Strong visual contrasts between the Iron Ore Dock’s stained exterior, the clear water of Lake Superior and the subtle growth of grasses and plantlife, provide inspiration for the potential transformation of what this domineering structure may become. (Brook McIlroy Urban Design + Planning)



Standing within the Iron Ore Dock’s belly proves an overwhelming experience; while the stream of light at the structure’s terminus provides magnificent views onto the ‘Sleeping Giant’. (Brook McIlroy Urban Design + Planning)


Photos © Mike Lalich
One of the 2010 summer exhibitions at Harbourfront Centre on Toronto’s waterfront is an exhibition which investigates how we can re-imagine or re-purpose abandoned, under-utilized industrial spaces and structures to create revitalized landscapes. Brook McIlroy, one of the participating firms and artist in the exhibition, has chosen the Iron Ore Dock (IOD) in Thunder Bay as their ‘muse’.


Click on each image for larger view.




Renderings © Brook McIlroy
Here is an excerpt from their press release.

Architecture at the Harbourfront’s Summer 2010 exhibit, Redux Park, provides novel perspectives on repurposing our cities’ unused industrial infrastructure within the greater fabric of an urban landscape.

Brook McIlroy’s THUNDER BAY IOD responds to the City of Thunder Bay’s recently initiated project of converting its industrial waterfront into public trails, parks and villages. This era of transformation – predicated on embracing the waterfront as an amenity – has also seen the removal of some of its heroic industrial legacy embodied in the massive structures that line the shores of Lake Superior.

The Iron Ore Dock (IOD) designed by C.D. Howe and built in 1944, still stands today overlooking Thunder Bay’s landmark, the ‘Sleeping Giant’. Engaging these remaining heroic-historic structures as permanent elements in a waterfront park network offers a remarkable opportunity for a reinvigorated community identity.

Embedded in a ‘working’ waterfront – THUNDER BAY IOD fuses dichotomous elements into a new composite of mega structure, meadows, wetland, theatre, forest, acrobatic school, fish habitat, music hall, bird nesting, outdoor cinema, phyto-remediation lab, water park, zip line course and northern spirit sanctuary.

THUNDER BAY IOD invites visitors to experience this re-imagined waterfront park through sound, photography, video and light. Nodding to the structure’s overwhelming and magnificent size, the exhibit’s photographic montage is secured upon an overarching curved construction with a linear water garden following its base, illustrating both what exists now and what could exist.

REDUX PARK is on view through Sunday, Sep 19. For more information visit Harbourfront Centre’s website.