan American Games Pavilion Toronto

On July 10th, 2015, the Pan American Games will take place in Toronto. For two weeks, the Pan American Village, located in Toronto’s waterfront district, will serve as a central hub of sports, celebration and international friendship. Located on the site of the Pan American Village, the Awards Ceremony Pavilion will literally and figuratively be the stage by which the world views the success of the athletes and the host country. This semi-permanent structure will function as a multi-purpose platform during the Games and must remain flexible for future uses post-Games, such as an outdoor theater, a musical performance stage and social gathering spot. In developing an efficient and creatively designed facility, the Pavilion will serve as an icon for Toronto and the Games.

Pan American Games Pavilion Toronto Pan Am Games Pavilion Toronto Pan American Games Pavilion
pictures from Stefan Vetsch

We located our design at the Lower Don Lands right next to the Victory Soya Mills Silos. This area is separated from the city by the railways, the Gardiner Expressway and the Lake Shore Boulevard. The selection of the waterfront as our site for the Pavilion is urbanisticly very sustainable – we bridge the physical and psychological barrier of these transport axes. The Pavilion becomes a starting point for the further development of the Lower Don Lands.

Our design is inspired by the Name of Toronto, originally tkaronto, which means “place where trees stand at the water” or “meeting place”. We really like the idea of a meeting place that is created through a couple of trees – our Pavilion works as simple as that. A huge “balloon – roof” creates an interesting and protecting place, where people can meet, relax or entertain themselves. Under the roof there are some boxes, which contain the different programs. Their form is inspired by the image of supported logs in the wood.

The Victory Soya Mills Silos connect our site visually with the city – projections on the silos lead the people to the site. The bar on top of the silos attracts people, even after the games. This sustainable intervention supports the further development of the waterfront. We revaluate the underpasses of the railways with the same balloon structure of the pavilion. Also we revaluate the Queens Quai, our main bike and pedestrian path, with “balloon trees”.

It was requested to use the sustainable material vinyl. Therefore the structure of the Pavilion consists of standard, vinyl based and helium filled weather balloons, supporting a PVC PES membrane. A PVC net holds everything together. Wire ropes with a PVC coating anchor the construction to the ground. The Helium and the weather balloons are reusable, therefore our construction is very sustainable.

Pan American Games Pavilion Toronto Pan Am Games Pavilion Toronto Pan American Games Pavilion
pictures from Stefan Vetsch

Pan American Games Pavilion Toronto – Building Information

Project Title: Tkaronto
Client: AIAS, The vinyl institute, City of Toronto
Architect: Manuel Gross, Partick Staub, Yannick Vorberg, Stefan Vetsch
Site area: 100,000 sqm
Location: Toronto Waterfront
Status: 1st prize winning competition
Project start date: Jan 2011

The Pan American Games Pavilion Toronto Student Competition winners are a group of four architecture students from Switzerland

Pan American Games Pavilion Toronto images / information from Stefan Vetsch

Location:25 Dockside Drive, Toronto

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