Oct 01, 2016




Sculpture & Architecture Park

The Steam Canoe, designed and installed by OCAD University students in joint venture with Grip Metal™, was on display on the shores of Lake Ontario, Canada, in February and has been re-erected in Architecture Omi's Field 01 as part of the exhibition WOOD: From Structure to Enclosure.

The Steam Canoe by OCAD University (Monifa Onca Charles, Curtis Ho, Jaewon Kim, Jungyun Lee, Reila Park, Hamid Shahi, Lambert St‐Cyr, Jason Wong and Mark Tholen, Assistant Professor, Faculty of Environmental Design)

Project Description

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 was originally 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.

Technical Details

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.