When Canadian design duo George Yabu and Glenn Pushelberg—known for their Toronto and New York-based firm Yabu Pushelberg—were given a slim two-week time frame and a lean budget to design Canada Olympic House, what they came up with was a temporary rhapsodic living space born from a lucid Canadian point of view. With a modern design in tow, complete with the country’s signature bright red aesthetics leading the colorful palette, the designers infused a punchy, welcoming energy for Canadian athletes during this year’s Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. "The design taps into the essence of what it means to be Canadian," said Pushelberg. "It is open, honest, and progressive. This has been an energizing experience for our studio, bringing together an amazing group of collaborators to create a sense of home for Canadians in Rio during the Olympics."
From the residence’s Welcome Hall, to the Celebration Lounge and Samsung Honor Library, each distinctly designed room in the aquatic center-turned-dwelling has a unique function. Simple materials like exposed-edge plywood, metal, and soft textiles give the space an honest sophistication and graphic nature.
Furnishings provided by Canadian Tire, Saint-Damase Furniture, and Quality & Company are reconfigurable pieces that allow residents to truly make the quarters their own. The space also boasts artistic manifestations of Canadian icons and athletes through color, pattern, and fluid imagery throughout. For added effect, Yabu Pushelberg tapped Moss and Lam, a talented collective of Canadian artists and craftsmen to produce sculptural installations that animate and inspire through their transformative commentary and approach to materiality. "In collaboration with artists and artisans we've expressed Canada's most forward-thinking qualities and hopefully engendered a sense of pride in all things Canadian: intelligence, artistic excellence, and an optimistic view of the future," remarked Yabu.
Despite the project’s condensed time frame and limited financials, Canada Olympic House stands as an example of how tight parameters can still produce interiors with amplified creativity and heart.