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14 Canadian ChanCerY and oFFiCiaL residenCe MaCkay-lyOns sweeTapple arChiTeCTs COllaBOraTe wiTh rOUnThwaiTe diCk & hadley arChiTeCTs On This iMpressive prOJeCT COMMissiOn in dhaka, Bangladesh. teXt JOhn lerOUx

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MarCel MUeller

sTeven evans

Contents

9 neWs Perkins+Will Canada selected to lead Edmonton’s City Centre Airport Lands redevelopment; 2011 Ottawa Urban Design Awards call for submissions.

26 insites

22 Maison ateLier dU Moine UrBain gaBriel rOUsseaU and MariO lafrenais eMplOy a range Of sUsTainaBle sTraTegies in The CreaTiOn Of a highly evOCaTive wOrkshOp/residenCe in MOnTreal. teXt leslie Jen

Graham Livesey explores the potential of expanding the architect’s role into the realm of development.

alain lafOresT

33 CaLendar Installations by Architects at Cambridge Galleries Design at Riverside; The Good Cause: Architecture of Peace at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal.

34 BaCKPaGe Suresh Perera discusses how a current show at the Maison de l’architecture du Québec entitled Réinventons la ruelle! tackles the issue of alleyoriented insertions into existing Montreal row houses.

The Canadian ChanCery and OffiCial residenCe in dhaka, Bangladesh By MaCkay-lyOns sweeTapple arChiTeCTs liMiTed in COllaBOraTiOn wiTh rOUnThwaiTe diCk & hadley arChiTeCTs. phOTO By sTeven evans.

CoVer JUly 2011, v.56 n.07

The NaTioNal Review of DesigN aND PRacTice/ The JouRNal of RecoRD of aRchiTecTuRe caNaDa | Raic

07/11 Canadian arChiteCt

5


brook MCILroy

viEwpoint

­Editor Ian ChodIkoff, OAA, FRAIC AssociAtE­Editor LesLIe Jen, MRAIC EditoriAl­Advisors John MCMInn, AADIpl. MarCo PoLo, OAA, FRAIC

thunder bay has beGun to reCLaIM Its waterfront wIth an aMbItIous ProGraM that wILL Convert MuCh of Its IndustrIaL Lands Into PubLIC traILs, Parks and CuLturaL aMenItIes. Iod Park Is a sPeCuLatIve addItIon to thIs draMatIC transforMatIon.

AbovE

The warm summer months encourage us to explore and become reacquainted with the ways in which our cities connect with the water’s edge. Communities of all sizes can benefit from stronger relationships with their lakes and rivers— geography permitting. Capitalizing upon this relationship helps define a community’s history of urban development since its economic or industrial success was usually dependent and often continues to rely upon the viability of waterways for shipping and transportation. Access to the waterfront gives people a chance to relax and reflect in more natural surroundings away from the intensities of urban life. Certainly, much attention has been paid over the past several years to Vancouver’s many connections to its waterfront. The continued evolution of the shoreline around False Creek, and the now-established connection along Coal Harbour between Stanley Park and the Vancouver Convention Centre has enhanced Vancouver’s preeminent status as a global waterfront metropolis, making it the envy of cities around the world. In Toronto, the ongoing evolution of that city’s waterfront continues gradually with such welcome additions as the Martin Goodman Trail improvements at Marilyn Bell Park (Victor Ford and Associates); Sherbourne Park (Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg); and of course the whimsy of Canada’s Sugar Beach (Claude Cormier Architectes Paysagistes with The Planning Partnership). With its bright pink umbrellas embedded in an artificial sandy beach anchored by enormous candy-coloured rocks and fringed with pink-lit fountains conjuring up images of cream soda, Sugar Beach draws much inspiration from an ongoing industrial presence along Toronto’s waterfront—the Redpath Sugar refinery and warehouse facility located adjacent to the park— while overtly referencing its lakefront location. Beyond the big city, one should not forget that many other communities across the country have also been working hard at strengthening or reestablishing their connections to the waterfront. These projects include: Stuart Park in Kelowna (Stantec Consulting); the Ralph Klein Park and 6 cAnAdiAn­ArchitEct 07/11

Environmental Education Centre in Calgary (Simpson Roberts Architecture Interior Design and Carson McCulloch Associates); the City of Brantford Waterfront Master Plan (The Planning Partnership); the Red River Floodway Greenway in Winnipeg (Hilderman Thomas Frank Cram); the Vale Living with Lakes Centre at Laurentian University in Sudbury (Perkins + Will Canada with J.L. Richards & Associates); the IOD Park and Waterfront Master Plan in Thunder Bay (Brook McIlroy); the naturalization of the St. Charles River in Quebec City (Groupe IBI/Daniel Arbour & Associates); and improvements to La Salle Boulevard in Baie-Comeau (OPTION aménagement). Collectively, these projects represent a variety of scales and levels of complexity with respect to managing the interface between urbanization and natural systems. Each one of them contains tremendous insight regarding an increased awareness in ecological management and are therefore important catalysts for improving their respective public realms. Most will undoubtedly become seminal case studies for establishing the connection of a community to its waterfront. For example, along Thunder Bay’s waterfront, the city has already begun to revitalize its postindustrial landscape with a varied program—a theatre, music hall, bird sanctuary, outdoor cinema, water park, “cathedral” to the northland, meadows, small forests, and a zip-line course. The transformation of Thunder Bay’s waterfront has already seen the removal of Pool 6, a contiguous series of grain elevators that was once the world’s longest of its kind. Fortunately, the Iron Ore Dock (IOD) still remains. Built in 1944 and designed by C.D. Howe, this 500-metre-long concrete structure has remained an iconic element and will likely continue to function as a main feature of the city’s waterfront system. As these projects are so widely dispersed across the country, relatively few people will be able to appreciate the full breadth, ambition and sophistication found in many of these designs. Neverthesless, they are so worth studying and visiting— especially given our short summer season. Ian ChodIkoff

ichodikoff@cAnAdiAnArchitEct.coM

contributing­Editors GavIn affLeCk, OAQ, MRAIC herbert enns, MAA, MRAIC douGLas MaCLeod, nCARb rEgionAl­corrEspondEnts halifax ChrIstIne MaCy, OAA regina bernard fLaMan, SAA montreal davId theodore calgary davId a. down, AAA Winnipeg herbert enns, MAA vancouver adeLe weder publishEr toM arkeLL 416-510-6806 AssociAtE­publishEr GreG PaLIouras 416-510-6808 circulAtion­MAnAgEr beata oLeChnowICz 416-442-5600 ext. 3543 custoMEr­sErvicE MaLkIt Chana 416-442-5600 ext. 3539 production JessICa Jubb grAphic­dEsign sue wILLIaMson vicE­prEsidEnt­of­cAnAdiAn­publishing aLex PaPanou prEsidEnt­of­businEss­inforMAtion­group bruCe CreIGhton hEAd­officE 12 ConCorde PLaCe, suIte 800, toronto, on M3C 4J2 telephone 416-510-6845 facsimile 416-510-5140 e-mail edItors@CanadIanarChIteCt.CoM Web site www.CanadIanarChIteCt.CoM Canadian architect is published monthly by bIG Magazines LP, a div. of Glacier bIG holdings Company Ltd., a leading Canadian information company with interests in daily and community newspapers and business-tobusiness information services. the editors have made every reasonable effort to provide accurate and authoritative information, but they assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the text, or its fitness for any particular purpose. subscription rates Canada: $53.95 plus applicable taxes for one year; $85.95 plus applicable taxes for two years (hst – #809751274rt0001). Price per single copy: $6.95. students (prepaid with student Id, includes taxes): $34.97 for one year. usa: $103.95 us for one year. all other foreign: $123.95 us per year. us office of publication: 2424 niagara falls blvd, niagara falls, ny 143045709. Periodicals Postage Paid at niagara falls, ny. usPs #009-192. us postmaster: send address changes to Canadian architect, Po box 1118, niagara falls, ny 14304. return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Circulation dept., Canadian architect, 12 Concorde Place, suite 800, toronto, on Canada M3C 4J2. Postmaster: please forward forms 29b and 67b to 12 Concorde Place, suite 800, toronto, on Canada M3C 4J2. Printed in Canada. all rights reserved. the contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in part or in full without the consent of the copyright owner. from time to time we make our subscription list available to select companies and organizations whose product or service may interest you. If you do not wish your contact information to be made available, please contact us via one of the following methods: telephone 1-800-668-2374 facsimile 416-442-2191 e-mail privacyofficer@businessinformationgroup.ca mail Privacy officer, business Information Group, 12 Concorde Place, suite 800, toronto, on Canada M3C 4J2 member of the canadian business press member of the audit bureau of circulations publications mail agreement #40069240 issn 1923-3353 (online) issn 0008-2872 (print)

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news

PrOJects Perkins+will canada chosen to lead edmonton’s city centre airport Lands redevelopment.

In June 2010, Perkins+Will responded to an international design competition, submitting a master plan proposal for the Edmonton City Centre Airport Lands (ECCA). One year later, the firm, in collaboration with Civitas Urban Design and Planning, Group2 Architecture, and landscape architects Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg, has been named the successful proponent. The winning plan for Edmonton’s Airport Lands creates a 216-hectare sustainable community focused on creating a vital and highly memorable new place within the city by providing strong connections to nature, history, economic opportunity and surrounding neighbourhoods. Dubbed “Connecticity,” the plan evolved through a highly collaborative design approach that optimized the team’s considerable interdisciplinary talents and expertise. Connecticity represents a bold new model for sustainable urban development. Perkins+Will’s proposed vision for the Edmonton City Centre Airport Lands master plan creates a new kind of community that draws deeply from its own unique attributes and spirit. Providing housing for approximately 30,000 residents and an estimated 10,000 new jobs, the master plan seeks to ensure economic vitality and sustainability by extending the energy from four vibrant growth catalysts into the site: Northern Alberta Institute of Technology’s research and innovation; Kingsway Mall’s commercial vitality; the busy life of the new rehabilitation hospital and the development spark of a new LRT line. Site infrastructure design for the ECCA takes an innovative approach, delivering resilient carbonneutral energy as well as promoting water and waste reduction. Carbon emissions from the

community will reduce by 3.2 million tonnes over 20 years while energy produced through biomass and deep geothermal sources will create enough electricity to fully meet the needs of the development. Surplus energy will be sold to public buildings within the greater city of Edmonton resulting in a “beyond carbon-neutral” scenario. Preserving more than half the land as green space, the plan seizes the opportunity to create a large destination park that acts as both a regional draw and a neighbourhood-scaled community gathering space that knits now-disparate communities and land uses together. Moving forward, the process will feature an integrated design process with a series of comprehensive workshops. This will include the City of Edmonton department stakeholders, neighbouring institutions, and most importantly, the citizens of Edmonton, as part of a much larger team. Together, through workshop participation, open houses, online forums and ongoing discussion, an exciting series of strategies to ensure the continued success of this initiative will be formulated and assembled. This project represents one of the most ambitious urban design competitions to be held in Canada’s recent history, and the largest urban design commission for Perkins+Will in Canada to date. www.edmonton.ca/city_government/planning_ development/perkins-and-will.aspx allied works architecture unveils design of new national Music centre in calgary.

Two years after holding an international architectural competition that saw world-renowned designers face off in a public presentation, the National Music Centre (NMC) revealed the extraordinary final design by Allied Works Architecture, the winner of the competition. The National Music Centre’s design pays homage to the Western Canadian landscape with a series of

­The­edmonTon­CiTy­ CenTre­AirporT­LAnds­is­perkins+WiLL­CAnAdA’s­firsT­mAjor­urbAn­design­Commission­sinCe­LAunChing­As­A­unified­ nATionAL­prACTiCe;­The­neW­brAd­CLoepfiL–designed­nATionAL­musiC­CenTre­in­ CALgAry­ChALLenges­The­CiTy’s­hisToriC­ eAsT­ViLLAge.

aBOVe, LeFt tO riGht

“resonant vessels” informed by the crags and canyons of the Rocky Mountains, the hoodoos of southern Alberta, and the vast openness of the prairies—creating spaces that will resonate with the sounds of NMC’s dynamic program offering. Built around the historical (and condemned) King Edward Hotel, many have speculated on how the design would treat this piece of Calgary’s musical history that closed in 2004 after serving as a hotbed of blues music in Canada for decades. “It was important to us to respect the King Eddy,” says architect Brad Cloepfil. “While reclamation and restoration is certainly necessary, we didn’t want to scrub it too clean. We don’t want to scare the ghosts away.” One of the more unique features of the building is a two-storey bridge that spans 4th Street SE. The span not only creates interesting event and performance spaces for the NMC, but also serves as a very strong visual gateway into a revitalized East Village. “We worked closely with the Calgary Municipal Land Corporation to ensure our design meshed with the overall vision for East Village,” says NMC President and CEO Andrew Mosker. “Combined with funding commitments from three levels of government, partnerships with the Canadian Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences and the Canadian Country Music Association, along with an aggressive fundraising campaign, the project has a great deal of momentum here in Calgary and across Canada.” The 135,000-square-foot National Music Centre is projected to open in 2014. 07/11­­canadian architect

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Jci architects to expand toronto Zoo’s cultural offerings.

JCI Architects Inc. and Terraplan Landscape Architects have begun work on the Schofield Memorial Garden at the Toronto Zoo. The memorial, funded by both the South Korean and Canadian governments, is a tribute to Dr. Frank Schofield, an advocate for Korean independence during its occupation and the only non-Korean to be buried in that country’s national cemetery. The project includes a memorial hall, exhibition spaces, statue, water features, and public plazas, and expands the type of facilities offered by the Zoo to include more cultural and multi-use amenities. The Schofield Memorial Garden seeks to create something analogous to Schofield’s work and mediate between different cultures to promote the uniqueness of Korean arts and that country’s close friendship with Canada. The initial client request was to reproduce a 16thcentury-style Korean pavilion, using all the traditional techniques and materials. This became prohibitively expensive, and failed to embrace the Canadian component of the project. The current design team suggested embracing the idea of a cross-cultural scheme, basing itself on traditional Korean principles and aesthetics

while incorporating Canadian materials and technologies such as oak timbers, louvered cedar roofs, passive heating and cooling systems, and stormwater and filtration strategies. In the end, it is this cultural and architectural hybridity which lends the project its richness. Phase One of the project is scheduled for completion in 2012.

awards 2011 Ottawa Urban design awards call for submissions.

Held biannually, the 2011 Ottawa Urban Design Awards celebrate projects built in the city of Ottawa that exhibit urban design excellence. Projects built in Ottawa between September 1, 2009 and September 1, 2011 are eligible, and the deadline for submissions is Thursday, August 18, 2011. The author of the winning submission of each category will receive an Award of Excellence, which acknowledges a project that achieves urban design excellence and meets the judging criteria. Other entries in each category will be eligible to win an Award of Merit. An important distinction between the two awards is that the winners of the Awards of Excellence will be forwarded to com-

pete nationally in the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s 2012 Urban Design Awards Program as a representative of the City of Ottawa. Winning projects will: demonstrate clear urban design intent and merit; demonstrate a positive contribution to the public realm/quality of place; demonstrate design and architectural excellence; contribute to the wider appreciation of urban design; achieve a human-scale relationship with the immediate context; contribute in a substantive way to the city’s environmental and ecological health; be important to pedestrian and liveability issues; be innovative and trendsetting; and be open to transformation over time in a positive way. Submission forms and program guidelines are available on the City of Ottawa’s website. www.ottawa.ca/residents/planning/design_awards/ index_en.html

cOMPetitiOns saucier + Perrotte architectes one of five shortlisted firms in the Bogotá international convention center competition.

The Cámara de Comercio de Bogotá (CCB) is sponsoring an international architectural design competition for a new Bogotá International Con-

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10­canadian architect­07/11


vention Center (CICB). Co-sponsors include the City of Bogotá, the Government of Colombia, and CORFERIAS. The new venue is a key resource for the city to increase its level of competitiveness at the local, regional, and international levels. The facility must have a distinct visual presence and support a wide range of international, cultural, entertainment, educational, commercial and community programs, and should showcase design innovation and sustainability while supporting regeneration of the surrounding neighbourhood. The importance of the competition was reflected in the 226 firms that registered for and inquired about the competition. In total, 91 proposals were submitted from 119 firms, either individually or in association with others. The proposals came from five continents and 21 countries. Among the proposals received, four came from architects who have been honoured with the Pritzker Prize. Similarly, most registered firms have been recipients of major international awards and recognitions in architecture and design. After a rigorous and careful selection process by the competition’s evaluation committee, the following firms were chosen to continue on to Stage II of the competition. The shortlisted firms are: Saucier soprema_can_arch.pdf 6/10/11+ Perrotte 4:19:35

architectes of Montreal; Bermúdez y Herreros Consortium of Bogotá, Colombia and Madrid, Spain; Diller Scofidio + Renfro + UdeB Architecture of New York and Bogotá; Snøhetta + RIR of New York and Bogotá; and Zaha Hadid Architects + JMPF of London, England and Medellín, Colombia. www.ccb.co/conventioncenter YUL-MtL: Moving Landscapes international ideas competition.

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The Chair in Landscape and Environmental Design at the Université de Montréal (CPEUM) is launching an international urban design ideas competition for the gateway corridor linking Montreal-Trudeau International Airport (YUL) to its downtown area (MTL) along Autoroute 20. The CPEUM has been commissioned by the Ministère des Transports du Québec to coordinate the competition and the underlying collaborative planning process bringing together the main public and private actors responsible for this territory. The 17-kilometre gateway corridor, which is mostly made up of transport infrastructures and brownfields, is witnessing a large number of development infrastructural projects, thus offering considerable urban innovation potential. The

proposals should revolve along three work streams: an evolving and emblematic landscape project for the metropolitan area; a scenographic composition of the corridor experiences; and a collaborative approach to sustainable urban development. A total of $100,000 CDN will be awarded to and shared between three laureates. Entries will be evaluated by an international jury chaired by Italian architect and urban planner Bernardo Secchi, along with: Pierre Bélanger, associate professor in landscape architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design, Cambridge; Ken Greenberg, architect and urban designer, Greenberg Consultants Inc., Toronto; Florence Junca-Adenot, founder of the Forum Urba 2015, Université du Québec à Montréal; Anick La Bissonnière, architect and theatrical set designer, Atelier Labi, Montreal; and Maroun Shaneen, representative of the Ministère des Transports du Québec. To register, each contestant must fill out an electronic entry form before August 26, 2011, and proposals must be electronically submitted by October 7, 2011. http://mtlunescodesign.com/en/project/YUL-MTLMoving-Landscapes-International-Ideas-Competition and yul-mtl@mtlunescodesign.com (continued on page 32)

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A Respectful Refuge cAnAdA’s new diplomAtic heAdquARteRs in BAnglAdesh succeeds in BAlAncing ARchitectuRAl cues thAt RepResent ouR countRy while Respecting the mAteRiAlity And context of the host countRy.

pRoJect Canadian ChanCery and OffiCial residenCe, dhaka, Bangladesh ARchitect MaCkay-lyOns sweetapple arChiteCts liMited in COllaBOratiOn with rOunthwaite diCk & hadley arChiteCts text JOhn lerOux photos steven evans

National symbols come easily to Canadians. Without question, the maple leaf is ours, but to those outside our borders, are we more than scarlet-clad Mounties and rugged hockey players? Are we fully encapsulated by the soaring grandeur of a Haida totem pole, the bold stark-

ness of a prairie grain elevator, or the snug efficiency of an Inuit igloo from a nostalgic 1950s travelogue? From sea to sea, our myriad regions (and certainly our cultural mosaic of late) raise a thorny question: what is the most appropriate path to architecturally express


our country’s contemporary character in the 21st century? The question may very well have been answered by MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects (MLSA) who, as design architects in association with prime consultants Roun-

thwaite Dick & Hadley Architects (RDH), were given the challenging task of designing a new purpose-built Chancery and Official Residence in Dhaka, Bangladesh. Rather than approaching the project with the ephemeral flash and bravado of a World’s Fair

set Behind its defensiBle infrastruCture Of BriCk and steel, the high COMMissiOn glOws at dusk.

ABoVe


pavilion, or deferring to a restrained expression of our (usually) diplomatic and measured national character, the design team chose a more inspired path built on Canada’s varied stew of humanity, compassion, landscape, and economic and political stability. The result of their arduous eight-year-long task has resulted in a building that avoids the predictable and the clichéd. This alone is no small success, as in this city of 15 million people at the epicentre of one of the poorest and most densely populated countries on earth, nothing is straightforward and simple. While Dhaka is a metropolis of relentless bedlam, pollution, crowds, noise, urban sprawl and countless dusty construction sites, it is also a fascinating, friendly, vibrant, ancient and relatively safe city in a region that has been a cultural 16 cAnAdiAn ARchitect 07/11

and spiritual hub for millennia. Walking through Dhaka is akin to visiting a city from the distant past, while simultaneously experiencing a planet that is very much in the present. Here, thousands of recent concrete high-rises blandly dot the city, while noteworthy postwar and contemporary structures are the exception rather than the rule. In contrast to this state of affairs, Canada’s new Chancery is widely admired as one of the most notable new works of architecture in the city. Our Chancery joins a limited club, as Bangladesh possesses only a dozen specialized embassies at present, so the stakes were high. Consistent with Canada’s domestic policy of multiculturalism, the architects were driven by an understanding of the project’s dual cultural responsibility, “to repre-

sent the ‘guest’ country and to show respect for the culture of the ‘host’ country.” Located on a prominent corner site along a major thoroughfare in Dhaka’s diplomatic zone, the High Commission and Official Residence is a multifaceted and complex building that is also the first international built public work by MLSA. Sandwiched—in an almost perfectly Canadian way—right between the American and Vatican embassies, it is far from a physical duplication of its neighbours. The first feature that strikes the visitor is that unlike its adjacent counterparts, the Canadian embassy has made a very conscious design decision to be a part of the city and the public realm. In an understandably no-nonsense way, the flanking American and South Korean embassies


are essentially fortified bastions sited far back from the street behind giant walls of concrete, brick and steel. The message is clear: you can’t get to us, nor should you try—unless, of course, you have an appointment. While the Canadian Chancery is unquestionably secure, it has achieved this by taking great pains to fuse clever and sturdy security measures that are more shrewd than conspicuous. As an architectural metaphor for us as a nation, many would agree that Canada shouldn’t occupy a fortress embassy. By giving our international relationship a physical presence in their capital, the “bunker ethos” was trumped by what is at the core of us as a caring and sincere country: a desire to show openness and trust to the citizens of Bangladesh. The public is encouraged to engage

a woman enters the secured diplomatic compound; the chancery and official residence remains very much connected to dhaka’s street life despite its many security features. ABoVe the architecture of the canadian compound reflects the significance of the region’s brick-making tradition, while creating a highly urban backdrop for the people of dhaka. opposite, top to Bottom

with the edifice, walk unhindered along its sidewalk, and touch its beautifully crafted brick skin; imparting the message that a nation on the other side of the world cares very much for this place. The venerable Canadian trait of reaching out and embracing cultures is pervasive in the architect team’s approach to the structure. Bangladesh is very much a country of rivers, and as Brian MacKay-Lyons has stated, “the Ganges Delta has only two principal resources: alluvial silt and

people, which translates into bricks and bricklayers.” Hence, the core of the scheme is a startlingly simple two-storey horseshoe form built of reinforced concrete and clad in local red brick. Typical of MLSA’s best work, it is a clear and uncomplicated volume with no pretense: it is effectively an elongated brick wall wrapping around a central courtyard. By deferring to local building traditions and the Islamic cultural principle of outward modesty, it speaks volumes of our social image as 07/11 cAnAdiAn ARchitect

17


the solid and louvered aluminum shrouds are a convincing counterpoint to the weighty mass of the brick used throughout. a system of canopies offers shelter from the monsoon rains. ABoVe a louvered aluminum screen provides office workers welcome relief from the relentless sun. top

Canadians. It also embodies the disciplined philosophy the architects have keenly developed over the past quarter-century. According to MacKay-Lyons, “a contextualist approach is not a style, but rather a discipline, a method, a way of seeing, which is culturally transferable. Building within the material culture of a place not 18 cAnAdiAn ARchitect 07/11

only communicates a respect for regional context but also ensures the maximum economic value to the client.” The smooth red brick and its coursing are of a very high quality, made all the more distinctive by periodic highlights of pink sandstone above the windows and as coping stones at the crest of

walls and parapets. Acting as a counterpoint to the reddish brick/stone shell, a pair of punctuated metal covers wrap the middle sections of the building, above the mechanical and third-floor office spaces. Evoking both the corrugated metal huts of outlying rural areas as well as the sheltering metal volume of the architect’s 1998 Kutcher House on the Nova Scotia coast, the halfpanelized and half-louvered silver forms offer solar protection and textural variety, although MacKay-Lyons wasn’t completely satisfied with the metal-clad portions. He stated that in hindsight, more of the brick should have been used throughout for both practical and cultural/ tectonic reasons, and he has a point. The local builders were somewhat less comfortable with architectural metalwork, and constant cleaning because of the omnipresent dust makes it a challenge for building staff. The High Commission possesses two separate entries: an immigration entrance along the main road, and a more modest consular gate and staff/ service entrance through the curved wall. As the more “public” entry along the main street, the immigration section is generously glazed and features a prominent ramped entry, all underneath a protective steel canopy that acts as an effective shelter during the severe monsoon rains that occur from June to October. The rest of the building’s outward exterior is largely unbroken by visible fenestration, save for a rhythmic procession of thin vertical windows along the upper floor. At the other corner of the building, the staff/service entrance passes through a secure gate followed by a short walk to a large portecochère that leads to both the embassy and ambassador’s residence. Like the immense brick cylindrical forms of Louis Kahn’s nearby Bangladesh Parliament complex, the Canadian High Commission features a curved brick mass facing west, which is certainly the building’s most memorable attribute. While the curved volume imparts an air of solidity and heft, it is fundamentally a slender ribbon enclosing a simple landscaped courtyard. Bangladesh has a strong tradition of courtyard buildings with a connection to defined exterior space, so the intent was both time-honoured and resourceful. Unlike the grassed areas of the adjacent American embassy which are completely closed off, the staff and visitors here are able to enjoy and inhabit the pleasant garden as a quiet transitional breathing space before going inside. While the building is a protected structure with a hierarchy of privileged and controlled access, it also boasts a number of more public spaces including the immigration hall with its comfortable built-in seating and interview rooms, the great room of the official residence, and the foyer atrium. A refined three-storey-high space, this atrium is cut thin and tall behind full curtain-


wall glazing on the southern face, with a blanket of horizontal metal louvers to shade it from the blazing sun. The interior walls are clad throughout in lightly stained maple panels imported from Canada, contrasting with polished black granite floors. Adjacent to the foyer is a glazed semi-public multipurpose room that is often used for seminars, large group meetings and media sessions. The embassy interior layout is straightforward and linear along its horseshoe spine, with much of the building’s first- and second-floor office zones organized around a naturally lit hallway path. The single-loaded corridor along the curved sections features staff offices on one side and a partially glazed wall on the other. Passing by the intermittent window/wall sequence is a magnificent walking experience—a zoetrope of constantly alternating light/dark and shifting vistas outwards toward the garden. The ambassador’s official residence occupies the southeasternmost corner of the complex. Separated from the rest of the site by an eightfoot-high brick wall and covered walkway that encloses a private yard/garden, the residence spaces are simple and efficient. The most distinctive areas are the ground floor’s public reception and dining rooms, separated by a stained wood dividing wall that floats between them. These spaces feature a similar material palette to the office wing, with a sloping ceiling of stained wood panels, polished black granite floors, interior walls of stained maple and rose stucco, and a north-facing fully glazed wall that overlooks the private garden. As an oasis of calm in the bustling chaos of Dhaka, the overall character of the project is courageous and admirable. While it is not perfect, one quickly realizes that it is virtually impossible for any public building in Bangladesh to be blemish-free due to local construction practices, budgets, and demanding schedules. The very fact the building was even able to get completed was due to the unusual level of commitment by team members such as BangladeshiCanadian architect Momin Hoq of associate firm RDH. Living in Dhaka, Hoq oversaw the lengthy contract administration and “nearly gave his life to the project,” according to Talbot Sweetapple. Small technical challenges of the building notwithstanding (eg., a lack in some critical areas of covered walkways and sun-shading protection), the building certainly fulfills its many difficult roles. Right, top to Bottom the embassy’s architecture can be reductively described as a curved extrusion that protects itself from the outside world while forming a lush central courtyard; a model of the entire compound; an early sketch of the project.

07/11 cAnAdiAn ARchitect

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Whether as effective designers or as diplomats in a foreign land, we are always encouraged to listen before we speak. In the Canadian Chancery’s case, the architects listened carefully, acted wisely, and the resulting building speaks volumes. cA John Leroux is an architect, teacher and art historian living in Fredericton. 20 cAnAdiAn ARchitect 07/11

client department of foreign affairs and international trade canada ARchitect teAm brian mackay-lyons, rob boyko, talbot sweetaple, momin hoq, melanie hayne, sanjoy pal, dan herljevic, martin patriquin, justin bennett, sawa rostkowska stRuctuRAl yolles partnership inc., development design consultants limited mechAnicAl hidi rae consulting engineers inc., development design consultants limited electRicAl development design consultants limited inteRioRs mackay-lyons sweetapple architects limited contRActoR spcl-gbbl joint venture, spcl, charuta private AReA 42,000 ft2 Budget withheld completion october 2009

the great hall is a diplomatic statement of material expression—local bricks and black granite with canadian maple mediated by exposed black-painted steel structural elements. ABoVe, left to Right canopies protect people from the rain and ramps help drain the water away; the view into the great hall with its exterior aluminum louvers; a local resident waits for customers needing a ride. top


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Ma Maison

a Modest project in Montreal’s lively plateau neighbourhood is a paradigM for urban regeneration with a sustainable focus.


project­La­Maison-ateLier­du­Moine­urbain,­ MontreaL,­Quebec architect/designer­GabrieL­rousseau­architecte­ and­Mario­Lafrenais teXt­LesLie­Jen photos­MarceL­MueLLer

Live/work scenarios are becoming increasingly commonplace in North American urban centres, allowing artists, designers and those engaged in creative occupations to enjoy a seamless transition between private and professional life, thereby avoiding lengthy, stressful and tangled commutes to the office. A noteworthy addition to this hybrid building type of home and studio is the Maison Atelier du Moine Urbain (Urban Monk’s House and Workshop), located in the heart of Montreal’s vibrant Plateau neighbourhood. The client, Mario Lafrenais, is a multidisciplinary artist who works primarily in stone;

­a­view­of­the­Lush­urban­courtyard­reveaLs­the­skiLLed­Landscape­strateGies­of­ the­cLient,­who­was­responsibLe­for­its­desiGn­and­construction.­ top­three­iMaGes­ iLLustrate­the­aMpLe­use­of­recLaiMed­MateriaLs­in­the­workshop—tiMeworn­artifacts­ which­iMbue­the­proJect­with­a­Great­deaL­of­spirit.­bottoM­fuLL-heiGht­GLazinG­on­both­ fLoors­of­the­workshop­encouraGe­the­fLow­of­LiGht­and­air;­recLaiMed­wood­and­ saLvaGed­LiGht­fixtures­characterize­the­rustic­QuaLity­of­the­workshop­interior. opposite

called Moine Urbain, his company produces— among other things—stone sinks for residential and commercial applications. Managing to convey both a rough-hewn quality and yet also refined beauty, the award-winning Moine Urbain products have attracted a variety of high-profile clients. Lafrenais had owned a residential property on rue St-Dominique for about a decade, where he lives with his partner and two children. Seeking to integrate his stonework studio with his home, he commissioned architect Gabriel Rousseau to design an adjacent workshop on the empty parking lot next to the two-storey house.

A relatively modest addition of 783 square feet, the new two-storey structure abuts the existing residence and while complementary, makes no attempt to mimic the old red brick façade. Instead, a thoroughly contemporary material vocabulary announces itself through concrete block, large expanses of glazing, and a striking pair of huge wooden front doors—salvaged and reclaimed from an old convent. Still, the new structure responds to the datum lines of the existing streetscape, contributing a respectful and remarkably urbane presence to the neighbourhood. The ground floor of the building is devoted ex-

07/11­­canadian architect

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­a­raised­deck­pLatforM­Makes­an­ ideaL­spot­for­outdoor­dininG­in­the­ verdant­courtyard­Garden.

above

clusively to workshop/studio functions, while the second-floor mezzanine physically connects to the existing house through a newly created portal in its former exterior wall. The mezzanine expands the family’s residential functions, and has become a de facto living room and meditation space, which overlooks the peaceful courtyard and back garden. The major impetus for the project was the client’s desire to build to the greatest degree of sustainability possible, and Lafrenais himself was substantially involved in the design and construction process, relying heavily on Rousseau’s design skills and professional expertise. Effective natural passive ventilation was achieved through a variety of methods, making air-conditioning unnecessary even during Montreal’s hot, humid summers. Cross-ventilation is encouraged through an entire wall of north-facing full-height glass windows that open to the back garden on both the ground and second floors. This abundance of glazing provides the added benefit of allowing optimal north light to penetrate deep into the interior spaces, reducing the need for ar-

3

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Rue St-Dominique

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ground floor­ 1­existinG­house 4­raised­deck 2­workshop 5­pooL 3­­Mezzanine­LivinG­rooM/ Meditation­space

24­canadian architect­07/11

1

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tificial lighting. The decision to incorporate an overlooking mezzanine on the second floor results in a greater spatial dynamic within the workshop, but also permits hot air to rise and be expelled through the skylight opening in the roof. Eight solar panels were salvaged from a former government building and installed on the rooftop, which enable solar energy to be captured and subsequently used to radiantly heat the concrete floors in winter and also to heat the pool in more temperate months when necessary. Even the wood-burning stove, which is used to provide additional heating in the cooler seasons, was salvaged from a demolition yard. The recycling of materials evidences the most visually obvious gesture of sustainability principles at work. In addition to the salvaged entry doors, solar panels and wood-burning stove, the building also incorporates reclaimed light fixtures and wooden structural beams. The hemlock panelling that sheathes the interior walls comes from trees felled during a major storm, which were cut into planks and planed by artisanal methods. All of this represents a most commendable effort in recycling and reuse, but these timeworn artifacts also contribute a most evocative spirit to this modest project. Lafrenais’s talents are not confined to his stone creations. After the workshop was completed, he alone undertook the design and construction of the harmoniously landscaped back garden—perhaps the most overtly striking feature of the project. As the scale of the new workshop was fairly restrained, the outdoor space left over was substantial enough to form a sizeable private courtyard containing multilayered wood decks, verdant plantings, and a small swimming pool. A sense of peace and serenity is achieved in the multiple zones of the garden: ivy scales the vertical surfaces, softening any hard edges of this urban court, and the layered overlapping deck platforms create numerous seating areas and optimal display opportunities for the designed stone objects. Fittingly, the project was honoured earlier this year with a jury mention in the recycling/conversion category of the 2011 Awards of Excellence in Architecture from the Ordre des architects du Québec. There is undoubtedly merit in its conscious pursuit of holistic sustainability, but the Maison Atelier du Moine Urbain offers impressions of a life beyond itself. Probably the greatest experiential impact is found in its poetic material vocabulary of reclaimed materials, the potency of which offers fleeting glimpses of past lives and of another time. ca client­Mario­Lafrenais design teaM­GabrieL­rousseau,­Mario­Lafrenais landscape­Mario­Lafrenais contractor­Mario­Lafrenais area­783­ft2­addition;­3,473­ft2­oriGinaL­house budget­n/a coMpletion­suMMer­2010


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insites

lwpAc

the architect as developer

Architects Across cAnAdA continue to investigAte the possibilities of developing their own projects, broAdening their skill sets in the process.

teXt

grAhAm livesey

The concept that an architect can be a developer has not been extensively explored in North American practice. The barriers to architects acting as developers that were in place in the past are now relatively few beyond the pragmatic issues of incurring additional financial risk and gaining relevant expertise; however, becoming actively involved in development requires a solid knowledge of financing, real estate and marketing. Furthermore, architects heavily involved in development must often overcome a negative stigma associated with this form of practice. What are the strengths and weaknesses of the architect-as-developer model? Who are some of 26 canadian architect 07/11

the architectural firms actively involved in this process in Canada? A brief survey of the four largest provinces and their provincial architectural associations—British Columbia (AIBC), Alberta (AAA), Ontario (OAA), and Quebec (OAQ)—indicates that each licensing body accepts professional architects who are interested in entering the development arena. As an example, the AIBC has specific bylaws addressing the concept of an architect as a project owner, and in such cases there is a requirement that architects who act as developers must fully disclose this to all parties involved to ensure that no conflict of interest or misunderstanding occurs. The AIBC bylaws include wording that states that the architect who is also a project owner (or contractor) must render architectural services “fully and impartially,” and “financial interests must not override professional responsibility and impartiality.” This concept of full disclosure is shared by other asso-

ciations. The common recommended practice across all four jurisdictions is for the development entity to be separate from the professional architectural firm. In Quebec, it is also required that site visits be conducted by a separate party other than the architect-developer. However, there are situations where a potential conflict of interest may arise that would cause difficulties for an architect who acts as the owner or client; in particular, how architects deal with building contractors. This also relates to professional liability insurance where an architect acting as a developer will have some limits placed on his ability to recover monies in a claim, as obviously, the architect and developer (owner) in these cases cannot act against one another. Probably the most famous architect as developer is Atlanta, Georgia-based John Portman. His book The Architect as Developer (published in 1976) laid out an argument for the active involvement of architects in development. As Portman’s


dub Architects

the monAd, designed And finAnced by vAncouver-bAsed oliver lAng And cynthiA wilson of lwpAc, utilizes pre-fAbricAted construction And will be completed in the fAll of 2011. aBove the shAw building renovAtion in edmonton is being developed by five oAks, A compAny operAted by Architect gene dub. opposite

co-author Jonathan Barnett notes, Portman found that the typical role of the architect was “too passive and too uncertain.” Operating against conventional practice at the time, Portman sought to “think of real estate architecturally, and architecture entrepreneurially.” The architect-as-developer model does mean that the architect must engage in levels of entrepreneurship outside of standard North American architectural practice. Acting with his own development company (currently called Portman Holdings), Portman often partnered with other large development interests to develop and design projects. Famous examples of Portman’s architect-as-developer approach include Peachtree Center in Atlanta, and the Embarcadero Center

in San Francisco. Known for his big and showy projects, Portman continues to direct an office in Atlanta. However, he remains largely an anomaly in the architecture profession because of the large size of the projects he has spearheaded. Writing in the late 1980s about Portman’s effect on Atlanta, Rem Koolhaas argued that Portman’s union of developer and architect has been both powerful and highly destructive, creating a series of buildings in downtown Atlanta largely devoid of vitality. Koolhaas suggests that Portman’s work is megalomaniacal, and by eliminating the opposition between architect and the client, he has lost an essential creative element. There is no doubt that Portman’s best-known projects are from the 1970s, and they reflect an

approach to architecture that has been discredited. Nevertheless, Portman’s argument that direct involvement in development will allow architects to have a greater influence on the end result still holds true. That architects can be involved in the real estate and marketability of buildings (including site selection and program), preparation of feasibility studies, the projection of complete development costs, the “pro forma” incomes and expenses, financing, and renting of buildings is not unreasonable. Despite his focus on the real estate, Barnett suggests that Portman did not lose sight of his role as an architect, and that his gained knowledge of real estate marketing, finance, and management deepened his skills as an architect. Over the last several decades, some Canadian architects have experimented with various forms of development. More recently, a number of younger firms across the country have been willing to actively get involved in development work. Many of these firms are prepared to take on a wider scope of practice by getting involved in the development of small-scale projects, usually commercial and/or residential. As an example of an architectural practice offering a wide range of services, Calgary’s housebrand brings together architectural design, construction, real estate services, development, retail, and interior design together under one roof. By expanding its range of services, an architectural practice can secure a greater overall fee from a particular project. Under the right circumstances, architects can have greater control over the end results. As developers, housebrand have undertaken the construction of several projects, and as “development consultants” they have also put together projects for clients. However, John Brown, a principal of housebrand, prefers the second model, as it reduces the financial risk. More importantly, it does not reduce “the client to merely being a customer.” Brown believes that working with a client is vital to his practice, rather than acting as developer himself, which he suggests tends to reduce the enterprise to one of selling. However, there are firms willing to act as developers, or to be their own clients, in effect. The following firms represent a range of approaches to development, although each sees development as a way to undertake commercial projects that others will not: Lang Wilson Practice in Architecture Culture (LWPAC) in Vancouver, Dub Architects Inc. in Edmonton, and Kobayashi Zedda Architects Ltd. in Whitehorse. 07/11 canadian architect

27


dub Architects

dub Architects

dub Architects

the 2nd Avenue lofts building in sAskAtoon is A redevelopment of the old hudson’s bAy depArtment store, A highly successful conversion by edmonton-bAsed Architect gene dub. aBove, leFt to riGht the minimAlist interior of one of the project’s units; the centrAl portion of the floor plAtes wAs removed to creAte An Atrium, bringing nAturAl dAylight into the building’s core.

top

Oliver Lang and Cynthia Wilson of LWPAC have recently produced their first project with their development firm Intelligent City Developments. The MONAD project is an example of 28 canadian architect 07/11

their efforts to build leading-edge sustainable projects in response to Vancouver’s EcoDensity challenge and various green building programs, including a grant program from BC Hydro.

MONAD is located on a restricted infill site in Kitsilano, and employs pre-fab construction and several innovations including mechanical parking and geothermal heating/cooling. As Lang says, they entered the development arena after many years of research, and because they felt that conventional developers were not prepared to take on innovative urban housing projects. In order to secure the financing for the MONAD project, they had to put in cash themselves and also raise funds from a number of investors. The new project is an evolution of their very successful Roar_One housing project in Vancouver, designed and built with a local developer in 2006. Beyond acting as designers and developers for MONAD, LWPAC also entered into a joint venture partnership to develop and execute the prefab system for the project. The risks are high, but the project has proven to be a rewarding learning experience, and sales have been strong. They have gained knowledge about construction, and the process has led them to a greater understanding of what potential purchasers of their units require. Ultimately, they see their development work as a “product,” like an automobile, that will be continually refined as they undertake further projects. Nevertheless, development projects such as MONAD will remain only one aspect of the firm’s work. One of the most experienced Canadian architects when it comes to development is Gene Dub, whose firm has developed about 15 buildings over the last 25 years, ranging from $1 million to $25 million in construction costs. They have produced a significant portfolio of work. Most are residential projects involving renovations and additions to existing or historic buildings, often buildings on the Edmonton Historic Registry. Dub believes that the process allows for “greater control over the design process, and more freedom to design to your own program, tastes and schedule.” On the down side, “the time required to deal with the program and financial matters leaves less time to devote to design matters.” By taking on development work, Dub has undertaken projects that more conventional developers would not likely have pursued. He notes that profit was not his primary motivation, but rather the opportunity to take on interesting projects and preserve heritage structures in Edmonton. He acknowledges that there is potential for a conflict of interest, but no more so than in conventional client-architect relationships if the architect discloses their interest. He does not see it as a general model for practice, but acknowledges that his development projects have helped keep the practice busy. He also suggests that it works


kobAyAshi + zeddA Architects

for firms who have the required set of skills. Dub states that the “financial risks of building development are far greater than those found in architecture. I know of many architects who have jeopardized a good architectural practice by getting involved in development.” Dub has his own development company called Five Oaks Inc., and handles his own marketing, leasing and sales. He concludes that the architect as developer can produce rewards in terms of accomplishments and design recognition (the practice has received 18 awards for their architect-developer projects), and when a project goes well, there is additional financial reward. Kobayashi + Zedda Architects Ltd. have undertaken five development projects over the last 10 years in Whitehorse, and they also are directly involved as building contractors in many of their buildings; their development and construction company is called 360 Design Build. They got into development work in order to demonstrate that good architecture could be vital, and to kickstart the revitalization of downtown Whitehorse. They concentrated on residential projects, which have been generally very successful, although not necessarily producing enormous financial rewards. Jack Kobayashi has given this topic some thought, recalling the historic “master builder” where architect and builder were united in one figure. Kobayashi argues that the general skills that architects typically possess make them well-suited to taking on an expanded range of roles when it come to project development and delivery. By acting as the owner, or by being involved in a project from the beginning allows for better decisionmaking and a stronger vision for the project. Kobayashi believes most architects can grasp the knowledge required for financing and marketing a project. He writes that the architect as developer (and builder) produces “a process that involves the creative mind and broad knowledge base of the architect throughout the total life of a building project, and could lead to improved building performance evaluation, and in turn, better and more sustainable and significant buildings.” Furthermore, in 2008 as part of rejuvenating downtown Whitehorse, they opened a café called Baked that has proven to be very successful. In 2006, Jack Kobayashi and Antonio Zedda were named “Northerners of the Year” by Up Here magazine for their unique contributions to northern culture. It is vital in today’s market that architects expand their range of expertise in design, technical execution, and project delivery. Of the many architectural firms in Canada, we can identify those who work a lot with developers, those who act as developers themselves, or those who act as devel-

kobAyAshi + zeddA Architects designed And developed their new cAmbodiA condominium project in whitehorse.

aBove

opment consultants; each is a different mode of practice. For architects willing to assume risk and finance their own work, this can be a rewarding approach. Like Portman, the firms above have identified a local need that conventional developers were not willing to meet. They were also willing to fulfill the role of the client, in all its complexity, and to maintain the necessary vitality that that implies. Dean Syverson of Syverson Monteyne Architecture Inc. in Winnipeg—a firm that has begun to explore development—states with respect to the client: “If architecture is perceived to be a service performed for whomever and in whatever scenarios a need or opportunity arises,

and as a result is performed indirectly for others, then I don’t think [by acting as the client] any essential aspect has been removed.” The fusion of good architecture and entrepreneurship has often been seen as vulgar, and yet all successful architects, however measured, are good at business. And so, the architect-as-developer model can be a successful and complementary form of architectural practice, as demonstrated by the firms and practices profiled here. ca Graham Livesey is an Associate Professor in the Master of Architecture program at the University of Calgary. 07/11 canadian architect

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2011 AwArds of ExcEllEncE Canadian Architect invites architects registered in Canada and architectural graduates to enter the magazine’s 2011 Awards of Excellence. Eligibility

Projects must be in the design stage, scheduled for construction or under construction but not substantially complete by September 15, 2011. All projects must be commissioned by a client with the intention to build the submitted proposal. All building types and concisely presented urban design schemes are eligible.

4. Please do not submit any material in CD, DVD, or any other audio-visual format not confined to two dimensions, as it will not be considered. Entry fee

$100.00 per entry ($88.50 + $11.50 HST). Please make cheques payable to Canadian Architect. HST registration #809751274RT0001. Publication

Judging criteria

Awards are given for architectural design excellence. Jurors will consider the scheme’s response to the client’s program, site, and geographic and social context. They will evaluate its physical organization, form, structure, materials and environmental features. Presentation

1. Anonymity. The designer’s name must not appear on the submission except on the entry form. The project name and location should be identified. 2. Each entry must be securely fastened in a folder or binder of dimensions no greater than 14´´ 5 17´´; oversized panels will not be accepted. One (1) copy of this entry form must be enclosed within an envelope and affixed to the front of each folder, preferably without the use of Scotch tape or adhesives. Clips are ideal. 3. Each project folder must include: a) first page—a brief description of the project (500 words or fewer) b) second page—a brief description indicating the project’s ability to address some or all of the following issues (1,000 words or fewer): i) context and/or urban design components ii) integration of sustainable design iii) innovation in addressing program and/or the client’s requirements iv) technical considerations through building materials and/or systems c) drawings/images including site plan, floor plans, sections, elevations and/or model views

Winners will be published in a special issue of Canadian Architect in December 2011. Winners grant Canadian Architect first publication rights for their winning submissions. Awards

Framed certificates will be given to each winning architect team and client. Details to follow upon notification of winners. notification of winners

Award winners will be notified after judging takes place in October 2011. deadline

Entries will be accepted after August 11, 2011. Send all entries to arrive by 5:00 pm on Thursday, September 15, 2011 to: Awards of Excellence 2011 Canadian Architect 12 Concorde Place Suite 800 Toronto, Ontario M3C 4J2 return of Entries

Entries will not be returned.

name of Project name of firm Address Telephone

city & Province fax

Architect/Architectural Graduate submitting the project

E-mail signature

according to the conditions above client

client Telephone

Postal code


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(continued from page 11) The Autonomous City takes top prize in the Arizona Challenge ideas competition.

The Arizona Challenge, an ideas competition for new forms of arid-climate communities that are highly efficient, sustainable, liveable and healthy, was won by a Canadian interdisciplinary team comprised of Drew Adams, Fadi Masoud and Daniel Ibañez. Adams is a graduate (architecture) from the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, as is Masoud (landscape architecture). Ibañez is a candidate in the Master of Design Studies program at Harvard University. This international student competition sought new forms that may first lead to prototyping, with the ultimate goal of helping to shape our future cities and urban environments well beyond the limitations of what currently exists. The team’s Autonomous City entry envisioned compact, self-sufficient and resilient enclaves embedded in the landscape, as new territories beyond current urban reaches. The proposal is a response to exhausted models of urbanism and to the coming challenges associated with rising energy costs and significant demographic changes. Architect Vernon D. Swaback, chairman of the jury, noted that “the jury gave high praise and appreciation for the thoughtful and artful qualities of the Autonomous City proposal. Replacing the outmoded downtown core with a great central infrastructural park celebrates not only the use and pleasure of its citizens but also the metabolic processes and relationships between man and nature. This is an unmistakeably clear and radical idea for the future.” The team will be travelling to Phoenix, Arizona to take part in a series of forums related to the vision of the Arizona Challenge.

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32­CANADIAN ArCHITECT­07/11

5:


Calendar Installations by Architects

June 9-August 6, 2011 This exhibition at the Cambridge Galleries Design at Riverside features a collection of the most significant projects from the last 25 years by today’s most ex­ citing architects. Projects are grouped under the themes of tec­ tonics, body, nature, memory, and public space, and feature the work of Atelier in Situ, Philip Beesley, Dan Hoffman, Diller + Scofidio, Marianne Lund, John Hejduk, James Cathcart, Frank Fantauzzi + Terence van Elslander, Lab(au), Richard Kroeker, Périphériques Architects and more. www.cambridgegalleries.ca

cities and territories devastated by armed conflict. www.cca.qc.ca Façade: Textile Works by Kerry Croghan

June 30-November 1, 2011 Taking place at the Gladstone Hotel Café in Toronto, this exhibition explores and documents compelling patterns and compositions seen within the contemporary structures and urban architecture in the city of Toronto. Through the lens of a polychromatic colour palette, Kerry Croghan re­ interprets the glass, metal and con­ crete details of buildings as abstract textile prints. info@madedesign.ca

The Good Cause: Architecture of Peace

Play > Nation

June 16-September 4, 2011 This exhi­ bition at the Canadian Centre for Architecture explores the creation of lasting peace through architec­ ture and planning projects designed to stabilize, humanize, and rebuild

July 1-October 10, 2011 This exhibi­ tion at Toronto’s Design Exchange explores the ways in which Canada’s unique landmass and love of the outdoors has shaped our collective interest in outdoor sport and ex­

ploration. The exhibition sections will focus on water, winter, forest and urban environments, and will present contemporary Canadian outdoor and sporting equipment, contextualized by historical ex­ amples of earlier models and archival material. http://playnation.tumblr.com

end of downtown recalls mid­cen­ tury Calgary and its transition from a small prairie city to a modern metropolis built on oil and gas wealth. Join the Calgary Heritage Initiative and guest speakers as they explore the history and architecture of west downtown in a tour begin­ ning at 7:00pm in front of 607 8th Street SW.

—and then the city

July 19-July 29, 2011 Concluding the Urban Discovery Project in Calgary, Broken City Lab’s contribution is a sprawling series of short statements generated in response to the specific situations and realities that arise out of a place, acting as a tool for imagi­ native engagement with a city’s past, present, and future and creating a possible “ending” to what seems to be the cyclical nature of cities. www.truck.ca Mid-Century Modern and More

July 24, 2011 From brick to brute concrete and curtain walls, the west

West Connaught—Beltline tour

July 25, 2011 A scattering of century­ old houses and other landmarks re­ call the history of Calgary’s Beltline neighbourhood before it was over­ taken by high­rises in recent de­ cades. Meet at 4:00pm for the tour in front of the Carl Safran Centre, located at 13th Avenue SW between 8th and 9th Streets. For­more­inFormation­about­ these,­and­additional­listings­oF­Canadian­and­international­events,­please­visit www.canadianarchitect.com

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Backpage

Back of house

A speculAtive Architecture exhibition exAmines the possibilities of new urbAn spAces in the Alleys of downtown montreAl.

teXt

suresh pererA AlAin lAforest

photos

The once-gritty urban residential cores of Montreal have been given a second life as a younger, educated, and more affluent population looks to establish itself in the already built-up city. In older neighbourhoods such as the Plateau, everincreasing land values and strict municipal regulation of front façades have resulted in the expansion of existing houses towards the back, and as a result, alleyways traditionally reserved for services are being invigorated with a new public face. Responding to this phenomena, the Maison de l’architecture du Québec (MAQ) has recreated a typical alley bounded on either side by the backs of row houses. Twenty-two emerging architects and landscape architects were invited to select one of the lots and present, in large-scale model format, their interpretation of an ideal backyard addition, renovation and landscaping solution to a theoretical existing row house.

34 canadian architect 07/11

Atelier bArdA introduces An expAnded form of public spAce in the city’s AlleywAys; sergio clAvijo exAmines the relAtionship between historic fAçAdes And the ground plAne.

aBoVe, Left to right

By purposefully ignoring the front façade and instead focusing on the intricacies of living, the exhibit allows a voyeuristic entry into the everyday. Judging by the long lines on opening day and the large public attendance since then, perhaps it’s this very foray into “what goes on behind closed doors” that attracts such interest. For the most part, leaving behind formalistic pretensions, the exhibition tends to deal with everyday living. It is in this that it finds its greatest draw. While Réinventons la ruelle! at the MAQ focuses on the issue of insertions into existing buildings, its success in doing so raises some nagging questions about contemporary residential practice in the city: in an ever-evolving world, why are we often still duplicating front façades that numbly replicate 1890s era homes? Or worse yet, meekly partake in some stylistic or formalistic game? Could not the same approach expressed in the exhibition be applied to an entire building? Also, if our acts of dwelling only occur in the back, what roles are our front masks relegated to, and

what does this say about our society? These projects, carefully inserted amongst existing structures and responding to the narrow pedestrian alley, recall the scale and intimacy of the medieval city where architecture was about experience, interiority, habitation and pedestrian movement rather than image, icon and object. With such tight perspectives as these spaces afford, the idea of “façade” disappears and dissipates into lived space. Detail, material and spatio-temporal relationships emerge supreme as neighbours confront each other. It is in this coming together that the lived city, as a construct, truly emerges. ca Architect Suresh Perera lives in Montreal where he also spends much time in his tiny backyard overlooking an alley. The exhibition Réinventons la ruelle! will be at the Maison de l’architecture du Québec until December 20, 2011. For more information, please visit www.maisondelarchitecture.ca.


UNEXPECTED ANGLE

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Canadian Architect July 2011  

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada’s only monthly design publication, Ca...

Canadian Architect July 2011  

Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada’s only monthly design publication, Ca...

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