Property developer Tridel has commissioned internationally-acclaimed interactive installation designer Jason Bruges to create an innovative site-specific art piece at its 300 Front Street West condo complex. The project seeks to animate the Claude Cormier & Associés-designed park and provide a dynamic experience for pedestrians, through light and shadow effects that reflect the vibrancy of Downtown Toronto.

Light installation 'Back to Front', image courtesy of Tridel

Entitled ‘Back to Front’, the permanent installation will be located in a privately owned, publically accessible park as part of Tridel's 49-storey condominium development, currently under construction in the city's Entertainment District. Its name relates to its location on Front Street and its proximity to the waterfront.

'Back to Front’, due to be launched in Autumn 2014, will consist of an array of three metre tall, 60cm wide and 20cm deep, monolithic granite structures that sense changing levels of light within the park in real-time. The installation will be able to detect static shadows from buildings, light and shade resulting from different times of day and seasonal changes, as well as dynamic movement from people and trees. The shadows will be transferred through the depth of the granite forms and revealed as animated silhouettes on the opposite side using a series of LEDs which are diffused by glass lenses embedded within the stone. 

Light installation 'Back to Front', image courtesy of Tridel

Unique analogue electronic printed circuit boards (PCBs) have been developed for use inside the artwork. Each individual LED/sensor node across the face of the granite monolith works autonomously, both sensing and emitting unique levels of light simultaneously. Imagery emerges from the combined behaviour of each individual LED node.

The Studio was inspired by the characteristic lake effect ‘weather fronts’ experienced in Toronto; weather boundaries that separate two masses of air of different densities, that envelop the city and dramatically affect its climate all year round. In response, the project's structural framework has been put through a rigorous testing programme, related to extreme site conditions common in Toronto. Freeze thaw cycles, accelerated weathering and surface wind loading were tested at a UK materials laboratory to inform the development of material joints, structural details and electronic PCBs that can withstand extreme weather cycles over many years outdoors.

Light installation 'Back to Front', image courtesy of Tridel

The natural materials used, including the robust granite for the monoliths and sedimentary limestone for the surrounding pavement connect with Tridel’s history: the company was established by stone mason Jack DelZotto in 1927 who was renowned for building beautifully crafted homes for families in Canada. Jason Bruges Studio is echoing that history in stone work by generating long lasting and memorable structures.


Formed in April 2002, Jason Bruges Studio designs and builds interactive and engaging installations across the sectors of architecture, art and brands. Based in London, and recently expanded to include a team in NY, the Studio is a multi-disciplinary and experienced collective of creative types: architects, lighting designers, engineers, programmers, industrial designers and a high calibre management team, who all collaborate to develop highly innovative and pioneering spaces for clients. Each unique space combines high levels of environmental awareness and technical skill and connects people with their surroundings.

Among the Studio’s international portfolio are projects such as an interactive lounge at San Diego Airport, interactive artwork in a shopping mall in Shenyang, China and four Olympic Games installations in London.

Related Companies:  Claude Cormier + Associés, DeepRoot Green Infrastructure, Deltera, Tridel, U31, Wallman Architects