Pine Sanctuary - CODAworx

Pine Sanctuary

Submitted by Rachel Pennington

Client: City of Mississauga

Location: Mississauga, ON, Canada

Completion date: 2017

Artwork budget: $300,000

Project Team


Claudia Corcilius


Public Art Agent

Yvonne Monestier

City of Mississauga


Pine Sanctuary is a placemaker for The Riverwood Conservancy in Mississauga, Ontario. An inviting enclosure at a scale between sculpture and architecture, it signals the entrance to the park and provides a unique canopy for activity ranging from spontaneous play to quiet contemplation. There's no trunk holding up this arboreal structure. Instead, it opens up into a shady interior. The overall geometry is comprised of an aggregation of “Macro Shingles” which form pockets of space, blurring the lines between inside out, while increasing shadowy coverage. The art piece is contemporary in its design, production, and its coloration.


The City of Mississauga issued a request for proposals to commission an Artist team to develop and integrate site-specific, permanent public art for the park in recognition of Canada’s sesquicentennial anniversary. The goal of the project was for an Artist to create a recognizable gateway feature for the entrance of the park that would become a landmark for the community and the city itself. Artists were encouraged to interpret natural ecological processes and functions through their proposals. It was imperative that the artist's design balanced the need for strong visual impact with a site-appropriate approach to design and reference the rich natural and cultural heritage of the site as a uniquely treasured destination in the heart the city.


The Artist studio collaborated with the City's project design team and engaged with key stakeholders throughout each stage of the design and implementation process. The project team met regularly by way of telephone conferences and site visits in order to bring the artist studio’s innovative building system to life in Mississauga. Collaborative efforts led to the successful implementation of the artist’s ‘Structural Stripes’ – a building system in which a continuous surface is de/composed into custom designed and digitally fabricated parts, cut from ultra-thin aluminum. Held in place as a ‘Bending-Active’ structure, they laminate in multiple directions to create the curvilinear form of each component piece. 3,161 unique stripes are painted with fours shades of green, a blue, black and white to produce a dynamic coloration across the whole system. The delaminated, double-layered skin provides a moiré of colors, as well as shadows and speckled light to catch on the ground. A mystical space under dynamic shade and between leafy surfaces, Pine Sanctuary remains a place for spontaneous play as much as for quiet sanctuary among trees. The City hosted multiple community engagement events to welcome this iconic art piece into the fabric of the neighbourhood.

Additional Information

This project was granted funding under the Canada 150 Community Infrastructure Program in recognition of Canada's sesquicentennial anniversary. The site where the artwork now stands, Riverwood Park, is an environmentally and culturally significant natural area in Mississauga. It is home to the Chappell Estate and the offices of The Riverwood Conservancy (TRC) and Visual Arts Mississauga (VAM). Other amenities include trails, gardens, woodlands, wildlife habitats and views of the Credit River which runs through the site.