Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

National Urban Design Awards — 2014 Recipient

Jiigew [By the Water]
Thunder Bay
Award Category: 
National Urban Design Awards
Urban Fragments

Brook McIlroy Architects / SPMB

Located on the ends of Piers 1 and 3 on the Thunder Bay Waterfront, Jiigew [By the Water] forms a pair of sculptures 70-feet high. They act as beacons overlooking Lake Superior at the water gateway to the city. Through its shape, proportions and luminous qualities, Jiigew celebrates the history and identity of Thunder Bay by evoking shipbuilding, lightning and thunder. Each of the beacons relays a poem-story using an array of lights in Morse Code. An audio track is heard as a whisper reciting the poem in both Annishinabe and English. The choice of weathering steel for the structure refers to shipbuilding.

Jury Comment(s): 

“Using light, sound and silhouette, each beacon creates a different pattern as seen during the day or the night. The evident connection to the “sense of place” evokes the historic tradition of the native people and the shipbuilding past of this place on Lake Superior.”

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Photos: David Whittaker