Pan Am Aquatic Parkette / Centennial Park

Toronto, ON

Developed in partnership with Exhibition Place, Pan Am Aquatic Parkette will become the centerpiece of the regeneration of Centennial Park and provide exemplary flexible space for the community. The concept has been envisioned to offer a variety of opportunities, such as a splash and play zone for children, and more flexible uses throughout the year bringing energy and excitement to the area.

Borrowing its title from Pan Am games, held in Toronto in summer 2015, the parkette design pays homage to the motif of the competition and to the 36 Pan Am and 15 Parapan Am sports played at the games.

The intention of the design is to evoke the magical sensory experience of interaction with water, when fantasy feels more intense than reality. Journeys, even the small passages in between different water features, can be fraught with adventure and exhilaration.

Major elements of the design include programmed water play areas designed for different age groups. The splash and play zone is designed to stimulate all of the senses, and also to promote cross-generational interaction. The Pan Am bronze sculpture will showcase the 36 Pan Am and 15 Parapan Am sports though perforated text on its surface. In daylight, the texts can be read directly from the 1.2-by-2.5-meter cylinder or from the surface of the adjacent paving upon which the sun will project the texts. At night, an interior light projects the texts over a wide area of the paving and architectural surfaces. The soft grass and lavender-covered skirt with small flowering trees around the project gives a sense of closeness and peace to the users.

Finally, the design has the flexibility to accommodate various seasonal uses such as farmers markets and small concert groups - using the 16 meter sinus bench frame on the periphery of the site.