U of T news
  • Follow U of T News

U of T architecture students, faculty install a pop-up park beside the CN Tower

(photo by Rémi Carreiro)

The University of Toronto is bringing a little bit of the natural world to one of downtown Toronto's most prominent locations.

Pebbs and Hex, an educational pop-up park, was created by Assistant Professor Victor Perez-Amado and forestry PhD candidate Eric Davies, in collaboration with a team of students from U of T’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design. It sits at the base of the CN Tower, one of Canada's most recognizable urban landmarks.

The park opened to the public on July 25th in the plaza located immediately to the south of the tower. It will remain on display until early December.

""

(photo by Rémi Carreiro)

The Pebbs and Hex park consists of a series of wooden “pebbles” – rounded seating structures accentuated with kinetic, solar-powered lighting elements that move with the wind – created using a computer-controlled mill that allows designers to make precise cuts. The “hexes” are modular hexagonal planters that hold a gallery of native trees, including burr oak, black ash, sugar maple and poplar.

A series of explanatory plaques helps visitors learn about the different tree species and the important roles they play in Ontario's ecology.

The park’s elements were fabricated in the Daniels Faculty’s digital fabrication laboratory.

""

(photo by Rémi Carreiro)

The installation is part of the CN Tower's ongoing effort to bring life and variety to the downtown core.

“We are excited to partner with University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design to bring the Pebbs and Hex pop-up park to life at the base of the CN Tower,” says Peter George, the tower’s chief operating officer.

“With its beautiful array of trees that are part of the city’s natural canopy, the installation is one of many ways the CN Tower is helping Torontonians fall in love with their city all over again, and we’re so pleased to provide our community with a refreshingly green urban space to enjoy.”

For Robert Wright, interim dean of the Daniels Faculty, an installation in the CN Tower's plaza represents an opportunity to bring design excellence to a wide audience.

“I'm proud of the Daniels Faculty’s support of this activity and Victor’s work on this project,” Wright says. “Pebbs and Hex is both beautiful and educational.

“And it's an incredible showcase for the Daniels Faculty's design expertise and fabrication technologies.”

Pebbs and Hex was completed with support from Sidewalk Labs.


The Daniels Faculty design team consisted of:

Concept design and research:

Victor Perez-Amado – assistant professor of architecture and urban design
Anton Skorishchenko – master of architecture student
Christian Huizenga – master of architecture student
Niko McGlashan – master of architecture student

Concept design and research of native tree gallery:

Eric Davies  PhD candidate in forestry

Concept design and research of educational component:

Eric Davies  PhD candidate in forestry

Pebbles and lights fabrication:

Anton Skorishchenko – master of architecture student
Christian Huizenga – master of architecture student
Miranda Fay – master of architecture student
Niko McGlashan master of architecture student
Peter Dowhaniuk
 – bachelor in architectural studies student

Hexagons fabrication:

Victor Perez-Amado – assistant professor of architecture and urban design
Anton Skorishchenko – master of architecture student

Project management and project installation:

Victor Perez-Amado – assistant professor of architecture and urban design
Anton Skorishchenko – master of architecture student

Photgraphs:

Rémi Carreiro

news