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08.05.20 – A team of Daniels students and faculty install a pop-up park beside the CN Tower

The Daniels Faculty 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 co-created by assistant professor Victor Perez-Amado and forestry PhD candidate Eric Davies in collaboration with a team of Daniels Faculty students, is now available to visitors at the base of the CN Tower, Canada's most recognizable urban landmark.

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

Detail of one of Pebbs and Hex's solar-powered lighting elements.

Pebbs and Hex consists of a series of CNC-milled wooden "pebbles" — rounded seating structures, accentuated with kinetic, solar-powered lighting elements that move with the wind. 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 will educate visitors 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.

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," 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.

Here are a few more photos of the park:

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, MSc, BSc

Concept design and research of educational component:

  • Eric Davies - PhD candidate in forestry, MSc, BSc

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 by Rémi Carreiro