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Architecture canada | raic awards and honours


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20 2011 roYaL arChiteCtUraL institUte oF Canada aWards oF eXCeLLenCe the wide range of thiS year’S award reciPientS deMonStrateS that nuMerouS key PlayerS are involved in the PoSitive advanceMent of the architectural ProfeSSion.

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toM arban

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Contents

11 neWs

53 CaLendar

Panda PhotograPhy, hugh robertSon

Ryerson University unveils the design of the new Student Learning Centre; winners of the Edmonton Park Pavilion design com petition are announced.

CONTACT 2011: Figure & Ground annual photography festival in Toronto; Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada’s 38th Annual Conference in Arvida, Quebec.

54 BaCKPaGe Elsa Lam writes on the global success of Jane’s Walk, the annual event that honours the ideology of the late grassroots urbanist Jane Jacobs.

bSn architectS

May 2011, v.56 n.05

Still under conStruction, the Surrey city centre library by bing thoM architectS. PhotograPh by nic lehoux.

CoVer

The NaTioNal Review of DesigN aND PRacTice/ The JouRNal of RecoRD of The Raic

05/11 Canadian arChiteCt

7


Courteesy CheryL CooPer

viEwpoint

robson square on oPenInG day— oCtober 11, 1978. the CLarIty of vIsIon that yIeLded thIs aMbItIous ProJeCt heLPed defIne the Modern CanadIan CIty.

AbovE

While the success of many architecture firms depends upon their buildings being recognized by awards, relatively few awards actually celebrate a building’s long-term impact on a community or culture. As the official Journal of Record for Architecture Canada | RAIC, Canadian Architect is proud to celebrate the RAIC’s biannual Awards of Excellence program which this year includes the Prix du XXe Siècle Award, a special award that recognizes 20th-century architecture of national significance to Canadians. This year’s recipients comprise four unique projects: the Heating and Cooling Plant at the University of Regina (1967), the Ottawa Train Station (1966), Robson Square (1973-1983), and the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia (1971-76). These projects all embody the energy, ambition and confidence that defined Canada during the 1960s and ’70s. Their larger influence can be encapsulated into four distinct aspects of Canadian society that flourished during the same period: the maturation of the modern city; an elevated discussion concerning aboriginal culture; a confident nation undergoing an unprecedented period of university building and expansion; and the inspiring demonstration of modern transportation infrastructure linking our urban centres. To some degree all four of these projects are in jeopardy today, but each one serves as a poignant reminder of their original aspirations. The Regina Heating and Cooling Plant remains heroically sited in the middle of a parking lot at the south end of the University of Regina campus. It remains to be seen how Clifford Wiens’s masterpiece will be incorporated into the university’s planned expansion to the east. The building’s understated exuberance is articulated through an elegant construction of sitecast concrete, a stunning counterpoint to its prairie landscape and a monument to powerful 8 cAnAdiAn­ArchitEct 05/11

and everlasting architecture that supports research and education. Arthur Erickson’s Robson Square and the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia have both served to define Vancouver as a West Coast city, but shockingly, neither has received heritage designation. Robson Square has recently been under considerable threat from various groups to modify its innovative urban design. Currently overlooking Robson Square, the Vancouver Art Gallery may be moved elsewhere in the city, thereby vacating this large, grand public building while potentially jeopardizing a precious central civic space. Meanwhile, the Museum of Anthropology is currently enjoying a new lease on life now that the reflecting pond has finally been completed, years later, as Erickson had always intended. However, this iconic building has seen a number of alterations that have reduced the impact of its subtle and sophisticated design, a design that seeks to offer visitors the opportunity of experiencing the rich and complex culture of First Nations through quiet discovery. As a testament to the wonders and glamour of modern transportation in the 1960s, few buildings in Canada can compare to the Ottawa Train Station, designed by the archetypal Canadian global practice of the period—John B. Parkin Architects. In the 1990s, the sprawling forecourt of this train station was marred by a clumsy Modernist-inspired walkway connecting to an OC Transpo bus station. With ambitious plans underway for a new light-rail transit system to replace the once revolutionary high-speed bus corridor and its various stations, the future integrity of the Parkin-designed masterpiece will invariably depend on the commitment of VIA Rail—the current owner—to conserving the architectural importance of this landmark. It is sheer delight arriving at the Ottawa Train Station in the inky darkness of an early winter morning in anticipation of boarding a train. A powerful white glow emanates from this building, framed by a massive steel structure evoking train trestles and bridge engineering. The magic of the station is that it expresses an architectural idiom that has largely retained the purity of its programmatic rationale, expression of form, and optimism in technology. Even if Canadian society has evolved away from the original intents and values that the four Prix du XXe Siècle winners had hoped to achieve, the importance of celebrating their impact on this country is paramount. We hope that generations to come will appreciate the positive contributions that today’s architects make in influencing the growth of a future Canada. Ian ChodIkoff

ichodikoff@cAnAdiAnArchitEct.coM

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

­The­design­of­The­RyeRson­UniveRsiTy­sTUdenT­LeaRning­CenTRe­is­a­CoLLaboRaTion­ beTween­ZeidLeR­PaRTneRshiP­aRChiTeCTs­and­snøheTTa­of­osLo.­ BottoM­in­a­design­ComPeTiTion­issUed­by­The­CiTy­of­edmonTon,­ToRonTo-based­gh3­won­fiRsT­PLaCe­foR­iTs­ CaRoUseL-insPiRed­design­of­The­boRden­PaRk­PaviLion.­The­design­is­PaRT­of­a­seRies­of­ PaviLions­To­be­bUiLT­in­vaRioUs­edmonTon­PaRks­oveR­The­nexT­few­yeaRs. aBoVe

the tone for ongoing revitalization in this historic commercial neighbourhood. The notion that learning is a static, solitary activity is outmoded,” said Craig Dykers, principal architect and cofounder of Snøhetta. The Student Learning Centre would not be possible without the Government of Ontario’s investment of $45 million that was announced in 2008. Construction on the building is expected to begin late this year, with a targeted completion date of Winter 2014. www.ryerson.ca/news/media/spotlight/slc/

awards winners of 2011 oaa awards announced.

Fifteen new buildings in Ottawa, Toronto, Hamilton, Orillia, Montreal, Kitchener, Vancouver,

and Ithaca (New York) have been recognized as leading examples of architecture by receiving Design Excellence Awards. This year was the first time in the OAA Awards’ history that the Honours and Awards Task Group extended the entry criteria to include buildings located outside the province of Ontario, designed by Ontario architects. The 2011 entries reflected a number of important aspects in architectural design and practice: an increased effort to address sustainability criteria, innovation when working on extremely tight budgets, and an increasingly collaborative approach in working with clients. Design Excellence recipients include the following: Adamson Associates Architects for 25 York Street | Telus Tower in Toronto; Rounthwaite Dick & Hadley Architects Inc. in association with Shoalts & Za-

gh3

Ryerson University President Sheldon Levy recently unveiled the design of the Ryerson Student Learning Centre, which will be built at the corner of Yonge and Gould Streets in Toronto. Designed by the acclaimed international architectural team of Zeidler Partnership Architects of Toronto and Snøhetta of Oslo, Norway and New York City, the new building will provide Ryerson students with an outstanding environment to study, collaborate and discover. The eight-storey Student Learning Centre boldly marks Ryerson’s new face on Yonge Street. It will feature a dazzling glass façade, a welcoming elevated plaza, a bridge to the existing library and a range of academic, study and collaborative spaces for Ryerson’s students, faculty and staff. Yonge Street frontage will feature destination retail at and below grade, creating a prominent commercial façade. With links to the existing Library building, the Student Learning Centre will offer a variety of creative and inspiring learning environments and spaces. Every floor will have its own personality—some will be open and interpretive with flexible furniture and terraces while others will be densely filled with enclosed study rooms for groups of four to eight people. Space will be available for independent, quiet study and contemplation. The transparent glass skin of the 155,463-square-foot Student Learning Centre will feature a surface design that will create varying light qualities within the interior space. At least 50 percent of the roof will be a dedicated green roof. “The Student Learning Centre is one more step in realizing the vision established in the Ryerson master plan to wholly integrate the university’s campus with the city’s urban fabric,” said Tarek El-Khatib, senior partner at Zeidler. “The building will contribute to the retail and pedestrian life in the area and set

ZeidLeR­PaRTneRshiP/snøheTTa

ryerson University unveils design of new student Learning centre.

05/11­­canadian architect

­11


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back Architects Ltd. & E.R.A. Architects Inc. for the Bloor/Gladstone Branch Library in Toronto; Padolsky, Kuwabara, Gagnon Joint Ventures Architects (PKG)—Barry Padolsky Associates Inc. Architects, Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects and Gagnon, Letellier, Cyr, Ricard, Mathieu Architectes for the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa; Baird Sampson Neuert Architects Inc. for the Cornell Plantations Welcome Center in Ithaca, New York; ARK Architects + Research + Knowledge Inc. for the Department of Psychosocial Oncology & Palliative Care, Al Hertz Centre for Supportive and Palliative Care, Harold and Shirley Lederman Palliative Care Centre in Toronto; Colizza Bruni Architecture Inc. for Front to Back Infill in Ottawa; Rounthwaite Dick & Hadley Architects Inc. in association with david premi Architects inc. for Hamilton Farmers’ Market and Central Public Library in Hamilton; Gow Hastings Architects Inc. for the Humber College Centre for Justice Leadership in Toronto; Moriyama & Teshima Architects for Lakehead University New Academic Building in Orillia, Ontario; Baird Sampson Neuert Architects Inc. for LightSpace 2 in Toronto; Diamond and Schmitt Architects for the Salvation Army Harbour Light in Toronto; Saucier + Perrotte architectes for Scandinave les Bains VieuxMontréal in Montreal; Hariri Pontarini Architects with Young + Wright Architects for the University of Waterloo School of Pharmacy in Kitchener, Ontario; Hariri Pontarini Architects for the Vancouver 2010 Winter Olympics Ontario Pavilion in Vancouver; and Moriyama & Teshima Architects in association with the Walter Fedy Partnership for the Waterloo Region Museum in Kitchener, Ontario. www.oaa.on.ca the Britannia Mine Museum wins canadian Museum association award for outstanding achievement.

The recently transformed Britannia Mine Museum has achieved yet another significant milestone in its treasured history, winning the 2011 Canadian Museum Association (CMA) Award for Outstanding Achievement in Facility Development and Design. The Museum was unanimously recognized for excellence in function, vision, innovation and architecture. The CMA chose the Museum because of its national significance and ambitious vision in creating a destination museum in a considerably short time frame. Located 10 minutes south of Squamish on the picturesque Sea-to-Sky Highway, the Britannia Mine Museum was reinvented in 2010 by a $14.7-million threephase redevelopment project that turned a mining legacy site into a vibrant internationally recognized tourist destination. Made possible by generous contributions from the mining industry, the provincial and federal governments and private donors, the redevelopment project focused on preserving the museum’s heritage buildings and mining collections, while creating an enhanced visitor experience with the new Beaty-Lundin Visitor Centre and the Britannia A-Z Exhibit Hall. Partner organizations involved in the redevelopment of the Museum include AldrichPears Associates, TRB Architecture, David Jensen & Associates, Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg and Parkwood Construction Ltd. to name a few. In addition, the Beaty-Lundin Visitor Centre recently received a North American Copper Development Award from the Copper Development Association. www.britanniaminemuseum.ca ÆdiFica wins award for luxury department store chain Barneys new York.

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of the firm’s projects: SAQ Signature. In existence since 1979, Ædifica now consists of over 115 architects, designers, engineers, communication specialists and project managers providing a variety of integrated services. www.aedifica.com Benjamin Moore hUe awards.

Architects and interior designers who possess a passion for using colour—and have a portfolio of projects to prove it—are invited to submit their work for the Benjamin Moore HUE Awards. In its fifth year, this competition, which recognizes exceptional use of colour in architecture and interior design, is accepting submissions until July 15, 2011. Since establishing the HUE Awards in 2005, Benjamin Moore has presented more than $130,000 in prize money to project categories that include Residential Interiors, Residential Exteriors, Contract Interiors and Contract Exteriors. Additionally, there is a Lifetime Achievement Award, plus past years have seen the presentation of discretionary awards for Social Responsibility and also one for Restoration & Preservation. A $5,000 cash prize goes to each honouree along with a HUEY mouth-blown crystal sculpture. The judges for the HUE competition also have been named and are an illustrious

group drawn from the worlds of design, fashion and industry. They include: Paul Goldberger, architecture critic for The New Yorker; Tim Murray, creative director of the TARGET Creative Vision Group; Hans Neubert, executive creative director of frog; Linda O’Keeffe, design author and former creative director of Metropolitan Home magazine; and Gary Panter, artist, graphic designer and set designer for the original Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. www.benjaminmoore.ca Vote for the Pug awards 2011.

The annual Pug Awards has launched, with a new group of competitors up for contention. For the seventh year in a row, Toronto residents can cast their ballots and rate the city’s newest residential and commercial/institutional buildings. The people’s choice awards for architecture are stronger than ever, with 38 recently completed buildings—including 28 residential condominium projects and 10 commercial/institutional sites—up for the titles of best and worst of the year. The Pug Awards program is committed to furthering the conversation in more ways than one; in addition to the voting itself, the 2011 Pug Awards will also continue the popular Pug Talks series, and will keep encouraging young people to

develop a passion for architecture and design with the Pug Ed program. The first step is voting: choosing whether you love, like or hate the city’s newest residential and commercial/institutional developments. Voting runs from May 1 until May 31, 2011, after which the votes will be compiled and a list of winners determined. By offering Torontonians the chance to vote on their favourite and least favourite new buildings, the Pug Awards puts the power in the people’s hands. Citizens can help shape their city, to hold developers, architects and designers accountable for their newly constructed buildings, and to elevate Toronto’s architectural and planning standards. To qualify for the Pug Awards, buildings must have been completed in 2010 and be located in the city of Toronto with an area greater than 50,000 square feet. www.pugawards.com the Lee Kuan Yew world city Prize accepting nominations.

The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize is a biannual international award to recognize individuals and organizations that have made outstanding contributions to the creation of vibrant, liveable and sustainable urban communities around the world. It seeks to recognize individuals and

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organizations responsible for urban initiatives that display foresight, good governance or innovation in tackling the many urban challenges faced by cities. These urban initiatives can include (but are not limited to) urban planning projects, urban policies and programs, urban management, as well as applied technology in urban solutions. Through this prize, Singapore hopes to facilitate the sharing of best practices in urban solutions among cities and spur further innovation in the area of sustainable urban development. The Lee Kuan Yew World City Prize Laureate will be presented with an award certificate, a gold medallion and a cash prize of $300,000 SGD ($232,000 CDN), sponsored by the Keppel Corporation. May 31, 2011 is the deadline for online nominations. www.leekuanyewworldcityprize.com.sg/form.htm

coMPetitions winners of edmonton Park Pavilion design competition announced.

The winners of an architectural competition for the design of five park pavilions for the City of Edmonton were recently announced. Each pavilion is located in a different Edmonton park and has an individual program and budget. The program for each pavilion will be jointly funded by

the City of Edmonton and a partner organization. The intent of the competition was to develop schemes that were buildable within the parameters of the competition package. During the technical review with the independent cost consultant, it became apparent that many pavilion designs were not within the competition budget. Second-place winners, if awarded, may be asked to enter into a contract with the City of Edmonton if first-place winners cannot, so the jury decided in some cases not to award second prizes. Instead, citation awards were added to recognize excellent design ideas that were deemed during technical review to be over budget or have other technical concerns. For Borden Park, first place was awarded to gh3 (Toronto), with a citation award to Denegri Bessai Studio with KIMIIS (Toronto). For Castle Downs District Park, first place was again awarded to gh3, with D’Ambrosio Architecture and Urbanism (Victoria) capturing second place. For John Fry Sports Park, the Marc Boutin Architectural Collaborative Inc. (Calgary) won first place, ABSTRAKT Studio Inc. (Toronto) took second place, and Sturgess Architecture (Calgary) was recognized with a citation award. For Mill Woods Sports Park, first place was given to Dub Architects Ltd. (Edmonton) while 5468796 architecture (Winnipeg) earned a cita-

tion award. And lastly, for Victoria Park, Rayleen Hill Architecture + Design (Dartmouth, Nova Scotia) took first place, and two citation awards were given to gh3 (Toronto), and to a team comprised of WilliamsonWilliamson Inc. with Donald Chong Studio (Toronto). The jury for the competition included Carol Bélanger (City Architect, Edmonton), Janet Rosenberg (Janet Rosenberg + Associates, Toronto), Steve McFarlane (mcfarlane | green | biggar architecture + design, Vancouver), and Pierre Thibault (Pierre Thibault Architecte, Quebec City). www.edmonton.ca/attractions_recreation/parks_ rivervalley/park-pavilion-design-competition.aspx London international creative competition.

Submit your innovative works of art for inclusion in the London International Creative Competition, which will be juried by a board of internationally esteemed artists, writers, curators, gallery owners and other luminaries of the visual arts. The jury-selected finalists and shortlist will be published in the LICC Annual Awards Book, on the website and announced to creative arts and media outlets worldwide. The 15 finalists’ works will be presented at the LICC awards ceremony in London and one prizewinner chosen by the jury will receive the £2,000 cash prize. This year’s

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categories are: Architectural; Audio/Music; Design (Environmental/Fashion/Graphic/Interior); Drawing/Illustration; Installation; Mixed Media; NetArt/Web Design; Painting; Performance; Photography; Printmaking; Sculpture; Textile; Video and Film; Writing; and Other. The entry fee is £20 single or series; for students it is £15 single or series. The deadline is June 15, 2011. www.licc.us international competition for the Urban Plan of the rio 2016 olympic Park.

The Brazilian Institute of Architects of Brazil/Rio de Janeiro (IAB/RJ) has signed an additional partnership with the City Government of Rio de Janeiro for the International Public Competition for the Rio 2016 Olympic Park’s General Urban Plan. After the Olympic Games, new real estate ventures will be built along the permanent sporting equipment and installations forming an area that will be a benchmark in planning and sustainability of the city. The participating teams should be multidisciplinary and led by an urban planner or architect with experience in projects of similar complexity. The online registration deadline is June 15, 2011, and the submission deadline is June 30, 2011. With a total area of 1.18 soprema.pdf 4/11/11 3:55:26 PM million square metres, the Rio 2016 Olympic

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Park will will host 15 different types of sports during the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. The General Urban Plan must consider two scenarios: for the Olympic Games mode, the project must ensure the best conditions for the performance of the sporting competitions; and for the legacy mode, it must ensure the viability of installing new enterprises in a sustainable way. The urban proposal should also include: the definition of public spaces (streets, open spaces, access, etc.) for the two modes; the transition from Olympic Games mode to the legacy mode; integration of the existing urban context through a hierarchical road structure; preservation of the environmental qualities of the site, with emphasis on the ecological restoration of the lagoon and its environment; prioritization of the soil’s permeability for the treatment of the surfaces; universal accessibility; integration of municipal projects planned around the area; and prioritization of sustainable technological innovations. http://concursoparqueolimpicorio2016.iabrj.org. br/?locale=en_us University of Manitoba students recognized in Barge 2011 competition.

Four projects by second-year undergraduate students in the Environmental Design Program at

the University of Manitoba Faculty of Architecture ranked within the top 27 at an open international design competition entitled Barge 2011, which was organized by shiftBoston. In the interest of exposing beginning designers to the issues of “adaptive reuse,” the three-week studio, entitled “Retooling,” adopted the competition, which challenged architects, artists and designers around the world to create a public space on a barge, with installations that could foster sensorial experiences. Capullo, the project designed by Jason Ejzenbart and Kara Burman, was selected as one of the top 6 finallists. Other University of Manitoba students included in the top 27 were Jagtar Singh, Kristin Defer, and the team of Jessica Bergen and Robyn Arnason. www.shiftboston.org

what’s new 2011 Fellows to be inducted during architecture canada | raic—aiBc Festival in Vancouver.

Architecture Canada | RAIC has announced Edward Mazria and Mike Harcourt as Honorary Fellows for 2011. Edward Mazria, Hon. FRAIC is an internationally recognized architect, energy (continued on page 52)


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MontgoMery SiSaM architectS

montgomery sisam architects

Founded in 1978, Montgomery Sisam Architects is a mid-sized Canadian architectural practice wholly owned by its seven principals and based in Toronto, Ontario. Working with a highly collaborative approach, the practice provides clients with a full range of services including master planning, architecture, interior design and urban design. The wide range of project types and scales include health care, infrastructure, educational, recreational and residential projects. The practice is widely recognized for design excellence, exceptional service, responsible budget control 20 canadian architect 05/11

and sound project management. Montgomery Sisam Architects reflects the multicultural nature of Toronto with over 40 staff from 12 countries. This diverse and talented group is noted as the practice’s greatest resource. A majority of the staff are LEED-accredited professionals reflecting the practice’s commitment to “green” design as part of the fundamental principles of good planning and good architecture. They have developed a strong workplace culture fostered by many innovative initiatives, in-

cluding a mentoring program where each staff member is assigned a principal to consult with; they formally meet twice a year to discuss professional development goals and opportunities as well as office-related issues. The office has a volunteer program that supports the special-needs clients they serve. The program allows staff to be involved in community service while also providing the opportunity to become more familiar with the people Montgomery Sisam designs for. Montgomery Sisam listens carefully to clients


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and users to help focus and articulate their needs, creating projects that not only satisfy functional requirements but enhance the activities they house. This collegial team approach starts in the office and helps build strong relationships with clients as well as with authorities, facilities managers, consultants, contractors and others involved in the design and construction process. They have developed a reputation for design leadership that is supported by over 45 provincial, national and international design awards. These include a Governor General’s Award, eight

Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence, six Ontario Association of Architects Awards of Excellence, two International Academy of Design and Health Awards, and an International Waterfront Centre Award and an Impact on Learning Award from the Council of Education Facility Planners International. Jury comments

The Architectural Firm Award goes to a firm which represents the core of Canadian architectural practice. They are a balanced, well-rounded

the huMber river bicycle and PedeStrian bridge reMainS one of the firM’S landMark ProjectS; the artS and adMiniStration building at the univerSity of toronto’S Scarborough caMPuS facilitateS a new era of PoStSecondary life.

aBoVe, leFt to right

firm with excellent design and business acumen. Of particular note is the innovative way they have developed employee relations and community programs, thus positioning themselves as an architectural firm with a social conscience. 05/11 canadian architect

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The architecture of Montgomery Sisam is recognized for its ability to manifest strong and meaningful relationships; it is architecture with a larger social consciousness and sense of responsibility. Montgomery Sisam is recognized for their commitment to creating and nurturing a positive and engaging internal culture to the benefit of their people and their clients—a culture which fosters community, encourages design excellence and innovation, promotes mentorship and professional development, and which values community volunteerism. The folio put forward by Montgomery Sisam Architects describes a practice that demonstrates cumulative decades of depth, breadth, and richness in an architectural practice. Their tendency to focus on work of social significance, their maintained support for education and develop22 canadian architect 05/11

ment of their employees over a long period of time, and their consistent involvement of both staff and principals in community and professional affairs describes a practice with a vision, purpose and ethic. The resulting work recurrently evidences achievements that are competent, thoughtful, often delightful, and in many cases address programs that are complex and technically challenging. The RAIC has recognized the service excellence that this Toronto firm has demonstrated, for over 30 years, in every sphere of its practice. The jury for this award was comprised of George Baird, FRAIC; Richard Young, PP/FRAIC; Alan R. Collyer, FRAIC; Paul Merrick, FRAIC; Sophie Ouimet, La Presse; and Alexander Rankin, FRAIC, Chancellor of the College of Fellows and Jury Chair.

clocKwise From toP leFt an exterior view of the toronto botanical garden; the george and kathy deMbroSki centre for horticulture at the toronto botanical garden; a view of the neighbourhood context Surrounding the centre for addiction and Mental health (caMh) PhaSe 1a, in joint venture with kPMb and kMa architectS; an elevation of the new caMh facility.


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the iSland yacht club’S new facilitieS uSher in a new era of Private clubS. aBoVe the holland bloorview kidS rehabilitation hoSPital, in joint venture with Stantec architecture iS conSidered to be one of the beSt children’S healthcare facilitieS in the country. right StudentS buSily circulate outSide the artS and adMiniStration building at the univerSity of toronto at Scarborough. Far right the convent and gueSthouSe for the SiSterhood of St. john the divine giveS a Modern face to an old religiouS order. toP

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raic awards—innovation in architecture

5468796­arChiTeCTure­inC.

oMs staGe ­5468796­arChiTeCTure­inC. ­winnipeg,­ManiToba cateGorY­arT architect

­The­Cube,­oTherwise­known­as­The­oMs­sTage,­is­a­sTunning­open-air­perforManCe­venue­loCaTed­in­old­MarkeT­square­in­winnipeg’s­exChange­disTriCT.­designed­ by­5468796­arChiTeCTure­inC.,­The­dynaMiC­insTallaTion­is­a­welCoMe­addiTion­To­The­ CiTy,­helping­To­reviTalize­a­flagging­downTown­Core.

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Location

The Cube—OMS Stage is an open-air performance venue located in Old Market Square, a small green space set against a backdrop of historic warehouses in Winnipeg’s Exchange District. During events, the skin—a dynamic membrane composed of custom-cut metal extrusions linked together to create a flexible curtain—draws back into a draped and undulating ceiling landscape, simultaneously revealing the stage within. When closed, the angled pieces refract light and images to the outside, creating a unique pixel matrix. The exposed concrete structure consists of triangulated, divergent planes produced by pulling

and pushing points on the surface of the original cube in order to generate the spaces required by the program. Its adaptability allows OMS Stage to easily shift from a venue for a vibrant rave party to a quiet, glowing pavilion. Jury comments

The Cube is a brilliant work of architectural art. It takes a simple object like the cube and transforms it into a piece of art. The use of materials and their assembly is quite imaginative and evident in how light is refracted. It is also a testament of what can happen when various par-

ties with varying backgrounds can collaborate together and produce such a wonderful piece of art that is both functional and pleasant to look at. This is outstanding poetic innovation, pure and simple. Architects of the Renaissance were responsible for choreographing festivals and religious events. This little gem restores the architect’s role within rituals of daily life in Winnipeg, Manitoba. This is no small feat!

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5468796­arChiTeCTure­inC.

5468796­arChiTeCTure­inC. 5468796­arChiTeCTure­inC.

Mission 2050 ­baird­saMpson­neuerT­arChiTeCTs ­elora­researCh­sTaTion,­arkell­ researCh­sTaTion­and­ponsonby­researCh­ sTaTion,­onTario cateGorY­sCienCe architect

ling of organics, energy and water, and through novel co-product development. This framework is supported by integrated horticultural, food production/processing, and renewable bioenergy capabilities which establish a scaleable research environment for ongoing innovation, and will place Ontario at the forefront of interdisciplinary agricultural and bio-systems research. Through interdisciplinary research,

baird­saMpson­neuerT

baird­saMpson­neuerT

Location

Unprecedented globally, Mission 2050 (M2050) will establish an integrated agri-ecology campus for dairy, poultry and swine research, technology development and innovation, and knowledge transfer. Bringing together multidisciplinary scientists, educators, and industry partners, M2050 operates using a conceptual framework of “total resource recovery” that incrementally closes the loop on problematic emissions through the cyc-

26­canadian architect­05/11


5468796­arChiTeCTure­inC.

­a­deTail­of­The­ MeTal­skin;­The­various­aluMinuM­CoMponenTs­CoMprising­The­sTage;­a­view­ of­of­The­sTage­during­an­evening­ ConCerT;­a­reMarkable­sensory­experienCe­in­The­oMs­sTage­in­­Terior;­a­ sequenCe­of­The­projeCTions;­a­visual­ explanaTion­of­how­The­projeCT’s­CusToM-CuT­MeTal­exTrusions­CreaTes­a­flexible­CurTain­ThaT­reveals­a­sTage­behind.

5468796­arChiTeCTure­inC.

5468796­arChiTeCTure­inC.

cLocKwise FroM oPPosite toP LeFt

technology development, partnerships and educational outreach, M2050 ultimately seeks to comprehensively transform the environmental footprint and sustainability of animal enterprises into a net-positive condition, through broad-range research objectives established by the University of Guelph in collaboration with its partners. Jury comments

­The­Mission­2050­ projeCT­will­ConTain­various­agriCulTurally­relaTed­CoMponenTs,­inCluding­ a­foCus­on­susTain­abiliTy,­and­will­also­ ConTain­prograMMaTiC­eleMenTs­eM­phasizing­eduCaTion­and­ouTreaCh;­ approaChing­The­faCiliTy;­a­view­of­­ The­enTry­foyer­looking­To­­wards­The­ roTary­dairy­Milking­parlour.

oPPosite BottoM, LeFt to riGht

baird­saMpson­neuerT

baird­saMpson­neuerT

Mission 2050 falls very much within the realm of the “greening” of the agriculture industry. It blends the latest in energy and recycling technologies to promote continued research in environ-

mental sustainability. It is unique in that it is a living laboratory which is combined with outreach objectives, thus providing the agriculture industry with innovative solutions that can be quickly adopted. The agri-ecology campus is truly a visionary endeavour. The concept of “total resource recovery” is an essential part of humanity’s environmental challenge this coming century. The role of the architect as a central figure in this project sends an important message to our profession’s next generation. This is the serious business of saving the planet.

05/11­­canadian architect

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phoTo­CrediT­

north house architect

­TeaM­norTh ­praCTiCe

cateGorY

North House is a prototype prefabricated solarpowered home designed for northern climates (42°-55° latitude) that advances responsive envelope design through the pairing of hybridintegrated active and passive envelope systems with interactive controls. In combining these technologies, the prototype delivers a net energyproducing dwelling sponsoring new relationships between occupants, their surrounding environment and building systems. Design research was undertaken by an interdisciplinary, inter-

28­canadian architect­05/11

institutional team engaging faculty and graduate students from the University of Waterloo, Ryerson University, and Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Art and Technology, working through intensive collaboration with professional and industry partners. Jury comments

This is a unique house which integrates the latest in building technologies making it specifically designed for northern climates. It combines such things as solar energy, automation and natural light, making it an energy-efficient house. The ceiling tiling system is also quite innovative and provides an artistic touch to this unique house. This type of experimental home is very much in line with work being conducted at the National Research Council and would warrant possible

­The­norTh­house­was­one­of­The­ solar­deCaThlon­finalisTs,­and­was­ insTalled­TeMporarily­on­The­Mall­in­ washingTon,­dC.­ BottoM­The­sequenCe­ of­iMages­desCribing­The­asseMbly­proCess­of­norTh­house.

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collaboration in the future. This is “aggressive design research” at its very best! The university and the architects should be congratulated in creating a true “living laboratory” to help us better understand what it means to dwell in the Canadian north. The jury for these awards was comprised of Enzo Gardin, P.Eng, National Research Council Canada representative; Dan Hanganu, FRAIC; and Gregory Henriquez, FRAIC.


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raic awards—innovation in architecture—honouraBLe Mention

ManitoBa hydro PLace ­Kuwabara­payne­McKenna­bluMberG­architects,­sMith­carter­architects­ and­enGineers,­transsolar­KliMaenGineerinG,­prairie­architects­inc. Location­winnipeG,­Manitoba cateGory­office­buildinGs

toM­arban

Gerry­Kopelow

Upon first glance, Manitoba Hydro Place, located in downtown Winnipeg, appears to be a deceptively simple Class A glass office tower. In actuality it is one of North America’s most complex energy-efficient large-scale buildings and a model for bioclimatic architecture in an extreme climate. The 700,000-square-foot design harmonizes time-tested sustainable strategies with advanced technologies to harness maximum passive energies. Planning began in 2002, a year before Architecture 2030 was founded and three years before Al Gore’s Inconvenient Truth (2006) galvanized the world to take responsibility for climate change. Recognizing LEED was not structured to prioritize major energy savings, and to make a visible demonstration of its commitment to energy reduction, Manitoba Hydro set ambitious goals for its new building to achieve 60% above the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB). In addition, it had to provide a healthy work environment for 2,000+ employees, be filled with 100% fresh air, participate in the city’s urban revitalization strategy, and demonstrate fiscal responsibility within the framework of architectural excellence. And it had to do this in an extreme climate where temperatures typically fluctuate from –30°F (–35°C) to +95°F (35°C) over the year. In addition, Winnipeg, once known as the “Chicago of the North,” is notorious for its ailing civic life in the downtown. To achieve these ambitions, the client mandated a formal Integrated Design Process and dedicated two full years to design and development. One year ago, Manitoba Hydro Place opened in Winnipeg and was immediately named 2009’s “Best Tall Building in the Americas” by the Council on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH). Manitoba Hydro Place was also the recipient of the 2010 National Urban Design Honours Award, in addition to being honoured by the American Institute of Architects (AIA), who announced the building as one of its 2010 COTE Top Ten Green Projects.

Gerry­Kopelow

architect

­the­arrival­of­the­Manitoba­hydro­buildinG­in­winnipeG’s­downtown­has­revitalized­interest­in­new­coMMercial­office­space.­ aBove, LeFt to riGht­eMployees­enjoy­a­holistically­healthy­worK­environMent;­breaKout­MeetinG­spaces­bathed­in­natural­liGht­ overlooK­extensive­Green­roofs.

toP

Jury comments

This building is aesthetically pleasing and includes innovative energy-savings technologies.

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It is also designed to provide a healthy work environment making the office pleasant for those working in the building, and may even contribute to increased productivity and reduced absenteeism. This is the most beautiful and environmentally sensitive government office complex ever built in the history of Canada. Imagine a world where all citizens work in such inspired surroundings, while at the same time treading so lightly on our planet. This is a future scenario to which all office buildings should aspire.

canadian MuseuM For huMan riGhts ­antoine­predocK­architect­and­sMith­carter­architects­ and­enGineers­incorporated Location­winnipeG,­Manitoba cateGory­buildinG­inforMation­ModellinG antoine­predocK

architect

Building Information Modelling (BIM) provides architects the opportunity to pioneer new delivery processes, opening possibilities for resolving longstanding issues mired in the past. On this project, the design team radically altered its approach to maintaining the design intent through digital prototyping, enhanced contract documents to a hybrid of 2D and 3D for a superior level of trade scope isolation and quantity take-offs. Results include lower construction costs in addition to the integration of design and construction into one process complete with an integral feedback loop. Their innovations in the use of BIM have impacted the success of projects and how they produce architecture. Jury comments

walters­inc.

BIM is a technology which has been adopted for many years in Europe, and has been gaining in popularity only in recent years in North America. What better way to promote BIM than by using it in a public building? The architects have combined BIM with other tools available to help erect a structure that is not only built efficiently but with a view on effective long-term management of this building. The Canadian Construction Association has been promoting the use of BIM by its members which in the long term will make the Canadian construction industry more competitive. The use of BIM in this new museum will also raise the awareness of BIM in the industry and prove its place as a tool to be used in building sustainability. This building has many crazy geometries, requiring a new level of construction rigour if the end product is to hold together as a true work of architecture. The BIM modelling appears to have been a very important tool in the realization of the contract documents, which will allow this fabulous museum to be become a reality. The jury for these awards was comprised of Enzo Gardin, P.Eng, National Research Council Canada representative; Dan Hanganu, FRAIC; and Gregory Henriquez, FRAIC.

­antoine­predocK­develops­a­series­of­sKetches­ to­beGin­the­biM­process;­the­coMpetition-winninG­renderinG­ of­the­canadian­MuseuM­for­huMan­riGhts;­the­entire­buildinG­ was­Meticulously­Modelled­usinG­revit­software.

LeFt, toP to BottoM

32­canadian architect­05/11


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raic awards—Green BuildinG

34 canadian architect 05/11

Shai Gil

Shai Gil

Shai Gil

Shai Gil

durham consolidated courthouse


location

wZmh architectS oShawa, ontario

The Durham Consolidated Courthouse, com­ pleted in January 2010, makes a significant con­ tribution to the emerging urban framework of downtown Oshawa. Its bold, modern vocabulary emphasizes transparency and openness both for users and passersby. The 3.9­acre site in downtown Oshawa is bounded by Bond Street on the south, Carriage Works Drive on the west, and Division Street on the east. A surface parking lot has been built to the north. A new development that includes a linear pedestrian park is planned to the west. To the south and east there are two­ and three­ storey structures. Providing over one acre of new landscaped open space, the project gives the city a significant new public amenity. The building mass parallels the street grid. Building setbacks serve to medi­ ate between the surrounding properties and the large mass of the proposed building. A continu­ ous 10­metre­high street wall creates a strong urban edge and pedestrian scale along Bond Street compatible with the existing adjacent low structures; above the second floor the building steps back. On the west, the main building core is raised to create a visual terminus, looking east from the proposed linear park. At the southeast corner of the site, a column of glass that is il­ luminated at night creates a strong gateway to downtown Oshawa. A large outdoor public space, Courthouse Square is the forecourt to the building entrance. The scale of the main entrance pavilion on the square establishes a sense of dignity, appropriate for the front door of a courthouse. Providing badly needed space for the province’s judicial system, this six­storey, 40,000­square­metre structure houses 33 courtrooms, associated sup­ port space and prisoner­holding facilities. For planning efficiency, high­volume functions are located at or close to grade. The public circulation system is highly legible for first­time users. Exhibiting a new typology for a typical court­ room floor, the design has a “back to back” arrangement of courtrooms that results in short walking distances for judges and staff. For par­ ticipants in court proceedings, the availability of natural light and outdoor views in the courtroom waiting areas will provide some stress relief. The courthouse represents a physical embodi­ ment of our justice system interpreted in a Mod­ ernist language. Solid building elements serve to express the stability and permanence of the courts. Welcoming to the public, the courthouse

Shai Gil

architect

the main entrance welcomeS with ample tranSparency and a public forecourt. oPPosite Bottom, leFt to riGht the main lobby’S wood Screen; the central lobby maintainS wide open viewS to downtown oShawa; a beacon Stair tower GlowS at niGht. aBoVe the main entrance to the courthouSe, Seen from bond Street.

oPPosite toP

elevations are highly transparent, using clear glass with a rich mosaic of white ceramic frit glass panels. The project is the first LEED NC Gold provin­ cial government building to be completed. It has a compact plan that minimizes the exterior en­ velope, contributing to an overall building energy consumption that is 42% less than the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB). Moreover, this is the first project to be delivered using the Province of Ontario’s Alternative Financing and Procurement framework and is a good example of how design excellence can be achieved by utilizing private financing. Jury comments

This building revitalizes the downtown core and

provides a contextual response to a complex architectural challenge. The project provides landscaped open areas and a gateway to the downtown. In energy terms, the closest any project got to having a sustainability driver was with the Dur­ ham County Courthouse, where due to the P3 procurement method, the constructors must effi­ ciently operate the building for 30 years as part of the lowest­cost bid. The Durham Consolidated Courthouse is also an accomplished piece of pub­ lic architecture, and accordingly was selected as the top project. The jury for this award was comprised of Peter Busby, FRAIC; Teresa Coady, FRAIC; and Stephen Pope, FRAIC. 05/11 canadian architect

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raic awards—Green BuildinG—honouraBle mention

Kerchum residence architect location

LEED Platinum­certified home in Western Canada. The design is a response to the clients’ appreciation of modern architec­ ture and desire for a flexible plan, accommodating entertaining, intimacy and the potential to accommodate a growing family. The goal was to create large integrated indoor and outdoor entertaining spaces without sacrificing the sense of domestic intimacy for the young couple. The design explores the potential for diversity of spatial experience within the constraints of a stan­ dard rectilinear city lot. The interior­exterior relationships of the multiple outdoor patios and gardens are formed integrally within the architectural framework, so that the whole site becomes a cohesive living space. Sectionally, the house is made up of two parts that are connected by a cen­ tral stair. The first volume is two storeys boasting high ceilings and a roof deck, and the second volume is three storeys above grade; its lowest level below grade opens onto a sunken courtyard. The open stair is lit from above by a skylight, flooding the interconnected floors with natural daylight. Light is considered in the house as a means of defining scale and intim­ acy in the space. This is demonstrated in the main floor living/dining room. South light is filtered through an intimately scaled front window with hori­ zontal wood fins, moderating the direct southern exposure and defining the private realm from the street. A narrow skylight along the length of the main living space provides soft light from above, lending an introspective quality to the otherwise large and open space. The north wall of the room is made up of large glass sliding doors, opening to the rear patio and garden. A large overhang ensures that the light is even and diffuse. As the house is oriented and designed for passive solar usage, the relationship of windows to their overhangs also maximizes solar gain in the winter, and controls it in the summer. The construction of a well insulated building envelope with high­quality triple glazing allows this home to maintain a high level of energy efficiency while accommodating large glazed areas. A high­efficiency heating/cooling system was integrated into the design and construction of the house, and includes an air­to­water heat pump, heat recovery, in­floor radiant heat, and rooftop solar hot­water heating. Planted roof areas establish a connec­ tion between the interiors and the gardens on all levels of the house, and also reduce heat reflectance and rainwater runoff. Landscape design on all levels makes use of native drought­tolerant plant species to minimize water usage, facilitated by rainwater harvesting and storage. The approach to the project was very collaborative, and a strong working relationship was established between the architect, client/builder, land­ scape designer and energy rater. The success of the built project was the result of a shared vision between the professionals involved to develop a home that integrates strong design and high­end finishing with sustainable building practices, which involves the conscious choice of energy reduction and environmentally preferable products.

fritS de vrieS vancouver, britiSh columbia

lucaS finlay

lucaS finlay

This single­family residence in the Dunbar neighbourhood of Vancouver was designed as a home for the clients and their young family, but it also functions as a demonstration home for their building and renovation com­ pany that focuses on sustainable residential building. The home is the first

lucaS finlay

Jury comments

the front entrance of the Kerchum reSidence; the planted roof and rear façade of thiS tiGhtly detailed home; the expanSive dininG area featureS expoSed beamS.

At the residential scale, net­zero energy and much more extensive defin­ itions of green design can be brought into play. The Kerchum Residence does not attempt aggressive targets, but does present a well­integrated and attractive detached house that will be robust and easy to maintain while keeping a low­energy and carbon footprint. As a Platinum­certified house in the LEED Homes program, it shows that green performance is not in­ compatible with elegant design. This is an example of innovative architecture resulting in a high level of performance and design quality. As this project offers a real alternative to the typical single­family home design, I believe it deserves mention.

clocKwise From toP

36 canadian architect 05/11

The jury for this award was comprised of Peter Busby, FRAIC; Teresa Coady, FRAIC; and Stephen Pope, FRAIC.


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raic awards—allied arts

Philip Beesley is a professor in the School of Architecture at the University of Waterloo where he is also Director of the Integrated Group for Visualization, Design and Manufacturing. A practitioner of architecture and digital media art, he was educated in visual art at Queen’s University, in technology at Humber College, and in architecture at the University of Toronto. In the last three decades, Beesley’s sculpture, next-generation digital media and cross-disciplinary experimental visual art has made fundamental contributions to Canadian architecture, spanning a career that has been marked by distinctions at every stage. His work has been dedicated to a radically potent, expanded role for the arts integrated within architecture. He has focused on public buildings accompanied by field-oriented sculpture and landscape installations, exhibition and stage design. His experimental projects in the past several years have increasingly worked with immersive digitally fabricated lightweight “textile” structures, and the most recent generations of his work feature interactive kinetic systems that use dense arrays of microprocessors, sensors and actuator systems. These environments pursue distributed emotional consciousness and combine synthetic and near-living systems. Beesley’s work is widely published and exhibited. His principal collaborators include mechatronics engineer Rob Gorbet and synthetic biologist Rachel Armstrong. His work was selected to represent Canada at the 2010 Venice Biennale for Architecture, and he has been recognized by the Prix de Rome, VIDA, FEIDAD, and Governor General’s Awards. He was a founding member of the ANNPAC gallery KAAI, and is a member of art collaboratives Open Series, Studio Six, and the George Meteskey Ensemble. His Toronto-based practice PBAI is an interdisciplinary design firm that combines public buildings with exhibition and design projects. Interdisciplinary art, stage and lighting projects are frequently undertaken by the practice, and advanced digital prototyping is a particular feature of the office’s method. Celebrated works include the Hylozoic Ground series—which was chosen to represent Canada at the 2010 Venice Biennale for Architecture, and which Aaron Betsky termed “living jewelry,” offering an extended critique which describes it as an exemplar of future architecture capturing human existential qualities. Beesley has also been involved in exhibition design for the awardwinning French River Visitor Centre and the Niagara Credit Union Building, and has created innovative industrial design component systems such as responsive solar shading. PBAI also houses Riverside Architectural Press, which produces numerous architecture and design-related book projects.

Pierre Charron

PhiliP Beesley

Jury comments

For three decades, Philip Beesley’s research has demonstrated sustainability, focus and depth, outside of the capability of traditional architectural practice.

PhiliP Beesley

The jury for this award was comprised of John Brown, FRAIC; Brian MacKayLyons, FRAIC; and Howard Sutcliffe, MRAIC.

38 canadian architect 05/11


PhiliP Beesley miChael Powers

susan read

an avid fan PhotograPhs Beesley’s Hylozoic Soil installation; in 2001, Beesley’s Erratic NEt ComPrised a matrix of wire installed on toP of a glaCier-sCoured nova sCotia landsCaPe. clOcKwise FrOM tOP an iConiC image from Beesley’s Hylozoic Soil series; luBriCant stored in vessels ComPrise ENdotHElium (2008); aurora (2010) CaPtures the imagination of young designers.

OPPOsite, tOP tO BOttOM

05/11 canadian architect

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Tom ArbAn

raic awards—advocate for architecture

Gerald sheff

Gerald Sheff has recently retired from Gluskin Sheff + Associates Inc., the investment company he co founded with Ira Gluskin in 1984. During that time, Sheff served as a Director of the firm, as its Chairman, and as Chief Executive Officer. He graduated from the School of Architecture at McGill University in 1964, and subsequently moved to London, England, where, as a young architecture graduate, he worked for a year for Sir Basil Spence, whom he had met following a public lecture by Spence while he was still a student at McGill. In late 1964, he moved back to his home city of Montreal, where he worked for nearly three years for Bland, LeMoyne, Edwards and Shine on a number of projects including the British Pavilion at Expo 67. In 1969, he went back to school, undertaking a Master of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School, from which he graduated in 1971. Following this, he joined Cadillac Developments in Toronto, which later become Cadillac Fairview, playing a number of key roles with that firm. In 1984, he left to join Ira Gluskin in creating Gluskin Sheff, which went on to become one of the most successful investment firms in Canada. Over the years, Sheff has demonstrated a strong personal passion for architecture, and has given expression to that passion through a remarkable series of important architectural commissions, as well as through an exemplary pattern of philanthropic support for architectural culture in Canada. Among these notable and award-winning commissions are the Boathouse on Lake Muskoka (1999) by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects, the Sheff Residence (2001) by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, and the Cottage for Two Families in Muskoka (2006) by Kohn Shnier Architects. 40 canadian architect 05/11

Additionally, in 2002, he commissioned a project for a tree house on his Muskoka property from Lukasz Kos, at that time a student in the Master of Architecture program at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. Kos was the winner of a design competition Sheff and his wife Shanitha had sponsored among students at the Daniels Faculty. Since its construction, the tree house has been published in 11 different architecture and design magazines around the world. In addition to his activities as a patron of award-winning architectural projects, Sheff has supported architectural culture in Canada through major philanthropic initiatives. In 2005, he made a million-dollar gift to his architectural alma mater, McGill University, to found the Sheff Visiting Professorship in Architecture. Gluskin Sheff also currently funds travelling scholarships for students in the McGill Architecture program. He has also provided substantial ongoing financial support to the activities of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal during his term as a member of the Board of Directors of the CCA, as well as providing key advice to that Board. Jury comments

Beyond Mr. Sheff’s generosity in both his time and philanthropy directed to architecture and the arts is his regard, as a client, for the commissioning of building projects which have achieved both national and international recognition contributing to the enhanced profile of Canadian architecture. The unanimous and swift decision by the jury to confer the Advocate for Architecture 2011 Award of Excellence on Gerald Sheff is a remarkable


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testimony to the significant contribution he has made to Canada’s architectural domain. The jury for this award was comprised of William Chomik, PP/FRAIC; Christopher Fillingham, PP/FRAIC; and Eric Haldenby, FRAIC.

The PrefAb CoTTAge for Two fAmilies de­ signed by Kohn shnier ArChiTeCTs; The musKoKA boAThouse designed by shim­suTCliffe ArChiTeCTs; The KPmb­designed rAvine house in iTs lAndsCAPed ConTexT; The hAb ChAir by shim­suTCliffe ArChiTeCTs wAs A Commission To ComPlemenT The boAThouse.

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SIDIM_canadianINTERIORS_mars2011.pdf

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Architecture in Uniform designing and building for the second world war

13 april – 18 september 2011 Architecture in Uniform documents the wide range of architectural activities that occured during the Second World War. Drawings, photographs, posters, books and models reveal the extent of the architects’ engagement in all the aspects of the conflict. cca.qc.ca/uniform

Centre Canadien d’Architecture Canadian Centre for Architecture 1920, rue Baile, Montréal 514 939 7026 The CCA gratefully acknowledges the support of the ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine, the Canada Council for the Arts, the Conseil des arts de Montréal, and Hydro-Québec. A team of camouflage artists at work at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, illustration in Robert P. Breckenridge, Modern Camouflage: The New Science of Protective Concealment, 1942.

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In collaboration with

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raic awards—Young architect

Taymoore BalBaa, Chris wong, paTriCK spear, Tim lee

Taymoore BalBaa, Byron whiTe, jeff powers, aleXander feherToi

taYmoore BalBaa

Taymoore Balbaa received his Master of Architecture degree from the University of Waterloo and won the RAIC Medal for Outstanding Thesis. In 2005, he became the inaugural winner of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners, working and conducting research in Spain, West Africa, Greece, and Egypt. He also holds a Bachelor of Environmental Studies degree from Waterloo, and took pre-professional architecture training in the Università Gabriele D’Annunzio in Italy. He is a licensed architect with the OAA, and in 44 canadian architect 05/11

the European Union with the Technical Chamber of Greece (TEE). In 2010 he became a founding partner of Atelier3AM, a multidisciplinary firm actively engaged in the crossing of design and research. Since 2006, he has been the principal of Taymoore Balbaa Design Studio (TABA), and has developed a body of work that includes libraries, housing, live/work projects, cultural centres, and a place of worship. Prior to this, he worked in the offices of Menis Arquitectos (Tenerife), directing the designs of a social-housing project and an

clocKwise From toP leFt Taymore BalBaa; BalBaa was The Team leader for The europan X CompeTiTion in Vardø, norway; The wildflower CenTre inTernaTional CompeTiTion in liVerpool, uK was CompleTed in assoCiaTion wiTh Chris wong; an image from BalBaa’s Thesis projeCT.

urban park in Spain. In 2004-2005, he worked with the Toronto firm of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects on the Manitoba Hydro office project in downtown Winnipeg.


Taymoore BalBaa, in assoCiaTion wiTh jason King and Chris wong

Bureau e.a.s.T., Taymoore BalBaa design sTudio, aTelier3am, hashim sarKis sTudios

With Massimiliano Fuksas Architetto in Rome in 2000-2001, he worked on several notable projects in Italy, Switzerland, the Netherlands and Hong Kong. He has also worked with HLW International in New York, and in 1998, assisted on the Parthenon Restoration Project in Athens. At both graduate and undergraduate levels, Balbaa has taught Design Studio at the University of Waterloo School of Architecture and the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto, and has lectured at universities in Berlin, Toronto, Napoli, Tunis, Istanbul and Ottawa. In addition, he has been an invited critic at the Pratt Institute (Rome) and at the Yale School of Architecture. Currently, he serves as a sessional professor at Ryerson University in Toronto. The Young Architect Award recognizes an architect under the age of 35 for excellence in design, leadership and/or service to the profession. It is intended that this award will inspire other young architects to become licensed and to strive for excellence in their work. Jury comments

The jury has named Balbaa the recipient of this year’s Young Architect Award in recognition of his impressive early achievements in the profession; he is an exciting young architect with exceptional potential. His breadth of professional focus and capability is impressive—he has consistently demonstrated an interest and ability to combine architectural practice with teaching, research, and exhibition. Balbaa is quickly emerging as a significant contributor to architecture, both in Canada and abroad. The future of this young architect will also most certainly prove interesting to watch. The jury for this award was comprised of George Baird, FRAIC; Richard Young, PP/FRAIC; Alan R. Collyer, FRAIC; Paul Merrick, FRAIC; Sophie Ouimet, La Presse; and Alexander Rankin, FRAIC, Chancellor of the College of Fellows and Jury Chair.

massimiliano fuKsas arChiTeTTo

right, toP to Bottom BalBaa was parT of a design Team ThaT was a finalisT for The plaCe lalla yeddouna CompeTiTion in fez, moroCCo; a CompeTiTion enTry for The new holmenKollBaKKen sKi jump in oslo, norway; BalBaa was a Team memBer for The seCond-plaCe Bern shopping and enTerTainmenT CenTre design CompeTiTion enTry when he worKed for iTalian arChiTeCT massimiliano fuKsas.

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raic awards—Prix du xxe siÈcle

heating and cooling Plant at the university of regina

architect location

cliFFord Wiens regina, sasKatcHeWan

Henry Kalen Fonds

Henry Kalen Fonds

The Heating and Cooling Plant at the University of Regina (1967) provides heated and chilled water to the University of Regina campus buildings and is distinguished by a unique A-frame form of exposed precast concrete and weathering steel. Designed by Clifford Wiens, the building received a Massey Medal for Architecture (now the Governor General’s Award, Canada’s highest honour) in 1970. Saskatchewan-born Wiens once explained in an interview: “I had to build a case for anything more architectural than a steel box, so this A-frame is a concrete temple to technology, with concrete bays and removable end walls set to the precise size and shape required by heaters, pumps, switches and chillers.” Precast concrete A-frames form the roof structure and also support the cooling towers of the plant. The outward force of the massive beams is counteracted by a series of posttensioning cables that run through the floor and tie the building together. The north and south walls are glazed with translucent glass that filters the strong prairie sunlight, shading the interior and glowing symbolically after dark. The glazing is held in place by gaskets that allow the walls to be “unzipped” in order to perform periodic equipment replacement. Exhibiting a strong, simple form that establishes an expressive link to the surrounding prairie landscape, the Heating and Cooling Plant rises from the flat Regina plain in the same direct and dynamic way that a barn or grain elevator appears on the prairie. The form of the building springs from the combination of a structural and an architectural idea, beginning with a close analysis of tension and compression elements that are resolved with architectural details of startling invention. The plant has been a landmark in Regina since it was built over 40 years ago and remains an example of innovative and expressive Modernist architecture. Jury comments

a striKing concrete sculptural expression deFines tHis extraordinary industrial building on tHe university oF regina campus.

toP and aBove

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The Heating and Cooling Plant embodies the successful marriage of sophisticated structural design, contemporary materials, adaptation of plan and section to function, and expressive form that was the goal of the best of Modern architecture. The direct and unadorned industrial materials, their natural colours and simple forms reflect the utilitarian agricultural equipment and structures of the prairie farms with which Wiens was familiar, while the bold silhouette of the building recalls that ubiquitous prairie landmark, the grain elevator.


raic awards—Prix du xxe siÈcle

panda pHotograpHy, HugH robertson

ottawa train station

architect location

JoHn b. parKin associates ottaWa, ontario

panda pHotograpHy, HugH robertson

The Ottawa Train Station is one of the best-known truly Modernist buildings in Ottawa (and Canada), and an iconic structure that is spoken of with admiration by the public it serves and design professionals alike. While it remains a timeless modern interpretation of the “grand” rail terminal and evidences enduring design quality, it also reveals the purity of design of the postwar Modernist period. The large floating structural frame is the most prominent element of a building that clearly articulates its functions and components in a beautiful ensemble. The design of the building was by the Toronto firm of John B. Parkin Associates and the primary designers were Gene Kinoshita and Ted Sievenpiper. Completed in 1966, the station has since then received a number of important recognitions including the OAA’s Landmark Award in 2007, recognizing that this is one of the most architecturally important buildings in the province of Ontario. Jury comments

panda pHotograpHy, HugH robertson

The jury recognized the iconic nature of the building, with its bold composition and exposed massive structural elements designed to make a powerful impression on arriving and departing passengers. The jury also recognized the enduring integrity of the design and materials, so little changed since construction, despite the demands of evolving technology and the high traffic to which the building is subject.

inspired by train bridge engineering, tHe ottaWa train station is a striKing landmarK in tHe city’s suburban landscape. Middle tHe main entry WitH tHe expressive truss and column design clearly visible in tHe bacKground. right tHe smootH spiral oF tHe arrivals ramp emerges in tHe middle oF tHis modernist gem’s great Hall in a gesture oF grand exuberance. toP

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raic awards—Prix du xxe siÈcle

courtesy cHeryl cooper

the MuseuM of anthroPology at the university of British coluMBia architect location

artHur ericKson vancouver, britisH columbia

courtesy cHeryl cooper

Completed in 1976, the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia by Arthur Erickson aptly captures both the landscape of the West Coast and the spirit of the First Nations people. Similar to much of Erickson’s work, the Museum is made primarily of concrete, but the ideas embodied in this building are unique in their material interpretation when compared to his other concrete projects. The exterior subtly mimics the rugged West Coast mountains as formed by the hands of man while the interior calls to mind the spirit of a First Nations longhouse. The grand hall facing the inlet is a metaphorical cathedral of totemic art symbolizing the faith of indigenous West Coast people. The main components of the building are expressed as concrete frames—paradigms of structure and gateways to the secluded lands of the University of British Columbia as well as to the mountains across the inlet. This is where Erickson welcomes back the Native people to their ancestral home. Arthur Erickson has created many poignant buildings in Canada, but none capture the Canadian identity as powerfully as the UBC Museum of Anthropology, which sits proudly as an icon of the West Coast spirit, even moreso the spirit of Canadian architecture. Jury comments

The jury feels that the Museum exemplifies more than any other building Erickson’s thoughtful handling of Modern concrete structures so as to respond to its natural setting and program. Inspired by the post-and-beam architecture of the northwest coastal First Nations, the striking façade opening towards the sea does not, however, fall prey to unidimensional ethnological references. On the contrary, it weds the language of Modern large-span concrete structures with a primitive purity of form while providing a dramatic framing for viewing the splendid landscape beyond.

For many years, tHe vision oF a reFlecting pool beHind tHe museum oF antHropology remained unrealized, until recently. aBove ericKson’s sKetcH For His iconic building.

toP

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raic awards—Prix du xxe siÈcle

roBson square architect

artHur ericKson cornelia HaHn oberlander vancouver, britisH columbia

landscaPe architect location

ezra stoller

Robson Square (1973-83) is a modern landmark in the city of Vancouver, a unique civic complex of considerable scale spanning three entire city blocks. A true masterwork by Arthur Erickson, it was conceived and designed as a single entity. The contemporary Law Courts building and the Edwardian Rattenbury Courthouse—converted to the Vancouver Art Gallery in 1983—anchor and balance the low-profile park-like complex at each end. Linking justice and art is a pedestrian spine over a nearly camouflaged government office building, covered by a 280-foot-long pool, flowing down three cascading waterfalls. The public space, with unexpected pastoral and intimate areas, is interwoven throughout and heightened by its formal sunken plaza, designed for a variety of public amenities. Zigzagged by its distinctive “stramps” designed to provide the disabled with “front-door rights,” everything about this complex is civically motivated. Not a square based on a European model, but a spirited West Coast interpretation of space and relationships—Erickson gave Vancouver a collection of piazzas, some intimate and protected, others open to skaters, performers and audiences, in a lush, terraced urban garden. Robson Square put Vancouver on the map. It won the prestigious American Society of Landscape Architects President’s Award of Excellence in 1979, where the jury commented on the “extraordinary integration of landscape architecture with architecture—consistent and coherent.” Envisioned by Arthur Erickson and Cornelia Hahn Oberlander as a “linear urban park, importing nature into the city,” this was a bold, contemplative work of urban design. Robson Square is one of the most important, thoughtful Modernist sites in Canada, with much to offer for the future. Jury comments

greg ricHardson

Thanks to its splendid horizontality and its complex system of landscape terraces, pools and waterfalls, this vast urban landmark is able to embody a West Coast sense of space and relationships. Bridging between law and the arts, it epitomizes the urban monument in its highest civic aspiration.

greg ricHardson

The jury for these awards was comprised of Martin Bressani, Natalie Bull, Michael McMordie and Yves Gosselin, AP/FRAIC, Jury Chair.

robson square in 1980; tHe Famous “stramp”— a combination oF stairs and ramps; tHe sopHisticated rooFtop landscape designed by cornelia HaHn oberlander.

right, toP to BottoM

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5:


news

(continued from page 18) expert, educator and author with a distinguished and successful career spanning 45 years. He is the CEO of Architecture 2030, a non-profit, nonpartisan, solution-oriented organization. He will be the keynote speaker during the Convocation during the Architecture Canada | RAIC—AIBC Festival of Architecture, taking place May 24-27, 2011 in Vancouver. Mike Harcourt, Hon. FRAIC is a past premier of BC, and will also speak during the RAIC Festival. Those named as 2011 Fellows are: Pierre E. Gallant, Steve D. McFarlane, Michael F. Heeney, Michael Charles Green, Wayne DeAngelis, Marie-Odile Marceau, David M. Hewitt, Kathryn Susan Handegord Gowling, Craig Webber, Douglas Campbell, Cathy Capes, John Robert Carley, Barbara M. Ross, Stig Harvor, K.A. Bruce Etherington, David Craddock, Sheena Lee Sharp, Janna Sidney Levitt, Robert G. Hill, Elizabeth Antonina Sisam, Arthur Howard Sutcliffe, Jill Taylor, Diane Elizabeth Phillips, Bob Hardy, Claude R. Bisson, Pierre Corriveau, Rosanne Moss, David H. Fish, Robert La Pierre, Peter A.G. Roper, Carl R. Smyth, and Richard M. Kassner. Montreal celebrates its fifth anniversary as a Unesco city of design.

To celebrate the fifth anniversary of this designation, Montreal is paying tribute to the people who shape their city and their everyday lives. Since 2006, more than $6 million has been invested to fund design and architecture competitions and to promote Montreal’s talented people and exemplary accomplishments. Thanks to the creation of the Montreal UNESCO City of Design initiatives— born of a unique partnership between the Ville de Montréal, the UNESCO Chair in Landscape and Environmental Design at Université de Montréal, the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine, the Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l’Occupation du territoire and the Conférence régionale des élus de Montréal—the number of creative projects has greatly increased in the last five years, with the launch of four urban design workshops, three design idea competitions and 15 design project competitions. A number of activities will take place from May 2011 to May 2012 to mark Montreal’s fifth anniversary as a UNESCO City of Design. The celebrations will revolve around three key periods: June 2011, October-November 2011, and May 2012. In the wake of the Montreal International Interior Design Show (May 26-28), the celebrations will kick off with the Design Montreal Open House—organized as part of the Agreement on the Cultural Development of Montreal—which is also marking 52­canadian architect­05/11

its fifth anniversary this year. A total of 75 Montreal design agencies, projects and exhibition spaces will be open to the public free of charge on June 4-5, 2001, to showcase the designers behind Montreal’s urban surroundings. ontario association of architects announces 2011 oaa President sheena sharp.

The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) has announced its 2011 President, Sheena Sharp, B.E.S., M.Arch., OAA, FRAIC. Sharp was elected to OAA Council in 2006 and is part of a team that has led the organization in a transition to an updated licensing process, an increase in membership, and greater responsiveness to issues current in the construction industry. She hopes to continue this process though the Association’s contributions to government policy on Energy, Heritage, Culture, Housing, Procurement and Building Safety regulations. Sharp has served as Vice President, Government Relations (2006-07) Vice President, Practice (2008) and Senior Vice President and Treasurer (2010). She was the Chair of the Bill 124 Task Group, Sustainable Built Environments Committee, the Future of the Profession/Interns Committee, and the Practice Committee (2008). Sharp has served on numerous OAA Committees and has been an active volunteer in the architectural and building industry community. Sharp is a principal of Coolearth Architecture Inc. in Toronto, which focuses on environmentally sustainable design. Since forming in 2008, the practice has undertaken projects which achieve net-zero energy use. the University of toronto’s john h. daniels Faculty of architecture, Landscape and design opens responsive architecture Lab.

The University of Toronto’s John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design has announced the opening of Responsive Architecture at Daniels (RAD), a laboratory that provides resources and expertise for project-based research on embedded technology and ubiquitous computing in the built environment. RAD capitalizes on this opportunity, bringing emerging technology and research to bear on the built environment: responsive and interactive systems, augmented reality, embedded/situated technology, ambient intelligence, mobile computing and locative media. The research is premised on the notion that every building or landscape component can be equipped with computational power to better handle persistent and emerging challenges in the areas of health care, building technology and sustainability. RAD is directed by Assistant Professor Carol Moukheiber and Associate Professor Rodolphe el-Khoury. They

join Assistant Professor Christos Marcopoulos, Nashid Nabian and other resident or affiliated investigators in leading projects by multidisciplinary teams for potential development in partnership with industry. http://rad.daniels.utoronto.ca

Letters As a principal of a firm that designs correctional facilities, I felt compelled to add some further insights after reading the Viewpoint in the March 2011 issue of Canadian Architect. The current building initiatives have been caused largely by Crime Bill C-25, which removes a 2 for 1 credit that offenders receive for time served prior to being tried and sentenced. For example, an offender who awaited trial in a provincial facility for one year had two years of time served deducted from their overall sentence. This 2 for 1 credit was put into place as a way of recognizing the poor standard of care the offender was receiving within the facility and the inordinate length of time that our justice system takes to bring cases to trial. Lawyers representing offenders took full advantage of this situation, using delay tactics and avoidance to the benefit of their clients. The removal of this loophole has increased the speed at which offenders are sentenced while relieving some of the logjams within our courts. The realtime effect that Crime Bill C-25 will have on correctional facilities is that our provincial prison system should in fact see an immediate reduction in population due to faster processing, while it is anticipated that the federal system will experience an increase in its prison population. Hence, the current Correctional Service Canada (CSC) building program aimed at meeting these demands. On balance, the population within our combined provincial and federal correctional systems should remain approximately the same. In my opinion, the root cause of our less than adequate correctional system lies within our culture, in that we have a complete lack of understanding of and honesty towards our social issues. With avoidance comes benign neglect, manifested in a lack of appropriate funding, thereby handcuffing the system to the status quo. Mr. Chodikoff’s overarching challenge to the architectural community—“Should Architects accept Canada’s approach to prison-making, or can we advocate for an alternative course of action through preferred methods of crime prevention and rehabilitation?” is not an either/or situation. As architects and thoughtful members of society, we must do both. Jonathan Hughes Principal NORR Limited


Calendar Guy Tillim: Avenue Patrice Lumumba

April 20-June 14, 2011 This exhibition at the Design Exchange examines modern history and architecture in Africa, set against the backdrop of its colonial and post-colonial roots. These poignant photographs trace Patrice Lumumba’s nationalist legacy across numerous African countries. www.dx.org COnTaCT 2011: Figure & Ground

May 1-31,2011 The annual monthlong CONTACT Photography Festival in Toronto features classical portraits of the figure in the landscape, and critical views of a ground transformed by human intervention, exploring the shifting tensions between humanity and nature. http://scotiabankcontactphoto.com rOMwalks

May 1-September 25, 2011 Launched in 1980 by the Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), ROMwalks features 10

different walks this year, including Necropolis, ROM & its Neighbours, Cabbagetown, Heart of Toronto, Jarvis Street, and Entertainment District. All ROMwalks take place on Sundays and Wednesdays. www.rom.on.ca/programs/ Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty

May 4-July 31, 2011 This exhibition at the Metropolitan Museum of Art celebrates the late designer’s extraordinary contributions to fashion. McQueen challenged and expanded our understanding of fashion beyond utility to a conceptual expression of culture, politics and identity. www.metmuseum.org design + Computation: The Virtue of the Virtual

May 18-20, 2011 This interdisciplinary conference at Montreal’s McGill University welcomes practitioners and academics working in the disciplines of architecture, landscape architecture, city planning, design,

philosophy, and computer science. The conference is aimed at responding to the changing meaning of the model in technology and society. www.farmmresearch.com Society for the Study of architecture in Canada 38th annual Conference

May 25-28, 2011 Taking place in Arvida, Quebec, the SSAC annual conference features a number of speakers such as Lucie K. Morisset, Patrick Stewart, George Thomas Kapelos, Steve Mannell, and Bernard Flaman. Tours and exhibitions will be on offer during the four days, and the winner of the Phyllis Lambert Prize will also be revealed and presented. www.canada-architecture.org Transforming & revitalizing downtown Summit

June 14-15, 2011 Taking place at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, the focus of this event is on creating and sustaining vibrant, liveable

downtown cores. Gain insight into engaging local communities, planning for municipalities of all sizes, attracting new development, intensification solutions, and progressive place-making strategies. www.revitalizingdowntowns.net Ghost 13

June 14-17, 2011 The Ghost Lab is held every summer on architect Brian MacKay-Lyons’s farm located on the coast of Nova Scotia, and attracts an international school of architects such as Kenneth Frampton, Juhani Pallasmaa, Deborah Berke, and Brigitte Shim. These architects will embrace both the academy and practice through a commitment to place while resisting the numbing effects of a globalized culture. www.mlsarchitects.ca/ghost/ For more inFormation about these, and additional listings oF Canadian and international events, please visit www.canadianarchitect.com

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Kevin Murray

Walk this Way

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Each May, thousands of people around the globe celebrate the birthday of grassroots urbanist Jane Jacobs by doing something she often did: they go for a walk with their neighbours. The volunteer-led community strolls take place under the banner of Toronto-based organization Jane’s Walk, and are free and open to the public. Unlike generic tours, Jane’s Walks attract residents by focusing on local issues—from the location of the best bakeries to successful social housing strategies. The association’s executive director, Jane Farrow, led a queerhistory tour of Toronto’s Yonge Street on the inaugural walk date of May 5, 2007. “It was seeing the reaction of people, telling their stories of what it was like being in a queer bar in the ’60s that electrified everyone,” she recalls. “They mapped their experience on to the city. They felt, ‘my anecdote is now part of urban lore and queer history.’ People need to feel that more—they need to feel some ownership of and engagement with the city.” In 2008, Farrow quit her job as a CBC broadcaster to work full-time for Jane’s Walk. The model of self-organized tours led by local guides has proved successful not only in urban centres like downtown Toronto and Manhattan, but also in automobile-centric suburbs and midwestern American cities that aren’t traditionally thought of as walkable. In Calgary and Phoenix, walks have been organized around transit issues. A planned walk in Etobicoke looks at how the South Asian, Caribbean, and African diasporas have shaped suburban Albion Road. Other walks—like a tour of the oft-maligned Simon Fraser University campus in suburban Vancouver—examine urban conditions with a critical eye, encouraging participants to discuss their experiences. This echoes the 54 canadian architect 05/11

a successful walKing tour prograM that celebrates local neighbourhoods has spread around the world, allowing people to gain an appreciation of and passion for their coMMunities.

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approach of Jane Jacobs, who championed mixed-use neighbourhoods not as a trained urbanist, but as an active observer and engaged citizen. “No one can find what will work for our cities by looking at…suburban garden cities, manipulating scale models, or inventing dream cities. You’ve got to get out and walk,” she wrote in a 1957 essay, “Downtown is for People.” Jacobs saw walking as a means of exploration, but also believed that walkability was a characteristic of successful neighbourhoods. As Farrow explains, “If it’s a better place to walk, it’s a better place to live, because walking is totally connected to a socially cohesive neighbourhood, people connected, watching out for each other.” The growth of Jane’s Walks testifies to the strength of the concept. In its first year, 38 tours were held in Toronto and New York. Now, it numbers some 450 walks, held in 68 cities around the world—including places as farflung as Tel Aviv, Malaysia, Slovenia, Zambia and Mexico. While its impact is hard to measure, getting people out, walking, looking at their surroundings, and talking with each other is the basis of any effective urban change. Jane’s Walks are opportunities not only to discuss history, but to make it— from the ground up, a single step at a time. ca Elsa Lam is a writer and researcher based in Toronto. She holds a PhD in architectural history and theory from Columbia University.


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Canadian Architect May 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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