Sherbourne Common Pavilion demonstrates that striking sculptural form and sound urban design are not antithetical, but complementary. Rather than placing a discreet structure into the landscape, the new pavilion acts as both a grounding marker and urban connector which straddles the varied public programs of Sherbourne Common. It represents the intersection of numerous park elements: the skating rink/splash pad, a water channel, lawn and outdoor amphitheater, and the hardscaped playground.
The pavilion’s sculptural form was generated through extensive collaboration with landscape architects, artists and the civil engineers who designed the storm water purification system for the entire Toronto Waterfront. The structure is intended to act as the physical embodiment of the overall vision for this public park: focusing on public interaction and establishing a connection to Lake Ontario. This project presents a type of dualism – on one hand, it can be read as an iconic sculpture with an urban backdrop that is experienced from the lake. Alternatively, the pavilion can act as a frame through which the City can view the waterfront.
The pavilion’s environmental approach is twofold. It plays a key role, as does the park as a whole, in purifying the storm water from the adjacent area and displacing its return to the lake. The basement of the pavilion houses a state-of-the-art UV water filtration system, thereby reducing the need for large-scale infrastructure along the waterfront. Open year-round, the project employs a sophisticated zinc rainscreen cladding applied over a steel structure to achieve its complex three-dimensional form. The exterior surfaces of the pavilion display a soft, patinated texture, while the underbelly is polished, ensuring that the space underneath the arch is bright and welcoming. Largely through these energy-efficiency measures, Sherbourne Common Pavilion has achieved the LEED Gold status.