GRIP Metal-based structure, OCAD’s Steam Canoe wins 2016 Ontario Wood WORKS! Award

OCAD’s Steam Canoe, a structure originally developed to participate in the annual Toronto-based Winter Stations design competition, continues to ride a wave of accolades, winning the 2016 Ontario Wood Award. One of the 10 key awards delivered as part of the annual Ontario Wood Design celebration, the Ontario Wood Award honours new projects that push the limits of wood design in structures that demonstrate excellence in the use of wood.

For both the OCAD and GRIP design and development teams, the project has become a runaway hit. The OCAD team had originally created their design concept for the Steam Canoe based on co-development of a flexible, formable wood-clad laminate using GRIP Metal™ bonding layers. The teams worked hand in hand to tune design and process, creating a finished installation that hit all the marks on both team’s lists; a flowing, lightweight design constructed from a multi-layer laminate material that, while custom-assembled, was cost effective.

The Steam Canoe was designed as a lightweight structure that had the strength to withstand the harsh environment of Lake Ontario shoreline in the winter and constructed using 2 outer layers of thin-gauge plywood strips and 2 inner layers of double sided GRIP Metal™ sheets, surrounding a core of planking. It was these characteristics that fit the requirements for the Ontario Wood Award, showcasing the strength, durability, beauty, versatility, and cost-effectiveness of the GRIP-laminated wood construction of the Steam Canoe.

“The Steam Canoe showcases GRIP Metal’s core capabilities, providing a bonding layer to wood laminates and structures that translates the core capabilities of metal substrates to its laminate partners; bond strength, shear and torsion resistance without sacrificing the needs for lighter weight and flexibility of form that today’s designs require,” stated Bill Payne, GRIP Metal’s Executive Director of Research and Development.

The Steam Canoe design and construction concepts have been well received locally and internationally. As one of the winning concepts within the annual Toronto-based Winter Works competition, the finished structure was displayed at Toronto Beach during last year’s winter months. In October of this this year, the Steam Canoe concept won the student award at Materialica, a Munich-based trade event showcasing lightweight design and materials. The Steam Canoe structure is now on a one-year residency display at the OMI International Arts Center, just outside of New York State’s capital, Albany.

Our congratulations to OCAD’s Environmental Design Assistant Professor Mark Tholen, and his team of 10 students for being honoured with the Ontario Wood Award, and to the GRIP R&D team that worked with them to translate the idea of the Steam Canoe into a physical reality.

About GRIP Metal
GRIP Metal™ is a consistently shaped field of hooks formed onto ultra-thin gauge sheet metals, allowing the GRIP-applied metal surfaces to physically adhere with other materials without the use of traditional adhesives or crude mechanical attachment technologies. Used as either a point of bonding for varying materials within larger structures, or as a mediating layer between different materials, GRIP provides stunning shear resistance, transferring the core strengths of metal to lightweight laminate or composite materials.

GRIP Metal™ provides designers, engineers and material scientists a brand new foundation for the design and manufacture of complex forms that require a new generation of stronger, lighter materials.

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