The Blue Wave at St. Stephen's Community House
Community-Engaged Design in Kensington Market
Sustainable was approached to design this much-needed shade structure for the front facade of the building, and thought it to be the perfect opportunity to engage the people that utilize the building to design it themselves. An 8 week mentorship program was set up, where all members of St. Stephen’s were invited to partake in the design process, as no one knows more about what the building needs than do the users themselves.
Through brainstorming, physical modelling, and digital 3D modelling, many options were explored, addressing themes of sun-shading angles, materials, rain water protection & collection, structure, colour, form, and microclimate. By using freely available computer modelling software called SketchUp, community members were able to put their designs into action, and to visualize them in context, seeing their resulting shade capacities.
Our participants enjoyed the workshops, the sense of authorship, and the opportunity to contribute to the design. They hope to pass on their knowledge and experiences to others in the community. Today, the Blue Wave is fully realized, and stands proudly in Kensington Market.
Location: Toronto, ON
Area: 58 m², 625 ft²
Client: St. Stephen's Community House
Project Lead: Steve Socha
Structural: David Moses Structural Engineers
Fabricator: Shade Sails Canada