Don River Revitalization Project

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    Exterior render of site from the perspective of a person standing on the bridge.
    Exterior Render
    Jason Cai
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    Rendered Section of pavilion
    Rendered Section
    Jason Cai
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    Rendered exploded axonometric diagram of pavilion
    Rendered Axonometric
    Jason Cai
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    Three detailed sections taken at key transitional moments of the site. Hillside to wetland transition, wetland to path transition, and river edge transition.
    Detail Sections
    Jason Cai
Author(s)
Jason Cai
Project Date

In Ontario alone, we have lost about 80% of our wetlands due to urbanization and agricultural developments. Wetlands are essential ecosystems that aid in the growth of many organisms and benefit the environments they surround. The Don River Wetland Revitalization Project aims to use a weir system to flood a portion of the Don River that contains a small existing wetland and expand its footprint. This allows for more efficient wetland growth, filtration of the water, and mitigation of flood levels within the area. A circular walkway was introduced to allow for individuals on the path to be immersed within the wetland, while still maintaining a clear separation from the wetland itself, as to not interfere with its natural processes. The weir system floods the area and retains water but also creates interesting geometric patterns within the river. In addition, as the water cascades over the weir the sound, the mist and the breeze will stimulate individuals’ senses as they walk over. There is an educational/research center on the other side of the river which functions both as a location to spread awareness and teach the public about wetlands, as well as a hub for researchers to monitor and maintain the ecosystem. The site contained an existing railway trestle that spans across the valley.  Rather than fighting for dominance on the site, the materiality of the walkway and educational/research center works in conjunction with the trestle to frame the wetland and draw attention to the natural landscape.