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Garden Party


Greek tragedies, botanical gardens, and a mining attic from 1904, get updated by the innovative and stunning designs of BSN Architects.

Audrey vs. Marilyn CXT ARCHITECTS

Reintroducing historical and cultural practices into their design, CXT creates relevant and modern spaces with St. John McNicoll’s Center and Jiangyin Exhibition Center.

The Great Estates HUNT DESIGN

Traditional homes meet contemporary needs. Hunt Design, creates timeless and upscale residences with Letros Estates and multi-family development Vaughan Valley Estates.


Winter/Spring 2012 $24.95 USD $26.30 CAN

2 Architecture Leaders Today


Design 101 ACTON OSTRY

Contemporary design for staff and students of the University of British Columbia makes the Dean’s List with Acton Ostry Architects.

on the cover 84 Baird Sampson Architects

Cornell Plantations Botanical Gardens, Ithaca, N.Y. The outside is pulled in with the contemporary and flawless design of BSN Architects. Photo by Tom Arban.



Editor-in-Chief Todd Weaver Editor Diana Doyle Executive Editor Jonathan Mack Assistant Editor Joseph Orange


Creative Director Maria J. Owens Art Director Kris Apodaca Editorial Design Jennifer Bitzinger Advertising Design Jennifer Greenley, Susan Richter Editorial Director Kate Darling Staff Writers Drew Grossman, Kevin Porter Copy Editor Emily Bond Content Directors Sophia Hartwick, Jill Patel, Quenshell Williams, Tracey Bowen Vendor Relations Director Diana Stephens Vendor Relations Steve Peters Vendor Relation Support Yvonne Chen Advertising Sales Adam Brown Moe Kazemi, Mike Melley, Tim Leming Publisher Steve Reed Reprints/Circulation Anne Brewer

oZ WORLD MEDIA, LLC 1100 H Street NW, Suite M Washington D.C. 20005 Architecture Leaders Today is an international quarterly B2B trade journal that services the architecture industry in design/build, education and healthcare architecture, interior design, and residential and commercial sectors. ALT has a readership of 200,000 C-Level executives within the architecture industry. We do not accept subscription requests from the general public, however an abbreviated version is available on our website.


in this issue



06 Staff Editorial 08 Guest Editorial 10 Executive Profile 12 Industry News 13 Calendar 14 The Hot List 147 Advertising Index FEATURES

18 Acton & Ostry Architects

Schools out, but everyone wants to stay in. Acton & Ostry create state-of-art education facilities for University of British Colombia. Merging Design 101 with Style 102. Founding Partners at Vancouver-based Acton Ostry Architects, Inc. specialize in designing public buildings and institutions, for a utilitarian effect.

26 Allen & Chui Architects

Wine and milk rarely mix, unless you’re referring to the chic adaptive re-use designs of Allen & Chui. The firm renovated and restored two former spaces, an old milk factory and wine vineyard barn, in Niagara Falls, Ontario into modern havens.

32 DTAH Architects

Like a tidal wave, a new era of design is crashing through Toronto, and DTAH is riding the crest. While adaptive re-use projects and community orientated design increases in the city, DTAH remains at the forefront of the movement with three impressive projects, WaveDecks, Wychwood-Barns, and Evergreen Brickworks.

38 Hunt Designs

Hunt keeps it classy with luxury residential projects, like Letros Estates and Vaughan Valley Estates in highly coveted locales. The design/build firm creates contemporary home layouts, with traditionally timeless appeal.

44 CXT Architects

Audrey or Marilyn? CXT Architects proves the understated, simplicity blended with cultural heritage design — is a box-office stunner. Based in Toronto, the firm’s founding partners Patrick Chan and Dan Teh, reintroduce historically sustainable techniques into present design.

54 Chamberlain Companies

Titans clash and Chamberlain comes out victorious. Merging construction with architecture proved a triumphant for Brian Chamberlain, well known for his seamless approach with the major components of the design/build world. .

60 GH+A Architects Valet shopping and NYC subway slumming, what you get with GH+A is an innovative, beautiful and flawless design experience. The design firm tackles Aropostale in Times Square, NYC and upscale Bayview Village in Toronto.

66 Lydon Lynch Architects

A roaming market finds its meca and a telecommunications giant has a new home. Lydon Lynch Architects’ team creates green design surpassing the average firm and may soon boast the greenest building in North America.

72 Manasc Isaac

With an impressive workshop of top notch architects, engineers, and designers collaboration and input thrive within the firm Manasc Isaac. Creating large-scale project with communication and proven talent.

78 Rositch Hemphill Architects

On a quiet coastal town beauty curves upwards. Architecture firm Rositch Hemphill Architects brings sleek modern design to the shores of Dundarave with The Argyle.

82 Sedun + Kanerva Architects

When Sedun + Kanerva’s clients in a senior-residential home wanted to go “necking,” the firm obliged with a sweet homage to their past, in the form of a stationary vintage automobile. Going the extra mile, and with compassion is exactly what you can expect from Sedun + Kanerva.

86 BSN Architects

What do a botanical garden, a historic mining building, and a Greek tragedy have in common? Plenty, if you’re referring to the architecture genius of BSN Architects.

94 Karl Fischer Architects

Smooth and sharp design. This isn’t a close-shave, Karl Fischer Architects delivers a stunning restoration/renovation of the historic Gillette Lofts in downtown Montreal. Mixing vintage materials with modern style.

96 Montgomery Sisam Architects

Spaces that provide solace in the nature of their design, and through the drive of the architecture team, Montgomery Sisam Architects brings peace of mind to temporary residents — Ronald McDonald House, in Toronto and the Sister Margaret Smith Addictions Treatment Centre.

102 Neale Staniszkis Doll Adams Architects

Based in Vancouver, NSDA is committed to their client’s objectives and to their own design aesthetic, while remaining conscious of the outward impact each project creates.

108 Reich + Petch

West Coast’s Camp David is a lot less rustic and a lot more posh. In the dry desert heat of Coachella Valley is mid-century stunner, Sunnylands Estates and Gardens. Premier design firm, Reich + Petch create an elegant and technologically savvy exhibit design.

112 Rubin & Rotman

More than just good listeners, Rubin & Rotman encourage collaboration on every project, which has come in handy working with First Nation communities to large corporations.

118 Core Architects

With an eye towards sustainability and urban design, Core Architects Inc. creates affordable, contemporary, multi-family condos in the Toronto area, that are covetworthy stunners.

124 PBK Architects

PBK Architects, the design arm of one of the largest professional service firms in Canada, Genivar is growing. The group strives to maintain sustainable design in all of their large-scale projects.


My name is IKEA and I'm your Architect

It was only a matter of time before the Swedish home-design mega store IKEA, would venture from within the contents of the home to the home itself. Yep. It may take a few a more screws and definitely more couples therapy sessions to repair the damage that comes with putting it together, but you can now buy a prefab home from IKEA. In the name of journalistic integrity, I need to tell By Paige L. Hill, you something before I go on any further: I don't like IKEA. It all began about 12 years ago when an Staff Writer enormous IKEA warehouse seemed to drop from the sky right outside of my hometown—Wizard of Oz style. That warehouse landed on a meadow IKEA CREATES A LINE of wild lupine flowers. Please don’t call me a sap, OF PREFAB HOUSES MAKING but wild lupine meadows support the endangered species of the Karner Blue Butterfly; and IKEA HOME OWNERSHIP POSSIBLE warehouses support, well, cheaply made furniture. Essentially, IKEA and I got off on the wrong foot. FOR ALL TAX BRACKETS. Certainly, there is something to be said for inexpensive furniture. IKEA's prices make the process BUT I'M NOT CONVINCED— of purchasing new furniture virtually universal. An EVER SEEN THEIR CHAIRS ideal I can definitely get behind. IKEA's prefabricated residences are also conLAST LONGER THAN siderably more financially attainable than a new home might typically run for. The one-bedroom A COUPLE OF YEARS? prefabricated residence from IKEA, named the Activ, retails for around $86,500, a very affordable home ownership option. Designed in partnership with Oregon firm Ideabox, the Activ model is aimed at a "Pacific Northwest consumer." Translation: it’s eco-friendly. Those features include dual-flush toilets, Energy Star-rated appliances, fiber-cement siding, a metal roof and Ikea flooring. On paper this sounds good, but I still not convinced I would live in the Activ. I have seen an IKEA chest of drawers fall apart after six months and only torn t-shirts were the casualties. So, who builds IKEA homes? Are they certified general contractors? I tend to think of IKEA furniture as rental pieces until you can afford the real thing. So, if an IKEA “Rast” chest runs around $40 and you get six months of use out of it before it falls apart, that’s about $7 a month, which is a pretty good deal. Let’s say an Activ home remains in good condition for 10 years in the notoriously rainy Pacific Northwest and use the same calculation. That’s

6 Architecture Leaders Today

roughly $8,650 a year or $721 a month. Since I'm considering the Activ a "rental," you don’t own anything at the end of the decade, but you did have a very low fixed rent for 10 years. For most major cities, $721 is a great monthly rental price for 745 sq. ft. Better than any deal I've seen in Washington, D.C. But honestly I can't see myself 10 years from now, in my late 30s, living in 745 sq. ft. with a growing family, so I wonder what the resale value would be on a seven-yearold IKEA Activ. Any interested buyers? The Activ is "eco-friendly" so clearly you’re saving in energy bills, right? That’s how the home is marketed anyway. Looking more closely at these "eco-friendly" features, how much is an Energy Star appliance here and there saving you? Not too much. And reflecting back to the Karner Blue Butterfly, I'm curious what the carbon footprint is when you buy any IKEA product, much less a whole house? I don't know about you, but I'm not going to invite a LEED certification committee from the U.S. Green Building Council to have tea in my Activ. Now, an affordable, prefab housing option I can get on board with is the C6 from LivingHomes. The LivingHomes company recently launched this 1,200 sq. ft. home with three bedrooms and two bathrooms. Designed as part of a new partnership with "Make It Right," a nonprofit founded by Brad Pitt and Cradle to Cradle®'s William McDonough, the C6 is available for $179,000. Believe me, I realize that a nearly $100,000 difference in price is a pretty substantial jump, but this home also defines the line between owning a glorified tree-house and true home ownership—a highly energy efficient one for about $1,400 a month (using the same equation I used earlier). "The C6 is not only our lowest cost LivingHome, but it's also the first to achieve our most important Z6 Environmental Goals, and, we believe it's the first production home to feature Cradle to Cradle® inspired materials and a LEED Platinum level environmental program," said Steve Glenn, CEO of LivingHomes. The C6 includes energyefficient lighting and appliances, a Smart HVAC system, low-flow plumbing and a grey water ready system in place. The roof is also covered in solar panels so you can generate your own energy and be bill-free. Moreover, LivingHomes' long record of building quality homes with certified construction crews gives me confidence that the C6 will last beyond a decade and retain its value. Also the generous 1,200 sq. ft. puts me in the position to stay there as my family grows. This is a solid investment. The C6 from LivingHomes topped Apartment Therapy's list of 12 best affordable, eco-friendly home ownership options, with a classic Airstream trailer not far behind on the list. And the Activ? IKEA didn't even make the list.

SEE! •


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May/June 2012 7


Go Outside!

Child's Play and Landscape Architecture "We are grieving the loss of traditional forms of play that used to be consider a birthright – like making a cubby or mud pies in the garden."

Dean Thornton Manager, Urban Landscape Design Melbourne, Austrailia

Rapid urbanization and an increase in technology-based play is leaving our youth in the dust .

8 Architecture Leaders Today

Landscape fulfils two essential roles in children’s lives and education: as a place of play and to experience nature. Today, both roles are rapidly diminishing or being challenged, "We are grieving the loss of traditional forms of play that used to be consider a birthright – like making a cubby or mud pies in the garden," according to Director of the University of Melborne's Early Learning Center Jan Deans. "Play is compromised because children’s lives are so controlled by the sophisticated world around us and the environment of test taking.” With changing societal values and a changing urban structure –there is an absence of nature in many children’s lives today. When added to the rapidly urbanizing population in Australia and loss of natural habitats and biodiversity, largely due to urban growth, it creates a dire situation — we are losing the opportunity to play in nature. Traditionally, our schoolyards have not helped. The typical schoolyard consists of asphalt and steel playground structures. Both inside and outside the classroom, children’s lives are much more structured and supervised than before, with less time to explore nature even where available. Thankfully, there is an emerging concept of ecopsychology — the idea that humans have a natural affinity with nature, and that our environment affects both our physical and mental health. Recent findings suggest children who regularly play in natural environments have cognitive development two years more advanced than those who don't. And that primary school children who undergo nature-based programs show improvement

in their concentration, communication with peers, creative problem solving, creativity and cognitive ability. And, it also significant to add that a sense of responsibility to the environment is fostered within children through interactions with nature. Today, some progressive trends in the educational world —bridged with a sense of sustainable design, show potential in rectify the issue. •Kitchen/garden schemes – The dynamic and innovative model merges kitchen/garden classes into a school's curriculum, improving certain skills and cognitive abilities in students. Pioneers of the kitchen/garden method in Austrailia include Coober Pedy in the outback and Alawa in the tropics. •Disovery Gardens — Introduction of natural elements in school grounds, like wetlands, woodlands, etc., have an environmental benefit, as well as an educational element for the children surrounded by the natural elements. Curiosity can come unhinged in a biology class staged among the very elements it studies. •Play pods – Play for Life Australia has conducted trials of the pods started in Britain and the U.S. five years ago and has found improvement in kids’ decision-making skills, more inclusive playgrounds and a reduction in playground incidents. Depending on whether one is looking for a combination of play and nature-based learning or outdoor learning in a constructed natural environment, there are a number of key elements to consider: •Create an informal and naturalistic environment to stimulate free play and discovery learning. •Ensure seamless integration between indoor and outdoor. •Design on different levels and look to include plenty of nooks and crannies. •Use natural materials such as water, sand, stone, wood and plants set within a robust structure. •Build outdoor teaching spaces with fixed seating and shade structures. Landscape is a conduit into nature, and it is within this envirnoment children's physical and mental health can grow. There is an opportunity for schools to play a vital role in restoring children’s access to play in nature — with measurable, cognitive development improvement. Schools of the future that offer this type of experience will have a marked advantage over those that do not.

May/June 2012 9


1. SOCCER CITY STADIUM, JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA. PHOTO: MIKE SCHMUKER Or the FNB Stadium, is the largest stadium in Africa and can seat 94,736 fans. This stadium is also where the 2010 FIFA World Cup was held. 2. STAPLES CENTER; LOS ANGELES, CA. PHOTO: JOHN EDWARD LINDEN, JOHN LODGE, JAY VENEZIA, WOLFGANG SIMON. Lakers fans know this famous spot. The Staples Center draws millions every year including movie stars and musicians with court-side tickets to see the Lakers play. 3. SAITAMA SUPER ARENA, SAITAMA, JAPAN. PHOTO: TIM GRIFFITH. With the ability to hold 37,000, the Saitama Super Arena is the most important multi-purpose arena for the island nation of Japan. The design plays with traditional Japanese roof lines. 4. USTA NATIONAL TENNIS CENTER MASTER PLAN, QUEENS, NY. Home to the US Grand Slam Competition, the 1977 stadium received a major renovation and expansion in 1997 for the Arthur Ashe Stadium. 5. PAUL BROWN STADIUM; CINCINNATI, OH. PHOTO: TIM GRIFFITH. One of Meis' most iconic projects, this stadium boasts "not a bad seat in the house" due to the innovative design which removed all the corner seats. 6. LA NFL STADIUM; LOS ANGELES, CA. Los Angeles is about to join the other cities with all the major sports arenas in one concentration and Meis has worked on them all — Dodgers' stadium, Lakers' Staples Center, the LA Galaxy Soccer Center and the to be built NFL Stadium.

Go Big or Go Home



hough he won’t admit to a favorite, Dan Meis’ career has been shaped by sports teams. The award-winning stadium architect is behind such iconic sports facilities like the Los Angeles Lakers’ Staples Center, the Seattle Mariners’ Safeco Field and the Philadelphia Eagles’ Lincoln Financial Field. “I fell into this field accidentally, but at the right moment,” Meis said. “Sports architecture has had an interesting evolution what with players’ salaries changing the models and sponsorship being incorporated more into design. Fans need to pay big ticket prices to support that and in turn stadiums need to warrant a big ticket experience.” One of Meis’ earlier projects remains one of his most recognized and was the first NFL facility to win an AIA design award: The Paul Brown Stadium for the Cincinnati Bengals. “That was a special project to me from the start



10 Architecture Leaders Today

since the Bengals didn’t have one of those big ontv-every-week franchises; they have a very loyal fan base and a unique identity,” Meis said. What is now recognized as cutting-edge stadium design began as just problem solving with the owner who said they struggled to sell their corner seats. “I told him that we could create a stadium without corner seats.” The iconic 67,000-seat stadium is striking with cantilevered, steel-structured roof, clad with translucent fabric covering the upper deck, but managing to obstruct nothing. That project put Meis' name on every list of influential architects in the country. “This is a niche market so projects like that do not come along every day, so I try to always stay ahead of the curve,” Meis said. That meant moving into international projects like the Saitima Super Arena in Japan and the AsiaWorld Expo Center in Hong Kong.

profile 2.

“The new wave is designing large-scale, temporary architecture – you want to engineer these structures so that they feel like a long-term design without that price tag,” Meis said, who is currently in talks to build a soccer stadium in Rome, Italy. “Designing a stadium in the same city where the original stadium was built, the coliseum, would be coming full circle in my career,” Meis said. His latest adventure is kicking off his own firm, Meis Architects, which is still within their first year. The Los Angeles-based firm is already garnering quite a bit of press as a group to be reckoned with in the world of sports. “It can be difficult for a small, nimble firm to win a big project, but I see it as we have the flexibility to become more innovative without having to ‘feed the machine’ so to speak,” Meis said. “I think we are in the right place at the right time again.”



Winter/Spring 2012 11

industry news


news is any indicator. The famously self-sustaining country has brought in American architects for some major projects. China Mobile, one of the largest mobile telecommunications companies in the world, selected architect Leo A. Daly out of Washington, D.C. to design the three new buildings which will make up its new international headquarters campus in Beijing. Daly will be designing the buildings in conjunction with Local Design Institute WDCE. “It is a privilege to team up with a premier firm like China Mobile,” Daly said in an interview with The Architizer. “We look forward to creating a collaborative, efficient and energy-saving work environment that reflects China Mobile’s unique standing in the telecommunications world.” The new international headquarters will be built over an area of 1.3 million sq. meters over several phases. The campus will consist of 26 specialized

buildings to accommodate a variety of functions. Some buildings will be designated for information collection, research and innovation. Others will host international cooperation and exchanges. Daly was selected to begin in Phase 2, Plot B through a design competition. The area is 148,000 sq. m. adjoining a green space. The project consists of three buildings which will be used for research and development, labs and a public facility area. Daly will also get the chance to design the buildings’ exteriors, interior design and landscaping. The initial design features an external glass skin with copper-colored brise-soleil in an ombre pattern. Green design is ever important on this enormous campus, so the buildings will be designed with an emphasis on reducing energy consumption and ecological impact. The buildings’ roofs are being planted with grass seed and naturally occurring fauna for staff to enjoy.

AIA's COTE Names Top Ten in U.S. Sustainable Architecture THE AMERICAN INSTITUTE OF ARCHITECTS and its Committee

on the Environment have released a list of the top ten examples of sustainable architecture and green design solutions in the U.S. or The COTE Top Ten Green Projects program. “They make a positive contribution to their communities, improve comfort for building occupants and reduce environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, lowimpact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality,” the AIA COTE reports. The projects will be honored at the AIA 2012 National Convention and Design Exposition in Washington, D.C.

12 Architecture Leaders Today

1. 1315 Peachtree Street;

6. Mercy Corps; Portland, Ore.

2. ASU Polytechnic Academic District;

7. Music and Science Building;

Atlanta, Ga. Perkins + Will Mesa, Ariz. Lake|Flato Architects and RSP Architects

3. Chandler City Hall; Chandler, Az.


4. Iowa Utilities Board Office

of Consumer Advocate Office Building; Des Moines, Ia. BNIM

5. Kensington High School for the Creative

and Performing Arts; Philadelphia, Pa. SMP Architects and SRK Architects

THA Architects

Hood River, Ore. Opsis Architecture

8. Portland Community College

Newberg Center; Newberg, Ore. Hennebery Eddy Architects, Inc.

9. University Classroom Building;

Duluth, Minn. Salmela Architect

10. University of California, Merced

2009 Long Range Development Plan; Merced, Calif. UC Merced Physical Planning Design and Construction

China Mobile: WDCE. Wind Breaker image courtesy of Patkau Architects.

Leo A. Daly Chosen to Design New China Mobile International Headquarters

industry news

Wind Breaker Design Offers Winter Comfort are notoriously cold with the wind whipping across the tundra and temperatures remaining below zero for half the year. Designers from the Patkau Architecture firm in Canada have come up with a creative solution that will help Winnipegians and local outdoor enthusiasts catch a break from the cold while enjoying winter sports – the Winnipeg Windbreakers. Winner of the 2011 North American Wood Design Honor Award, these totally organic feeling plywood structures bend and taper into a cone shape that lets the wind move around the structure instead of knock up against it. Inside, one person can fit —protected from the wind. Each shelter is made of two layers of 3/16th of an inch thick flexible plywood, cut in specific patterns and easily assembled on site. “They are grouped in a small ‘village’ (or ‘herd’, or ‘school’, or ‘flock’, or ‘flotilla’) to form a collective ... of ‘something’ ... irreducible to a single interpretation. They stand with their backs to the wind like buffalo, seeming to have life and purpose as they huddle together shielding each other from the elements,” The statement reads from Patkau Architecture. The designers also said the idea behind the shelter is to help Winnipegians “learn to celebrate winter – learning to take advantage of the opportunities that winter provides.” WINTERS IN WINNIPEG

Industry Events HOSPITALITY DESIGN EXPO AND CONFERENCE 2012 Presented by: hospitalitydesign May 15-17 • Las Vegas, N.V. $40-$350 Aimed towards hospitality professionals who are looking to turn today's challenges into tomorrow's solutions, attendees will be able to examine tools, products and services to remin successful in the changing economy, attend LU/CEU sessions and network with industryleaders. AIA 2012 NATIONAL CONVENTION AND DESIGN EXPOSITION Sponsored by: AIA May 17-19 • Washington, D.C. Cost varies Continuing education, design expo, netowrking, guest tours and more at the 2012 national AIA convention. Those who cannot attend may also register to attend remotely. Call for 2013 presentations are due July 1, 2012. INTERNATIONAL CONTEMPORARY FURNITURE FAIR Sponsored by: xxxxx xxxxxx May 18-21 • New York, N.Y. Free to the trade The 25th annual ICFF is expected to be the best year yet, showcasing the newest frontier of what's best in contemporary design. Expect over 500 exhibitors from across the globe and attendees from all sectors of the design industry. Approvers include ASID, IFDA and IIDA. The IDFF Editors Awards will also be annouced. NEOCON Sponsored by: Merchandise Mart June 11-13 •Chicago, Ill. Free expo; $55 for CEU Seminars. Preregistration ends June 4 North America's largest design expo and conference for commercial interiors. Over 40,000 design professionals will attend an offering of over 120 CEU accredited seminars and forums. Browse over 700 showrooms and hear who this years 'best product' award winners are.

UNBUILT WASHINGTON Sponsored by: National Buidling Museum until May 28 • Washington, D.C. free THE OFFICE EXHIBITION Sponsored by: IIDA May 20-23 • Dubai World Trade Center cost varies EDRA 43 SEATTLE Sponsored by: Environmental Design Research Association May 30-June 2 • Seattle, Wa. $475-750 BUILDING ENVELOPE FORUM Sponsored by: Building Envelope Solutions May 29 • Toronto, Ontario $395 DWELL ON DESIGN Sponsored by: Dwell Magazine June 22-24 • Los Angeles, Calif. free to-the-trade NORTH AMERICAN THEATRE ENGINEERING ARCHIECTURE CONFERENCE July 22-23• New York, N.Y. $825 NOW BOARDING: FENTRESS AIRPORTS + THE ARCHITECTURE OF FLIGHT Sponsored by: Denver Art Museum July 15 - Oct 7 • Denver, Colo. $13 VANCOUVER URBAN FORUM Sponsored by: Global Civic Policy Society June 5-6 • Vancouver, British Columbia $350

Winter/Spring 2012 13




monet murals Watercolor Wallpaper by Black Crow Studios

Save your millions on buying a 8 x 11 Monet original and opt instead for bathing a whole room in rich watercolors. The Watercolor wallpaper from Black Crow Studios will have you swimming in blues, greens, pinks and purples. Every panel of wallpaper is unique and made individually by the Black Crow artists for a one-of-kind art installation. Perfect for renovation projects or simply to give your home an “artsy fartsy” look.

14 Architecture Leaders Today

2 the hot list


urban explorer Pressures and Distortions from Rafael Viñoly Architects

Scientists take note. Most research projects aren’t this attractive. The four-year research program funded through New York’s Rafael Viñoly Architects evolved into a thick, richly illustrated volume on how residents design, build and interpret cities in the face of transformation — =Pressures and Distortions: City Dwellers as Builders and Critics. The work chronicles a few cities in-depth, like China’s Shanghai, Colombia’s Bogotá, Mexico’s Mexico City and Indonesia’s Banda Aceh. Architectural creativity thrives in the face of natural disasters, housing shortages, poverty and surging urban populations. The stories of these residents are presented in their own words and photography.


light and airy LEVITY by Mockett

Task lighting takes on a new meaning when it comes to the LEVITY. Combining a slim design with flexibility and powerful lighting, the LEVITY can reach a height of 4.5” to retract almost completely on one’s work surface. With a handy outlet in the base, you can charge your electronics while you work. Rotate the LEVITY to wherever the light is needed, right, left, front, back and the LEVITY is lighting up your work with six LEDs. With 35,000 hours of wattage use, you shouldn’t be replacing any bulbs soon. Then again, you may be using the LEVITY quite a bit. Winter/Spring 2012 15

the hot list

water aerobics VibrAcoustic by Kohler

The VibraAcoustic technology developed by Kohler is about give singing in the shower a whole new meaning. This revolutionary technology brings the transformative power of music into the bathroom by combining music with water for a “bathing experience like no other.” You can play your favorite music, news, podcasts through your bathtub! Just plug in a smart phone, an MP3 player, tablet or Bluetooth to stream wirelessly the latest hits or your favorite radio station with high-quality sound. Using VibraAcoustic while you wash your hair for an anticipated evening just turned into a Lady Gaga concert!

16 Architecture Leaders Today



the mole knows

Inspiration And Process In Architecture Notebooks

The epitome of notebooks, Moleskin, has finally created a notebook just for architects by contemporary architects – Inspiration And Process in Architecture. These architects’ stories and design processes are told through their own notes and drawings which have never been seen before. Each volume focuses on the “primordial step” in the creative process— highlighting sketches, freehand drawings, personal notes and watercolors from renowned architects like Giancarlo De Carlo and Zaha Hadid.


the hot list

Marble at that! The Sara Baldwin Collection from New Ravenna Mosaics

Debuting at the 2012 Coverings Show, the new line of mosaic tiles from designer Sara Baldwin reminiscenses her youth on the Chesapeake Bay. Baldwin was captivated by nature’s ever-changing patterns, textures and hues. She created the Metamorphosis in conjunction with New Ravenna Mosaics which represent naturally occurring textures like bamboo, bark, palm fronds, and water eddies. “For me, it’s a way to capture the soul of nature’s imagination and to invite its tranquility into the home,” Baldwin said.

Winter/Spring 2012 17

ABOVE: Vancouver-based Acton Ostry Architects, Inc. completed the renovation and expansion of world reknown Sauder business school Jan 2012.

18 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

Progressive Design 101 Referencing subjects taught in the University of British Columbia, Acton Ostry Architects raised the grade on two campus structures. Story by Drew Grossman Photos by Martin Tessler and Nick Lehoux.


ussell Acton and Mark Ostry say they got into architecture to make the world a better place. The two partners at Vancouver-based Acton Ostry Architects Inc. specialize in designing public buildings and institutions, because, they say, this way their work can reach more people and have a greater impact on the community. “Our practice is dedicated to the making of architecture that reflects the cultural values and aspirations of the communities we serve,” AOA said. The firm’s goal is to create buildings that are fiscally responsible, long lasting and sustainable. The renovation and expansion of the University of British Columbia’s Sauder School of Business and the Biological Sciences Complex gave the architects the opportunity to do just that. Acton and Ostry met in the 1980s when the two were working as interns at different architecture firms. They hit it off and after finishing their internships, started their practice in 1992. For the first 10 years the small practice concentrated on smaller, more humble public and institutional buildings. “We were those starving artist architects, putting in 16-hour workdays and everything was about design and the project,” Ostry said. AOA was an early advocate for creating artist live/work studios in renovated warehouses and underutilized buildings around Vancouver. As AOA began to establish their reputation, the projects they took on grew in scale. Today the firm is comprised of 35 employees and has received numerous awards for their clean, eloquent and sustainable design, including eight Lieutenant Governor Awards, four Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence, five Canadian and American Wood Council Awards and the Ron Thom Award for Architectural Design Excellence. Winter/Spring 2012 19

ABOVE: Large glass windows and the design of the atrium are intended to bring sun light deep into the building. Minimalist and modern design is seen throughout the physical design, as well as the interior design of the project.

20 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

In 2007 AOA undertook the expansion and renovation of the Sauder School of Business at the University of British Columbia. The project, which was completed in January of 2012, called for a wholesale functional and aesthetic transformation. The new building features technologically advanced classrooms, student lounges, conference rooms, a business career center, a café and plenty of space for students to meet, study and formulate the business theories that will guide future commerce. Sauder is the leading research-based business school in Canada and the school’s MBA program is consistently ranked in the top 100 in the world. It is a testament to the Sauder program that students and professors performed at such a level within a building that did not represent the high standard of academic achievement that was taking place inside the outdated facility. The original Henry Angus Classroom Block, the school’s main building, was constructed in 1965. Ten years later the E.D. McPhee North and South Additions were built, followed by the David Lam Management Research Centre in 1995. The additions were built out of necessity, but because they were constructed decades apart their styles contrasted heavily from one building to the next and functionality within the School was compromised and inefficient. Before AOA implemented their design, the concrete building was reminiscent of a run-down high school campus. The facilities had deteriorated to such a state that when dignitaries and donors came to Sauder, the staff would have meetings to discuss which entrance was the least offensive to bring them through.“They really needed a new identity for the school,” Acton said. AOA designed a beautifully modern facility that would include a 323,000 sq. ft. renovation and a 55,000 sq. ft. addition. The architects wrapped the east and south elevations of the building with a new glass facade, a cost-effective update that allows the sun to shine into the building providing

THIS PAGE, TOP: Student collaboration space was key to the functionality of Sauder THIS PAGE, LEFT: Major donors are honored with portraits of pixalated currency symbols. THIS PAGE, RIGHT: The pixels are international currency symbols.

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ABOVE: The five-storey atrium is the focal point of Sauder. Students, professors and faculty have this space to meet, socialize and collaborate

22 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

ample light into the business school. The glass facade/veil unifies additions that had taken place over the five decades since the first school was built. The combination of glazed facade and alternating blue and green wood panels give the building a cool, progressive feel. The original structure reminded Ostry of a barcode, an identifiable symbol of business and commerce. The barcode pattern language inspired the façade’s alternating wood panels of blue and green glass windows while also doing double duty as an abstract representation of a West Coast landscape. “We strive to create functional, rational buildings that have inspiring multivalent meanings,” Acton said. Having expansive public meeting spaces was important to the design of Sauder. Relationships are an important aspect of business, so the building was designed so that students could meet and collaborate in many different types and sizes of spaces. AOA designed a donor recognition program using international currency symbols to form gestalt-esque large-scale portraits of major donors. Printing images on glass is very cost effective these days, ink jet printers use ceramic-based ink that fuses into glass. Response from donors has been overwhelming. The expansion includes a five-storey centralized atrium that connects classrooms, lecture theaters, breakout rooms, social areas and an undergraduate room. It was designed to be very public oriented, with a café at one side and a study space at the other. This way, it doesn’t matter where you enter the school — each entrance leads to into a student-centered space. The Jimmy Pattison Leadership Centre, located on the top floor, is comprised of twin theaters that come together resembling the lobes of a brain, an idea inspired by the schools’ dean Dan Muzyka. The roof structure — a large Douglas fir glue-lamenated ribs with an infill of cherry-stained

THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The atrium is designed to be a very public space, with a student cafe at one entrance and a student study space at the other. The Jimmy Pattison Leadership Centre is located on the top floor and comprised of twin theaters that come together to resemble the lobes of a brain. Douglas fir glue-lamenated ribs with an infill of cherry-stained wood slats.

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24 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

wood slats. Wood is used often used in AOA projects to balance out progressive design with the traditional material’s classic warming quality. The Biological Sciences Complex is located kitty-corner to the Sauder School of Business on the UBC campus and is made up of four wings and a center building. As part of a government mandate, UBC received 45 million dollars in funding to renew two of the wings. The idea behind UBC’s renew program is to modernize, rather than replace outdated buildings. Renewal called for completely renovated state-of-the-art laboratories, research spaces, and an aquaria lab in the complex’s basement. There are also new faculty and graduate student offices in addition to a wealth of informal gathering spaces for the Departments of Botany and Zoology. Each lab has a unique large scale glass entry with an illustration created by pixilated images. The illustrations were selected in consultation with the users of the lab. One of the labs has the representation of a microscopic fern that has been enhanced many times. This technique is similar to what AOA did at Sauder with the donor portraits. Students and faculty in the lab will research methods for preserving the Earth and its living creatures, the architects replicated that sentiment by incorporating the green sustainable design in the new facility. With the green measures incorporated by AOA, the renewed South and West wings are anticpated to receive LEED Gold. The project, was only allotted 19 months from design through construction, a time-frame that is pretty restricting. “The construction contractor double-shifted the project to get it completed in that period of time,” Ostry said. With a renovated Biological Sciences Complex, UBC students can better pursue their science education in a setting that is inspiring. ALT

THIS PAGE: AOA decorated the three siesmic braces on the building’s exterior with glass and artwork that references the work happening inside. OPPOSITE PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Lab spaces were critical to the Biological Sciences Complex and AOA opened them up with windows, letting in the light and outdoors. The firm designed a tiered classroom to most efficiently utilize the available space there. The scientists working at BSC insisted on the necessity of open collaboration spaces. The use of glass and wood is a testament to AOA’s pairing of progressive design and warm respect for the region’s tradition.

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Sterling Inn & Spa, boutique hotel and spa, renovation and adaptive re-use by architects Allen & Chui Architects, Inc., Michael Allen, David Chui and Ken Krucks.

26 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

Allen & Chui Bring Bliss to Niagara Transforming an old milk factory into Sterling Inn & Spa and updating Brae Burn Barn for Inniskillin Winery, transform Niagara. Story by Drew Grossman Photos by Kevin Miller Winter/Spring 2012 27


ive hundred block of Magdalen Street in Niagara Falls, Ontario, was formerly the site of an old milk bottling factory. Today that lot is occupied by the elegant Sterling Inn & Spa, a boutique hotel and spa perfect for a romantic getaway, or a relaxing luxurious stay away from the rigors distractions of daily life. The architects at Allen & Chui Architects, Inc., Michael Allen, David Chui and Ken Krucks, are responsible for that transformation. Allen & Chui also designed the nearby Inniskillin Winery. Both the winery and Sterling Inn & Spa help to provide the blissful, relaxing experience that draws travelers to the Niagara area. The owner of Sterling originally wanted to demolish the old milk bottling factory and rebuild a hotel and spa in its place. However, the architects at Allen & Chui were able to convince the owner to salvage aspects of the historic building and create a hotel that was rich in the tradition and history of the area. “We put forward the consideration of doing a 28 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

boutique hotel, utilizing the existing structure and various components that the building offered,” said Michael Allen, AIA, principal architect Allen & Chui. One of the most obvious components is the concrete milk bottle that remains at the entrance to the building, “something that we wanted to maintain and utilize as part of the design,” Allen said. Hotel and spa include more than 40 suites, each with a unique design/layout. Every suite is equipped with a unique shower system that includes a glass shower and personal steam room. The floors throughout Sterling are styled with hardwood and travertine stone. The hotel’s grand entrance was designed as the focal point of the building. The design of it is intended to be contemporary with a bit of old industrial flavor, something to give patrons a real sense of the history of the building. The entrance aesthetic is dictated by the exposed old timber structure of the building and the magnificent

grand stair. The stair is sculpted out of old forged steel, giving it a classic industrial feel. “When you walk in you really get a true understanding of what that building is all about,” Allen said. The basement was turned into Sterling’s restaurant and spa. Allen & Chui recaptured and reused the old stone foundation of the basement, but underpinned them so that the restaurant and spa could fully utilize that space. The basement has an urban New York City jazz club aesthetic, with red leather upholstery and drapery creating a unique space for hotel guests to eat, socialize and relax. “We feel this is a great example of an adaptive reuse project,” Allen said. “It allows us to take an old site that was a relatively derelict site to the city and create a unique property that, not only is a good revenue base for our client, but also creates an interesting site for the city.” Inniskillin winery, located on the Brae Burn Estate Vineyard, is yet another sophisticated

OPPOSITE PAGE: Sterling Inn and Spa, Niagara Falls, Can., Allen & Chui renovated/restored a former milk factory into a chic getaway. THIS PAGE, ABOVE: The basement of the Inn was renovated into the site’s restaurant. Posh modern design mixed with rustic appeal. THIS PAGE, BELOW: Each suite is equipped with a modern amenities and personal steam room.

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and creative project from the firm. The property includes a winery visitor and tour centre, wine tasting bar and a wine boutique. “Inniskillin is one of the forefathers in developing wine business in the Niagara area,” Allen said. Allen & Chui worked on part of a master development plan for Inniskillin, focusing on the vineyard’s original old barn, the Brae Burn Barn. The firm took the barn, which was originally used for storage and wine tastings, and transformed the space into an elegant boutique. Incorporating the rustic elegance of the barn, travertine stone floors and exposed wood timbers, pay tribute to the original structure. “It was the original method of barn building, so we wanted to really expose that and accentuate it in the design,” Allen said. The firm created a rather large piazza outside the Brae Burn Barn, giving Inniskillin patrons an indoor and outdoor experience to enjoy the winery. The piazza is all stone pavers and is done under the traditional definition of an Italian piazza. The large gathering space is even used in the winter

time when Inniskillin has their ice-wine festivals. Adjacent to the wine boutique is the winery’s extensive wooden tasting bar with granite stone counter tops. Aside from tastings, the bar is also used as an educational space for lectures about the wine. “When you walk into the space, whether from the principal entrance or the side entrance, the tasting bar is really the main focal point to attract people into the space,” Allen said. Smaller mobile tasting bars are set up throughout the room. They can be moved around the tasting bar to make the best use of the space, depending on the event. During outdoor events, like the Inniskillin’s ice wine festival, the bars are taken out onto the piazza. “The whole thing is about an experience,” said Ken Krucks, the associate architect at Allen & Chui. And the relaxing experience at both Sterling Inn & Spa and Inniskillin Winery is reinforced, if not created, by the serene buildings designed by Allen & Chui Architects. ALT

ABOVE: Inniskillin Winery,Brae Burn Estate Vineyard, Can. Allen & Chui renovated a rustic barn on site into a retail space. OPPOSITE PAGE, TOP: The winery design flows the outside from inside, a seamless collaboration of nature and sleek architecture design. , OPPOSITE PAGE, BOTTOM LEFT: A large piazza outside the Brae Burn Barn gives Inniskillin patrons an indoor and outdoor experience to enjoy the winery. OPPOSITE PAGE ,BOTTOM RIGHT: Originally used for storage and wine tastings, the firm transformed the rustic space into an elegant boutique.

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WaveDecks, Toronto, CAN. Design/build project of DTAH and West 8 along the contours of Lake Ontario in Queens Quay.

32 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

Urban Wave Disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urban planning flow like a tidal wave through du Toit Allsopp Hillier. Story by Gillis Ryder Photos Courtesy of dTAH. Winter/Spring 2012 33

THIS PAGE: “It’s leading edge design, and whenever you get leading edge design, there’s unfamiliarity to it,”ultimately the decks have been highly active with the local community.


u Toit Allsopp Hillier is evolving. The architecture design firm is refining 40 years of proven talent, infused with principals that, frankly, are timeless. Participating in a multitude of community renaissance projects in the Greater Toronto area — the firm continues to remain relevant and hip, with a philosophy that’s decades in the making and impenetrably timeless. “There’s been a central theme right from the beginning, as soon as I could get it going, which was to bring in the disciplines of architecture, landscaping architecture, and urban planning together,” DTAH Founding Principal Architect, Roger du Toit. Three principals that are designed to meet DTAH’s client’s needs for utility and economy, while creating spaces that are enjoyable and community oriented. Socially conscious spaces that benefit the community and the client, are clearly evident in 34 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

DTAH’s portfolio and most recently in projects— Toronto Waterfront WaveDecks, Evergreen Brick Works, and Artscape-Wychwood Barns. In 2006, DTAH in association with architecture firm West 8, won the Toronto Central Waterfront Innovative Design Competition. The competition called for design firms to submit ideas to rejuvenate the coastline of downtown Toronto. The WaveDecks play a central role in the revitalization now thriving city centre. The unique wooden structures mirror the shoreline of Lake Ontario and will stretch over 3.5 km. area — running from Bathurst St. to Parliament St. Four decks have been completed and constructed, using locally sourced materials of steel, Ipe wood, and Glulam Coastal Yellow cedar. Not one deck is identical, each designed to evoke a certain emotion or curiosity, “they’re not the sort of things you’ll repeat-each one, it’s a work of art. Some of them are quieter places to be and

some are more robust,” du Toit said. Noting the variation du Toit allows specific themes remain consistent through all of decks — influence from the coastal scenery, and a sense of movement, “some of the movement is much more subtle,” in design and movement, while others strike a more active experience. “It’s leading edge design, and whenever you get leading edge design, there’s unfamiliarity to it,” but the decks have proven to be a place of whimsy and excitement for the coast, creating a renaissance to the coastal waters of downtown Toronto. “We’re revitalizing what was really, one of the ugliest streets of North America, and interesting enough was very wide, and didn’t need to be that wide in order to accommodate that traffic that it took,” du Toit said. The WaveDecks are fundamentally aligned along the same street downtown. Since the Wave-

THIS PAGE: Evergreen Brick Works, Toronto, Can., formerly known as Don Valley Brick Works, originally opened in 1889 and produces over 40 mil. bricks used in the Toronto area, until its closing in 1949. dTAH assisted in the conversion of the space, into a community/ residential project.

Decks completion they have received several awards including a category in the 2009 Toronto Urban Design Award of Excellence. Most recently, the firm has seen a surge in community and sustainable projects within the Toronto area, which includes their work with Evergreen Brick Works and Artscape-Wychwood Barns. Both projects are restorations/renovations of historical industrial spaces-adapted for commercial and residential use, specifically geared towards green and community based initiatives. Evergreen Brick Works, also known as Don Valley Brick Works, opened in 1889 on a former quarry and industrial site near Toronto. The site, which operated until 1949, produced over 40 million bricks used in the construction of many well-known Toronto landmarks, including the Ontario Legislature. Once the site closed, the industrial building fell into neglect — and became overgrown with

vegetation and covered in graffiti — the once bustling site sat quiet. Evergreen, a Canadian non-profit based in Toronto, dedicated to restoring nature in urban environments and supporting green-adaptive reuse projects, initiated the renovation/restoration of the historic site. The non-profit, in association with the city of Toronto and the TRCA, assembled a multi-disciplinary design dream-team including architects, interpretive designers, engineers, ecologists, and artists, to convert the former site into an environmental education centre for the Toronto community. DTAH leads the landscape architecture of the new Evergreen Brick Works, which will reflect the ecological location of the site in a floodplain — allowing the landscape to evolve back into nature, through the use of native planting. A storm water management system will flow water into the dTAH’s landscape design on site,

and then gradually flow to the shore of the Don River nearby. Working with a artist Ferruccio Sardella, a Watershed Wall composed of solid steel in the shape of the city of Toronto land area, reflects ravines and stream courses with channels that then take the flow of water north of the city. The aesthetic is conscious of the history of the site, of its evolution from industrial boom, to a gradual decline, and now re-purposing as a centre for further development and education in green initiatives. Not far from Evergreen, Toronto Artscape and the City of Toronto, in association with DTAH, converted a 20th century street-car repair and maintenance facility — Wychwood Barns, into a centre for artists and environmental organizations. From 1913 until 1921, Wychwood Barns was a series of five barns spanning across 4.3 acres of land within midtown Toronto. The buildings, originally used for industrial purposes, are yet Winter/Spring 2012 35

Wychwood Barns, Toronto, Can., the adaptive re-use of five 1914 barns into community and residential space that promotes progressive ideals of the Toronto community.

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THIS PAGE: One of the four barns houses a greenhouse, which is run by The Stop Community Food Centre.

another adaptive re-use project DTAH has taken on — however as the lead architects for the project. Currently, the barns serve as a multi-purpose, not-for-profit community centre. Wychwood barns, originally built as the predecessor to Toronto’s Transit Commission, currently serves as artists housing/studios, public green space, a greenhouse, a farmer’s market, a beach volleyball court, and office space for local not-for-profits. The barns, like Evergreen, were neglected until a recent surge in the sustainable and adaptive re-use design and initiatives. Not-for-profit Toronto organization, Artscape, signed on to the project in 2004 joining the city and several community groups in a highly collaborative effort to restore the barns. Artscape’s primary mandate is to create artfocused real estate development for the community that in turn will also provide affordable living for artists.

D=TAH Architect, Joe Lobko, lead architect on the Wychwood Barns conservation/restoration project, truly believes in the community benefit of working with projects like Wychwood. “There’s a natural link between sustainable design and heritage and adaptive re-use, and that’s not a link that we’ve historically have recognized enough,” Lobko said in an online interview with for Arstcape-Wychwood Barns. In the initial stages of the restoration project, environmental stewardship was a significant priority. The renovated barns are the first heritage building in Ontario to receive LEED Gold, achieved through the inclusion of geo-thermal heating, energy-efficient lighting, a storm-water recycling system, a large cistern to collect roof water for irrigation and use in washrooms, and a provision for a ground source heat-pump HVAC system. One of the converted barns, the Green Barn, is run by The Stop Community Food Centre and

features a green house, community garden, food bank and public organic market. 40 years of excellent design is a notable achievement. 40 years of excellent design with no signs of slowing down, is exactly what you can expect from DTAH. It isn’t that the firm is changing or evolving into something drastically different than their pivotal roots, in fact it seems the rest of the world is finally catching up to their founding principles. The firm is progressing in a climate that is more receptive to the type of design they do best — Roger du Toit’s three principles of merging architecture, landscape design and urban planning with sustainable and community orientated design. This spring DTAH welcomes three new partners — Bryce Miranda, Brent Raymound, Megan Torza and two new associates, Ayako Kitta and Yvonne Lam. ALT Winter/Spring 2012 37

Traditional Modern Hunt Design, Inc. creates contemporary homes with traditional appeal. Story by Gillis Ryder Photos Courtesy of Hunt Designs, Inc.

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Letros Residences, Cachet Estates, Ontario. Hunt Design Associates, Inc. The 10,000 sq. ft. home is french in influence, modern in layout.

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CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Vaughn Valley Estates, Can., the master-planned community from Hunt Designs is tuscan and french in influence.


unt Design Associates, Inc. excels at client relationships. With clientele that knows what they want — elegant homes with functional and modern interiors, requests that are consistent with the quality and aesthetic Hunt is known for. In the affluent and desirable Ontario community of Cachet Estates, Letros Estates, is a prime example of the firm’s aptitude for sophisticated homes. The 10,000 sq. ft. estate, with pool, outdoor basketball court, 11 ft. ceilings, open-plan, is built with luxury in mind, albeit a more functional and contemporary luxury. Hunt Design Principal Architect and Founder, Steven Hunt took a very specific design approach to Letros, “It’s a very symmetrically designed home and it’s a combination of influence from a more formal design, so it’s a center hall plan --- with formal spaces on both sides of the foyer,” said Hunt. 40 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

“This particular home, rested on a sprawling lot and we’re able to break the home down and turn it to that scale by having dominant architectural massing at the front entrance and the layering of spaces behind it, so there’s a primary focus and it’s balanced with wings.” Once within the home, through the main rotunda, are the communal family areas. These more trafficked areas of the house are open and expansive in feel. Large windows and a light colour palette make the already impressively large family spaces (the kitchen, living and dining areas) feel even larger. The rustic wooden beams lining the ceiling, pull back into the communal rooms a sense of warmth and casual elegance. Although treated with some classical features, the spaces are contiguous and adapt well for contemporary lifestyle living. The kitchen, dining, and main living area, arguably the hub of the modern home

calls for less restriction and an open flow. Letros Estate has this modernity in special arrangement, while maintaining an impressive aesthetic. The flex spaces of the home spill out onto a covered grand porch, which overlooks the grounds and swimming pool. The easterly wing provides more of a public space, with a media room, and office, and linkage to gyms from that area, so the owner can work and play. The western wing of the home consists of mostly private bedrooms for the Letros residents strategically placed behind storage walls to dampen any outside noise from the hub of the house. The following project Hunt took on shortly after completing Letros, in the same residential community, required extensive gutting, “we pretty much had to peel off the back of the home.” In large homes, with traditional architecture that has not been updated to contemporary standards

will often have low ceilings, walls separating family flex spaces, and dark colour palettes, causing a home to look quite heavy and confining by the weight of the structure. Letros, has a very grand and timeless appeal, which mirrors the lifestyles of families today. A large development project from Hunt, Vaughan Valley Estates, is a multi-phase plan that features French and Tuscan housing designed for more affluent families in the Toronto marketplace. The master-planned development features townhomes and single-unit residencies. Vaughan Valley Estates located in a community north of Toronto near a major highway, is currently entering into the final phase of development. Many of the homes have won design awards through BUILD, which services the greater Toronto area of builders and developers. For Hunt, in a project of this size it was impor-

tant to maintain a sense of cohesion for the varying home designs and lot sizes. The French and Tuscan influence, from the architect’s design, is meant to respond to a mostly European demographic---a style that is recognizable of a high-end neighborhood. Hunt believes in restraint over impulsive, avoiding quickly dated design, “good balance and an elegance to the home design, architecture that is rich in character, but not screaming for attention.” Hunt’s designs are classic, even stylized with certain unique elements, like a particularly steep cathedral style roof on one Vaughan Valley homes. Distinctive, but not over-done, “which is always a challenge with larger development projects that have an imbued quality to the area, to maintain the aesthetic, or create architectural styles that are appropriate to the site, but one has to practice some restraint.” While designing the Vaughan Valley Estates,

Hunt spent a considerable amount of time in the in the United States, touring through the southwest the Virginia area and Newport Beach. “We look south, we do research, we have our own marketing people that convey the most recent lifestyle home trends and needs. People gravitate towards the hearth or the kitchen spaces; people are preparing dinner or sitting around the kitchen. It’s a lot less formal lifestyle. The Vaughan Valley homes also feature outdoor spaces.” Despite the classical appeal of Hunt’s designs he insists his firm is not defined by an architectural style or appeal, “well, it’s all about context. It’s sort of our general philosophy. We’re not defined by our own architectural style or look or feel, we take our projects and we adapt ourselves to the context and site, and really try to listen to our client and their specific needs and we hope to design something that is special to them and unique to them.” ALT Winter/Spring 2012 41



ince 1986, Picco Engineering has been an award-winning engineering firm specializing in structural engineering and building science services. They pride themselves in providing cost effective engineering solutions to clients in industrial, commercial, institutional, and residential sectors around the world. Picco Engineering sees the abilities and professionalism of their employees as their greatest asset. They promote the professional development of their staff. Input from all staff members is also encouraged. Picco’s clients have called them the top in their field and experts in cost and scheduling. Their clients appreciate the special attention and consideration they receive from Picco. One architecture firm said that because of Picco’s being detail oriented and dedicated to craftsmanship, they made the firm’s own work easier. On another project, Picco’s unique approach to engineering problems was highly valued. Another client sited Picco’s ability at coordinating different interrelated jobs in a tight timeframe. Picco has been called an essential element in clients’ finishing work on time and at the highest standards. Picco strives to ensure that natural stone is quarried, fabricated, manufactured, and installed using the best practices for preserving natural resources. They call their approach green thinking and are committed to a culture of respect for the environment. “Picco emphasizes sustainable engineering and production practices as fundamental to innovative design.” Mike Picco, Michael Picco, P.E., president and founder, has more than 25 years of experience in stone consulting and engineering. He shares his knowledge around the world as a speaker and in conducting seminars in America and Italy. He is a member of the Canadian Standard Association technical committee on Masonry Design and the Chief Consultant to the Terrazzo Tile and Marble Association of Canada, serving on their technical committee. Picco is known for their inventive custom fastening systems for stone cladding. These systems are designed for efficiency with the best results. Picco also offers a variety of related services in stone work. Using a range of standardized testing methods, Picco analyzes the physical characteristics of materials used. Testing includes compression, freezethaw cycling, anchor pullout, bending and shear tests. They evaluate anchor performance with a range of testing methods including full-size stone panel mock ups. Another specialty is BIM modeling technology. Picco is known for providing accurate 3D prototypes and constructible designs in stone. Their modeling services work with existing MEP and architectural models. They can provide mass and volume calculations, center of gravity identification, interference and conflict analysis, realistic rendering and installation sequence animation. Picco is known for their detailed drawings that are easy to read and ensure the accuracy of each project. This includes patterns, mosaic, and carved elements. Picco has the certifications and ability to work across Canada and the United States. They offer clients onsite inspections and peer reviews. Picco will provide analysis of full load bearing and non-load bearing conditions and anchor performance. They also provide steel frame, strut and tube design. With multiple awards from Toronto Construction Association and Pinnacle Awards, Picco will continue to be a leader and innovator in the field of stone engineering. 42 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

Interior Plaster Mouldings

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Custom Made Design 44 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

Jiangyin Exhibition Centre, Jiangyin, China., CXT Architects’ minimalist design is the Audrey Hepborn of Jiangyin.

CXT Architects blend heritage with design from the Far East to the Northwest. Based in Toronto, the firm’s founding partners Patrick Chan and Dan Teh, reintroduce historically sustainable techniques into present design. Story by Emily Southard-Bond Photos Courtesy of CXT Architects. Winter/Spring 2012 45


n the building site of Jiangyin Exhibition Centre blasts from a nearby quarry served as a present and even dangerous reminder of the town’s past. Situated in the town of Jiangyin, China, in the Yushanwan Dingshanhu Lake District, visible marks remain on the heavily quarried stone face of Bachishan. The exhibition centre, is the design/build project of CXT Architects, Toronto, CAN., and includes a larger plan of an urban design commission from the city of Jiangyin. Rather than attempt to discredit or camouflauge the town’s former industrial and environmentally detrimental activities, the firm incorporated the past in their design vision. The exhibition centre and the additional projects in the commission will become designated heritage sites, in which all parts of the remaining mountain, Bachishan, will be preserved for future generations. CXT Architects, although based in Toronto, has strong cultural ties to China. Founding principals, Patrick T.Y. Chan and Dan H.T. Teh, see China a little differently than other firms, “both Patrick and I have Chinese origins, and we’ve seen so many bad 46 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

buildings built, that are culturally irrelevant — we want to provide something that looks contemporary, but perhaps with inspirations and ideas that are drawn deeper from the culture itself,” Teh said. The municipal government of Jiangyin, wanted to transform the mountain surrounding the site of the centre to be transformed into a green-site. “They wanted to do the impossible, to plant trees on rocks,” Teh said. To cover-up and build an exhibition centre poorly juxtaposed to its natural surroundings, finding inspiration in another direction the firm was able to convince the municipality of Jiangyin to embrace the location, “It was a mistake [over quarrying] that was done, but hopefully we can learn from it. And make it into something with a future, with that — that became an idea for the structure.” The centre, rather than create a minimalist design with expansive windows providing unobstructed views, appears protected by an enclosure of lines across the building. The lines resemble a simplistic and elegant netting, a theme which is replayed in elements of landscape design. The building is calm-

ing, Rocks from the quarry are held and constricted back with similar lines, the firm worked with a landscape architect, that complimented their own intentions for the space. “When we were walking the land we could hear these blasting going off on the other side of the mountain, we were told that the municipal government would be able to stop the quarrying while we built this building, but subsequently they were unable to do that,” said Teh. This rogue activity that remained through building produced an idea for Teh and design associates, to re-use the materials from the quarrying activity, “instead of just bringing in new material, although China doesn’t have a LEED standard, they were doing many things that were already quite green-so it didn’t take much convincing.” A reflection of the natural environment of Jiangyin also proved inspiring to the firm, “it’s a very wet environment, that particular area has a lot of rain. It has a very misty Chinese watercolor feel,” Teh said. The interior of the building reflects the outside atmosphere through choices in mate-

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Jiangyin Exhibition Centre, Jiangyin, China., CXT Architects’ minimalist landscape design surrounding the centre also hinted at the destruction left by a nearby quarry. , Local stone from the quarry was re-used throughout the landscape and design of the center. The center is one element of a urban design commission CXT will complete for the city of Jiangyin.

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rial — local granite, in a cool grey tone reflects the enclosure of lining on the exterior of the building, creating a ripple effect on the floor. The initiatives to create green LEED projects is less prevalent in China, than in Toronto, however the firm wanted to ensure that their work maintained green elements. The firm was able to use storm-water management, we we’re able to redirect the water from the nearby mountain, and the landscaping incorporated local plants and practices, with the intention to allow nature to claim back the ravaged surroundings. “China has a very rich history landscape design and environment sensitive design, but in the rush to develop they have lost that direction, so what we seek to do is to get back to a certain level of sensitivity and to hopefully along the way help them recall what they have. The beauty of their landscape and the softness of design, instead of the flash and bling,” Teh said. There was considerable pressure on the project to be completed quickly, much faster than a building of this scope would typically be allotted.

The mayor of the municipality of Jiangyin and the party secretary hoped to host the 30th China Full Blossom Film Awards Ceremony in Jiangyin, less than two years from the time CXT submitted the initial design sketches for the exhibition centre, “we sent the preliminary sketch to the municipality of Jiangyin, we won, and then they shortly announced they wanted this building open for the next ceremony,” Teh said. The Chinese Film Institute travels all over China searching for amazing sites to host the film ceremony, which is considered the United State’s equivalent of the Oscars. The film society endowed what is considered quite the privilege upon the Jiangyin Exhibition Centre for the 2010 ceremony. Once the honor had been bestowed, the mayor of Jiangyin became considerably involved in the design of the centre, “he had this idea of how glitzy and how loud the building needed to be. “So when he first saw the building he was actually extremely disappointed in how quiet and understated the building is, there wasn’t an appreciation of the contours and the subtleties. He wanted something

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Jiangyin Exhibition Centre, the “snout,” of the building reflects the natural curvature of mountain landscape. A feeling of enclosure and contemplation, exists in tone throughout the building. The architects influenced by location’s past and cultural ties, created an elegant and simplistic design, that is also definitely modern. The Centre was the site for the 30th China Full Blossom Awards, October 2010.

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The interior of the space reflects the wet and foggy natural surroundings of the muncipality. Simplistic, modern, and controlled.

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with a lot of flash and he didn’t get that,” said Teh. In fact, the mayor wanted to hire another firm to redesign the centre, “luckily we had the good fortune of the Film Society Chairman of the festival — when he saw it, he was blown away. He said he never seen a building that was so calm and controlled, and yet so modern, elegant, and bold at the same time. So the joke is he didn’t get a Marilyn Monroe, he got an Audrey Hepburn!” Despite the mayor’s initial grievances the Jiangyin Exhibition Centre has won several awards as a culturally relevant and aesthetically impressive structure. Additional plans to continue the urban planning project in the city of Jiangyin continue with CXT Architects. The architecture firm, given their level of international prestige and talent can focus on projects that align with their personal interests. The scope of the work matters little, if the interests is lacking, “We don’t necessarily only take on larger work, the way we select our projects whether it has a contribution socially, and like, what we’re interested in China is that we think we can contribute to China culturally. It’s not just the size we’re after, it’s whether or not the project is meaningful,” said Principal Architect, Patrick T.Y. Chan.

Locally in Toronto, Chan is shepherding the development of the St. John’s McNicoll Centre in Scarborough. In the case of the St. John’s McNicoll Centre, the needs of the site are very clear as a longterm care provider, specifically for a predominantly diverse senior population. The development project, consists of a worshipspace, medical offices, retail spaces, community centre, and two senior housing buildings-with 578 residential units. The development will provide a community that is multi-cultural in design, with signs in the more predominant languages spoken by the residents, as well as culturally relevant elements from landscape design to multi-lingual doctors on staff. “We don’t just take on projects, because they are large. We take on projects that we want,” projects that are relevant to the firm’s ethics and desire to serve their community. Despite the size of the Jiangyin Exhibition Hall, and the recently acquired project of St. John’s McNicoll Centre, Toronto, CAN. the firm remains small, “We’re not even medium size, we’re only a studio of ten, which has been pretty constant in the 30 years of the firm. We like to keep our office small and focused,” Chan said. ALT

THIS PAGE, TOP: St. John McNicoll Centre, Scarborough, CAN., 578 senior residential development property THIS PAGE, BOTTOM: Modern and elegant design, the project will include a worship center, retail spaces, community centre, residencies, and extensive landscape design. OPPOSITE PAGE: The centre is culturally sensitive to the senior residential population in Scarborough, and provides all necessary amenities and needs to mainatain a healthy and happy lifestyle. witin the community.

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Titans Merge Chamberlain Companies combine major factions, architecture and construction, to provide unparalleled value. Supporting client’s needs with their seamless, integrated project delivery model. Story by Heidi Deutsch Photos Courtesy of Chamberlain.

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Titans Clash and Chamberlain Companies Emerges as a champion.

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n the world of design/build two titans of industry — construction and architecture occasionally clash. Two factions that, ideally, blend talents for the sake of the project and client. But these clashes occur and the chiefs in charge can disagree, miscommunicate and invariably their work and the client suffers. Two titans completely interlinked in theory, but usually not in reality. Brian Chamberlain encountered this contradiction and decided to conquer the design/ build battle in a decisive way. He purchased a construction company, “I wanted to understand everything about the construction process, so I could be a better Architect. “We’re unique as architects in that we’re also constructors,” Chamberlain said. “We integrate design and construction. There’s a myth in the industry that there’s a structural differential between architects and constructors. But design drives construction and budget. Every time you make a design decision, like it or not, you make a money decision. [By integrating the two trades], we find that you always come in at a less cost, and you 56 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

always finish faster. You maintain control over the process, and you maintain flexibility.” Chamberlain Companies function like the two headed mythical god Janus, focusing simultaneously in different directions. “We integrate design and construction because design drives both construction and budget,” Chamberlain said. A great deal of the Chamberlain’s success can be tied to a revolutionary process, Integrated Project Delivery, which Chamberlain’s clients and partners love. “Integrated project delivery is the emerging standard for early collaboration and effective decision making in the building industry today,” said Paul Berdati of A.E.C. Solutions. “Chamberlain has an integrated team approach and was one of the first firms to incorporate Building Information Modeling, or BIM applications into their workflow to help facilitate their IPD process. This has enabled their project teams to use information in an integrated environment, increasing efficiency and enabling new ways of working that inspire more creative designs and more efficient construction,” Berdati said.

That integration has helped Chamberlain become “the premier hotel and restaurant designer across Canada,” and it particularly helped when creating a hotel complex in Calgary, Can. The complex included both a Residence Inn and a Courtyard Inn, both Marriott products with different target audiences. But they were to be built on the same plot It’s an idea Chamberlain likes — by building the hotels in a complex, there can be common areas such as pools and fitness rooms. It offers a more interesting dynamic to the hotels’ designs, and it’s different than your standard hotel set up. Not to mention the freedom building it like this affords, since the designer doesn’t have to worry about the standard setup and constrictions. Which is helpful, because there are still branding guidelines that have to be adhered to regardless of the hotel complex setup. “Until you really understand the soul of a brand you can’t begin to interpret it,” explains Chamberlain. “Hotel brands develop a prototype that defines their unique brand standards, much like a chef

ABOVE, LEFT: Residence Inn, Calgary, by Chamberlain Companies. Modern design with Marriott branding. ABOVE, RIGHT: Each of the Residence Inns and Courtyards Inns, Chamberlin completed in Calgary, boasts updated and modern designed kitchenettes. BOTTOM, RIGHT: Sleek, chic, and comfortable. Chamberlin truly understands the needs of a modern traveler.

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C&J COMPANY LTD. For over twenty years, C&J Company Ltd. has provided a full range of residential and commercial caulking services. The company credits their success to treating customers with honesty and respect. An experienced management team and skilled tradesmen have the equipment to manage projects from residential to high-rise buildings. The safest environment possible is maintained at each location. Ad on page 135.

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designs a recipe. But even the best recipe can be improved by using local ingredients, as long as the chef ’s intent is respected”. A Residence Inn always has to be a Residence Inn and likewise for the Courtyard Inn brand. Since Marriott owns both, though, he was allowed to play a bit with the designs so long as certain aspects — interior lobbies, bedrooms, etc. — stick to the basic ideas. “You’re expecting different guest experiences in these two, so you have to be careful that you don’t get outside the envelope of what the guest are expecting from this particular brand,” Chamberlain said. “The Courtyard lobby is still what one would be expecting from a Courtyard. When you got to the Residence Inn, it’s the room you’d be expecting when you go to a Residence Inn. They set brand standards, and our goal or our value is that we can take a brand standard and then we can interpret it to its local environment, whatever that happens to be. A site in Calgary is not the same as a site in

Washington. Different places, different codes and different bylaws as well as different aesthetics.” That’s why he enjoyed designing the buildings so much. As an architect first, it follows that he would enjoy that aspect — the next best feeling is watching people use the buildings he created from scratch. This building is a prime example of that joy. “The real thrill as an architect is to go out there and see people using it,” Chamberlain said. Another project in which he enjoyed pleasing the building’s users was Niagara on the Lake, which was done in a far more traditional style than the Marriott Calgary. Done in a few different phases, Niagara on the Lake began as a 22 acre plot of land owned by city. Near Niagara Falls, the land would eventually be transformed into a small community center of sorts with a recreation center, a firehouse and a library. Chamberlain was first contacted to develop the land with roads and sewers and etc. — the basic infrastructure. Then he was asked to build a library

CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT: Niagara on the Lake, Niagara Falls, Canada.The Community Centre, which includes a Library, Recreation Centre, Firehouse and a Museum houses many interesting historical pieces, like an original horse drawn fire wagon from the days when Niagara was the Capitol of Canada. The first phase of this project, the Library, presented a few interesting challenges. During excavation, arrowheads were unearthed and the construction project became a historical dig.

and a firehouse, and because the community was so pleased with Chamberlain, two years later, the Community Centre. The library presented a few interesting challenges though. First, during the construction, they were building a road to the construction site and ran across some arrowheads. They had to wait for an archeological excavation to see if this was a historical site that needed to be dug. It wasn’t, but time was lost. Luckily, since Chamberlain does the construction and design, he and his team were able to shift their focus while the excavation took place. The next issue was one of pleasing the populace — the original library was downtown, in an old limestone courthouse and had completely outgrown its usefulness as a library because there was no expansion possible. A large sector of the population was displeased at the idea of moving to a new library, so Chamberlain was facing one of the most difficult uphill battles an designer can face: disapproval before the project was even begun.

Chamberlain and his team were up to the task though, building a traditional library to fit into the space which had a “warm village kind of atmosphere not too far from Niagara Falls, which has always had a very traditional feel.” Built with a small protruding dome and a white front façade, complete with columns coming down in front of a half-wall window next to the door, the library is surrounded by green space. The interior has a closed atrium that is decorated by more white columns in the middle of the library, which is sparsely decorated. After all his hard work, Chamberlain sat back and hoped the local populace would enjoy the new library. Especially since it was time for the old one to close. As it turns out, the town took to it. Falling in love with the library and the green space around it, the town called Chamberlain back once again so he could create the recreation center. He credits all this to a few different things but mostly to his method of both doing the construc-

tion and the design. On the topic of sustainability, Brian Chamberlain, who built and designed many of Canada’s first LEED buildings has strong opinions. “The question is no longer should we design for sustainability,” he said. “The question is really, what level of sustainability do we want to incorporate into our buildings?” Today, green design is in the DNA of every Chamberlain project, whether or not it is slated for LEED certification. Sustainability, Chamberlain feels, is just good business. When asked what factors contributed to his success, Brian Chamberlain says a lot of the credit goes to his hard working and creative team. He adds that the innovative IPD process allows them to handle obstacles along the way, come in on budget and on schedule. If this quote from Timothy Osiecki is any indication, their clients agree,“The Chamberlain team conducted themselves with integrity and professionalism.” The results speak for themselves. ALT Winter/Spring 2012 59

Shoppers Delight Valet shopping and NYC subway slumming — what you get with GH+A is an innovative, beautiful and flawless design experience. The design firm tackles AÊropostale in Times Square and the upscale Bayview Village in Toronto. Story by Emily Southard-Bond Photos by Adam Friedberg.

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Aeropostale, Times Square, NYC. GH+A created an esoteric design/ build project that is intrinsically NYC.

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THIS PAGE: The retail giant, wanted an intrinsically NYC feel to the space, but rather than going blatantly iconic, GH+A and a collaborative design team brought in subtle elements of the city. Specific spaces reflect neighborhoods around the city, SoHo, Greenwich, and the NYC subway. OPPOSITE PAGE: GH+A, Montreal, Can. designed the 19,000 sq. ft. Aeropostle retail space in Times Square NYC.

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H+A knows creates a retail experience like none other. The firm, with a focus on retail and commercial projects, has worked with heavy hitters of the commercial world, from H&M to southern grocery store chain, Piggly Wiggly. Recreating the grunge, glitter, and more subliminal of NYC’s iconic experiences in a project with Aéropostle and Times Square, NYC — images of bright lights, fast cabs and Broadway flood to mind. Thinking further on NYC, as a whole, other iconic images arise — The Empire State Building, Central Park, Tiffany’s cascading diamond ceiling and of course, Woody Allen. You’ll probably think of visions of massive pastrami sandwiches before recalling New York’s most popular and crowded of spaces — the subway. GH+A Design Studios, based in Montreal and Detroit, took less obvious icons, and went for a more esoteric with design/build project Aeropostle, NY. The retail space takes inspiration from heavily trafficked and terribly New York City experience of the subway system.

GH+A mixed the brand’s image, such as it’s proprietary wave Aéropostle logo, with elements of underground transit. A mounted sign near the main checkout counter says, “Times Square NYC,” on cool white subway tile, signifying this is an experience not atypical of one stop, but many. Guiding the customers throughout the 19,000 sq. ft. store on 45th and Broadway, is a mosaic subway directory. The directory leads customer up the brightly lit escalators, to SoHo T-shirt Shop, Jeans Library, and Dorm Room on the second floor. Brightly colored clothing transition into circular displays, mirroring the transit’s mapping system. Designers made use of colorful displays, like those used on NYC subway maps and signage, to signify lines. A weathered version of Aeropostle’s logo appears on a white brick wall, enhancing the distressed and urban look of the subway. GH+A took other elements of NYC and merged them with sleek and urban aesthetic of the project. The bright red and curving PepsiCola sign on the banks of East River, with it’s


Retail display specialist KRG Enterprises engineered and manufactured over 90 percent of the interior fixtures/millwork for the Aeropostale flagship store in Manhattan’s Times Square with GHA Design Studios. Under the watchful eye of Aeropostale’s VP of Construction Tim Anderson, KRG executed the innovative design of the interior fixtures while maintaining the integrity of their original purpose. Their work included custom cabinetry, millwork and store displays which featured custom finished stained hardwoods and stone surface areas. In addition to the wood elements, KRG also supplied metal display fixtures and hardware, which included custom plated finishes. “GHA Design Studios would be our first choice when looking for a design firm,” John DeSanto of KRG Enterprises said. “They are easy to communicate with, which translated into being able keep the job on track to meet the challenging and demanding deadlines on this project.” Ad on page 136. Winter/Spring 2012 63

ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Bayview Village, Toronto, Can., GH+A gave the high-end shopping centre a face-lift. Taking influence from posh boutique hotels and the clientele surrounding the centre. Swarovski crystal chandeliers hang in modern and elegant lounge areas in the centre. Uni Chairs supplied luxury and modern furniture for the centre, and Ebenisterie St-Patrick, created the sleek millwork.


More than two decades ago, Ronald Amyotte delved into the field of architectural and commercial woodworking, indulging his passion for contemporary design. St. Patrick’s Cabinet Making was launched from this foundation of great love for great works. Amyotte’s target market was the dynamic retail industry. From the firm’s first shop in an industrial loft in downtown Montréal, to their current sprawling 75,000 sq. ft. facility in Laval, it has become one of the leading Canadian manufacturers of premium boutique store fixtures, millwork and architectural woodworking. The firm offers turnkey solutions, managing and delivering projects around the globe. Although the development of St. Patrick’s Cabinet Making has primarily been centered around the retail sector, their streamlined production process and commitment to innovation have given the firm the flexibility to support a diversified client base. Ad on page 136. 64 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

steel structure, is recalled ascending the wall of the escalator into the second floor of the SoHo inspired section. SoHo, a neighborhood within NYC, renowned for its fashionable shops and cast-iron architecture. SoHo T-Shirt Shop is heavily influenced by the heritage of the city, while blending elements of the brand’s history and vision. A mirror with an etched image of the Brooklyn Bridge, from Replik serves as a focal point, with a considerable amount of architecture features to illicit the glittery grunge and hip vibe of the city. Price point signs scribbled on old chalk boards with exposed brick walls and re-purposed floorboards mix NYC vintage with modern design/ build techniques. Replicas of lounging lions, evocative of NYC Public Library, guard the Jeans Library. Jeans are placed in cubbies, with styles and price points written on the exposed leaves of books. The room features dark wood and clean minimalist design.

The Dorm Room, modeled after a Greenwich Loft, is eclectic and vintage in design — like a bohemian artist den. Brightly colored chandeliers hanging at varying angles, fixtures and furniture from KRG Enterprises Inc., Philadelphia. “What they were attempting to achieve was an overall feel of vintage industrial design, and we worked hand in hand with Tim Anderson [Aeropostale’s vice president of construction], as well as Jonathan Knodell, of GH+A Design,” Marcia O’Donnell sales manager, Get Back Inc. Get Back Inc., experts in vintage industrial design provided furniture and fixtures for the project. O’Donnell worked very closely with Knodell, lead architect for the Aéropostle project. Industrial work tables from Get Back Inc., vintage props from Olde Good Things, and millwork from Philedephia based firm KRG Enterprises, were a few of the notable and expertly selected firms involvedwith the project. Noting the scale of the project several outside firms were

involved with elements of the design/build, led by Knodell and Anderson, O’Donnell felt the collaboration was highly respectful and creatively geared, “we made suggestions and they took them,” O’Donnell said. In 2009, GH+A won the Association of Retail Environments award, for their work with Bayview Village and Pusateri’s within the sophisticated shop centre based in Toronto. The project, included an extensive refurbishment program for centre interior and exterior. Located in a rather affluent neighborhood of Toronto, GH+A was challenged with meeting the high expectations of independent fashion retailers located in the centre. “We approached them [Bayview] with a unique vision of a social centre, complete with boutique hotel aesthetics and lounge areas with beautiful carpets and seating, chandeliers, the lot. We very much aligned our concepts with the expectations the demographic held,” GH+A

Director of Retail Development, Debbie Kalisky. The project, design/renovation of a 440,000 sq. ft. centre with 110 retail/commercial spaces, required a modern and elegant re-design that would exemplify Bayviews’s branding — GH+A was their natural choice. GH+A created an aesthetic that is reminiscent of a chic boutique hotel, in design and function — a lobby and valet are on site. Swarovski crystal chandeliers line the ceilings of the centre court areas. Modern and chic lounges are minimalist, yet lavish in décor. Within Pusateri’s, internally, there are no painted walls, only stone and glass; no strip lighting and not a fluorescent light in sight, just recessed lighting troughs. The store fronts are elegant and refined, created from luxurious materials in a very restrained and developed manner. “Each time we’ve worked with Pusateri’s, we brought up the level of expectations up a notch. The entirety of the project was enveloped

in luxury,” Kalisky said. Caviar and prosciutto displayed in the best possible light. The centre, which was originally built in the 1960s and last refurbished in 1997 (prior to GH+A involvement) was in dire need of this renovation. The area surrounding the centre began to boom, with new residential construction to match demand and malls — Bayview Village needed to keep up with the competition and incoming chic clientele. With a focus on high-end design, while remaining conscious of updated modern design/build techniques — the centre is certainly not what one would call, a “mall.” It’s a retail Renoir. GH+A’s vision takes the branding of a client, supports their needs, and then takes design into an element surpassing the norm. Not only is the client within the sphere of GH+A’s support — the customer picking a pastry in Pusateri’s is within their plans too. ALT Winter/Spring 2012 65

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EXTREME VERT Lydon Lynch Architects isn’t your average firm. Modern aesthetics and a talent for sustainable design, they might soon be touting the greenest building in North America. Proving their work is environmental in message — and stunning in the flesh. Story by E.South-Bond Photos by Chris Reardon. 66 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada


ydon Lynch Architects isn’t following any trends in the green movement, they’re making them. The firm, based in Halifax, Nova Scotia reputation for design/build excellence and a portfolio that includes commercial, institutional, residential, educational, and sustainable buildings. And very soon, might be able to boast one of the greenest buildings in North America — the Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market. Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market, Nova Scotia, Can., the oldest continuous farmer’s market in North America, can relinquish its nomadic nature, Lydon Lynch has built the market a green mecca. City Market of Halifax Co-Operative with Lydon Lynch Architects, raised $7 million from various government and public organizations, on the basis of creating a new home for the market, that would be as environmentally geared as possible, at a minimum of LEED Gold. The firm completed the new market in 2010, drastically renovating and

expanding upon a 100 year-old seaport terminal into an ecological showcase of fine, green design. “I think it was important that the farmer’s thought this was a good idea, because it’s public money for their building, but also because they’re wise stewards of natural resources,” Lydon Lynch Architects Principal Senior Environmental Architect, Ltd. Keith Tufts, designed and oversaw the new 40,000 sq. ft. farmer’s market. “They know how important it is to get every ounce of energy out of everything, out of every drop of water.” Sensing a need to reflect the sustainable nature of the people within the market, and the purpose of the building, Lydon Lynch let their firm’s creative and logistical talents flourish. It was from this venture one of the most, pending LEED Platinum, energyefficient buildings in North America came to be. “It’s wonderful for people to be in an atmosphere that is representative of what they’re buying. It’s mostly an agriculture building, but there are local

crafts and goods, beer and wine — it’s a cultural totem to Nova Scotians and the aspirations of our community to have a green economy,” Tufts said. Tufts’ design/build aesthetic is more than a necessity to create attractive spaces. He has a drive to create energy efficient projects that become focal points for the right way to build. “The truth is getting out there and this building is indicative of the truth, but, you know, it’s a big uphill fight still,” Tufts said. The day of this interview, an editorial from op-ed contributor of the New York Times and steward of NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies, James Hansen, cautioned of Canada potentially exploiting oil from its vast tar sand reserves. This article weighed heavily on Tufts’ mind. “There’s a context here, and this [Halifax Seaport Farmer’s Market] is something that’s actively part of the solution — and showcasing what’s possible and how we can build the buildings, so they don’t actually hurt our ability to live.” Winter/Spring 2012 67

The market, located along Halifax harbour, can be thought of in the context of a square — in which every side, every line, and every angle of this square, has some element of sustainable-design working in an interconnected capacity to produce the most efficient level of sustainability possible. Sustainable and innovative green practices, which include — four rooftop wind turbines, 600 solar thermal panels, one of the largest functioning green roofs in Can., radiant flooring-supplied by both solar on the roof and 18 geothermal wells in front of the building (600 ft. deep), a bio-wall, CO2 reactive light sensors, rainwater collection — for all non-potable uses-like plumbing and irrigation, and green-designed planting of only native or limited maintenance vegetation. “The solar panels are sized to provide the hot water and any heating supplement for the floor and then the geothermal can provide heating too, and also the cooling in the summer. Because it’s always the same temperature — approximately 56 68 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

degrees.” This drastically reduces the heating load in the chilly winters of Nova Scotia, while in the summer keeping that balanced temperature will naturally cool the large space. The market itself doesn’t have cooling, contributing to one of its big savings in energy capital. During the summer additional heat on the roof provides a surplus of energy needed, the roof takes the summer sun through the solar and unloads the surplus into the geothermal wells, which store that summer solar for heat in the winter. “That notion, that process — what we’re doing there is what everyone should be doing in Canada. It makes so much sense in our seasonal climates” Tufts said. In the bustle of a market with 200 + vendors (eight of which can trace their family’s ties back to the market’s inception in 1780) and thousands of shoppers, are reflective, quieter zones. Within the market people can buy local goods, and then consume them on site — be seen as actively engaged with their community, but also be meditative and

quite in places. The bio-wall, which doesn’t function as ventilation, or provide any additional energy saving points, signifies the center of the building surrounded by two 20 ft. internal trees. “It makes up a piece of the market that we like to think of as the ‘green temple’ of the building,” Tufts said, with a grand staircase that flows in front, as you descend or ascend, you’re walking up a green wall saturated with local plants. To give the massive space a feeling of warmth, and maintain the brevity of the historical ties to the market, every touchable piece of wood in the building is from adaptive re-use lumber. The wood dubbed, “Juan Wood,” was salvaged from debris and destruction, left in the wake of Hurricane Juan that whipped across Nova Scotia in 2003. In a way this environmental disaster and the context in which is it currently being used, is an elegant bridge between the message of green living and its heightening need. Although the market occurs six days a week,

OPPOSITE, TOP: The 40,000 sq. ft. Seaport Halifax Farmer’s Market, Nova Scotia, CAN. green roof is flush with innovative sustainable measures, and designed landscaping, along with a stunning view of Halifax harbour. CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT:The market, is the design/build genius of Lydon Lynch Architects, Ltd., Halifax, CAN. — formerly a 100 year-old Seaport Terminal is now pending a LEED Platinum The market’s windows are double-glazed filled with argon. Shoppers fill the market perusing the 200 + vendors — 8 of which can trace their family lineage back to the market’s inception in 1780.

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SOPREMA is an international manufacturer specializing in the development and production of roofing, waterproofing and air barrier products for the building and civil engineering sectors. Each year, hundreds of building professionals choose SOPREMA for the expertise of its work team and the quality of its products. Among them, XPRESS panels couldn’t have a better name. With one panel, you can carry out multiple applications in less time than you thought possible. Used as a thermal and vapour barrier, XPRESS BOARD panel consists of an elastomeric SBS membrane that is factory-laminated to rockwool with a minimum thickness of .75 inches. Used as insulation boards, XPRESS panels are also very versatile. With XPRESS BOARD, the base sheet membrane is factory-laminated to rockwool for up to 5 inches in thickness. XPRESS ISO is an XPRESS BOARD of .5-inch thick factory-laminated to a polyisocyanurate insulation board. XPRESS EPS combines an XPRESS BOARD of .5 inches thick and an EPS insulation board. When XPRESS panels are used as insulation, a roof can be completed in as little as three stages; first, XPress .75 inches is installed as a vapour barrier, then you can choose between XPRESS BOARD panel, XPRESS EPS or XPRESS ISO and finally, choose your cap sheet SBS membrane. This approach significantly reduces installation costs and reduces liability of workmanship. XPRESS insulation panels have properties and benefits no other insulating panels possess. In terms of durability, XPRESS insulation solutions are unbeatable. Ad on page 138.

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Research in Motion, , Waterloo, Ontario, CAN. multi-national telecommunications company wanted a more modern and green-design building to reflect their company’s progressive nature. . Lydon Lynch Architects, Ltd., natural sunlight with expansive windows, with a view to the local landscape design in the employee’s common area.

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the facility is multi-functional. The market is a source of food and artisanal products, but it is also a community space. The building is designed to be multi-functional, the staircase for instance, can function as an amphitheater in one direction, or a stage in another. And by clearing out the vendors, after market hours, the space can hold concert events and large conferences. The roof, with its scenic views of Halifax harbour and the densely green Nova Scotia landscape, has become a local favorite for chic outdoor weddings. Tufts, is no stranger to the green-lifestyle hailing from a prestigious line of conservationists and environmentalists, with a great-great uncle that happened to be Robie Tufts — author of the pioneering conservationist text, The Birds of Nova Scotia. “I grew up in a very environmental world. We had a log cabin — we still have that log cabin, where I used to spend my weekends as a child chasing frogs, playing with moss, and it hasn’t changed, which is remarkable. It’s just you and nature, that’s

certainly a major part of my experience,” said Tufts. And how does the community of Nova Scotia take to their new market? “They’ve taken ownership, which is just about as good of result as one could imagine, because at the end of the day it’s an incredible building, but it’s also a teaching tool of how we can run our economy and how we can run our buildings-so that we’re not threatened with extinction,” Tufts said. “We estimated in the design, year over year, the potential saving of both water and energy cost would save them [the market] over 100,000 dollars a year, and that’s significant over a 40-year lease. It’s an incredible investment,” that is clearly paying off. Shifting from one commercial project, to the next, albeit one very public and the other private, Lydon Lynch completed the design/build site for the multinational telecommunication company, Research in Motion, Halifax, Nova Scotia. RIM, which develops and manufactures and mobile communications devices, wanted an updated

facility that would provide an improved workatmosphere and project and appropriate corporate identity. They purchased a 50 acre plot in the vicinity of Hammonds Plains, Nova Scotia. The innovative firm sought the extreme green design and clean, modern design of Lydon Lynch Architects to design their new base in Halifax. Completed in 2008, the 150,000 sq. ft. commercial property, constructed on a greenfield site, responds to the natural topography in design. Two staggered wings sit over the property with an exterior curtain-wall and functioning floor to ceiling windows, which provide natural ventilation. Staying true to the form, Lydon Lynch, carefully considered sustainable elements of this building, as well as the needs of the — staff amenities include bicycle storage, ample natural-light, roof terrace, staff lounge, cafeteria, showers and change rooms. Lydon Lynch continues to work on projects that interlink sustainability with functional and modern design. ALT Winter/Spring 2012 71



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Through their unique holistic workshop process, Manasc Isaac Architects brings together the vision all stakeholders involved on a project to produce the absolute best in terms of beautiful, efficient design and sustainable architecture. Story by Joel Cornell Photos Courtesy of Manasc Isaac.

Memorial Composite High School, located in Stony Plain, Alta., Manasc Isaac was tasked with renovating an old trade college into a new high school.

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We exist to guide these ideas on how to design spaces that are healthy, energy efficient, beautiful and worthy of the ‘wow factor’ we perpetually seek.

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n the minds of architects, engineers and designers at Manasc Isaac Architects — the single most important aspect of architecture is the fact that it is always shared. From beginning to end, architecture is a common experience made uncommon through insight, vision and the clarity of space. It is this appreciation for the unifying elements in building that has led Manasc Isaac Architects to become one of the preeminent sustainable architects in Canada. Founded in 1981, the firm has experienced many changes, in leadership and name alike. It wasn’t until 1997 that the firm acquired the name it currently holds. However, throughout every change, Manasc Isaac Architects has always maintained a heavy focus on efficiency, in terms of energy and design. “We have engineers, architects, interior designers, landscape architects, and others all working together, utilizing an integrated workshop approach

to solving our clients’ problems or spatial needs,” said Manasc Isaac Architects’ Partner Shafraaz Kaba. “We work together with clients right from the project’s initiation, all the way to the final commissioning of the building. Throughout this process, we involve full teams of architects, engineers and other designers on a regular basis in order to develop innovative solutions to the problems we face as architects. “This holistic, crowd-sourced approach even draws in those with little experience in design or architecture, yet have some connection to the project. These architectural ideas don’t have to come exclusively from architects. They can come from anywhere, and we exist to guide these ideas on how to design spaces that are healthy, energy efficient, beautiful and worthy of the ‘wow factor’ we perpetually seek.” As a firm based on value and efficiency above all else, Manasc Isaac Architects endeavors to

identify the core values and visions that will define a project. The clients they work with are encouraged to share their core values in order to be woven into the design. Creating spaces that are consequently, healthy and vibrant. The firm achieves this in addition to higher energy performance, as well as great design. One such project utilizing Manasc Isaac Architects’ unique methods is at Athabasca University in the small town of Athabasca, Alta. “This was a very fun project in that it was mainly built to allow faculty and students alike to have a place where they can build interpersonal relationships and use the synergies created by chance meetings,” Kaba said. “We created for them an environment that fosters a community where a bunch of academics can get together build strength off of one another. This design is a true reflection of Manasc Isaac Architects. The university sits on top of a hill overlooking

the town, and Manasc Isaac Architects was heavily involved with the community in bringing together a sustainable master plan. Through this, the firm identified the broad, campus-wide needs for new academic and research facilities. In their efforts to facilitate open social environments, Manasc Isaac Architects created physically open spaces that are light and airy. Inside, the roof is held up by a treelike structural system, inspired by the university’s location adjacent to a large boreal forest. At the Memorial Composite High School, located in Stony Plain, Alta., Manasc Isaac Architects was brought on to provide for a school board in need of a new location. Tasked with converting an old trade college into a new high school, the firm was able to show their clients through their unique design process an innovative way to capitalize on the existing space and work it to the client’s advantage. “What was most challenging was to fit a high

ABOVE: Athabasca University, Athabasca, Alta., Manasc Isaac identified the broad, campus-wide needs for new academic and research facilities. OPPOSITE, ABOVE: Inside, the roof is held up by a tree-like structural system, inspired by the university’s location adjacent to a large boreal forest.

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ABOVE: Calgary Water and Waste Department Facility, located in Calgary, Can., Manasc Isaac built a space that houses over 800 employees. OPPOSITE, CLOCKWISE LEFT: The building was commonly thought of as a tower, rather than a low rise building that both client and architect alike had in mind. The firm managed to adjust the building so that it would face south, to harness the generous amount of sunlight.

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school program into a building that wasn’t really designed with that type of space in mind,” Kaba said. “The structure had high ceilings and some rather interesting volumes. We had to develop creative ways to fill these spaces, and we wound up mirroring some of the original purpose. We refitted the automotive shops, and also created beauty salons, home economics stations, hair studios and the like. What’s more, the building envelop wasn’t up to par in terms of comfort or energy efficiency, so a substantial mechanical reworking of the entire building was required.” For the city of Calgary, Manasc Isaac Architects built a Water and Waste Department facility that houses over 800 people. In the initial stages of the project, the client had a very industrial site at Manchester Yards. The building was commonly thought of as a tower, rather than a low rise building that both client and architect alike had in mind. Manasc Isaac Architects was able to orient the

building so that it faces south, harnessing the generous amount of sunlight it receives. The site is just south of Calgary’s famous Stampede Grounds. The firm showed the client how to integrate the building into an industrial site, due to the proximity of the Stampede Grounds. The firm used their one-of-a-kind workshop process to integrate everyone’s vision, and gather information on how the design could be informed by the expertise of everyone in the room at the time, not just the architects or designers. “It’s not just architects who have the best knowledge or design ideas for certain projects,” Kaba said. “Our workshop encourages our engineers, designers, clients and anyone involved in the project, really, to have input in one form or another. We’ve used this technique so successfully as a way to bring out ideas through a process that breaks down barriers to get the best results, no matter what.” ALT

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Beauty Curve On the coastal town of Dundarave, beauty curves upwards. Rositch Hemphill Architects design luxury loft, The Argyle, overlooking the Strait of George Story by E. South Bond Photos Courtesy of Rositch Hemphill Architects.


undarave — a small seaside town on the West Coast of Vancouver, lies within a quiet community with peaceful views of the Strait of George and further towards the Pacific. The coastal town has remained relatively undisturbed by over-commercialization, maintaining a low-profile with highly-sought after property — a sanctuary from the bustle of Vancouver, to a more informal elegant lifestyle. Influenced by the quiet beauty, architect Bryce Rositch, of Vancouver’s Rositch Hemphill Architects, designed a modern and bright residential tower — The Argyle, in this quiet town. The town, for many years was primarily a summer community. Visitors would have to take a ferry from the mainland to the summer cottages. Over time, the town has grown into a highly desirable and more exclusive part of Vancouver, where residents pride themselves on being very involved. “On design issues, the private community with the city council was very active and vocal on the addition of the tower,” Rositch said. 78 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

“One of the aspects of this building, it’s quite a narrow building to minimize the view impact for neighbors. To be considerate of the community,” Rositch said. Composed of durable concrete, stone, and ample glass, the design is minimalist and West Coast modern. Developer Robert Quigg and Rositch completed the project in 2007. The tower stands at 10 stories, and is heavily influenced by the coastal surroundings. A curved roof plays on the flow of the environment. Open floor plan, nine suite tower, with floor to ceiling windows and designer colour schemes maximizes the flow between outside views and interior. The building, recedes into its surroundings with an ethereal sense of light and calm. The property is located on the oceanfront in English Bay. The primary view is the ocean, and behind the tower is the city of West Vancouver and the Cypress Mountains. A curved roof plays on the flow of the environment, “recognizing that you have all this energy coming from the mountains,

The Argyle, West Vancouver, BC Canada. Rositch Hemphill Architects designed the luxury condos, with prime views of Stanley Park, Lion’s Gate Bridge, and the ocean. .

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and that curve suggests that energy of mountains meeting water,” Rositch said. The penthouse is two stories, with two sets of terraces, “they’re called sky terrace because they’re huge. We used post tension slabs, so there are no columns, which provides unimpeded views, so they’re very large terraces,” Rositch said. The tower, inspected by a building envelop specialist and approved for a 2/5/10 warranty, features vaulted ceilings, hardwood flooring throughout the living areas, walk-in closets, and foyers with stone floors. Reinforced concrete construction, with floor to ceiling windows maximize the panoramic views of Dudarave’s Lower Mainland. The gourmet kitchens, maintains the open-plan into the living area, and features glass enclosed pantries with humidity controls, custom built wood cabinetry, double stainless steel sinks, stone counter tops and stainless steel Miele appliances. The bathrooms keeps the minimalist, yet luxurious style, with limestone or tile flooring in calming 80 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

palette of earth-tone soft colours, over-sized tubs with stone surround, marble slab counter tops, designer wall sconces, and recessed lighting. The In regards to the green measures taken, Rositch mentions the building has not gone through a certification process, but is absolutely very green. Citing the use of the three most primary materials of the building, concrete, stone and glass — each has elements of environmental design. Concrete itself is an excellent heat sink, to retain warmth. We have in-floor radiant-heating. “It’s a very benign climate, it rains a lot, but it doesn’t get too cold or too hot, and the views are so amazing the building has a considerable amount of windows, which have a high quality glazing.” The glazing is a double glazing with argon glass, and the exterior has special coatings on the outside to maintain temperatures. The primary stone used through out the building is a local stone, Brohm Ridge Basalt. “We take on a lot of residential projects, this is where people will be living, so it’s our job to

enhance their surroundings. Its so important to really understand how people will live knowing where the sun will come up in the morning, where the best views are, how do you expand the floor area to make it as spacious and open as possible.” Rositch began the firm as a sole practitioner in 1984, the partnership was established in 1991. With a staff of 20, eight of which are architects, eight specialists technicians and three administrations positions, the firm maintains a high quality of design. “We’re very focused on making our projects as successful as possible for our clients.” Many of the projects the firm completes are for the private sector, however not exclusively. “It’s really important, we just, I don’t know if you can put this in, but we service the hell out of our clients, from the time they walk in the door, to the time the project is complete we just want them to feel they had incredible service. We’re only as successful as our clients,” Rositch said. ALT

LEFT: The Argyle, Rositch Hemphill Architects, with extended patios and ample window space offer stunning unobstructed views of the Pacific Ocean. BELOW, CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: The nine story condominium, constructed primarily of concrete, stone, and glass. Gourmet Kitchens equipped with Sub Zero and Miele appliances. The penthouse suite, just below the curved roof, is two stories and boasts sky terraces.

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Modern Care

Sedun + Kanerva Architects Inc. doesn’t have trouble hearing their clients. Seniors today speak loud and clear to the architects that specialize in residential care. Story by E.South-Bond Photos Courtesy of Sedun + Kanerva Architects, Inc.


shift is occurring in the perception of age, the competency, the needs, and the reality of what it means to be a modern senior today. There is a growing sense of control among seniors, the modern 65 year-old is nothing like their predecessor from previous generations. Seniors today are more active, educated, and frankly, demand better places to live. Sedun + Kanerva Architects, Inc. is heavily invested in the productivity and design/build of providing superior senior residential care facilities. The firm, established in 1973 has evolved through time, “it’s a natural progression — we do quite a few senior citizens projects, and there wasn’t as much demand for the long-term care going back 20 or so years ago, but as the population of seniors increased, the demand for long-term care became quite dramatic,” Founding Partner of Sedun +Kanerva Architects Inc., Leonard Sedun. The firm has recently completed two design/build luxury senior residential facilities, both based in London, Ontario, that are 82 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

evocative of the lifestyles the residents recall, and wish to continue to have, Richmond Woods and Oakcrossing Manor. Richmond Woods, a 130,000 sq. ft. 160 unit home molds the modern necessities of an in-care facility, while keeping conscious of the quality of life residents deserve to have. Sedun + Kanerva in a collaborative project with Jablonsky, Ast. and Partners (structural) and D Grant and Sons (contractor) design/build the large residential community with warm elements, like ample crown molding, wood accents, and plenty of outdoor community oriented space. The dining areas are open in design, with art-deco components found in the light fixtures and carpet design. Oakcrossing Manor, which is one of several senior residential projects from the highly esteemed residential care company, peopleCare, is composed of five home areas, including one secure area specifically designed for residents with varying degrees of dementia. The facility, similar to Richmond Woods

has an open-design that is both functional for the staff, as well as navigable for the residents. The firm prides itself on developing communities that are seamless to needs of the seniors, while maintaining a high quality of design. Despite the increasing need for facilities, like Richmond Woods, Sedun fears there is slow development. “There’s a tremendous build-up of requirement here [Can.], that isn’t being addressed,” said Sedun. Noting the growing need for additional and better facilities, and the lag in their actual production, Sedun commented, “It’s just politics, it’s really just politics. I mean that’s their excuse, but right now you can’t have an excuse like that, you can’t delay this for that much longer. “Because we, me for example as a senior, the growth is exponential now and the demand is incredible — where people are suffering dramatically because there aren’t enough facilities,” and the facilities that are available many are inferior options. Buildings that offer little to the residents, lacking a cohesive design

OPPOSITE, LEFT: Richmond Woods, London, Ontario. Sedun + Kanerva working with contractor D Grant and Sons, designed the 130,000 sq. ft. luxury senior residential facility with the tenanents in mind. TOP RIGHT, DOWN: Wooden Gazebo provides an area of rest for the residents. Building an environment that is stimulating for the seniors, and evocative of their previous lifestyle is important to the firm.

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from what serves as a simply functional home, and what is an enjoyable place to be. There should be an element of connection, where care facilities and the practical needs of the staff can be met, while providing better living environments. Richmond Woods and Oakcrossing Manor are two prime examples of senior residential care done exceeding well. Sedun and his partner Kanerva have been instrumental in consulting with the Canadian Ministry to implement improved conditions in preexisting facilities and new facilities “What we’re starting to do, and that’s going to be enforced in the next year, all the owners of senior-residential facilities, that have what are called Class-C buildings have to upgrade to, Class-A, within the next seven years. “My partner as well, was quite involved and instrumental in working with the Ministry in establishing criteria for the new homes, and as a result right now, we are very knowledgeable as to what the new requirements are. The Ministry really is the last word, they have outlined exactly what they want in the new homes, and of course we try and incorporate new ideas, which then have to be approved. With 84 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

our background and our experience they do listen to us. This is a continuous process.” Being invested this deeply, from aiding in developing improved conditions and with a very real empathetic connection to the community they work with, lends itself to considerable communication with the residents and staff. “We have a lot of communication with the facilities, as a matter of fact, it started when we first worked with senior citizen homes, at that time back in the 70s when the senior population became a little more dominant, we would go to the homes after completion and sit down and talk to the seniors to just see what worked, what they liked, what could be changed.” This consistent interaction and collaboration with the people who are directly affected by Sedun + Kanerva’s projects, hasn’t changed, if anything a stronger sense of connection to the needs of the tenants has only been sharpened by time for the architects,“I recall when we started in the 70s, the government would have land that would be far out, away from thriving communities to put out seniorliving facilities, that would shun the seniors away.

And it was frustrating for us, because we would argue you can’t do this to people. And we would argue the point that the best place for them to be was right in the community, to keep them involved in society.” peopleCare senior residential projects with Sedun + Kanerva is one of the many senior “One of the initial concepts we started implementing awhile back, is a need for outdoor facilities, where they can walk and be familiar with their outside surroundings. And in our situations the majority of our complexes have these circular arrangements — to provide an interior courtyard where they could go and socialize, walk, garden, become engaged with the other residents by exercising and being outside. An incredibly important part of any facility.” Sedun, recalling some of the more whimsical requests by residents, placed a restored shell of a vintage car on a residential property’s grounds. “In one of our collaborative sessions, one gentleman mentioned he missed just driving in his car, with a lady companion, necking,” Sedun laughed. But human understanding and good design is exactly what you can expect from Sedun + Kanerva. ALT

LEFT: Oakcrossing Manor, London, Ontario. 160 unit long term care facility by Sedun + Kanerva Architects, Inc. Keeping the needs of the senior community in mind, the architects bring elements of circular outdoor environments into their projects. BOTTOM LEFT: Reminiscent of a grand sea-side home, with ample windows and large balconies for the residents. BOTTOM RIGHT: The manor, uses the nostalgic and warming effect of wood mixed with more modern materials in Oakcrossing Manor.

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Unique Spaces, Sleek Design Pastoral gardens, Greek tragedy inspired cultural center, and a mining attic from 1904, Baird Sampson Neuert Architecture’s peculiar sites make for stunning projects. Story by E.South-Bond Photos by Tom Arban and BSN Architects. 86 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

OPPOSITE PAGE: Cornell Plantations’ Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center, Ithaca, NY., built Comstock Knoll, within botanical gardens below Tower Road. THIS PAGE: The center, is the green design/ build of Toronto architecture firm, Baird Sampson and Neuert Architects.

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THIS PAGE: Originally conceived as a conservatory, the centre houses a gift shop, educational spaces, and lounge area for visitors and staff. OPPOSITE PAGE: Horizontal wood louvers keep the ethereal and transparent feel of Cornell Plantation’s Centre and serve an environmental purpose.

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ssential to the philosophy of Baird Sampson Neuert Architects are two tenants — good design and community value. The Toronto based firm, established three decades ago by principal architect George Baird, remains dedicated to sustainable and community oriented design. In an influx of green-leaning firms and innovative giants, BSN Architects is undaunted, focused and continually in a tier of top design firms with true passion. Hidden within botanical gardens, on the outlying property of Cornell University, is a welcome center that grew from a small desk. Cornell Plantations Brian C. Nevin Welcome Center, Ithaca, NY, which anticipates LEED Platinum, is the design/ build project of BSN Architects. A project that outgrew initial sketches for a conservatory, and became a focal point of beauty incorporated within the landscape. The centre, design/build project of BSN Architects, with ample glass windows and

innovative design using site-local materials creates an almost transparent structure — effortlessly placed within the scenery it promotes. In a letter from 1862, written by Andrew Dickson White to Gerrit Smith, the first president of Cornell University, outlined what he believed all excellent universities need, “the best libraries — with collections in different departments, a laboratory, observatory, a botanical garden perhaps.” By the end of 1935 Cornell University officially adopted an arboretum and from that, their natural habitat grew. Cornell Plantations consists of an arboretum on 150 acres, a botanical garden on 25 acres, and nearly 4,300 acres of pastoral land. The closest natural habitat near the university, is the botanical garden. The mission of Cornell Plantations, is to preserve and enhance diverse horticultural collections and natural areas for the enrichment and education of academic and public audiences, and to support scientific research. A fantastic mission,

but one for many years lacked a primary physical location in which to enlighten visitors, “we had a very small desk, but we didn’t have a facility for people to come in, see who we are, what we do, and how to get involved,” Director of Education Cornell Plantations, Sonja Skelly. Cornell University and the plantations board begin to conceptualize a master-plan initially of only a conservatory, but knew they needed a welcome center and located in the botanical gardens, “we decided on the site, because it was the most visible and closest to the university,” Skelly said. The directors involved in the project, were provided with a short list of architects and design firms skilled in the particular type of work they needed — BSN Architects, was the clear choice from the beginning. “That was the charge to BSN, a conservatory in or near the botanical gardens. Through the process of planning, what we really needed additionally was developed through work-

ing with the firm. The project morphed for them, and very much for us, but they remained with us and we’re happy they did,” Skelly said. Cornell Plantations needed a little more than just a centralized visitor’s desk, “we wanted a very nice gift shop space and a welcome lobby. We wanted a place where we could talk about our mission and what we do here with our collections, our natural areas, and an indoor classroom space for our program that services everything we do — from tours to intimate lectures,” Skelly said. “We were very clear, we didn’t want a building that would stand out, or take away from the natural beauty of the garden. BSN took that to heart and they lobbied very hard for nestling it [the Centre] in the center of our botanical gardens. It’s very circular and small enough that in the center of the garden,it becomes apart of the garden orientation, rather than book ending it.” As expert glass designers, BSN created an space

“We were very clear, we didn’t want a building that would stand out, or take away from the natural beauty of the garden. BSN took that to heart .”

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OPPOSITE PAGE: Old Post Office Plaza in St. Louis, Mo. is a part of an urban revitilization plan for downtown, and serves as an artistic hub St. Louis. CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Inspired by a figural sculpture depicting the myth of Daedalus and Icarus, but it’s hardly a Greek tragedy. The sculpture, Torso di Ikaro, designed by artist Igor Mitoraj was obtained prior to plaza completion.

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that has an inside-outside feeling. The architecture pulls the outside in, like a natural addition to the gardens. There several stone walls of Llenroc (local rock, which spells Cornell backwards) that flow inside and outside the building. BSN, conscious of the landscape and of the client’s commitment to sustainable living, implemented a multitude of green measures, and the Centre might become the first LEED Platinum building on the campus Cornell University. One of the more popular tours of the centre right now is a LEED tour of the Centre. The tour provides a tactile experience of the green measures taken throughout the building, which include — a bioswell in the parking lot, structural soil-technology designed at Cornell, radiant floor heating, and horizontal wood louvers. The louvers, seen jutting out on the exterior of the mostly glass building, provide shade in the hotter summer months and provide heating throughout the open slots in the

cooler months. Community involvement has been responsive and positive to the Centre, “We dedicated the building October 2010 and by May, during one of our peak seasons, we had close to thousand people come out,” Skelly said. A large portion of the endowment for the centre came from a local gentleman, in honor of his partner Brian C. Nevin, both now deceased, were avid supporters of environmental causes and the Cornell Plantation’s botanical gardens. Old Post Office Plaza in St. Louis, is fact, inspired by a figural sculpture depicting the myth of Daedalus and Icarus, but it’s hardly a Greek tragedy. The sculpture, Torso di Ikaro, designed by artist Igor Mitoraj was obtained prior to plaza completion. The myth, a tragic tale of Icarus wanting to fly near the sun using invented wings from his father, Daedalus, ends poorly for the young pilot. But

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clear connections exists between the plaza and the story — for years the population within the city’s urban center declined, residents fled, and now they’re regretting it. An increase in urbanization projects are happening across North America right now. People are coming back to cities, to central locations of commerce, for a lifestyle that is richer in culture, history and vibrant surroundings. BSN Architects in association with The Partnership for Downtown St. Louis, hope the Old Post Office Plaza will revitalize downtown and bring more cultural activities into the city. On a former parking lot adjacent to the historic St. Louis post office. The project, which includes a three dimensional performance space at the front of the project, is apart of an adaptive-reuse and urbanization plan. The plaza and stage will feature music, theater, lectures, weekend markets, film and special events. The landscape of the plaza, located on a 26,000 sq. ft. brownfield site and framed by 92 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

three heritage buildings, features a labyrinth (a nod to Daedalus, who was fond of designing mazes) composed of benches and trees. The soil base, like Cornell Plantations’ parking lot, is designed with structural soil. Tree trenches span the plaza depth to promote root growth in the urban soil, in order to reduce peak flow to the storm sewer system and reduce the amount of irrigation typically used in this climate. The wing-like lighting fixtures (thematic of Icarus’ wings) within the plaza provide light for night events and playfully animate shadows on the stainless steel screen to the north of the stage. BSN Architects design promotes active urban involvement, to revitalize St. Louis’ downtown within a theme of architecture, landscape design, and taking flight, right in your own city. Attics typically invoke feelings of fright — not sleek, modern, and über cool work environments, unless your architect is BSN.

Lassonde Institute of Mining, is located in such an attic on the campus of University of Toronto, at the top of a historic mining building. BSN created a space that reflects the institute, which teaches methods on blending heritage resources with cutting-edge practices for mining and engineering purposes, housed in a historic structure built in 1904, while incorporating cuttingedge green design. Rooftop photovoltaic systems provide ‘net zero’ output for lighting and computer loads, while advancing an environmental identity for the Centre. Rainwater harvesting systems add to the list of unique design features of building. The attic/workspace is anticipating a LEED Platinum status, a first for the University of Toronto. The space, known as Goldcorp Mining Innovation Suite, was inverted by the firm’s clever design into an open, light-filled, and energy conscious space with collaborative student/teacher design studios and a rooftop meeting area. The ingenious attic

transformation, is yet another instance of BSN merging innovative design with community contribution, the space will build upon the creativity and enjoyment of the students and teachers involved. The firm, which is reflected in the quality of their work, has a vested interest in creating projects that enrich the lives of people within communities and institutions. Every project BSN takes on, which include cultural and educational facilities, residential developments, and public spaces — are developed with the concept of integrated design. An approach to each building and landscape environment as a “system of systems”, merging all aspects of design, combining talent and logical planning with highly environmental ideals to suit each project’s needs while minimizing the ‘environmental load’ to the greatest extent. The heavily awarded firm isn’t taking anything for granted, they’re simply progressing forward. ALT

OPPOSITE PAGE: Lassonde Institute of Mining, Toronto, ON., Goldcorp Mining Innovation Suite, inverted into an open, light-filled, and energy conscious space. THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE TOP:Formerly an attic in building from 1904 on The University of Toronto’s campus have expansive long shafts. Collaborative student/teacher design studios and a rooftop meeting area. Displacement ventilation and rainwater harvesting systems add to the list of unique design features of building.,

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THIS PAGE: The Gillette Lofts, Montreal, CAN., Karl Fischer Architects renovated the 1911 Gillette Safety Razor Co., office and warehouse in 2007. OPPOSITE PAGE: The original pediment of the building remains intact and in the original concrete used for the exterior of the building.

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ip Van Winkle had quite the shock when he woke from his decades long slumber — so the fairy tale goes. Upon his wake, he found the world had drastically changed, and his appearance outdated with a beard long and in badly need of a shave. The Gillette Razor Building, Montreal, CAN., built in 1911 was left in a similar unperturbed slumber for many years, too. Quietly sitting on Allen street across St. Patrick’s Basilica gradually becoming outdated within, yet maintaining a strong and timeless exterior. A young thesis student longingly watched as the concrete beauty wondering what was left within. The student, then 32 year-old Noam Schnitzer, dreamed of renovating the historic building into residential lofts — blending the classical elegance of the exterior, with a minimalist modern revival within the interior. Luckily, a relative of Schnitzer’s happened to be in the architectural field and a team of design/build aficionados assembled, with Karl Fischer Architects taking the lead. The five story building, with nine ft. windows and a sophisticated concrete molding, was purchased for $3.5 million, and transformed into a six story residential space. Unlike the slew of imposter lofts that promise open floor plans and industrial appeal, few deliver with the same sort of historical elegance and authenticity of The Gillette Lofts. The space, with 12 ft. high ceilings, fluted concrete columns, and clean lines proved a prime candidate for a thorough renovation/restoration from noted Montreal architect, Karl Fischer. The historic building provided the simplistic elegance Fischer set to design, “these old warehouses, you try to not cover up the materials that they used when the building was built, and the combination of the rustic brick and the rustic concrete with new sleek finishes compliments each other,” Fischer said. Interior designer, Anne Jalbert of Jalbert Architects, completed the interior on the project with quartz-topped or stainless steel kitchen counters, Italian style bathrooms with fixtures in white porcelain — square tub, square sink and glass showers.

The units, range in size from 623 sq. ft. to 1200 sq. ft., although some buyers are buying two units to create larger spaces. In the process of historical renovations and restorations, it’s a typical practice to minimize intrusive measures. Fearing the loss of any of the building’s allure Fischer kept the exterior walls and exposed the bricks intact, to not destroy elegant composition of how the building was built. With many historical renovations negotiations with the city the building resides can be tricky. “We were able to get the city to accept a twostory penthouse addition, and then one of the other unique things about the building is that there was a large water-tank on top of the roof of the building, —which was apart of the agreement,” Fischer said. That water-tank had to remain, but could be placed atop the new penthouse addition. Like our pal, Rip, the town he awoke within was so very different than the one he had left so many

years ago, and Montreal is going through a similar shift. The once industrial street the Gillette Building presided over, fell into a quietude some years ago, and is beginning its own awakening. Although the building and its surrounding warehouses are not being reverting back into commercial hubs, they are finding a rebirth in the city’s need for additional housing, “Montreal is going through a renaissance. The city just changed the zoning to allow for a little bit higher density downtown, there’s a change,” People want to move into the city, to save traveling time. That’s a trend I think is happening through most of Northern America right now. People are moving back away from the suburbs and back into the cities,” Fischer said. There is an urban revival, a fusion that insists on maintaining the history of Montreal, while merging the modernity of change in sharp and sleek design/build, something Karl Fischer Architects does very well. ALT Winter/Spring 2012 95

Ronald McDonald House, Toronto, CAN., Montgomery Sisam Architects playfully merged whimsy with comfort for the 81 unit home.

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ontgomery Sisam Architects is in the business of architecture, in that they design a structure or a place to serve a need, but what they truly create is more than walls and a roof. They recreate specific emotions — comfort and envirnonments for their clients to find solace within. For the children and families of Toronto’s Ronald McDonald House and for patients recovering from addictions in Sister Margaret Smith Addictions Treatment Centre, sound design is one thing an intuitive and noble building is quite another. On a busy street in Toronto, not far from the hub of the city’s medical facilities, is a home within a garden. A home large enough to house 81 families, that are unified by the roof they live beneath and the reason for their new residency. A prominent theme of Ronald McDonald House Charities, is “a home, away from home,” for families based too far from the hospitals, which care for their children diagnosed with terminal illnesses. The Toronto Ronald McDonald House, initially built in the 1970s could only accomodate 26 families, by the mid 1980s the waiting list was growing, forcing the charity to turn away close to 70 percent of applying famlies. The necessity to grow became paramount to the charity’s board, and in 2007 they set out to find a location and the right architect for the task.

Montgomery Sisam Architects designs buildings of calm for Torontonians in need of comfort. Story by E.South-Bond Photos Courtesy of Montgomery Sisam Architects. Winter/Spring 2012 97

The location needed to be large enough to house a proposed 81 family facility and within close proximity to treatment for the children. The architect had to be someone talented — and truly intuitive to the purpose of the space and the people within — Principal Robert Davies of Montgomery Sisam Architects was the perfect choice. Davies, like the Ronald McDonald House Charities has a unifying theme in all of his work, which varies in range, the relationship between architecture, the environment and human health. For over 30 years, Davies has been with the firm that he feels best represents his progressive mentality and is on the forefront of intuitive design, Montgomery Sisam, Toronto, Can. “The firm kind of sprung out of the social values of the 1960s, where we kind of have this firm commitment to the belief that your environment can have a big effect on how you experience the world, and who you are,” Davies said. “Most of our work is for people with special needs, so we really know, we really believe, that the building you’re in can have an impact on your healing.” 98 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

The Canadian parenting blog, Yummy Mummy Club, recently attended an event at the new home and commented on house being, “jaw-droppingly beautiful,” and in walking proximity to the Sick Kids Hospital in the heart of downtown Toronto, and yet remains to feel “blissfully quiet and peaceful.” The home is situated on the heavily trafficked McCaul Street, but none of the outside chaos seeps in through the design,“if you’re in environment that already calms you down, that’s going to help,” Davies said. What this meant for Davies, to create a calming envirnonment, “is lots of access to daylight and a view-so you know where you are relative to your surroundings, what time of day it is, what the weather is like outside,” this enables the resident, even if they are unable to be in the outside world to still have a sense of it. Every corridor for each family faces a garden, no one is without a view. There are three garden courtyards. The first, is within the entrance of the building, when you leave the busy sidewalk you go through a garden gate and then you are immediately in the garden

underneath the cover of the building. The front porch is surrounded by the interior garden from the entrance with a calming waterfall to wash away the sounds of the city. The entrance reminds the architect of entering a home in Charleston, SC. Through the front door guests will immediately be in the large public living room, which is located between the two other gardens. On the left is the tranquil garden and the right, is a more active garden outside for children and families to play. The active area, which can be viewed directly from the large kitchen, designed with assistance from families living in Ronald McDonald homes, is the view of active space more akin to an family’s backyard with grills, outdoor seating, room for children to play, and even a playhouse shaped like a tepee. President and Chair of the Board of Environmental Defence Canada, Davies’ design with the Ronald McDonald House certainly has green measures. The building is anticipated to be LEED Gold, “we’re waiting for the process to go through, but we don’t anticipate there will be a problem. The build/design can boast in-floor hydraulic heating,

CLOCKWISE, FROM LEFT: Kitchens expertly designed with restaurant-grade state of the art appliances and an open design to accommodate the 81 families on site. , Whimsical playrooms, including a school within the building hope to make the transition from home easier on the children and their families. Through every family’s corridor is direct view to the outside garden areas. A playful tepee structure in Baltic Birch Plywood

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solar-thermal panels on the roof –which provide the hot water for the whole building, storm water retention being used for irrigation, recyclable materials, and VOC emissions credit. The millwork in the whole of building is Baltic Birch Plywood a very strong and stable material, that’s economical and green-friendly. The Ronald McDonald House in Toronto, opened November, 2011. An order of nuns in Thunder Bay, Ontario, can date their religious descent from France to Canada 400 years ago. Leaving their native land of croissants and delicious cheese for, at the time, a barren and bitterly cold place. The nuns, of the order of Sister Margaret Smith, traveled to Canada and brought healthcare with them. Nuns, for many years, were trained in the medical field to assist their communities. The order of Sister Margaret Smith, are sadly dwindling in numbers, and their initial purpose of providing healthcare to the Canadian population has shifted to capable hands of St. Joseph’s Care Group. A few sisters remain on St. Joseph’s Board, which presides over the downright hip and mod 100 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

ern design/build project of Montgomery Sisam Architects — Sister Margaret Smith Addictions Treatment Centre.The center bears the name of Mother Superior Margaret Smith, who convinced the Ministry of Health to fund an addictions centre (one of the first in Ontario) in 1969. The centre provides residential and non-residential services for the treatment of addictions including gambling, eating disorders, drug and alcohol, among others and remains the only addiction facility in Ontario to serve youth. Lead architect, Robert Davies with his intuitive design/build methology, developed a centre that is functional and calming, to both the staff and residents seeking treatment. The centre required a sensitivity to the tone of the building, to the need s of the staff and to aid in the environmental healing of the residents. Davies felt the outside envirnonment and views would play a pivitol role in assisting treatment. As seen in his design for the Ronald McDonald House, Davies believes in the power of puling the outside in with calming, yet highly functional spaces. Expansive windows surround

the buildings communal areas, while bedrooms are strategically placed to provide assistance from staff, and maintain elements of privacy. Arranged around two landscaped courtyards, with native landscape design, the centre provides offices, classrooms, research facilities, residential units, and a multi-denominational sacred space for clients and the Thunder Bay community — exclusivity wasn’t a feeling Davies and the project board wanted to convey. The space needed to provide a haven for reflection for the residents, as well as be a community space that allowed families and friends to comfortably visit. Davies, to better understand the facility’s structural and spacial of the patients and staff, spent the night at the centre, “they’ve promised me, I’ll always have a room,” Davies lightly joked. That one night led to several alterations in the alignment of certain residential rooms and of the space. The 52,000 sq. ft. facility won the International Academy for Design and Health Award in 2011 for the addiction facility. ALT

CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Sister Margaret Smith Addictions Treatment Center, Thunder Bay, Ontario design/ build project of Montgomery Sisam Architects. Three prominent sky lights in the centre signify heart, body, and soul.

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Context Conscious NSDA Architects bring cohesion, superior design, and a conscious mind to every project. Story by Joy M. Carollo Photos by Derek Lepper

Gateway Lodge — Campus of Care, Prince George, BC 148,000 sq. ft. seniors’ care facility by NSDA Architects.

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Kindred Place — Special Needs Residential, Vancouver, BC Located in Yaletown, design/build NSDA Architects.

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eale Staniszkis Doll Adams Architects, based in Vancouver, is commited to their client’s objectives, to their own asthetic and remain conscious of the outward impact of each project. Providing superior design with the expertise and wisdom of lead architects with over 30 years in the business, they take little for grantted. “We take great care, and we have a lot of experience in meeting the client objective, but we’re also context conscious,” said Tom Staniszkis, principal architect and founding member of NSDA Architects. =Staniszkis, is considered an expert in multiple residential design, development feasibility analysis, rezoning, urban design and master planning studies since registering as an architect 30 years ago in British Columbia. Each lead architect within the firm, although familiar with every element of architecture, has a clear niche or expertise, but the entire firm has a strong understanding of their impact and surroundings. “Vancouver is a densely populated area, there’s very little virgin land. So in order to be successful you really have to listen to concerns of the neighbors and the community you’re impacting. We actually care. We do a lot of special needs housing and work with the Salvation Army. And we do it because we care, so we like to give back when possible. And of course in order to do all

of those sort of projects, you have to sell, you have to take on bigger projects, to maintain a business,” Staniszkis said. Gateway Lodge, Prince George, B.C., residential senior care campus is a prime example of the firm’s ability to create facilities within that context of care. The design/build project of NSDA Principal Architect, Jerry Doll. The residential facility is thoughtfully designed to accommodate assistedliving and constant care, with spacial regards for communal and family visiting areas. Lead architect, Doll, implemented a variety of green measures including an abundance of locally sourced wood in the interior and exterior, stormwater management, with bio-swales and drywells for groundwater recharge. Ground source heat pumps, with 78 wells at 275 ft. deep that provide the primary cooling and heating of the complex, as well as prefabricated factorybuilt panelized walls, developed with Mitsui Homes, to reduce construction waste and shorten the time-frame of the project. In fact, the majority of the lodge is saturated in a wood design, some of which is re-purposed vintage wood, providing an element of nostalgia and warmth — due to the open design and large windows the facility never feels stifled by the amount of wood used, simply elegant. Winter/Spring 2012 105

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Larry Adams NSDA principal architect, in a similar vein of the firm’s community orientated design recently completed a special needs-homeless housing initiative with non-profit More Homes/More Hands and the B.C. Housing and Management commission — Kindred Place. Creating new waves in a sleepy coastal town, NSDA, undertook the a large development project, Miramar Village, in Upper White Rock, BC. The site is on the bank of White Rock, overlooking south to the United States with incredible views of the ocean and mountains. Towards the East, Mountains, towards the south, the ocean, and towards the west, to Vancouver island. It’s a 360 degree view. “This part of White Rock, called Upper White Rock has suffered a little bit of neglect. So the city owned a site there, with a little community center and our client purchased the site to rejuvenate this area,” Adams said. The project was conceived with residential units in the towers, and as ground level commercial, as mix-use property, with four towers on the north and sound ends of the site and a community center near tower one at about 14,000 sq. ft., which was built by Bosa for community benefit. Bosa Properties is the primary proprietor of the project, NSDA Architects 106 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

completing the design/build with additional help from Richard Henry, single practitioner, on the vision of the site design. In nearby White Rock, an active water-front and pier with restaurants, is the antithesis to Upper White Rock, prior to this project. Upper White Rock, not far from the bustling pier, had been left to suffer an economic lull. The small town of only 20,000, was in need of some progress. When the project was proposed by Bosa Properties, there was some controversy. Towers these large, a project this large, had never been attempted in White Rock, giving way to some opposition from residents. Luckily, for the project the council of the town and the mayor had the foresight that in order to survive economically. Ultimately, an increase in population and tourist revenue and a new community centre would prove beneficial to White Rock and the plan was approved. Principal architect and founding member of NSDA, Tom Staniszkis is the primary architect on the Miramar project. Staniszkis, is well-known as an expert in multiple residential design, development feasibility analysis, rezoning, urban design and master planning studies since registering as an architect 30 years ago in British Columbia. ALT

Miramar Tower, Upper White Rock, Can., NSDA Architects design/build with Bosa Properties, breathes new life into a quiet town.

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Desert Cool Exhibit/Design done desert chic, Reich + Petch Architects showcase the iconic collection of Sunnylands. Story by E.South-Bond Photos by Kerun Ip Photography. 108 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

LEFT: Sunnylands Center & Garden, Rancho Mirage, Calif., The new addition to the Coachella Valley offers interactive displays, films, and art from Sunnylands Collection. RIGHT: Reich + Petch, Toronto, Can., The multi-disciplinary design group created the center’s exhibit design, wayfinding, and graphics design — including, interactive educational kiosks, informational panels and videos, and orientation films set in the mid-century design/build of architect Frederick Fisher and interior designer Michael Smith.


unnylands Estate is the West Coast Camp David. Posh and modern, the estate epitomizes modern cool situated near the mecca of midcentury architecture, Palm Springs. The estate, located in Rancho Mirage, Calif, remains as a meeting ground for the world’s elite, since the 1960s. And recently, an extension of the estate, Sunnylands Center and Gardens, has been added to the grounds. Architect, A. Quincy Jones (1913-1979), designed the midcentury estate for chic and affluent couple Walter (founder of Seventeen and TV Guide, among many other ventures) and wife Leonore Annenberg. The estate is reflective of the Annenberg’s personalities and lifestyle — the epitome of in-the-know elite and curators of exceptional collections and friends. Sunnylands, affectionately shortened by those familiar with the estate, served as a non-partisan retreat for the Annenberg’s guests with high-profiles, where they could comfortably meet and discuss pressing issues. A guest-list which includes key figures of the 20th century including — seven U.S. presidents, the British royal family, former U.S. Secretary of State Colin Powell, Margaret Thatcher and Hollywood icons like Bob Hope, Frank Sinatra, Jimmy Stewart, and Ginger Rogers. The modern design, as opposed to more traditional estates, added to the progressive vibe the Annenbergs hoped Sunnylands conveyed to guests.

Influenced by life in the Coachella Valley, desert modernism can often be recognized by its specific materials and style — glass, clean lines and modern construction techniques obscuring boundaries between indoor and outdoor — with features like floor to ceiling windows. An informal elegance, that is believed to have originated from post-war technologies and resulted in an array of structures throughout Palm Springs. In 2001, situated adjacent to the estate is the new LEED Gold, Sunnylands Center and Gardens. The Annenberg Family created the Annenberg Trust at Sunnylands — to preserve the midcentury masterpiece, as well as plans to share the history and beauty of Sunnylands. “They [Annenberg family and trust] debated whether or not the center would be open to the public and how often,” Founding Principal of Reich + Petch Exhibit Design and Architect, Tony Reich. The architect oversaw the center’s exhibit design. After speaking with a museum economic consultant, a balance was stuck and the center is now open to the public. The purpose of the center and gardens is to connect with the history of the Annenberg’s life, the influential figures that frequented the estate, and to showcase an impressive collection the couple created during their lifetime. James Burnett landscape architect found inspiration from Van Gogh’s Olive Trees of 1889. Michael Smith, the interior designer mentioned he wanted the Winter/Spring 2012 109

THE DESIGN FOUNDATION FOR THE SMITHSONIAN’S HALL OF HUMAN ORIGINS How does media take you to places that existed millions of years ago, constructed only from evidence of ancient fossils? This was the objective of the Smithsonian’s world acclaimed scientists for the new Hall of Human Origins: “To create an emotional connection between the modern visitor and our ancient human ancestors” This was the task of The Design Foundation (formerly XLR8 Design Studio): To help plan and design the media experiences and environments that would allow visitors to understand the remarkable meaning embedded within the evidence of ancient human fossils. The Design Foundation worked together with gallery designers, Reich + Petch Design International and the Smithsonian’s curatorial team. The work began with development of basic concepts for the media, through to the visual design standards for all media elements in the gallery. The challenge was to develop a cohesive design approach to unify the diverse media installations ranging from large three-dimensional film environments to interactive databases, to gaming environments. The DF also completed full production of the signature installations at both gallery entrances. The gallery entry, dubbed the “Time Tunnel”, takes visitors on a virtual journey through deep time - over 7 million years in 4 minutes - to discover our ancient human ancestors and their diverse environments. To create this experience, the DF developed 3D digital models of ancient hominids and environments. This computer generated experience was the product of intensive scientific review, developed to the standards of a Hollywood motion picture. The gallery opened to large crowds and rave reviews with the New York Times declaring: “The show humanizes evolution, it is in part a story of human triumph“. Media innovation is the core work of The Design Foundation. Recent work includes interactive media for travelling exhibits, educational exhibits on biodiversity, and broadcast design for a television series on Aboriginal communities. Currently the DF has developed a multi-user interactive media installation for a regional museum where visitors can meet historical personalities (actors in the role of inventors) and judge the success of their inventions. At the Design Foundation the goal is consistent: Creating Innovative media; Connecting people to ideas. Ad on page 142. 110 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

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center to feel like the visitor was walking into a grand living room, to instantly shape their experiences more as a guest of a friend, instead of an outsider, and architects Frederick Fisher and Partners and exhibit design firm Reich + Petch, took influence from the midcentury estate, Annenberg’s eclectic collection and the landscape. Reich, led the exhibit design, graphic design and wayfinding of the site, is continually searching to make museum experiences more exciting, more interactive, elegant and innovative. With a center like Sunnylands, visitors wouldn’t be filing in a line to stare at one particular painting or collection. The collaborative team of designers/architects and board wanted to elicit a feeling of leisure, a captivated guest of the estate — not an outsider staring for a few moments at a Picasso. Reich and team developed an exhibit experience that is highly progressive and tactile, “including the signange on the side, the whole brand was really, very, very carefully developed.” This wasn’t a museum experience to funnel people through. Integrating sophisticated media elements, like educational digital kiosks, informational panels and videos, and an orientation film in the theater — Reich and team achieved that desert cool. A museum to relax within, while being wowed by the beauty of the space and cutting-edge technology of the exhibit. “We wanted people who wouldn’t be able to visit the estate, to still have a sense of it. We developed glassless three dimensional

computer real video and virtual animation to give them –structurally-an experience of the home.” Mrs. Annenberg shortly before her passing in 2009, met with Reich and expressed a desire center to feature much of the collection digitally. Reich + Petch recently completed the modern exhibit design for Upper Canada Village Discovery Centre and Heritage Park Exhibit. The centre features Eastern Ontario in the 19th and 20th centuries, taking visitors into the lives of early Canadians. Interactive exhibits and themed zones explore the role of the St. Lawrence River in the War of 1812 and the Battle of Crysler’s, “the clients wanted this to be a very interactive.” The firm used three dimensional computer rendering and fog screens, which make the visitor feel as if they are wandering through the time period and battles. Reich pulled the resources from all over the world to complete this project, highlighting their collaborative spirit and incredibly creative drive. Recently the firm won the award for The Age of Mammals Gallery at the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County received an award, with special recognition for Clarity of Message. “We love challenges, we love innovation and we think the public is ready for something new. We’re always looking for a different way to make the museum experience more exciting — if you can’t do that hologram you look at ways the technology can support the art,” Reich said. ALT Winter/Spring 2012 111

Aanischaaukamikw, Cree Cultural Institute, OujĂŠ-Bougoumo, Can. design/build of Rubin & Rotman Architects and Douglas Cardinal serves as a meeting space, cultural museum and connection to the First Nation, Cree Community.

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First Rate Design Rubin & Rotman create projects built on significant trust, cultural understanding and pure talent. Story by Lee G. Leibrock Photos by Mitch Lenet

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CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP RIGHT: Aanischaaukamikw, Cree Cultural Institute, Oujé-Bougoumo, Can. The cultural center’s design is influenced by the First Nation’s traditional Cree dwellings like the astchiaukamikw and sabtuan. The firm worked with Nordic Engineered Wood, to create the interior, which resembles large ribcages, and provides an open feeling to the space. The beams are made of millions of small pieces of the local Black Spruce, laminated and bent in the Nordic factory in Chibougoumou.


here are ten First Nation communities in Northern Canada, and the architecture firm Rubin & Rotman has worked with nine of them. The firm, based in Quebec and Ontario, doesn’t take for granted their long-standing relationship with First Nation communities. A relationship, that is impressive to attain and hold, but hardly due to complicated reasons,“I guess we don’t impose,” said Founding Partner of Rubin & Rotman, Steven Rotman. “We listen and take our cues from what they tell us,” truthfully, though, it’s more than having a good ear. The firm, since inception in 1989, has a passion for creating superior design that is evident within the entirety of their portfolio. They listen, they collaborate, and they have the talent that supports creativity on both sides — client and architect. They’ve fine tuned their methods of extracting the very essence of a project each client needs, be it a school, a home, or a museum. “We speak to the edlers of the community, the children, the teachers, we ask questions,” about the 114 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

needs of a particular space, its significance, and then they take all of that input and turn it into a reality — matching the client’s budget. This inclusive process, including the whole of a community on larger scale projects, while keeping a fiscally conscious approach, add to the firm’s reputation with clients. In Canada, and unfortunately throughout most of the world, many indigenous cultures, histories, and languages, have disappeared as the elders of tribes, that keep the histories alive, have passed on. Seeking to establish a central location, a space where their cultural identity could be preserved, the Cree Community contacted Rubin & Rotman and architect Douglas Cardinal. The Cree community is the First Nation of Ouje-Bougoumou, Can. with a population of 725, according to the Canadian 2011 Census. In an attempt to maintain cultural heritage and provided an impressive central hub for the community, discussions for a centre lasted for quite some time, “a project that’s been at least ten years in the making,” Rotman said.


Nordic developed Cross-Laminated Timber (CLT) manufacturing capability after years of research into production and application, beginning production of X-LAM at its stateof-the-art facility in February, 2011. CLT is a wood-based structural building panel ideal for multi-story modular building systems, which have historically featured precast and reinforced concrete construction. Incorporating wood’s lighter weight, improved fire and seismic performance, superior production tolerances, and the environmental performance of today’s sustainable forest products, CLT is redefining commercial and residential construction practices in Europe, and now, in North America. Ad on page 144.

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CLOCKWISE, FROM TOP LEFT: Bristol Myers-Squibb, Quebec, 107,000 sq. ft. new headquarters for the pharmaceutical giant, design/ build project of Rubin & Rotman. The mid-century and modern design lobby uses traditional wood in a very avant-garde fashion. The facility houses a cafeteria and massage room, one of the many perks of working within the beautifully designed building. The outer envelope has a pop of colour to break-up the monochromatic envelope of the exterior.


For 30 years, Toitures Couture and Associates has offered roof covering and weatherproofing services, using latest technologies in eastern Canada. There was a strong collaborative relationship between Toitures Couture, Aecon Builders and Rubin & Rotman Architects. Toitures Couture was able to offer roofing technologies that met project deadlines and budget. Two roof technologies were chosen: for the sides and medium roof, metal technology; for the upper roof, EPDM technology, covered by a wooden screen. The thermal value of the roof insulation is R40 and is higher than the recommended norm for the region. Expected benefits are energy savings in heating for the winter and cooling for the summer. Ad on page 136.

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The centre, Aanischaaukamikw— Cree Cultural Institute, is significant to the Cree as a place to maintain, share, celebrate, and practice their culture, to avoid becoming lost on later generations. Aanischaaukamikw has been developed in collaboration with all ten communities in Eeyou Istchee, Can. The space serves as a museum, archive, library, teaching centre, cultural centre, and virtual hub designed for high-powered interactively and fuelled by a large multi-community initiative. The centre will be the Crees’ primary location for preservation of documents, media, and physical objects, designed for preservation, conservation, and knowledge transfer. Steven Rubin and Douglas Cardinal, the two lead architects on the Cree project, based the structural design of the building on the First Nation’s traditional Cree dwellings, the astchiaukamikw and sabtuan. The traditional structures are primarily made of wood and skins, with an opening from the top to allow smoke from fires burning in the center of the dwelling to move upwards. And to provide the community a connection with the sky and elements.

The new centre is a modern version- slightly more durable, made primarily of local wood, and in a shape that is reflective of the historic design. Open-layouts and a strong connection to the outside were pivotal to the new centre’s design, “The idea is when you come into the space, you have a view of the whole building and the cultural heritage within, and the openings through the roof provide a connection to the sky — the elements, and large windows, which face the center of the town,” Rotman said. A centre that provides a connection to the Cree history, link to natural elements, and present progression of the community through the town, which allows for a certain feeling of cultural position. “On the other hand its a very modern up to date state of the art museum, so they can take on loans from any museum in the world. Which resulted in its own difficulties in construction, because you have to have a very controlled climate on the inside. The old and new had to be wed, without compromising either one,” Rotman said. A striking feature of the design are great wooden

beams that form the structure and are made of millions of small pieces of local Black Spruce, laminated and bent by the company, Nordic Engineered Wood, in their factory in Chibougoumou. The beautiful golden colour of the beams relates back to the inspiration for the architectural design, similar in aesthetic to a sabtuan. Toitures Couture Associes Inc. Metallic Roofing and Walls, assisted with the vision and composition of a centre that is both modern and updated with the proper climate requirements of a stateof-the-art museum, while remaining true to the open and bright design. “Everybody is very excited to work there, to visit there. Its an important element in preserving Cree Cultural heritage,” Rotman said. Creating a space outside of the cultural realm and moving toward the culture of big-business, Rubin & Rotman continue on with seamless and impressive design for Bristol-Myers Squibb. Pharmaceutical giant, BMS can trace their roots back to 1858, with the founding of Squibb Corporation by Dr. Edward Robinson Squibb. BMS first connection to Canada was established

more than 80 years ago with the incorporation of E.R. Squibb and Sons in 1925. In 2009, BMS wanted to move their headquarters to the Technoparc of Ville St-Laurent, Quebec. Rubin & Rotman were tasked to create a design/ build for BMS new headquarters of a 107,000 sq. ft., four-storey, building under precarious time constraints. Despite the rush, the building’s aesthetic and design did not suffer. Keeping not only the requirements of the client in mind, Rubin & Rotman created a space employees would truly enjoy, which includes maximum natural lighting, an on site gym, massage room, terrace, and a modern and open cafeteria. The lobby is as progressive in design, as the techniques used below in the labs, with a strong usage of wood in a modern fashion. The aesthetic is mid-century chic, and avant-garde — an entire room in curved and rich wood, without a heavy enclosed feeling. The cafeteria is open and wide, pulling elements of the outside in with large floor-to-ceiling windows and a soft colour palette. The exterior of the large corporate space, uses yellow vertical bands on the exterior glazing, to

contrast the monochromatic envelope on the outside of the building. Rubin & Rotman completed the space in 2009. Rubin & Rotman, began with only two partners, Rick Rubin and Steven Rotman, and is now currently a firm of 30. With a wide range of projects and a focus on First Nations communities, commercial and residential work, as well as work in the aviation field— simulating flight design buildings, has maintained a consistently modern, beautiful and impressive portfolio of work. The firm’s concentration with First Nations grew from small projects, and from project by project, through the process of the firm proving themselves — trust and appreciation with the communities developed. “We really believe in collaboration, working as a team in the office, and collaborating with our clients, using our expertise and working closely with clients. We believe in building relationships with clients, we’re in it for the long term. “And we believe in the transformative effect of architecture, we push the limits to be able to really positively affect people’s lives how they live and how they work.” Rotman said. ALT Winter/Spring 2012 117

The New Beating Heart of the City CORE Architects, Inc resuscitate a pulse back into industrial Toronto through contemporary design. Story by Travis M. Andrews Photos Courtesy of Core Architects Inc.


ith an eye toward sustainability and urbanization, CORE Architects Inc. was formed in 1996 by Babak Eslahjou, Endi Pletti and Charles Gane. They had worked together for ten years at a Toronto architecture firm before opening their own, and since then, the three have been designing buildings — a considerable amount of condominiums. In fact, Gane estimates they’ve built 140 condos since they opened shop. The reasons for this are varied, though the most plausible is due to the provincial government in Toronto. The government designed a greenbelt round the city to discourage more suburban sprawl and revitalize the downtown area, into more than 118 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

a hub for central business. Part of the idea behind new urbanization is to have mixed use buildings in downtown, so the population remains after working hours, to support shopping and dining within the city. The city’s philosophy in passing the greenbelt dovetailed nicely with CORE’s, so the company began building Toronto’s first condos. “No one had really done a lot of condos,” Gane said. But once he and his partners began to, “it just kind of snowballed.” One of the reasons condos were eschewed in the past was many developers couldn’t see themselves living in them. Condos are generally smaller, and much of downtown development was based

Fashion House, Toronto, Can., Core Architects design/build in the Garmet District will read as a series of glass boxes stacked on top of each other.

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THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT: Seventy5, Toronto, Can., The building site plan was designed in a unique U-shape that embraces a serene courtyard and complements the Portland streetscape. Core Architects design/build of modern building embracing the indigenous culture of the neighborhood. The exterior is smooth concrete together with clear glazing in anodized aluminum frames. OPPOSITE PAGE: The balconies are built in various sizes with concrete framing, which gives the building a unique look from the street.

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around large luxury spaces made for those in the highest economic tier, but not typically created for sustainable living. There was a certain excitement for developers when it came to constructing these types of condos, since they could, in some ways, live vicariously through their creations. “American developers have this ‘bigger is better’ idea and no one can afford these things,” Gane said. “The developer may not like [condos], but the kids like it.” Much of the condo space he builds is modern, showcasing exposed concrete and brick, sometimes the material remaining from the building’s original usage as a factory or a storage warehouse. And part of that modern design is trying to do something new, unique and even slightly crazy. “These Toronto kids have become pretty sophis-

ticated … there’s like a competition in the city — to see who can do something crazier,” Gane said, and it’s working. “The city is alive. Everyone comes down on a Thursday night, and everyone is out.” These days, “buildings are really mixed use and mixed age,” because the lower floors of buildings are often sold or rented for office or commercial space. This also “keeps the street more vital.” This happened with the Fashion House, a modern-style condominium wrapped around a historic building and named for its residence in the garment (or fashion) district. It’s hard for words to do the style justice — it’s styled like several boxes stacked on top one another with large glass windows. Curtains that are red on the street side are installed in every room, so the building’s façade is constantly in flux, depending on how many residents have

their curtains closed. Inside, every floor’s elevator stall is adorned with art created by a local designer as a way to honor the area’s artistic history. The units have 9 ft. ceilings and are exposed concrete, which Gane said gives, “a certain honesty to these units.” The only real challenge he faced in designing the condos was the historic building (which is being turned into a restaurant) that was on the site and could not be altered. Instead, he had to wrap the condo building around it, which the unique design aided. Another condo building he worked on was called Seventy5, a project in which one of the main questions was “how can we put life on the street and get it down close to the street,” according to Gane. He found his answer in balconies. Many, many

balconies with wide surface areas which allowed for the inclusion of patio furniture, bringing people outside-- closer to the street. The balconies are built in various sizes with concrete framing, which gives the building a unique look from the street that, again, is hard to describe. “It was almost like picture frames on the street that was concrete we painted white,” Gane said, referring to the way that, when people are sitting on their balconies, it resembles a series of snapshots of what would represent a beautifully sunny summer day. It also helps the building look different from every angle, a trend continuing from the previous one. The building actually went against some of the company’s philosophy … almost. Included in it are ten 1,200 sq. ft. one bedroom units that are “super luxurious,” though somewhat fitting considering

interior designer Philip Starck designed the interior. Which includes, an open lobby with a massive white table running an unbelievable length, with chairs all around it. The building won a people’s choice award for “best new building in Toronto.” These two buildings helped fulfill the company’s philosophy, not only in getting people to live and work downtown but that they also helped reduce material waste in building and created sustainable, reusable buildings. “You can replace the fabric of what was the warehouse building … and it be new,” Gane said. Not to mention, “you take 500 sq. ft., you put it downtown where five or six walls are the walls of someone else, so you’re not losing energy.” The condo revolution has taken Toronto by Winter/Spring 2012 121

122 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

storm, but, of course, this hasn’t replaced all the other ways of living. Instead of focusing solely on condos, CORE takes on projects more traditional to Toronto and attempts to give them a new-age twist. One of those projects is the town house, which CORE tried and succeeded in stylistically recreating with its Richmond Town House. “That’s where we brought our condo aesthetic to townhouses,” Gane said. He pointed out that most townhouses one sees in a city are three storey walk up townhouses built in a Victorian style that really doesn’t fit the times at all. So instead of building yet another one of those, he and his crew decided to take the condo aesthetic and apply it to the traditional townhouse. Thus Richmond Town House was born.

There are nine of them, all fourteen ft. wide but with ten ft. high ceilings. The exteriors are all glass with wood frames made from Ipe, a hard Brazilian wood. The townhouses were a hit. “That was kind of a test case, and people got it,” Gane said. “And people are copying it. Now, people want better, so if that happens … if you show that picture and people say, ‘we want to do that,’ then we’re creating a slow change.” Gane and his team hope to continue spreading that slow change, and if the rate of condo building is any indication, they’re on their way. Currently the team has gained work in Washington, D.C., bringing their craft to America, where sprawl exists in even more dire proportions. Hopefully, they can reach it in time. ALT

THIS PAGE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: Richmond Town Manors, Toronto, Can., design/build Core Architects, a modern interpretation of a Toronto rowhouse. The use of Ipe wood, charcoal brick, floor-to-ceiling glass and aluminum framed windows set this project apart from its competition. OPPOSITE PAGE: The development has nine, 3-storey townhomes each with private garage and two outdoor terraces on the second and roof levels.

Winter/Spring 2012 123

Green Growth PBK Architects grows with large-scale LEED projects. Story by Travis M. Andrews Photos by Scott Norsworthy and Ivan Hunter.

Activa Sports Complex, Ontario, Can., PBK Architects, along with GENIVAR design/build and engineering services for this athletic complex, features two NHL sized ice surfaces, a boxing training facility, four lane indoor oval and administrative space.

124 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

Winter/Spring 2012 125


BK Architects, the design arm of one of the largest professional services firms in Canada, Genivar, is growing. The group has grown from having two offices when Genivar opened to their current eight locations, with more to come. In that time, they’ve worked on various projects that could easily be classified as high-usage. The group also always attempts to use sustainable materials with its green-focused initiatives, which isn’t the simplest thing in the world to do with huge, high-usage projects. Regardless, they’ve managed to do it, and with gusto, with a few of their projects. One of these projects is the Marine Drive Sky Train Station in Vancouver. The station itself is an architectural feat. An outdoor station, covered in glass with thin bars creating a pattern of large squares, one can look through one side and out the other, noting everything in between. The stairs are 126 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

staggered into sections that climb up to the line. The $2 billion project was completed in August 2009 and hopes to bring future development to the area. Elisa Brandts, president PBK Architects, Inc., said part of the excitement of projects like this is the “crystal ball of the future impact they’ll have on future development.” “Over a period of time, [transit] really creates a strong impact on the whole urban impact on the part of the cities where they occur,” Brandts said. And the act of building outdoor stations is a whole different animal from underground ones. They built a few underground stations in downtown, which brings up the challenge of having to connect the station to underground malls and passageways, a veritable “jigsaw puzzle of trying to squeeze stations in,” Brandts said. But outdoor ones, such as Marine Drive station, offer a chance to be more architecturally adventurous.

“When they are elevated stations in an urban landscapes, [they allow for] some very sculptural stations in Vancouver at least.” Brandts said. “The architectural structure is more dramatic, and the underground stations are more complicated.” In this particular station, the materials helped create its unique design. The station resides in a transitional area that has a combination of light industrial and residential property, and it was “created to be slightly industrial in nature as a design philosophy.” One the ways this was done was through wood. The underside of the roof has a finished material on it to help represent the large lumber industry in British Colombia. “The use of wood as building materials is encouraged,” Brandts said. “It’s a little bit difficult in transit because it needs to be in a place where no one can vandalize it, and it needs to be protected from the weather.”

ABOVE LEFT: Marine Drive Sky Train Station, Vancouver, Can., An outdoor station, covered in glass with thin bars creating a pattern of large squares, one can look through one side and out the other, noting everything in between. RIGHT: The station resides in a transitional area that has a combination of light industrial and residential property, which is reflected in the materials used, wood and concrete.

Winter/Spring 2012 127

LEFT: Sixteen Mile Sports Complex, Ontario, Can., contains a number of different recreation surfaces, including a hard-surface area and a running track. It also features high-level windows at the top of one of the arenas that are north facing, with the running track hugging them so runners can have an outdoor view. RIGHT: Oakville, the neighborhood the centre is located within has a high-number of hockey enthusiasts.

128 Architecture Leaders Today - Canada

Some of the PBK’s other buildings represent Canada’s other prides. One such pride is the country’s prowess in hockey, and the LEED certified ice rinks that PBK has constructed. The Sixteen Mile Sports Complex is a “good reflection one of the core parts of [PBK’s] business: ice arenas.” PBK took a conceptual design and built the four-rink (one with an area for spectators) in an extremely compressed time frame, an extraordinary feat considering Brandts said, “It’s probably one of the nicest we’ve done.” The complex, which normally had a linear schedule of two and a half years, had to be completed in two short years. Add in the micro-burst windstorm that took a completely erected, pre-engineered steel girder and blew it over, and making it on time was challenge. Making it LEED Silver, as planned, was a challenge but one PBK was up to. “The whole site development around there was designed to have very sustainable features in terms of storm water management,” Brandts said. Include the large white roof, shading of the

parking lot areas and the large parks surrounding the areas, and what PBK ended up with was not a LEED Silver building. It was, and still is, a LEED Gold building. Another LEED certified building, this one reaching [writer’s note: what certification], is the Activa Sportsplex, which was a recreation center with a twist. “While many of our recreation centers include libraries and meeting rooms, this is the first time we did a competitive boxing assembly,” Brandts said. The complex contains a number of different recreation surfaces, including a hard-surface area and a running track. It also features high-level windows at the top of one of the arenas that are north facing, with the running track hugging them so runners can have an outdoor view. One of the important initiatives with Activa was meeting certain green standards, which is hard to do whenever there’s an ice rink involved because the heat given off by the refrigeration process. But the added features of Activa helped

them realize those goals of water use, waste and energy reduction. For one, they “used natural features to help mitigate the impact of storm-water runoff,” by allowing the water to run downhill into a naturally forested bit of farmland the complex was built upon. In addition, they built a retention pool that “is now a place for ducks and all kinds of flora and fauna that wouldn’t have been there before,” Brandts said. The complex also sport a green roof. Brandts credits much of the success of the project to teamwork. “Teamwork was important because the client had some good objectives in terms of cost and green objectives,” she said. PBK continues to grow as it quickly becomes one of the largest architecture firms in Canada, working on some of the most important projects therein. With this expansion, the company brings its philosophy of creating green, Leed construction across the country. ALT Winter/Spring 2012 129


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TEL 519.268.8231 FAX 519.268.7354

As professionals in land use and development planning in Toronto, we are proud to have successfully worked with CORE Architects to realize many of its creative mixed use developments.

We are proud to work with CORE Architecture and congratulate them on their success!


156 Duncan Mill Road, Suite 6A Toronto, Ontario M3B 3N2 Ph: 416-444-3300 | Fx: 416-444-3315 Contact: Craig Hunter

JUHAN MARTEN Landscape Architect

4 Braywin Drive, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M9P 2P1 Tel: 416.245.2299 • Fax: 416.245.2289 • Cell: 416.302.4711 Email:

Winter/Spring 2012 1


OLSEN & ASSOCIATES British Columbia Land Surveyors Olsen and Associates Land Surveying Ltd. Is a Land Surveying   firm  located  in  South  Surrey,  B.C.  Canada.  Since  1977,  we  have  provided  legal,  topographic  and  construction  surveys  throughout the greater Vancouver area. We specialize in strata  plans, of which we have completed many hundreds, ranging  from simple duplexes to apartment towers and complex sites  involving air space parcels. 

Mercor’s reputation for service and cost competitiveness has made it Canada’s leading independent supplier of lighting. We supply a wide range of fixtures, consumables and lighting design services.

Contact us today for assistance with your next project! 204–15585 24th Ave, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada V4C 2J4 Tel: 604-531-4067 • Fax: 604-531-5811 • Email:

Montreal | Toronto

Architectural Systems is proud to be ‘The Material Source’ for GHA Design Studios and Aéropostale

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View the full range of ASI collections ASI Wood Panels ASI Flooring ASI Decorative Surfaces

ASI Specialty Products ASI Display & Furniture Sustainable Products Offered

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The DuROCK PUCCS series of Exterior Insulation Finish Systems are the ultimate in insulated rainscreen technology. The patented circular grooved insulation board design incorporates a 10 mm deep air space for positive drainage, and PUCCS EIFS can be easily detailed to direct precipitation to the exterior. Please refer to DuROCK’s three dimensional colour details for guidance in designing interfaces with other wall components. Whereas the EIFS lamina is the Primary Plane of Protection against water intrusion, DuROCK’s air, moisture and vapour barriers form the Secondary Plane of Protection. DuROCK’s patented drainage track (UniTrack) collects drained water and allows it to be dispelled at select locations. The thermal resistance of the insulation, combined with the air barrier properties of the various moisture barriers, enhances the energy efficiency of any building clad or retrofit with DuROCK PUCCS EIFS.

DuROCK PUCCS RMC-1 EIFS is intended for use on wood sheathed, low-rise residential construction. It incorporates DuROCK’s Polar Bear air/moisture barrier and adhesive, which is specifically formulated for use over wood sheathing. This Canadian breakthrough in EIFS technology culminated four years ago when PUCCS RMC-1 EIFS became the first EIF System in Canada to meet the intent of the National Building Code for use over wood substrates. Please visit our website for the latest specification and detail updates on the DuROCK PUCCS series of Exterior Insulation Finish Systems. 101-B Roytec Rd, Woodbridge, Ontario L4L 8A9 Tel 905.856.0133 Toll Free 1.888.238.6345

Congratulations to Hunt Design!


All of us at DuRock thank you for your support and wish you continued success.

ALT Canada WinterSpring 2012  

ALT Canada WinterSpring 2012

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