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OCZ – Ontario’s Celebration Zone

27 Jul 2015
Image Credit: courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects
Architectural Credit: Hariri Pontarini Architects
While the competition venues for the Toronto 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games might receive the most attention, there are also numerous facilities designed to host the rich cultural program of the Games. A unique set among these cultural sites are the Games-specific temporary venues. These temporary facilities transform every day spaces into celebratory moments. The inflatable arched pavilions of Ontario’s Celebration Zone belong to this subset of Games facilities, augmenting for 38 days the cultural role of Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre. In this post of “The Architects behind the Games”, Hariri Pontarini Architects tell us a bit more about the unique design of Ontario’s Celebration Zone.

Photo Credit: Ben Rahn/ A-Frame; Courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects

From the architects:

Ontario’s Celebration Zone for the Pan Am/Parapan Am Games is the primary destination for unique interactive events and experiences during the Games. The objective was to create two large-scale, temporary structures within the confines of Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre that would showcase Ontario’s identity and house a line-up of more than 500 free events, including concerts and activities.

Hariri Pontarini Architect’s design creates a sense of occasion. The arched and undulating pavilions frame stunning views across the site and towards Toronto Harbour while creating a dramatic art installation in the urban landscape. Built out of air beams joined by a quilted inflatable fabric skin, the two pavilions cover approximately 13,000 and 4,000 square feet respectively, and are anchored and shaped to withstand extreme wind forces. The vaulted shapes reach a peak of 50 feet and 32 feet respectively and curvilinear openings along the sides give a sense of lightness to the overall form and facilitate access and circulation through and across the site. 

Ontario's Celebration Zone Sections
Courtesy of Hariri Pontarini Architects
The project delivery was a coordinated effort led by Ellis Don with event programming provided by Lord Cultural Resources. Hariri Pontarini Architects with Thornton Thomasetti and Blackwell Engineers delivered an iconic structure of translucent waves composed of fabric and air. 

Project Team

Ellis Don: Project Lead/Construction
Lord Cultural Resources: Cultural Programming

Hariri Pontarini Architects: Architects
Thornton Tomasetti: Structural Design Engineers
Blackwell: Structural Engineers
Tectoniks: Inflatable Fabricators

Astound Group: Temporary Structures and Exhibits
Parléview Ltd: Food, Beverage, and Staffing
Infinite Stage Design: Event Production, Site Operations and Management

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