Jialing Li, Ruijun Qi, Nicole Gabriele, Yan Gao, Alaviyah Rajani and Saskia Scarce
Birdwatching in the Chester Meadows: Lifer

Chester Meadows is located along the historic River Dee and is home to various bird species, wildlife and vegetation. LIFER is a combination of birdwatching pavilions and bench stations that highlight a path across the meadow. Multiple bench stations are placed along the route between the pavilions to serve as a space for native birds to nest and visitors to learn about the local biodiversity.

The design focuses on providing a shared space for humans and birds using natural materials like wood, terracotta and thatched roofing as well as conserving the land quality. So, instead of one large pavilion that requires an intrusive foundation, we aim to have smaller pavilions with varying focal viewpoints that overlook the surrounding town and its historic sites. Each pavilion is named after a specific bird local to the area and caters to that particular bird’s needs. A private nesting area and a birdbath made using the rainwater collected from the roof are incorporated into our design to encourage more bird settlements in the area.

Elevating the pavilions not only ensures protection against flooding but also provides a flat surface for bird-watching equipment and reduces strain for watchers. Most importantly, these structures provide not only a private sanctuary for birds but for their admirers as well.

Toronto Metropolitan Department of  Architectural Science Toronto, CA.