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J ason Tsironis wins the Canada Council for the Arts’ Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners; Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) and Architecture Canada | RAIC launch new collaboration as co-presenters of IIDEX/NeoCon Canada.
Brook McIlroy reconfigure and revive the Thunder Bay waterfront with Prince Arthur’s Landing, as detailed by Ian Chodikoff.
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February 2012, v.57 N.02
The NaTioNal Review of DesigN aND PRacTice/ The JouRNal of RecoRD of aRchiTecTuRe caNaDa | Raic
Melana Janzen provides a glimpse into the last days at the legendary office building of Moriyama & Teshima in midtown Toronto, which they have occupied for the past 45 years.
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02/12 canadian architect
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Home Depot’s aisles may appear to be a little quiet of late. Canadian homeowners wishing to upgrade their drafty windows are no longer eligible to apply for tax credits and rebates from the federal government’s ecoENERGY Retrofit program—unless they had previously applied to the program and had an initial energy audit performed on their residence. On a Sunday morning in January, Natural Resources Minister Joe Oliver made a surprise announcement cancelling the popular initiative two months before its scheduled end date, claiming the government had already reached its target participation of 250,000 registered homeowners. According to a number of industry estimates, the government had spent less than half of its $400-million budget on the plan. The announcement came with a series of vague statements about the government’s commitment to spend $117 million over three years on other initiatives to improve housing standards, building codes, industrial practices, vehicle labels and consumer appliances. Although widely interpreted as an excuse to reallocate funds elsewhere, our concern over the government’s cancellation of the ecoENERGY Retrofit program should perhaps be redirected towards current public policy, which lacks the effectiveness to promote greater consumer demand for sustainable homes and residential communities. It has been estimated that those who made upgrades through the ecoENERGY Retrofit program saved roughly 23 percent of an average home’s annual electricity bill. With most grants amounting to $1,500, we can almost be certain that this program offered modest solutions to the broader challenges of improving the energy-efficiency of single-family dwellings and neighbourhoods in this country. Consumers understand what choices must be made when it comes to refrigerators and vehicles, but remain baffled when asked to compare energy costs associated with new or existing houses, even though such energy-ratings standards already exist. Known as ENERGY STAR, this program for new homes measures energyefficient features required to meet—and even 6 cAnAdiAnArchitEct 02/12
surpass—a list of technical specifications. In Ontario alone, the ENERGY STAR program certified 8,500 homes in 2010, but the larger question is whether or not this program is stringent enough, considering that a home qualifies when it performs only 25 percent better than the building code’s minimum standard. An even more promising program designed to improve the quality of housing in Canada is EQuilibrium, an ongoing national sustainable housing demonstration initiative led by the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC) that is intended to bring the private and public sectors together to develop homes that combine resource- and energy-efficient technologies with renewable energy technologies. Various demonstration projects have already been established across the country, but greater effort could be made to market both the technology and the public-private partnerships. If government cannot afford to provide grants to single-family homeowners, then it must think of other ways to circumvent the unwillingness among developers to improve the sustainability quotient of single-family homes. BILD, an organization formed through the merger of the Greater Toronto Home Builders’ Association and the Urban Development Institute of Ontario, believes that developers should only voluntarily adopt energy-efficient products that are “based on their own business assessment relative to their buyers’ preferences and market feasibility.” One option of working around homebuilders’ reluctance to change is to implement better urban design and planning guidelines. For example, in December 2011, the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) finalized the Canadian Compliance Paths of the LEED for Neighbourhood Development 2009 rating system (LEED-ND) to provide greater clarity and guidance for sustainable community planning and development. LEED 2009 ND awards points for features such as walkability of the neighbourhood, accessibility to fresh food, and designing for an aging population. There are currently eight Canadian LEED 2009 ND projects underway. Most sensibly, LEED-ND developments include the following categories to measure successful communities: Smart Location and Linkages, Neighbourhood Pattern and Design, Green Infrastructure and Buildings, and Innovation and Design Process. Government may be correct to cancel the ecoENERGY Retrofit program. However, instead of worrying about homeowner tax credits, the key to the successful marketing of energy-efficient single-family homes may in fact reside in planning for compact neighbourhoods rather than fussing over new weatherstripping for old windows. Ian ChodIkoff
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 80 vaLLeybrook dr, toronto, on M3b 2s9 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: $54.95 plus applicable taxes for one year; $87.95 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: $105.95 us for one year. all other foreign: $125.95 us per year. single copy us and foreign: $10.00 us. return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Circulation dept., Canadian architect, 80 valleybrook dr, toronto, on Canada M3b 2s9. Postmaster: please forward forms 29b and 67b to 80 valleybrook dr, toronto, on Canada M3b 2s9. 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 email@example.com mail Privacy officer, business Information Group, 80 valleybrook dr, toronto, on Canada M3b 2s9 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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Dexel Developments called on Breakhouse and Michael Napier Architects to work in association on a 10-storey mixed-use development in Halifax’s southern business district. The existing building fabric of low-rise and single-family homes made for a challenging site. In order to reduce the overall massing of the development and blend into the existing neighbourhood, the design intent was to articulate the project as a collection of smaller buildings. Primarily a residential building offering rental accommodation, the lower height of 4 to 5 storeys relates to the immediate surrounding residential buildings and commercial streetscape. Floors 5 to 8 step back from the street, keeping the emphasis of the street experience to the lower 4 storeys. The canopy on the top floor caps the building, and provides shading to the interior of the units that are otherwise exposed to peninsular and harbour views with 12-foot-high floor-to-ceiling glazing. Breakhouse was the lead designer on the project, while Michael Napier was the architect of record. www.breakhouse.ca/33839/258718/work/the-vic The Globe and Mail’s new home in toronto to be designed by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg architects.
The Globe and Mail has announced that plans are underway for its new headquarters in Toronto, scheduled to open in late 2015. The 480,000square-foot building will be located at the northwest corner of Front Street and Spadina Avenue. Its design will create an inspiring work environment and help maintain The Globe’s lead as a news organization. “The dynamic building will be a town square of 21st-century Canadian media: a home for great journalism, and exceptional and diverse business talent,” said John Stackhouse, Editor-in-Chief of the newspaper. “For The Globe and Mail, an interactive, open and fluid newsroom is critical to the endeavour of journalism and digital innovation.” Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB) were selected to create this new landmark, an 18-storey multi-tenant building linking to a sixstorey podium that will house The Globe and Mail. The building is being designed to LEED Gold standards and integrates leading-edge sustainable and green building design principles. “The architecture works from the inside out and the outside in to create a world stage for The Globe brand and to symbolize the significant role the news plays in our daily lives. The design forms a recognizable gateway into Toronto and creates a lively ‘go to’ place in a rapidly transforming
Breakhouse and Michael napier architects design the Vic in halifax.
neighbourhood. The collaborative interior environment will inspire and support The Globe’s people in bringing quality journalism to Canadians,” said Marianne McKenna, partner, KPMB Architects. www.kpmb.com/index.asp?navid=19&fid2=186
awards jason tsironis wins the canada council for the arts’ Prix de rome in architecture for emerging Practitioners.
McGill University School of Architecture graduate Jason Tsironis has been named the 2012 winner of the Canada Council for the Arts’ Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners. Tsironis will use the prize to explore the potential of modern ruins and collective identity. Through his project, Monuments and the Fabrication of New Identities—Architectural Transformations and Erasures in Post-Soviet Cities, Tsironis will study the relationship of old and new in historically sensitive reconstruction and its impact on a nation’s perception of its collective past and present. His research will take him to 11 cities in seven countries of the former Soviet Union. Canadian institutions are also important sites for re-engagement—in particular, the precarious situation of historical churches in Quebec is of great interest to Tsironis. Their potential to serve as a focal point for social interaction is significantly jeopardized by continuous demolition and privatization. Tsironis’s proposal to research and visit Soviet ruins will give him a sharper understanding of the relationship of memory and identity in the formation of nationhood, equipping him to tackle such issues in multiple contexts. Tsironis was selected by an assessment commit-
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tee of architects: Gordon Atkins (Calgary), Philip Evans (Toronto), Veronica Gillies (Vancouver), Alexander Redford (Price, Quebec) and Taryn Sheppard (St. John’s). The $34,000 Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners is awarded to a recent graduate of one of Canada’s ten accredited schools of architecture who demonstrates outstanding potential. The prizewinner is given the opportunity to visit significant architectural sites abroad and to intern at an architecture firm of international stature. Tsironis will intern with David Chipperfield Architects in Berlin, Germany; their work with historically sensitive projects has influenced the budding architect throughout his studies. Tsironis received the Wilfred Truman Shaver scholarship in 2008 while at McGill, followed by the Arcop Alcan Award for his 2010-2011 professional thesis project. Additionally, he was named to the Honour Roll of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 2011. www.canadacouncil.ca/news/releases/2011/ wp129719123284555338.htm royal conservatory nominated for international urban planning and design award.
The Royal Conservatory’s TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning is the only North American building shortlisted for a 2012 Civic Trust Award, recognizing the best in planning, urban design, and public arts. Based in the United Kingdom and established in 1959, the Civic Trust Awards are bestowed annually, recognizing out02/12canadian architect
standing architecture, planning and design in the built environment. This year’s awards shortlisted 52 entries, the majority hailing from the UK. Awards are presented for buildings and schemes of architectural excellence that improve their surrounding community. The Royal Conservatory’s TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning was conceived by Marianne McKenna, founding partner of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects in 1989. Completed 20 years later, its stunning centrepiece, the acoustically perfect Koerner Hall, has established itself among North America’s leading concert venues, attracting internationally celebrated classical, jazz, pop, and world music artists. The TELUS Centre also houses 60 professionally equipped practice studios for students and faculty, a Technology and New Media Lab, and a comprehensive music library. The Royal Conservatory renewal project has earned national and international recognition with prestigious architectural awards including the 2011 American Institute of Architects/CAE Educational Facility Design Award of Excellence, the 2010 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture, and the 2010 Chicago Athenaeum International Architecture Award. The Royal Conservatory is one of the largest and most respected music education institutions in the world. Providing the definitive standard of excellence in music education through its curriculum, assessment, performance, and teacher education programs, the Conservatory has had a substantial impact on the lives of millions of people globally. www.civictrustawards.org.uk McGill University professor radoslav Zuk awarded Ukraine’s 2011 state Prize for architecture.
By presidential decree, the 2011 State Prize of Ukraine for Architecture has been awarded to Radoslav Zuk, Emeritus Professor at the School of Architecture at McGill University. As leader of the design team, Zuk was awarded the prize for the design of the Church of the Nativity of the Most Holy Theotokos in the city of Lviv. Other members of the team who received the prize were: Zenon Pidlisny, the director of the firm responsible for contract documentation and administration (posthumously); the iconographer Svjatoslav Vladyka; and the parish priest the Very Rev. Orest Fredyna. Zuk was born in Lubacziw, and he graduated with architecture degrees from McGill University in Montreal and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. More recently he was awarded an honorary doctorate by the Ukrainian Academy of Art in Kyiv. Zuk has designed, among other projects, nine Ukrainian churches in North America and one in Ukraine, in association with or as consultant to a number 10canadian architect02/12
of architectural firms. A Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and of a number of scientific societies, he has also been honoured with the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Centennial Medal and the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Governor General’s Medal in Architecture. Members of the jury for the prize constitute a committee of experts, which submits its recommendations for approval by a decree of the President of Ukraine. core77 design awards.
After a successful inaugural launch last year, Core77—a global online design resource—is now accepting entries for the Core77 2012 Design Awards. With progressive categories, professional and student entry fields, globally distributed juries, in-depth video testimonials, live jury announcements and a unique trophy that honours teamwork, the Core77 Design Awards continues to be the most inclusive, transparent and websavvy award platform in the design industry. Adding to the wide breadth of categories, this year’s awards will feature two new areas—Food Design and Writing & Commentary—plus a new jury of leading design minds from around the world. Now open for entry, the Core77 2012 Design Awards features 17 categories ranging from established fields to new emerging practices. Of these, 15 categories offer separate entry fields for professionals and students. Entrants are also encouraged to upload video to accompany their submission, providing a personal testimony about their entry to the jury. In addition to the sliding scale of entry fees, Core77 is offering a 20% early-bird discount to people who enter by March 13, 2012. The final deadline for entries is April 10, 2012. The unique judging process combines global perspectives with local expertise. For each category, Core77 handpicked jury captains from 13 cities and eight countries and invited them to choose their own jury from local experts in their field. The results will be broadcast live from the home cities of each jury team, revealing their choices via online video announcements. Winners in each category will be awarded a trophy created by the New York design studio Rich Brilliant Willing. Recognizing design as a team sport, the trophy is a metallic mold that allows multiples to be produced—allowing contributors and clients to share in the glory. The full list of categories includes: Consumer Products, Equipment, Soft Goods, Furniture & Lighting, Interiors & Exhibitions, Visual Communication, Packaging, Interaction, Service, Transportation, Social Impact, Educational Initiatives, Strategy & Research, Writing & Commentary, Speculative, DIY, and Food Design. www.core77designawards.com
what’s new interior designers of canada (idc) and architecture canada | raic launch new collaboration as co-presenters of iideX/ neocon canada.
Joining forces for the first time, the Interior Designers of Canada (IDC) and Architecture Canada | RAIC are pleased to announce their historic new collaboration as co-presenters of IIDEX/NeoCon Canada, Canada’s National Design + Architecture Exposition & Conference. The move promises to bring the two professions closer together, fostering knowledge-sharing, innovation and growth within the Canadian design landscape. IIDEX/ NeoCon Canada has been bringing attendees the latest products, education and networking opportunities for trade professionals working in all areas of design including: workplace, hospitality, health care, retail, residential and institutional projects for the past 27 years. As the RAIC joins IDC as co-presenters of IIDEX/NeoCon Canada, the show’s multidisciplinary focus will expand to include a significant new section of the show—the Architecture Canada Expo—which will focus on interior architectural and technology products, offering architects and interior designers a broader array of products with an enhanced educational and networking program to match. “This collaboration is a historic move for both organizations, but it also represents a natural evolution in the relationship between the architecture and interior design professions whose practitioners collaborate on a daily basis,” explains IDC President Donna Assaly. “IDC is thrilled to be building a closer relationship with the RAIC and fostering a positive environment for the future of our professions.” “This move builds on the positive working relationship that the RAIC and IDC have developed over the years as two national advocacy bodies with similar missions and mandates,” adds David Craddock, president of the RAIC. “IIDEX/ NeoCon Canada offers a perfect arena for the sharing of ideas between the architecture and interior design professions as well as the development of a closer relationship between their respective associations. Best of all, it will provide the RAIC with a platform to engage members and suppliers while delivering services such as continuing education, awards programs and networking events within the framework of a national exposition.” www.raic.org Laurentian University appoints founding director of its school of architecture.
Laurentian University President and Vice-Chancellor Dominic Giroux recently announced the appointment of the first Director of the Lauren-
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tian School of Architecture, Terrance Galvin, following a global search. “We are thrilled to have found someone so uniquely qualified to lead the Architecture project as it progresses from dream to reality, and to help shape this important new educational institution,” said President Giroux. Dr. Galvin was previously Director of the School of Architecture and Associate Professor at Dalhousie University in Halifax, where he taught architectural history, theory and design and received a Teaching Excellence Award from the Student Union. He also held the roles of Adjunct Professor and Research Associate at McGill University in Montreal. Bilingual, he is Past President of the Canadian Architectural Certification Board and has served on numerous provincial and national boards governing architectural education and practice in Canada. He studied architecture at the University of Toronto and the Technical University of Nova Scotia, earning his M.Arch. at McGill (1990) and his doctorate in architecture at the University of Pennsylvania. His scholarly work and applied research have led to collaborations with communities in Peru, India, Thailand and Mexico, and his writings have been published in Canada, the USA and Germany. “I’m excited about the work ahead, and impressed by the vision that is developing around
this project in my first few weeks of work with our Laurentian Architecture team and the broader community,” said Dr. Galvin. “A School of Architecture in a contemporary urban setting is an ambitious and a vitalizing endeavour. We’ll be focusing on the creative and design aspects of the building in the months ahead, as well as planning curriculum and searching for the right faculty.” The Laurentian School of Architecture is scheduled to welcome its first students at the corner of Elm and Elgin Streets in Sudbury in September 2013. By September 2018, the School will accommodate some 400 students and 40 faculty and staff, in a landmark building to be designed by Levitt Goodman Architects and completed in 2015. The design of the Laurentian School of Architecture is expected to incorporate two historically significant structures on the Elm and Elgin site, the CPR Freight Shed (1905) and the CPR Telegraph Office (1912). www.laurentian.ca/Laurentian/Home/News/Home/ Terry+Galvin.htm?Laurentian_Lang=en-CA diamond schmitt ranked among top 100 global architecture firms.
The 2012 ranking of architecture firms compiled by Building Design, the UK-based journal, places Toronto-based Diamond Schmitt Architects
among the top 100 companies. Based on survey results provided by 1,400 architecture practices, Diamond Schmitt registers 91st among the largest architecture firms in the world. “The resilience of the economy made Canada a great place to be in 2011,” said Donald Schmitt, Principal with Diamond Schmitt Architects. Twenty buildings designed by the firm opened in 2011, representing a total of 2.4 million square feet of space. Among these are La Maison Symphonique—the home of the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, the Algonquin Centre for Construction Excellence in Ottawa, and the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute in Toronto. The cultural facilities sector is particularly strong for the firm. The Burlington Performing Arts Centre also opened in 2011. Currently under construction and in design is the Mariinsky Opera House in St. Petersburg, Russia, the St. Catharines Performing Arts Centre, the Regent Park Arts & Culture Centre, the Cambridge Performing Arts Centre, and the Ryerson Image Centre. The Building Design survey places Diamond Schmitt among the top ten architecture firms in the cultural building market sector, based on fee income. “Performing arts venues in particular have enjoyed a renaissance in the Canadian market,” added Schmitt. www.dsai.ca
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a series oF new change huts and washrooms vastly improves the ice skater’s experience along ottawa’s rideau canal during the winter months. RideauCanalSkatewayShelteRS,Ottawa,OntaRiO architectCSVaRChiteCtS textMaRiaCOOk photosGORdOnkinG project
One sign of the coming winter in Ottawa is the lowering of skate shacks into the Rideau Canal basin. This season, when the trucks and cranes withdrew, there was a surprise. In place of the familiar brown wood change huts were curved black steel-and-glass pavilions. The new arrival was greeted locally with equal parts outrage and delight. “All we need is some little place to go inside. All we need is a heater,” one woman complained to the press. Someone else commented online: “It’s world-class and serves only to enhance our international image!” Fortunately, the source of controversy was financial, not aesthetic. The four new change shelters and three washroom shelters on the Rideau Canal Skateway have already proven to be successful with skaters both for their appearance and user-friendliness. The total cost was $5.4 million, or about $750,000 per chalet, and this includes the consultant fees and installation. The shelters were an easy mark for call-in radio shows in a city used to fiscal restraint; governments are usually nervous to be seen spending money in Ottawa. In the nation’s capital, the slow progress of projects through bureaucracy means many great projects never see the light of day. Both governments and
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priorities change. For example, a plan to create a national portrait gallery failed soon after the current Conservative government was elected in 2006. Nevertheless, the new skate shelters on the Rideau Canal were paid for by the federal government’s infrastructure stimulus fund. The deadline to spend the money clearly pushed the client—the National Capital Commission (NCC), the federal agency that manages the skateway—and their consultants to move forward with the project. The Rideau Canal system, which was originally built between 1826 and 1832 to join the Ottawa River to Lake Ontario at Kingston, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Organized clearing of the Rideau Canal by the NCC for public skating dates back to 1971 when Douglas Fullerton, then head of the NCC, sent staff down one day with hand shovels to clear the snow. Since then, the world’s largest naturally frozen ice rink— stretching approximately 7.8 kilometres from Parliament Hill in downtown Ottawa to Dow’s Lake beside the Central Experimental Farm—has become a major tourist attraction. About one million visits are made annually to the frozen Rideau Canal by people coming to skate or take part in the annual Winterlude festival every February where events on the ice include figureskating competitions, music, fireworks and the popular ice sculptures. Adequate washrooms and change huts are not only a comfortable place to defrost or lace up skates, but a necessity. In use since the 1970s, the old changing huts were in need of replacement. While a variant of the rough-and-ready Canadian winter rink shack 02/12canadian architect
may once have served the purpose, the context now is completely different. Representing the national capital identity is now an affirmed design requirement. Michelle Comeau, NCC Senior Vice-President of Environment, Capital Lands and Parks, observes that “we have to be conscious that at moments the eyes of the world are on this facility. We get visitors from other countries for whom skating on the canal would be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.” That includes high-profile guests such as First Lady Hillary Clinton who skated there in 1995. Accordingly, the buildings should be welcoming and of appropriate quality for a capital city. Although temporary—the skat-
ing season typically lasts about 50 days—the chalets need to complement the public and historic character of the Canal. Comeau notes that a contemporary rather than “folkloric” approach was taken. Ottawa-based CSV Architects designed the new facilities. Project architect Anthony Leaning relates the curved roof of the shelters, which appear to fold underneath to cradle an interior space, to the vaults of the bridges spanning the Canal. Other curving forms, such as the cut-outs that lighten the steel ribs of the roof, refer to skates and sleds. Wrapped in an asymmetrical zinc-clad roof, the change chalet opens with a wall of glass toward the Canal. The architects compare the build-up of elements on the glazed side
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4 1 2
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changeroom plan 6COVeRedpORCh 7SkyliGht 8StORaGeCubbieS/ReCyCleCentReS 9baCklitSiGn 101:20RaMp
of the building—a curving handrail along the exterior, a truss inboard of the glass and colourful graphics applied to the glass—to the accumulation of skate traces, pressure cracks and bubbles in the ice. At night, the illuminated shelters offer a welcoming glow for skaters navigating the length of the Canal. Birch ply slats on the ceiling, birch panelling and wood window frames provide a feeling of warmth and are accented by feature walls of strong red. Boots can be stowed in red phenolicclad storage units that neatly incorporate waste and recycling. Energy-efficient features include radiant-heating panels in the ceilings, fluorescent and LED lighting, and suction-system toilets such as those on planes that use minimum amounts of water. Seats, floors and walls are all treated with anti-graffiti polyurethane clear-coat protection. Careful engineering of the mullions means
that each 29,000-kilogram chalet can be hoisted on and off of the ice using hooks on the roof without breaking any of the glass planes. The curved roof design is low enough for bridge clearances and the chalets sit on four permanent piles for exact height and levelness. At six metres wide and 18 metres long, the new chalets are roomier than the old: 43 people can sit along wooden benches nested into a curving steel structure. Another 12 skaters can fit on the sheltered porches at each end of the changing chalets. New generous ramps ensure barrier-free access. And where the old huts dripped water on skaters’ heads, the roofs of the new chalets are designed to shed snow and rain toward the back of the buildings. The extended roof form over the porches makes a welcoming entry and elegantly reveals the steel-rib structure. When the new shelters appeared, their assertive personality was a surprise. The program for
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the original buildings was simple; the rink shack was a well-understood building type. But the Rideau Canal is not your typical neighbourhood rink. Since it was first opened to public skating in the ‘70s, it has evolved into a major public space where tens of thousands can be on the ice during a busy weekend. These new pavilions acknowledge the Canal’s increasingly important role for Canada’s capital city. ca Maria Cook is a journalist at the Ottawa Citizen who writes about architecture and urbanism.
clientnatiOnalCapitalCOMMiSSiOn architect teamanthOnyleaninG,RiChaRdGuRnhaM,SOnia zOuaRi,iGORkidiSyuk,alexSaRGent structuralhalSallaSSOCiateS mechanical/electricalCiMa+ interiorsCSVaRChiteCtS contractorthOMaSfulleRCOnStRuCtiOnltd. lightingMaRtinCOnbOyliGhtinGdeSiGninC. signageaeROGRaphiCSCReatiVeSeRViCeS area105M2eaCh budget$4.9M completionnOVeMbeR2011
a new health sciences facility for the university of torontoâ€™s mississauga campus addresses programmatic complexity with rational elegance. proJect Terrence Donnelly HealTH ScienceS complex, UniverSiTy of ToronTo miSSiSSaUga, onTario architect KongaTS arcHiTecTS text KaTHarine vanSiTTarT photos SHai gil
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In 1859, when Cumberland & Storm completed the Romanesque-inspired University College, the Victorian edifice was hailed as the height of Modern architecture. Since then, the University of Toronto has persisted in hiring accomplished architects to design forward-looking buildings for its St. George campus. Along the way, new additions and renovations to some of the older colleges have continued to enrich the cityâ€™s culture. The tradition carries on at U of T Mississauga, a satellite campus 30 miles west of downtown Toronto. On a 90-hectare swath of greenbelt conservation land along the Credit River relatively free from urban space constraints, UTM has engaged in its own progressive building program. Launched in August 2011, the Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex
(TDHSC) by Toronto-based Kongats Architects is the latest addition, and the first of three new buildings that will complete the academic quad of UTM’s south campus. In just under 6,000 square metres, the four-storey cantilevered complex provides space and services for three distinct but interrelated groups; the first two floors house the Mississauga Academy of Medicine, the third floor contains the Department of Biomedical Communications, and the Department of Anthropology and Forensics have digs on the fourth. Kongats Architects principal Alar Kongats is standing in the courtyard of the TDHSC on a cloudy January day, recalling how his firm’s other wellknown project—an addition to the 1923 Carnegie Library in Hespeler,
opposite top, left to right STainleSS STeel panelS anD finS creaTe an inTrigUing exTerior claDDing SUrface; THe vaST oUTDoor Terrace iS SHelTereD by a generoUS canTilevereD overHang, anD capTUreS viewS of THe aUTUmnal lanDScape of THe miSSiSSaUga campUS.
Ontario—was a mini-prototype for this building. It, too, has a mirage-like dual-skin cladding, though it is made of “tattooed glass” rather than stainless steel. And it, too, is based on a modular system with a cantilevered floor. The TDHSC was initially planned as a steel-frame structure, but the ar02/12 canadian architect
In fact, there is a geometric pattern to the cladding based on 500-millimetre modules, and there are just six sizes of “fin,” as Kongats refers to the steel panels. The dual-skin system consists of these CNC-cut fins, reinforced with galvanized steel webbing and joined using structural silicon adhesives. Behind the metal, a thermal break and vapour barrier form the inner epidermis that absorbs movement and repels weather. Adventurousness is found in how the fins open up in degrees around the windows, then gradually fold almost flush to the wall. According to the season, the time of day, sun or cloud, the fins and fenestration become animated. “It allows the building to connect better to the campus’s natural surroundings,” says Kongats. “Nature comes to the building.” Similar to how the fins wrap around the windows, windows wrap around the building. Floor-to-ceiling glazing on the ground floor resumes the architect’s taste for vertical repetition. The windows appear identical, but closer examination reveals each to be slightly different, custom-made to follow the site’s gentle decline; beginning with a height of 12 feet in the
chitects switched to concrete at the urging of the project manager. In 2009, when the building was designed, the cost of steel began to soar. Changing to concrete as the main structural element meant more columns and made engineering the “boxes”—as Kongats calls the floor massing—more challenging. Benefits, however, included minimized vibration between the boxes, particularly the cantilevered portions. Concrete also provided a grounding foil to the structure’s essential floating and translucent character. Depending on when and from where one first glances the TDHSC, it could evoke images of an oversized medical trolley or a space-age ship, at once staunch and intrepid. Are the stainless steel panels that form the exterior cladding metaphoric scalpels or sails? Is their formation stringently uniform or fractal like waves on water? From the north and east sides, viewed from the parking lot and courtyard respectively, the vertically aligned boxes seem mechanical and moored to the cement sidewalk. From the south and west, however, the shimmering vessel appears fantastical and adrift on a sea of glazing. level 5 level 4 level 3
section B-B 6 meeTing room 7 loUnge/KiTcHeneTTe 8 laboraTory 9 Terrace 10 green roof
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section a-a lecTUre THeaTre viDeo-conferencing STUDio claSSroom Seminar room facUlTy office
1 2 3 4 5
building services level 5
research labs anatomy labs
vp of research biomedical communications anthropology forensic science
mississauga academy of medicine administration & faculty offices seminar rooms
mississauga academy of medicine classrooms & lecture theatres video-conferencing studio
THe STacKeD anD overlapping volUmeS of THe TDHSc form a pleaSing ScUlpTUral compoSiTion, animaTeD by THe finS anD feneSTraTion. aBove a view of THe weST elevaTion capTUreS THe THirD-floor briDge linKing THe TDHSc To THe SoUTH bUilDing.
foyer, stretching to almost 20 feet at the slope’s nadir. Kongats finds the offbeat repetition calming. “On a subliminal level, you sense that this relates to that and that to this,” he explains. Each stacked “box” is also organized around replication: repeated dropped concrete slabs and beams form the building’s stepped and skewed floorplates. This swayed massing, with its cantilevered sections, allowed several natural terraces trimmed with native plant green roofing to be introduced and, according to the architect, “led to an architectural expression that allows the building not to look so regimented.” Popular social areas, these outdoor “rooms” also further the architect’s commitment to connecting the building to the site’s geography and ecology.
Terrence Donnelly HealTH ScienceS complex
floor plans axonometric
Given the bold exterior, the interior is bracingly utilitarian. A straightforward plan and no-nonsense material palette belie the complexity of the program. The nucleus of the ground floor is the lecture theatre, videoconference studio and a few classrooms. A pathway of radiant-heated terrazzo, enclosed by the membrane of windows, rims much of the first floor’s periphery. The radiant flooring is one of several design features intended to achieve LEED Gold certification for the TDHSC. The narrow second floor ensures that every office enjoys a window. Quieter rooms for research line the third floor. The labs are on the fourth floor for technical and exhaust reasons. Kongats’s spatial concept of compression and expansion enlivens each floor in different ways. Extra-wide corridors on the ground floor, for instance, juxtapose with a slender (for a university) stairwell. External fire stairs didn’t work with the cladding, so this stairwell is the main circulation route and fire exit, and is thus encased in fire glass. Underpinning the whole concept was how to make elements both unique and systematic, emphasizing the architect’s use of technology to improve “the craft” in construction, “to get the imagination going,” he suggests. “Start with the functional aspect, then think about how to do it differently than others have before.” Subtle references to the medical model echo throughout, most apparent in stainless steel elements like the stair balustrade. Indeed, among the achievements of the complex is how well the building serves the nature of the curriculum. Along with his dedication to health and education, the main benefactor, Terrence Donnelly, has an appreciation of good architecture. He likes the building’s preciseness, as does the faculty, notes Kongats. “They get how the building articulates the medical nature of this institu02/12 canadian architect
THe Spare minimaliSm anD TranSparency of THe inTerior reflecTS THe efficiency of THe bUilDingâ€™S program; THe inTerplay beTween THe glazing anD THe carefUlly calibraTeD STainleSS STeel finS iS compelling, capTUring anD reflecTing ligHT in a SopHiSTicaTeD manner. Below floor-To-ceiling glazing along THe corriDor welcomeS naTUral DayligHT anD engageS THe lanDScape, prevenTing a HermeTic environmenT. opposite right, top to Bottom THe STainleSS STeel balUSTraDe evoKeS THe clinical anD Hygienic aSpecTS of THe meDical profeSSion; inTerior glazing anD a paleTTe of ligHT maTerial finiSHeS TranSlaTe inTo a raTHer UTiliTarian yeT pleaSing experience.
aBove, left to right
panel type 1 panel type 2 panel type 3
panel type 4 panel type 5 panel detail
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panel type 6
south Building level 4
tion in creative, abstract ways. The engineering, the efficiency, the rationality—it’s all expressed in a language they understand.” As well, the boxes don’t only organize space in an exceptional way and animate the façade; they create an identity for each department, encouraging faculty and students to “take ownership over their space.” Success for Kongats is how well his experiment in unconventional massing paid off. The building operates 24/7 and is wired to the max. Though just 54 medical students are currently enrolled, 54 will be added each year until 2014. Connectivity between students and faculty, and between UTM and the downtown campus via state-of-the-art AV systems, was the architect’s less visible design challenge. In the studios, each desk has a microphone; overhead cameras track the speaker so students here and at the downtown St. George campus can see who’s speaking. In the hallways, communication is more low-tech; minimalist wood benches and café tables predominate. Kongats has been told that this building has become a favourite hangout, even for non-medical students and faculty. ca Katharine Vansittart is a Toronto-based freelance writer.
B south Building level 3
B south Building level 2
a 2 3
1 lecTUre THeaTre 2 viDeo-conferencing STUDio 3 claSSroom 4 Seminar room 5 facUlTy office 6 meeTing room 7 loUnge/KiTcHeneTTe 8 laboraTory 9 Terrace 10 green roof
client UniverSiTy of ToronTo architect team alar KongaTS, Danielle lam-KUlczaK, pHilip TomS, DaviD SaSaKi, SUKie leUng, aleSSia SoppleSa, DieTer JanSSen, anDrea ling, Tyler walKer, DereK mccallUm, eric van ziffle structural HalSall aSSociaTeS limiTeD mechanical/electrical croSSey engineering lTD. laBoratory waTSon macewen TeramUra aSSociaTeS landscape corban anD gooDe civil mgm conSUlTing inc. audio-visual engineering HarmonicS code ranDal brown & aSSociaTeS lTD. cost a.w. HooKer commissioning Hfm Building envelope brooK van Dalen & aSSociaTeS limiTeD proJect manager pmx inc. (for THe UniverSiTy of ToronTo) contractor HarbriDge + croSS limiTeD area 6,000 m2 Budget $25 m completion fall 2011
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ExtEndEd FamiLy an additiOn tO an Existing daycarE FaciLity is an intELLigEnt rEspOnsE tO sitE, prOgram and First natiOns traditiOns.
native child and family services ghesig daycare centre, toronto, ontario architEct levitt goodman architects tExt david steiner phOtOs Ben rahn/a-frame studio prOjEct
BELOW gently curving cor-ten steel cladding transitions from roof to wall in this new daycare facility that connects to an existing historic farmhouse.
A new building for Native Child and Family Services of Toronto sits in the city’s east end along a wide commuter road, among a jumble of car lots and sombre apartment towers. It is attached to a century-old farmhouse out of which their programs have operated for the last decade. When the group got a grant from the government they bought the adjacent lot, combined the sites and set out to expand their facility to accommodate child care, community programs and adult education. The form of the new building is enigmatic, something between a modern barn and a rusty piece of machinery. Cor-ten steel covers the roof and bends down over the north and east façades in a continuous sheet, uniformly rusted, while the building’s girth slims down and twists slightly as it approaches the corner of the site to the south. Along the
west façade, the cladding is Eastern White Cedar lumber. The overall effect is that of a large red shell, resting beside an Ontario farmhouse, that has been cleaved apart, its underbelly exposed to the sun. Levitt Goodman Architects, the building’s designers, have had a long relationship with the Native Child and Family Services group, constructing several projects for it over the last decade (including a major renovation to its head office in downtown Toronto). The scope, function and form of the House of Ghesig (pronounced Gee’-shik), as the centre is known, were developed over a series of discussions between the architects and the community group. Opinions varied on what kinds of spaces would best serve its community needs. They were also not attached to a particular style. However, their request to avoid kitsch was explicit:
overt references to First Nations forms—teepees, longhouses, wigwams— were considered inappropriate. They wanted the building to be a modern representation of the various First Nations groups who use the facility. Easy to say, but how do you do that? “Like any good building,” says Dean Goodman, principal of Levitt Goodman Architects, “it responds to its physical environment.” Filling the southeastern wall with windows lets in maximum light and views to an adjacent woodlot. A narrow outdoor space runs the length of the building, parallel to the main corridor. People on the first floor can spill outside in warm weather. The outdoor space accommodates a bioswale for site drainage and a play area for children. The metal shell to the east minimizes the exposure to Kingston
16 sEcOnd FLOOr
grOund FLOOr 1 2 3 4 5
entry vestibule front canopy community room reception staff administration
6 infants’ activity room 7 infants’ sleeping room 8 toddlers’ activity room 9 strollers 10 corridor link
11 12 13 14 15
family services after-school program computer training community kitchen community room
16 17 18 19
kitchen pre-schoolers’ activity room pre-schoolers’ activity room administration
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1 new daycare centre 2 main entrance 3 existing family services building 4 outdoor classroom 5 paved tricycle path 6 naturalized playground 7 rainwater infiltration swale 8 firepit ceremonial area 9 parking 10 toddlers’ activity zone 11 traditional native garden
Road while still letting in light through the various oversized windows. A community room, the child-care areas, and the adjacent corridor seem to capture best the feeling the client sought. Separating the hallway from the child-care areas by simple millwork rising 1.7 metres in height gives the classes visual privacy, while providing sightlines from one side of the building to the other. One feels contained in a protected, natural place. “We were looking to find things in the spirit of traditional structures,” said Goodman, “that would imply ‘house’ or ‘extended family’—two concepts important to the client.” Conventional wood stud construction, left exposed and finished with a clear stain, was used throughout as a way of being expressive using an economy of means. Two-by-four studs, glue-laminated beams and columns, residential roof trusses and exposed plywood sheathing are both the structure and interior finish. However, the space has the right amount of drama to make it welcoming rather than feeling like an unfinished shell: every roof truss is different—allowing the building plan to bend and taper eastward. The hallway running along the south of the building widens, creating another space in which the children can play. And the second-floor ceiling, held up by the trusses, is about five metres at its highest. “We wanted a finish that wasn’t too precious. Something that was very liveable,” explains Goodman. Indeed, the interior has the cozy feeling of a great big cabin, where everyone might live together in friendly tumult. Finding a contractor and sub-trades to provide the same level of care in their rough framing as the final finish is not easy. Danny Bartman, the project architect, worked closely with them, requesting that they select the best pieces of lumber available, taking care to expose the best faces. With its structure and mechanical systems on display, the result is an interior that is neither polished nor rough; it is elegant in its pragmatism. Energy efficiency was critical to the client. As such, the facility is heated and cooled through a geothermal system. Twelve tubes, each extending 100 metres below the parking lot surface, shed heat in summer and warm the building in winter. The tubes connect to the mechanical room, supplementing a conventional forced-air system and reducing its energy consumption. As well, the building insulation and vapour barrier are located on the exterior of the sheathing—a building assembly superior to residential wood-frame construction in which the insulation sits between studs, and the vapour barrier is immediately behind the gypsum board. With the insulation placed on the outside, the wood sheathing and its grain pattern is exposed, becoming part of the interior finish. Alachia Woods, a program administrator, recalled that when the original Native Child and Family Services facility opened in the heritage farmhouse, a feast was held to celebrate. During the ceremony, the name Ghesig, a First Nations word that means “the house of sunshine,” came to one of the elders. The farmhouse is notable for its brickwork and historic value but was dim inside, filled with small windows and rooms. Now, some years later, the centre is made of spaces more appropriate to their function, and is filled with sunlight and a bright future. ca David Steiner is a freelance writer living in Toronto.
cLiEnt native child & family services of toronto architEct tEam dean goodman, danny bartman, yvonne popovska, greg latimer, katrina touw, sharon leung, leigh Jeneroux structuraL blackwell bowick partnership mEchanicaL/ELEctricaL Jain & associates ltd. LandscapE scott torrance landscape architect inc. intEriOrs levitt goodman architects hEritagE era architects inc. ciViL fabian papa & partners cOntractOr struct-con construction ltd. arEa 10,000 ft2 BudgEt $4 m cOmpLEtiOn June 2011
the red steel cladding complements the existing brick building and enlivens its suburban site. tOp children can safely play in this delightful outdoor playground. middLE a blackboard wall forms a protective barrier between the daycare centre and the forest beyond. aBOVE, LEFt tO right children run rampant down the corridors; a view of the pre-schoolers’ activity room.
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A $130-million overhAul of Thunder BAy’s wATerfronT reconnecTs The ciTy To The lAke superior shoreline And iTs culTurAl heriTAge. teXt
iAn chodikoff dAvid whiTTAker, unless oTherwise noTed
Thunder Bay has historically relied upon natural resource-based activities to ensure its success but it can no longer depend on such a limited source of income in today’s global economy. Fortunately, mid-sized cities like Thunder Bay recognize the need to remain competitive with other similar-sized urban areas by seeking to attract diverse cultural, social and economic drivers to ensure its future liveability. The recent $130-million transformation of Thunder Bay’s waterfront represents an important milestone for that city to invest in, fostering year-round mixed-use and recreational activities in this critical region adjacent to the historic downtown. Located in northwestern Ontario, Thunder Bay (pop. 123,000) began as a French fur-trading post in the late 17th century. Over time, it became an important transportation hub, processing grain, timber and various raw materials arriving from western Canada and moving on through the Great Lakes system and Saint Lawrence Seaway. A relatively stagnant economy combined with a declining historic centre signalled the need to draw upon Thunder Bay’s geographic and cultural strengths and rethink its waterfront and industrial lands, thereby repositioning its downtown and improving the city’s future prospects. This resulted in the creation of Prince Arthur’s Landing, a project that involved the complete transformation of three piers and the construction of a Spirit Garden on the natural promontory adjacent to the piers. In January 2006, Thunder Bay’s City Council supported the findings for a new mixed-use destination to the east of Water Street along the Lake Superior shoreline that would eventually include cultural, recreational, office, 26 canadian architect 02/12
retail, hotel and residential uses. By December 2011, Prince Arthur’s Landing had officially opened. As the client and overseer of the land that was sold off to private developers, the City remained supportive of the consultant team and design evolution, despite a change of mayors halfway through the process and occasional squelchers who felt that the money dedicated to this strategically located project should have been spent elsewhere. Fortunately, the budgets weren’t unduly cut, thereby ensuring high-quality detailing and materiality throughout. “It was a leap of faith in some ways,” notes principal Calvin Brook of Toronto-based architecture and urban design firm Brook McIlroy, adding that “They trusted the architects.” Clearly, that trust is what led to the creation of a pedestrian-oriented park connected to the downtown that is as equally active in the winter as in the summer. The project was a significant one for Brook McIlroy—an office of 22 people who, for the past five years, has had roughly one-third of its staff dedicated to the project. The firm maintains a small office in Thunder Bay and has been retained to continue their work in the city by preparing urban design guidelines for the revitalization of the downtown. Additionally, since the project opened, there has been renewed interest in the waterfront as a cultural destination—one possibility being the Thunder Bay Art Gallery, an institution which contains one of the world’s finest collections of contemporary Aboriginal art. Prince Arthur’s Landing is a $130-million public-private development in which the private sector contributed 50 percent of the funds that will eventually see a new hotel and two residential buildings constructed on the site. The federal and provincial governments provided roughly $30 million in stimulus spending with the remaining funds coming from the City of Thunder Bay. The total budget for the public sector works was close to $60 million and includes basic infrastructure, shoreline and parks development. The City essentially leveraged the entire waterfront development with
around $22 million of its own funds. Part of the rationale for Prince Arthur’s Landing was to make it a central project linking the downtown to the shoreline and other destinations along a 52-kilometre section of Lake Superior waterfront. Another major component was the critical and early step of transforming a private gated marina on the site into a 276-slip public marina. Perhaps the greatest overseer along Thunder Bay’s waterfront is Nanabijou, the ever-important geographic and spiritual backdrop that is in constant view from the city. A significant figure in Ojibway legend, Nanabijou—also known as the Sleeping Giant—is a natural land formation located on an island to the east of the city that resembles a large reclining human figure. The Sleeping Giant is an important icon for the city, perhaps a symbol of optimism and hope. From the outset, the City believed that Prince Arthur’s Landing should integrate public art wherever possible, placing a high priority on new public amenities and attractions. The mandate was also to promote connections to Lake Superior, Aboriginal culture, and the city’s shipping and rail history. Expanding the activities in the park included boating, numerous public outdoor festivals, a skating rink, splash pad, children’s boating area, and improved shopping. The new buildings and infrastructure elements throughout Prince Arthur’s Landing include three existing buildings that were adapted for reuse: the CN Station, the Market Building and the Baggage Building. The 8,000-square-foot Water Garden Pavilion is completely new, as is the Pond Pavilion which was built to support waterfront activities such as cycling, canoeing, kayaking and children’s paddleboat rentals. A new skateboard park, market square and waterfront plaza complement the site. Led by Brook McIlroy associate Rajko Jakovic, the Water Garden Pavilion is a public building that provides support services for some of the Landing’s outdoor activities—notably skating in the winter and a splash pad during the
lAnTern-like pAvilions demArcATe one of The piers in The prince ArThur’s lAnding projecT. The sleeping giAnT, or NaNabijou, cAn Be seen on The horizon. aBOve A new skATing rink And ouTdoor fireplAce comprises one smAll porTion of The AmBiTious TrAnsformATion of This once-derelicT wATerfronT inTo A lively yeAr-round desTinATion. OPPOsite tOP
summer. Skaters can enjoy an outdoor fireplace and a full-service restaurant that will spill out onto the patio during the warmer season, allowing patrons the luxury of panoramic views of Lake Superior and the Sleeping Giant. Inside, the building’s Mariner’s Hall is designed with glulam beams that form the top chord of a series of inverted king trusses intended to echo the shape of a ship’s hull—one of the many metaphorical references to water and shipping found across the site. The popularity of the skating rink adjacent to the Water Garden Pavilion is evidenced by the roughly 750 skaters who came to use the space when it first opened in December—a number that was more than an entire winter season’s worth of visitors to the waterfront in past years. The Baggage Building Arts Centre was originally constructed in the early 1900s, and has now been expanded with a new two-storey addition that includes exhibition and teaching spaces, artisan studios and retail. The studios house activities that include painting, printmaking, pottery, jewelry design, video art production and other media. A second-floor mezzanine space overlooks other double-height interior spaces, offering an enriched spatial dynamic. Using a complementary material palette of timber and glass for the new arts centre, project architect Judy Sanz-Sole connected the historic Baggage Building—a former freight-handling building—to the CN Railway Station, thereby establishing a strong image for a facility that will successfully anchor a gateway leading from the downtown at Red River Road 02/12 canadian architect
courTesy Brook mcilroy courTesy Brook mcilroy
courTesy Brook mcilroy
courTesy Brook mcilroy
prince ArThur’s lAnding cAn Be seen AT The BoTTom of The mAsTer plAn, which shows The disconnecTion of The hisToric downTown from The wATerfronT; lAser-cuT weAThering sTeel pAnels BeAr TrAdiTionAl ABoriginAl imAgery; ThroughouT The siTe, poeTry And prose hAve Been incorporATed inTo The ArchiTecTure, ouTdoor furniTure And puBlic ArT; insTAlling lArge Blocks of locAl grAniTe provides seATing And effecTive shoreline mAnAgemenT; rolled-up BurlAp “logs” Aid in promoTing plAnT growTh; george price of The forT williAm firsT nATion works AT Building The spruce Trusses used To creATe The gAThering circle; The inTricATe wood sTrucTure of The gAThering circle incorporATes young spruce Trusses covered wiTh cedAr sTrips.
cLOcKwise FrOM tOP
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to the waterfront once the pedestrian crossing is complete. One of the most dramatic elements of Prince Arthur’s Landing is the Spirit Garden, a section of the park that operates as an outdoor performance area—which is intended to not only honour the Aboriginal peoples of Lake Superior but to attract as many locals to the area as possible in order to learn and appreciate local First Nations culture that is intrinsically linked to this landscape. The Aboriginal population comprises roughly 8 percent of the City of Thunder Bay—a proportionately similar figure to the larger urban centres of Winnipeg, Saskatoon and Regina. The fact that Thunder Bay has such a large Aboriginal population whose culture remains largely uncelebrated was a concern for the city, so the Spirit Garden was intended to address this shortcoming. As part of the Brook McIlroy team, recent University of Manitoba architecture graduate Ryan Gorrie was instrumental in developing the Spirit Garden, a huge benefit to the project given the fact that he not only grew up in Thunder Bay, but is of Aboriginal descent. The Spirit Garden includes an open-air pavilion known as the Gathering Circle, a fire circle, a medicine garden, and a living shoreline—all of which represent an effort to naturalize the existing shoreline and heighten visitors’ connection with the water. The garden elements become even more pronounced at night, especially in the Gathering Circle, which is defined by a number of large bentwood “shrouds” made from young spruce trusses covered with cedar strips. Built by George Price of the Fort William First Nation, the shrouds reflect light that is cast upon the Gathering Circle, forming an evocative park icon. At the base of the structure, a number of sketches inspired by the region were drawn by the late Anishinabe artist Roy Thomas and his son Randy. The sketches were translated into electronic drawing files and then digitally fabricated into a series of laser-cut weathering steel plates through the assistance of the younger Thomas. Lakehead University will be using the Gathering Circle as part of their Aboriginal teaching program, and inmates from a regional medium-security prison (70 percent are of Aboriginal descent) will help maintain the Gathering Circle and medicine garden over time. The idea of a “living shoreline” extends across the Landing with landscaped elements between the three piers designed to enhance visitors’ connection to the shoreline. Examples include large blocks of granite and natural stone which are used for seating, visual relief, and to protect the shoreline from erosion. Other techniques to rehabilitate the landscape include adequate stormwater management and rolled-up burlap “logs” to help promote plant growth. The public art program for Prince Arthur’s
Landing incorporated a number of text-based installations, producing stunning works like Jiigew, two 70-foot-tall structures made of Cor-Ten steel located on Piers 1 and 3. Brook McIlroy collaborated with Karen Shanski and Eduardo Aquino of the Winnipeg-based design firm spmb. The two beacons are programmed with an LED lighting system that spells out Ojibway poetry through the use of Morse code. In fact, poetry and prose can be found throughout the site to promote the many cultural threads that define the region. Redeveloping any waterfront inevitably requires an understanding of what is necessary in formulating a successful model of economic de-
velopment pertaining to water-based tourism. Already, there are numerous Aboriginal-based businesses offering tours of Sleeping Giant Provincial Park, Isle Royale National Park, and hunting and fishing trips to the Lake Nipigon region. Many small regional airlines operate out of Thunder Bay—some of which fly float planes that can transport customers from the nearby Thunder Bay Water Aerodrome situated to the north of Prince Arthur’s Landing. Certainly, all of these tourist-based industries can benefit from a recognizable urban design construct to help synthesize and enhance Thunder Bay’s unique identity and sense of place. Prince Arthur’s Landing is
AgAinsT The BAckdrop of Thunder BAy’s skyline, The gAThering circle shimmers AT nighT. reclAimed wooden logs in The foreground serve As An informAl AmphiTheATre. aBOve, LeFt tO riGht The new wATerfronT gArden pAvilion; The new BAggAge Building ArTs cenTre is An AppropriATe ArchiTecTurAl response To The originAl heriTAge properTy.
now such a place, providing an effective expression of the region through the acknowledgement of local history and Native cultures while leading Thunder Bay into the future. ca
02/12 canadian architect
ciTy of Thunder BAy Archives
An AeriAl rendering illusTrATes prince ArThur’s lAnding And iTs relATionship To The ciTy’s downTown core. aBOve, LeFt tO riGht one of The mAny lAnTerns ThAT help demArcATe The piers And which define The chArAcTer of This projecT; one of The 70-fooT-TAll BeAcons insTAlled on The ouTer edge of prince ArThur’s lAnding; inside The new BAggAge Building ArTs cenTre. LeFt A hisToric phoTo of The Thunder BAy wATerfronT TAken in The eArly 1900s. tOP
30 canadian architect 02/12
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calendar Stephen Burks: Man Made Toronto
January 23-April 1, 2012 This exhibi tion at the Design Exchange in To ronto features the work of New York industrial designer Stephen Burks, who collaborates with artisans in the developing world to transform raw and recycled materials into clever, functional products, and in so doing, brings social, cultural and economic benefit to people in remote locations. www.dx.org Alturas de Macchu Picchu: Martín Chambi–Álvaro Siza at Work
January 26-April 22, 2012 This exhi bition at the Canadian Centre for Architecture displays sketches from Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza’s 1995 trip to Macchu Picchu along side 1920s photographs from the CCA Collection by Peruvian photog rapher Martín Chambi. www.cca.qc.ca/en/exhibitions/1609alturas-de-macchu-picchu
Meanings in Architecture: The Early Works of George Baird 1957-1993
February 2-April 2, 2012 This exhibi tion at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto features the early works of promin ent academic and practitioner George Baird. www.daniels.utoronto.ca the Missing link to a Green economy: Green industrial lands
February 22, 2012 Taking place from 8:00am10:00am, this breakfast seminar at the CIRS Building on the UBC campus in Vancouver ex plores the successes and challenges of leading municipalities, devel opers, investors and property managers in developing green industrial spaces and their role as a catalyst for green economic development. www.marketinsights2012.eventbrite.ca
reel artists Film Festival
craig applegath lecture
February 22-26, 2012 Reel Artists, the Canadian Art Foundation Film Fes tival, shares awardwinning docu mentaries about visual art and art ists, creating an accessible point of entry for general audiences to con sider key personalities and philoso phies behind contemporary art. www.canadianart.ca/microsites/ REELARTISTS/
March 1, 2012 Craig Applegath, a principal of the Toronto branch of DIALOG, speaks on urban design at 6:30pm at Ryerson University’s De partment of Architectural Science in Toronto.
Skylar tibbits lecture
February 23, 2012 Skylar Tibbits of SJET and the Massachusetts Insti tute of Technology delivers the Tay lor Visiting Lectureship at 7:00pm at the University of Calgary down town campus. www.ucalgary.ca/evds trevor Butler lecture
February 28, 2012 Trevor Butler of Kelownabased Archineers speaks at 12:30pm in the CIRS Decision Theatre at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.
March 4, 2012 AnnaLisa Meyboom and Oliver Neumann of the UBC School of Architecture + Landscape Architec ture discuss technology at 2:00pm at the Museum of Vancouver. Wood WORKS! Bc Wood design awards celebration
March 5, 2012 The winners of the Wood WORKS! BC Wood Design Awards will be honoured at a cele bration at the Vancouver Conven tion Centre West. www.wood-works.org Paolo Bürgi lecture
March 5, 2012 Landscape architect Paolo Bürgi runs Studio Bürgi in
80 Valleybrook Dr, Toronto, ON M3B 2S9
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7:30pm at the Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art in Toronto. Munguía presents an overview of his work with Pase Usted, a non profit organization that promotes change and development through ideas and seeks to improve the quality of life in Mexico City. www.prefix.ca
Camorino, Switzerland and also teaches at the University of Penn sylvania. He delivers a lecture at 6:30pm at UBC Robson Square in Vancouver. david Gissen lecture
March 6, 2011 Design theorist David Gissen of the California College of the Arts in San Francisco delivers a lecture at the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape & Design at the University of Toronto at 6:30pm. www.daniels.utoronto.ca/lectures
George Baird: a Question of influence
March 9-10, 2012 This symposium celebrates the ideas and projects of esteemed practitioner and academic George Baird over the past five dec ades, including the questions they raise in three arenas: theory, the city, and design practice. The event takes place at the TIFF Bell Lightbox and the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. www.daniels.utoronto.ca
Michelle addington lecture
March 7, 2012 Michelle Addington, professor of sustainable architec tural design at Yale University, de livers a lecture at 6:30pm at UBC Robson Square in Vancouver. Jorge Munguía lecture
March 8, 2012 As part of the Urban Field Speakers Series, Mexican curator Jorge Munguía speaks at
cipal of Tokyobased firm Chiba Manabu Architects, also teaches at the University of Tokyo. He lectures at 6:30pm at UBC Robson Square in Vancouver.
University of Manitoba speaks at 12:30pm in the CIRS Decision Theatre at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. renée daoust lecture
Gisle løkken lecture
March 12, 2012 As part of the Forum Lecture Series hosted by Carleton University’s Azrieli School of Archi tecture & Urbanism, Gisle Løkken of 70°N arkitektur in Tromsø, Norway lectures at 6:00pm at the National Gallery in Ottawa. www1.carleton.ca/architecture/forumlecture-series-2 Winy Maas lecture
March 13, 2012 Winy Maas of Rotter dam’s MVRDV and the Delft Uni versity of Technology delivers a lecture at 6:30pm in the Djavad Mowafaghian Cinema at SFU Wood ward’s in Vancouver.
Manabu chiba lecture
Mark West lecture
March 12, 2012 Manabu Chiba, prin
March 14, 2012 Mark West of the
March 15, 2012 Renée Daoust, prin cipal of Montreal architecture and urban design firm Daoust Lestage, lectures at 6:30pm at Ryerson Uni versity’s Department of Architec tural Science in Toronto. Ken Wood lecture
March 15, 2012 Ken Wood of Lunar Design in San Francisco delivers this lecture at 7:00pm at the University of Calgary downtown campus. www.ucalgary.ca/evds
For more inFormation about these, and additional listings oF Canadian and international events, please visit www.canadianarchitect.com
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02/12 canadian architect
time to go
The venerable ToronTo-based archiTecTure firm of moriyama & Teshima recenTly moved ouT of Their original offices on davenporT road ThaT They have occupied since 1966.
melana Janzen moriyama & Teshima
I arrived late to the farewell party. Coming through the forged iron gate of the garden wall at 32 Davenport Road, it was too dark to notice the missing yew tree (already transplanted to a new home), but the wandering wisteria vine was a strong tangled silhouette, twisting around, up, and over the trellis and parapet walls—its deep roots likely to be one of the last grips held as the plot of land is cleared and excavated for a new sky-bound development. The building itself—the party honouree—had already been emancipated of 45 years’ worth of drawings, material samples, proposals, magazines, and financial records. Inside its empty shell was a palpable sense that this space and its layered history would soon be gone. The entry sequence began with a Zen garden-like walled forecourt, followed by a crafted and weighty solid wood door, and then, finally, a stone slab spanning an interior fishpond. Once inside, visiting clients and employees alike were 34 canadian architect 02/12
brought into the cedar-clad interiors of a unique piece of living history coupled with the Modernist sensibilities of a practice enmeshed with the Japanese cultural heritage of its founders. The space has developed mythic significance, as perhaps only a handful of other design offices have— a place where architecture has been shaping the Canadian context for almost 50 years. In 1966, Raymond Moriyama transformed a former automotive garage into a dynamic architectural practice that gave birth to many of our country’s seminal buildings and planning projects: the Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre and the Ontario Science Centre in Toronto, the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa, the Meewasin Valley Master Plan in Saskatoon, and the Wadi Hanifah Restoration Project in Saudi Arabia. The spaces of this unique building embodied a spirit and character that was imbued in the practice from its inception. In the February 1967 issue of Canadian Architect, Moriyama describes his office as “a workshop for the mind, a tool built first to serve the staff, and second to help give the client a rounded view of the firm and its basic attitude.” It is true to say that many architects have sought work at Moriyama & Teshima because of the office’s unique environment. Passing through the front reception area and
inside The offices of moriyama & Teshima, before compuTers became a ubiquiTous parT of daily work life.
moving toward the back, the building becomes a split-level stacked studio space. A double-height space in the centre provides natural daylight and a visual connection between the various levels. As I left the farewell party, Moriyama was having his last cigar on the terrace outside the loft. This small space, tucked above and to the side of the larger spaces of the building and accessible via a tiny winding stair, is of legend—steeped with years of discussion and debate. With that last puff, the towers encroaching upon the firm’s vacated offices on 32 Davenport Road will no longer cast it in shadow. Perhaps in moving on from their legendary building, Moriyama & Teshima demonstrate the ability of the profession to understand and respond to context—a poignant recognition that the time for a storied space in which some of our key urban environments have been conceived, is past. ca Melana Janzen, formerly an employee of Moriyama & Teshima, is now a partner at MJ | architecture in Toronto.
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Published on Feb 16, 2012
Published on Feb 16, 2012
Canadian Architect is a magazine for architects and related professionals practicing in Canada. Canada’s only monthly design publication, Ca...