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PLANT unveils new bird-watching pavilions in Toronto


May 3, 2016
by Canadian Architect

Photo by Steven Evans Photography

PLANT Architect Inc. has unveiled bird-watching pavilions at the East Point Park Sanctuary on the Scarborough bluffs.

The project is part of a citywide initiative to enhance and protect bird habitat and increase birding activity through public education programming. A newly completed Viewing Pavilion, Bird Blind and entry signage will enhance the East Point birding experience, as will the network of new and rehabilitated nature trails that PLANT has developed for this park. East Point’s pavilions provide shelter and gathering spaces and are vantage points for Lake Ontario and pond views.

Photo by Steven Evans Photography

The pavilions were designed by Toronto’s PLANT Architect Inc., an award-winning practice that branches into architecture, landscape and design. The studio’s areas of specialty include institutional and residential architecture and landscape architecture, urban infrastructure, public space, feasibility studies and master planning.

The Viewing Pavilion. Photo by Steven Evans Photography

The Viewing Pavilion. Photo by Steven Evans Photography

Detail of the bird species screen on the Viewing Pavilion. Photo by Steven Evans Photography

Detail of the bird species screen on the Viewing Pavilion. Photo by Steven Evans Photography

PLANT’s pavilions explore the use of architecture as a means of framing, enhancing and respecting the natural qualities of one of Toronto’s most beautiful parks. The structures called for sheets of weathering steel to be folded into shapes that are evocative of flight. Laser-cut through the Viewing Pavilion’s walls are clouds of birds on the wing and the names of species that frequent this significant migratory flyway stopover site.

The Bird Blind. Photo by Steven Evans Photography

The Bird Blind. Photo by Steven Evans Photography

The laser-cut pattern on the Bird Blind evokes sunlight filtering through branches. The materials palette, which also includes precast and cast-in-place concrete and galvanized grating, was chosen for durability and minimal environmental impact.

Photo by Steven Evans Photography

East Point Park is the first of six key sites to be developed and improved over the next several years.