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Niagara Falls Gorge Boat Tour pavilion

Heller Manus Architects

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Project Name

Niagara Falls Gorge Boat Tour pavilion



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Project Description

San Francisco–based Heller Manus Architects designed Hornblower Canada Co.’s winning proposal to build new facilities for boat tours at Niagara Falls Gorge, replacing current operations by Maid of the Mist. Located on the Ontario, Canada, side of the falls, the seasonal nature of the site (the falls are frozen for several months of the year) presented the challenge of requiring demountable structures. Heller Manus proposed a removable form-active tensile covering for the entry and waterside embarkation pavilions. “You can go back to the Olympics, Frei Otto, and all those great tents, but those are not ones that you can actually put up and take down,” says Clark Manus, FAIA, CEO of Heller Manus and 2011 AIA president. The firm is also considering ways to use existing site infrastructure, including an existing brick building that is being converted into an event center, as “an opportunity for activation” on the grounds, Manus says. Interactive displays and other educational materials will be spread throughout all three structures. Heller Manus’s decade-long collaboration with Hornblower has been fruitful, yielding this and three other projects, including facilities at Alcatraz in San Francisco and the Statue of Liberty in New York. “We’re always seeking clients who are excited about what they can enrich the experience to be,” Manus says. Construction at the Niagara Falls site is set to begin immediately, with an expected opening in Spring 2014.
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