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APR/08 CANADIAN ARCHITECT

$6.95 APR/08 V.53 N.04

THE SIGNIFICANCE OF HOME

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p09 Contents

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25 CALLARD AND FREEN HOUSES JOHN DONKIN ADOPTS A BOLD MODERNIST APPROACH TO TWO HOUSES IN OTTAWA. TEXT JANINE DEBANNÉ

32 MCLELLAN-SADDY RESIDENCE D’ARCY JONES REINTERPRETS A CLASSIC MID-CENTURY MODERN HOME IN VANCOUVER’S SOUTHLANDS NEIGHBOURHOOD. TEXT ADELE WEDER

40 IAN MACDONALD ARCHITECT INC. THE SOPHISTICATED DESIGN PROCESS OF ONE OF CANADA’S MOST ACCOMPLISHED RESIDENTIAL ARCHITECTS IS REVEALED. TEXT LESLIE JEN

49 METCHOSIN RESIDENCE THE MASS OF AN 8,000-SQUARE-FOOT RESIDENCE ON VANCOUVER ISLAND BY MARKO SIMCIC ARCHITECT IS CLEVERLY BROKEN DOWN INTO DISCRETE BUT INTERCONNECTED PIECES. TEXT MATTHEW SOULES

ROBERT LEMERMEYER

GORDON KING

TOM ARBAN

CONTENTS

13 NEWS Steven Holl to design the District Energy Centre in Toronto’s West Don Lands; Ryerson University’s Photography Gallery and Research Centre unveiled.

56 TECHNICAL Gerry Kopelow presents the second of his articles on digital architectural photography.

59 PRACTICE Brian Watkinson covers the controversial P3 procurement model of public-private partnerships.

61 REPORT The issue of designing for visitability and accessibility to accommodate people with disabilities is presented by Ron Wickman.

GERRY KOPELOW

65 CALENDAR Hal Foster lectures at the Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art in Toronto; International Conference on Fabric Formwork at the University of Manitoba.

66 BACKPAGE Herb Enns enlightens us on the poetic installations that took place this winter on the University of Manitoba campus.

APRIL 2008, V.53 N.04

THE NATIONAL REVIEW OF DESIGN AND PRACTICE/ THE JOURNAL OF RECORD OF THE RAIC

COVER THE INTERIOR OF THE WYCHWOOD PARK HOUSE BY IAN MACDONALD ARCHITECT INC. PHOTOGRAPH BY TOM ARBAN.

04/08 CANADIAN ARCHITECT

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p10 Viewpoint

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IAN CHODIKOFF

VIEWPOINT

EDITOR IAN CHODIKOFF, OAA, MRAIC ASSOCIATE EDITOR LESLIE JEN, MRAIC EDITORIAL ADVISORS JOHN MCMINN, AADIPL. MARCO POLO, OAA, MRAIC CHARLES WALDHEIM, OALA(HON.), FAAR CONTRIBUTING EDITORS GAVIN AFFLECK, OAQ, MRAIC TREVOR BODDY HERBERT ENNS, MAA, MRAIC DOUGLAS MACLEOD, NCARB REGIONAL CORRESPONDENTS HALIFAX CHRISTINE MACY, OAA MONTREAL DAVID THEODORE WINNIPEG HERBERT ENNS, MAA REGINA BERNARD FLAMAN, SAA CALGARY DAVID A. DOWN, AAA EDMONTON BRIAN ALLSOPP, AAA ABOVE WINNIPEG’S EXCHANGE DISTRICT, ONE OF THE MOST HISTORICALLY INTACT TURN-OF-THECENTURY COMMERCIAL DISTRICTS ON THE CONTINENT. TODAY IT OFFERS AN OPPORTUNITY TO INCUBATE IDEAS, RATHER THAN MERELY WAREHOUSE MERCHANDISE.

Rising from the muddy waters of the Red River, Winnipeg has been referred to as a city of warehouses, a portal, and an essential hub for North American commerce. True to form, this prairie town remains a cultural and infrastructural crossroad that—despite decades of shifting trends in global manufacturing, rail and intermodal transportation infrastructure—is a city where ideas continue to be incubated, tested and exchanged in both academic and professional environments. Winnipeg’s original commercial history can be traced back to the Exchange District, an area comprising 20 city blocks that was declared a National Historic Site in 1997 for its key role as a centre of grain and wholesale trade, finance and manufacturing in two historically important periods in the city’s development: from 1880 to 1900 when Winnipeg became the gateway to Canada’s West, and from 1900 to 1913 when the city’s architecture rivalled that of Chicago. Toward the end of Winnipeg’s Golden Age in 1913, the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba was founded. One of the earliest architecture programs in Canada, the school originally provided a solid Beaux-Arts education, reflecting the spirit of the times. However, John A. Russell’s arrival as Dean in 1946 enabled the school to make the necessary but radical shift to become a leading school in North America, teaching Modernist principles while allying itself with other American and European architecture schools. Today, the school is entering another significant period in its illustrious history where its Prairie Modern legacy is being challenged with a more theoretical approach to architectural education. Led by UK-born Nat Chard, incoming Head of the Department of Architecture, the University of Manitoba is pushing for what it views as a more rigorous curriculum where students interview with instructors before they are 10 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 04/08

selected to engage in year-long design studios. Chard is seen as a leader, emerging from the model of teaching at the Bartlett School of Architecture at the University College London where, according to its current Director, Iain Borden, “people constantly design, invent, explore, write, draw, teach, speculate, theorize, film, map, critique, analyze and imagine.” Is this not just another valid form of incubating and exchanging ideas? Beyond the University of Manitoba, Winnipeg has many empty sites begging for development. There is much work to be done. For example, rising above the downtown is the new 22-storey Manitoba Hydro Building, a project that will soon become a benchmark for cold-climate design in Canada. Designed by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects with Smith Carter Architects and Engineers as the architects of record, the building will incorporate a host of sustainable features, notably its naturally ventilated doubleskin system. The all-glass office tower is expected to be 66 percent more energy-efficient than the Model National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings. And over at The Forks, Gail Asper’s dream to build the Antoine Predock-designed Canadian Museum for Human Rights is nearing its fundraising target of $265 million. With the optimism of new construction and revitalization in Winnipeg, it should not be suggested that Manitoba’s only architecture school is turning its back on contemporary architectural discourse or reality. Winnipeg should remain a place that lives up to its purpose: where ideas and not just rivers and railways meet. Vast acres of downtown surface parking lots are crying out for innovative architects and eager investors to keep ideas—both new and old—out of the irrelevancy of cold storage and to apply them in a meaningful way. IAN CHODIKOFF

ICHODIKOFF@CANADIANARCHITECT.COM

PUBLISHER TOM ARKELL 416-510-6806 SALES MANAGER GREG PALIOURAS 416-510-6808 CIRCULATION MANAGER BEATA OLECHNOWICZ 416-442-5600 EXT. 3543 CUSTOMER SERVICE MALKIT CHANA 416-442-5600 EXT. 3539 PRODUCTION JESSICA JUBB GRAPHIC DESIGN SUE WILLIAMSON VICE PRESIDENT OF CANADIAN PUBLISHING ALEX PAPANOU PRESIDENT OF BUSINESS INFORMATION GROUP BRUCE CREIGHTON HEAD OFFICE 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 Business Information Group, a division of BIG Magazines LP, a leading Canadian information company with interests in daily and community newspapers and business-to-business 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: $51.95 plus applicable taxes for one year; $81.95 plus applicable taxes for two years (GST – #809751274RT0001). Price per single copy: $6.95. Students (prepaid with student I.D., includes taxes): $32.50 for one year. USA: $101.95 U.S. for one year. All other foreign: $101.95 U.S. 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 0008-2872


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NEWS PROJECTS

Ryerson University’s Photography Gallery and Research Centre unveiled.

Toronto-based Diamond and Schmitt Architects’ design concept for the new Ryerson Photography Gallery and Research Centre hopes to transform Gould Street with a dramatic glass building open and accessible to the community and the public, right in the heart of the Ryerson campus. The 1,860-square-metre building is part of an expansion and redesign of the existing School of Image Arts building. The focal point of the renovated ground floor is the new public gallery, which will house and display the University’s worldrenowned Black Star Historical Black & White Photography Collection, as well as the many collections in the School’s Mira Godard Study Centre. An additional new 1,200 square metres of study, teaching and academic space will be built by maximizing the available footprint of the

PICKARD CHILTON ARCHITECTS/MENKÈS SHOONER DAGENAIS LETOURNEUX

BLT ARCHITECTES

Waterfront Toronto recently announced the selection of Steven Holl Architects (SHA) to design the 3,500-square-metre District Energy Centre (DEC) in the West Don Lands, which will provide centralized heating and cooling to the first new waterfront neighbourhoods of Toronto. The DEC is expected to go into construction by the end of 2008 and is expected to deliver heating and cooling by the beginning of 2010. Waterfront Toronto is a 2,000-acre area of largely publicly owned land. It has committed to meeting all of the heating and cooling demands of its new waterfront neighbourhoods through a centralized district energy system. An interconnected network of underground pipes will extend to every development parcel in the new waterfront precincts, and all new buildings will be required to rely on this system. Although initially these plants will be natural gas-fired, they will be designed for eventual conversion to alternative fuels when they become approved for urban use. Creating the centralized system now will “future proof” the waterfront by allowing entire neighbourhoods to be easily switched to more efficient and sustainable sources of energy. For years, Holl’s firm has emphasized sustainable building and site development as fundamental to innovative and imaginative design, incorporating green roofs, double walls, and advanced mechanical systems. In Beijing, the firm’s 200,000-square-metre Linked Hybrid complex—to open this summer—is heated and cooled by a 660-well geothermal energy system, the largest residential geothermal system in the world, and employs green roofs and a separate greywater system. Bortolotto Design Architect Inc. (BDA) of Toronto will be collaborating with SHA, especially during the working drawings and contract administration phases.

CICADA DESIGN/DIAMOND AND SCHMITT ARCHITECTS

Steven Holl to design the District Energy Centre in Toronto’s West Don Lands.

TOP AN ARTIST’S RENDERING OF THE SCHOOL OF IMAGE ARTS/RYERSON PHOTOGRAPHY GALLERY AND RESEARCH CENTRE IN TORONTO. ABOVE 701 UNIVERSITY, DESIGNED BY BLT ARCHITECTES AND 900 DE MAISONNEUVE, DESIGNED BY PICKARD CHILTON ARCHITECTS IN COLLABORATION WITH MENKÈS SHOONER DAGENAIS LETOURNEUX ARE TWO OF THE MANY HIGH-RISE PROJECTS TO GRACE MONTREAL’S SKYLINE OVER THE NEXT FEW YEARS. THESE PROJECTS WERE RECENTLY PART OF AN EXHIBITION ENTITLED LE MONTRÉAL DU FUTUR.

building, creating light-filled study and communal gathering places for students, and expanded space for faculty and staff. The School of Image Arts building will be reclad in glass, and a new extended colonnade will signal the gallery entrance overlooking Lake Devo, one of the most popular public spaces on campus. The ground floor will include a new transparent entrance to the facility, and a café to attract students and passersby. Ryerson’s Black Star Historical Black & White Photography Collection is considered the most significant cultural contribution ever made to a Canadian university. The gift was accompanied by a $7-million financial contribution, which will be put towards construction of the new building. The Ryerson Photography Gallery and

Research Centre will be the first University building under construction since the launch of Ryerson’s Master Plan. The building design reflects the major themes of the Master Plan: intensification, making efficient use of small and valuable urban properties, creating a pedestrianfriendly campus with open green spaces and informal meeting places, design excellence, and a commitment to new and inspirational academic and student spaces. Ryerson is currently searching for a Director of the Gallery and Research Centre, who will lead the academic, administrative, exhibit and outreach functions for the facility. The Director will be a cultural ambassador for Ryerson University, responsible for creating an international profile for the Gallery and Research 04/08 CANADIAN ARCHITECT

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Centre, and assuming a visible and active role in the cultural life of Ryerson and the city.

AWARDS PCI’s 2008 Design Awards seeks to recognize excellence in precast buildings and bridges.

The Precast/Prestressed Concrete Institute (PCI) has issued a call for entries for its 2008 Design Awards Competition. The competition, now in its 46th year, shows how designers are continuing to push the capabilities of precast, prestressed concrete components to achieve more cost-effective, aesthetically pleasing, and quickly constructed projects. Any structure in the United States, Canada, or Mexico that has been completed within the last three years and is substantially constructed with plant-manufactured precast, prestressed concrete, glass fibre-reinforced concrete, and/or architectural precast concrete is eligible. Along with a number of best-in-class awards, there are also recognitions given for industry advancement, sustainable design, and the best all-precast concrete structure. Jurors will consider creativity and ingenuity in the use of precast concrete to achieve aesthetic expression, function, economy, and sustainability, and will recognize excellence in design, engineering, manufacturing, and erecting. Entries are due on Friday, May 23, 2008. www.pci.org/news/call_for_entries

COMPETITIONS Ecohouse Student Design Competition 2008.

The international student competition invites designs for an ecohouse of 120 square metres for up to six persons on a plot of 200 square metres in Oxford, England. It will be launched at the forthcoming Ecobuild by the Concrete Centre. The designs should take full account of how to reduce energy needs for heating, cooling and lighting, the use of passive sustainability techniques, and the use of local construction materials and renewable energy sources. In addition, the homes must be designed to be robust and resilient and last until at least the end of this century and through an age of increasingly extreme weather events. Taking into account these criteria, the homes must also be designed for comfort and lifestyle flexibility. £3,500 will be awarded as follows: 1st prize £2,000; 2nd prize £1,000; 3rd prize £500. Registration is compulsory, and the submission deadline is June 24, 2008. Winning and highly commended candidates will be invited to a prize-giving which will take place from July 22-23, 2008 at the Oxford Conference: Resetting the Agenda for Architectural Education. www.concretecentre.com/main.asp?page=1740 Larvik Inner Harbour Competition in Norway.

This international competition in Larvik, Norway is open to architects and landscape architects.

The Larvik municipality, in cooperation with the National Association of Norwegian Architects, invite graduate architects and landscape architects with approved education from around the world to an open ideas competition for the design of the Inner Harbour. The tender documents can be ordered from Larvik municipality and from the National Association of Norwegian Architects. 1,000,000 NOK or $187,000 is being awarded, and May 26, 2008 is the submission deadline. www.larvik.kommune.no

WHAT’S NEW Le Montréal du Futur Exhibition opens to great acclaim.

BOMA Québec (Building Owners and Managers Association), in collaboration with De Grandpré Chait Lawyers and Desjardins Asset Management recently presented Le Montréal du Futur, an exhibition held during the last week of March in the Grande-Place at Complexe Desjardins in Montreal. Through models and renderings, this exhibition featured over 30 commercial, residential, and institutional real estate projects to be built in the Greater Montreal area over the next 25 years. The first Le Montréal du Futur exhibition opened to great acclaim in 2006. In addition to new commercial projects, the exhibition featured major transportation, infrastructure and sustainable development projects,

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and brought together the public and media as well as key business people who work in real estate and who are contributing to the development of Montreal. The exhibition also featured a significant number of developers and government institutions, including the Imagining-Building Montreal 2025 long-term plan for the City of Montreal. Exhibitors included: the Montreal Harbourfront Corporation (the transformation of the Bonaventure Expressway), the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, Place des Festivals, the expansion project at Pointe-à-Callière for the Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History, SITQ and the 900 De Maisonneuve West building, 701 University (Magil Laurentienne/Desjardins Gestion d’actifs), Campus Bell Canderel, Westcliff Place de la CitÊ Internationale, the Angus Technopole, Concordia University, SociÊtÊ d’habitation et de dÊveloppement de MontrÊal, Sustainable House (Équiterre), the redevelopment project at the current CBC site, MUHC (McGill University Health Centre), Louis Bohème Condominiums, M9 Phase 2 Condominiums, RitzCarlton Montreal, the Canadian art pavilion at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, 333 Sherbrooke Phase 2 Condominiums and Silo No. 5 Project: the future Museum of Modern Art (presented by the Montreal Museum of Contemporary Art). www.boma-quebec.org/evenements/montreal_ futur_2008/index.html

Three Canadian architects named Honorary Fellows of the AIA.

The American Institute of Architects (AIA) recently announced three Canadians amongst 13 international architects named Honorary Fellows of the Institute. Honorary Fellowship is bestowed upon architects of esteemed character and distinguished achievements who are neither citizens nor residents of the US and who do not primarily practice architecture within the domain of the AIA. Election to Honorary Fellowship not only recognizes the achievements of the foreign architect as an individual, but also elevates before the international public and the profession a model architect who has made a significant contribution to architecture and society on an international level. The 2008 AIA Honorary Fellows from Canada are: Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe of Shim+ Sutcliffe Architects Inc. in Toronto and Ranjit (Randy) Dhar, Public Works & Government Services in Toronto. Shim and Sutcliffe are being honoured for their outstanding creative talents whose body of built work has integrated architecture, landscape and design. They have created public works, parks, residences—as well as fixtures and furnishes—that have pushed forward new standards of excellence in the design of their projects across Canada and the United States. Dhar is being honoured for his career-long dedication to leading professional associations, improving project delivery, and promoting coordination within the building industry, all of which define his con-

tributions to the profession. The remaining 10 inductees include: David Adjaye (Adjaye Associates Ltd., London); Stefan Behnisch (Behnisch Architekten, Stuttgart); Javier Sanchez Corral (Higuera + Sanchez, Mexico City); Gabriel Fagan (Gabriel Fagan Architects, Capetown, South Africa); Jan Gehl (The Royal Danish Academy of Fine Arts in Copenhagen, Denmark); Bernardo Gomez-Pimienta (BGP Arquitectura, Mexico City); Jin Kyoon Kim (Seoul National University in Seoul, Korea); Benjamin Mouton (Architecte en Chef des Monuments Historiques, Versailles, France); Choon-Soo Ryu (Beyond Space-Group, Seoul, Korea); and Nithi Sthapitanonda (Architects 49 Limited, Bangkok, Thailand). Festival of Architecture and Design in Toronto.

The City of Toronto will be celebrating the 4th annual Festival of Architecture and Design (fAd) in May 2008. For an entire month, the festival puts Toronto’s architecture and design communities in the spotlight with exhibitions, films, lectures, book launches, readings and walking tours. The Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) has participated in fAd in the past and is very pleased to be returning as a supporter of the festival. Since its inauguration, fAd has expanded into a festival of over 60 events supported by over 40 groups. Past participants have included such Toronto fixtures as Doors Open Toronto, the Contact Photography Festival, the Pug Awards,

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Twenty + Change, and the “Toronto The Good” party. Every year, the festival culminates with Doors Open Toronto, which gives the public a rare glimpse into buildings around the city. fad@toronto.ca National Festival of Architecture to be held in Fredericton.

Fredericton will host the largest national gathering of architects in 2008 as the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the Architects’ Association of New Brunswick (AANB) stage the annual national Conference and Festival of Architecture. “Steering the Current” will be the theme of the festival which runs from June 25-28, 2008. AANB President and festival co-chair, Gaye Kapkin, MRAIC and Saint John architect says, “Members have been active in raising the importance of architecture in New Brunswick and they have attracted interest from the RAIC. The winning ingredients are the St. John River, interesting architecture and Maritime hospitality.” According to RAIC Executive Director Jon Hobbs, FRAIC, “The festival presents an opportunity to hear the profession’s most forward thinkers from Canada and around the world. Exhibitions of architecture, social events and architectural tours of Fredericton will be the highlights at a gathering that draws architects together for a truly international gathering.” AANB Executive Director and event co-chair Karen Chantler added, “We anticipate attracting more than 300 delegates with an

attendance that will double that figure. This event is a coup for New Brunswick and for Fredericton. It is usually held in larger cities.” www.raic.org 23rd World Congress of the International Union of Architects.

From June 29-July 3, 2008, architects from around the world will meet in Turin, Italy, for the 23rd World Congress of the International Union of Architects, with the theme of “Transmitting Architecture: Culture, Democracy, Hope.” Participants will discuss architecture as a channel of communication and the communication of architecture itself, in all forms and all places. The Congress will study all the various aspects of a profession that is concerned with the quality of life, landscape, and the environment on a daily basis. The program offers a full spectrum of conferences within this framework. They will be conducted by architects and international experts in a variety of fields that will launch a multidisciplinary debate. A wide selection of contributions from around the world will complement and illustrate these interventions. www.uia2008torino.org 10th Docomomo conference on the Heritage of the Modern Movement.

DOCOMOMO Nederland hosts the 10th International Docomomo Conference, which will be held in Rotterdam from September 13-20, 2008.

The central theme is “The Challenge of Change— Dealing with the Legacy of the Modern Movement” with Herman Hertzberger and Barry Bergdoll acting as keynote speakers. Hertzberger completed his studies at the Delft University of Technology in 1958. He taught at the Academy of Architecture in Amsterdam, was a professor at the TU Delft, a visiting lecturer at the University of Geneva (Switzerland) and chairman of the Berlage Institute Amsterdam. In 1960 he established the Herman Hertzberger Architectuurstudio. Bergdoll is Chief Curator of Architecture and Design of the Museum of Modern Art in New York and a professor at Columbia University. The conference will be held in the De Van Nelle Ontwerpfabriek, the former Van Nelle factory, an imposing, listed building with international allure. Designed by architects Brinkman and Van der Vlugt, the building is one of the Dutch icons of the Modern Movement. DOCOMOMO Nederland is a working group of the international organization for DOcumentation and COnservation of buildings, sites and neighbourhoods of the MOdern MOvement. DOCOMOMO’s goal is to boost the knowledge and appreciation of Modern Architecture in the Netherlands by mapping and giving attention to the heritage and mental legacy of this form of architecture, landscape architecture and urban development. They have joined forces with other organizations to achieve the objectives set out in the Eindhoven Statement. www.docomomo2008.nl

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update ISSUE 30.1 SPRING 2008

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada The voice of architecture and its practice in Canada

Building membership through action and tools As part of RAIC’s effort to enhance the profession in Canada, it works actively on behalf of members negotiating savings on services and products of importance to Architects and developing tools that help architectural practice.

New Member Benefit – free subscription to Canadian Architect RAIC members have long requested a subscription to Canadian Architect as a benefit of membership and we are pleased to announce this valuable offer for members residing in Canada.

These RAIC members should have received an offer from Canadian Architect to activate their account. Issues will begin arriving ONLY after members have made this request. Please contact Beata Olechnowicz at Canadian Architect directly at 416442-5600 ext 3543 if you have not received this offer.

The Voice of Architecture in Canada Several activities serve to advocate on behalf of Architects and raise the profile of architecture in Canada. • Following a speech by The Honourable Stéphane Dion, Paule Boutin, FIRAC addressed the Federation of Canadian Municipalities (FCM) Conference outlining the RAIC 2030 Challenge to a packed plenary session. Dion and Boutin were followed by urban planner Larry Beasley, recipient of the 2003 RAIC Award of Excellence – Advocate for Architecture. • RAIC President Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, FRAIC attended the inauguration of Marshall E. Purnell, FAIA, in Washington, D.C. in December. Purnell is the 84th president of the AIA. He formerly served as Mid-Atlantic Regional Director (20032006) and president of AIA / Washington, D.C. (2003). • RAIC was the leader at the Federal Industry Real Property Council,introducing Federal Government managers to Building Information Modeling and the importance of its adoption to ensure Canada remains competitive in the design and construction sector.

• BIM course instructors, Allan Partridge, MRAIC and Mitchell Clark, made a presentation to more than 30 federal managers. Charles Matta, FAIA of the US General Services Administration also presented. • RAIC President Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, FRAIC and Executive Director Jon Hobbs, FRAIC attended the Annual General Assembly of the Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Mexicana (FCARM), where they met with Mexican representatives regarding the upcoming APEC Central Council meeting in Vancouver in August 2008 that will be hosted by Canada and assisted by Mexico (the current Secretariat for APEC). • RAIC continues to host Roundtables with the heads of provincial and territorial associations of architects. These gatherings have led to the Harmonization of Continuing Education systems and the development of a Continuing Education National Database to record credits. The national database is currently being developed to be accessible by all provincial and territorial associations and their individual members. Six provincial associations have already agreed to use the new database to maintain and track their members’ continuing education credits, and two more associations are seriously considering the option. In time RAIC hopes all 11 jurisdictions will take advantage of this recording system.

RAIC Syllabus Renewal – the latest The Interim Program Advisory Council continues to work diligently on consultation, program development and a transition plan with our institutional partner, Athabasca University, to offer the renewed Syllabus program and has reached approval on the first stage. Recently the RAIC received the first approval in a two step process by Academic Council of Athabasca University. “From the beginning the goal was to cause little disruption to our existing students and offer the pro-

President Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, FRAIC 1st Vice-President and President-Elect Paule Boutin, MIRAC 2nd Vice-President and Treasurer Ranjit (Randy) K. Dhar, FRAIC Immediate Past President Vivian Manasc, PP/FRAIC Regional Directors Stuart Howard, FRAIC (British Columbia/Yukon) Leonard Rodrigues, FRAIC (Alberta/NWT) Andrew Wach, FRAIC (Saskatchewan/Manitoba) Ranjit (Randy) K. Dhar, FRAIC (Ontario Southwest) Ralph Wiesbrock, MRAIC (Ontario North and East/Nunavut) Claude Hamelin Lalonde, FIRAC (Quebec) Daniel Goodspeed, FRAIC (Atlantic) Chancellor of College of Fellows Paul-André Tétreault, AP/FIRAC Council of Canadian University Schools of Architecture (CCUSA) Eric Haldenby, FRAIC Editorial Liaison Ralph Wiesbrock, MRAIC

gram in both English and French,” said RAIC President Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, FRAIC. “I am pleased to say we are well on our way to accomplishing both.” The renewed program will offer: • Bachelor of Science (Architecture) – B.Sc. (Architecture) • A Post-Diploma Bachelor of Science Program (Architecture) for those with community college diplomas – B.Sc. (Architecture) • A Graduate Diploma in Architecture – Dipl. Architecture

2007-2008 RAIC Board Members

Executive Director Jon Hobbs, FRAIC Editor Sylvie Powell The national office of the RAIC is located at: 330-55 Murray St Ottawa ON K1N 5M3 Tel.: (613) 241-3600 Fax: (613) 241-5750

Details can be found at www.raic.org.

E-mail: info@raic.org

www.raic.org


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Festival of Architecture 2008

Practice Support – the tools of the trade Architectural Competitions Guidelines website now online

The 2008 RAIC Festival of Architecture will be held jointly with the Architects Association of New Brunswick (AANB) in Fredericton, New Brunswick from June 25 to 28, 2008. We are pleased to announce this year’s Honourary Fellows and presenters: Bob Berkebile, Hon. FRAIC, FAIA, Principal with BNIM Architects and a leading authority in the field of sustainable design, is the founding chairman of the AIA’s National Committee on the Environment and was instrumental in the formation of the US Green Building Council. Highly regarded by fellow professionals for creating beautiful environments that are restorative and pedagogical, he has conducted numerous sustainable design charrettes and workshops for White House, the Department of Defense, the Department of Energy, to name just a few. Herménégilde Chiasson, Hon. FRAIC, Lieutenant-Governor of New Brunswick, who has lent his support to New Brunswick’s Architects and the profession. In 2005 the Lieutenant Governor’s Awards of Excellence in Architecture in New Brunswick were created to recognize excellence in the work of resident practices and to promote the value of architecture in building the province’s communities. He also sponsored an architecture lecture series in partnership with the University of New Brunswick. A strong advocate of the profession he is sure to offer a unique perspective. Avoid disappointment! Reserve your hotel now for the 2008 AANB/RAIC Festival of Architecture, June 25 to 27 2008. Online registration for the 2008 RAIC Festival of Architecture being held jointly with the Architects Association of New Brunswick (AANB) in Fredericton, New Brunswick from June 25 to 28, 2008, begins April 14. Don’t be disappointed – register today.

The RAIC has launched a website detailing new guidelines for architectural competitions. This website provides information on architectural competitions in Canada and sets guidelines for all aspects of architectural competitions. You can find it at www.raic.org under the heading Architecture & Architects. It replaces the “Canadian Rules for the Conduct of Architectural Competitions,” known as Document Five, which is now obsolete. Comments are always welcome.

New Practice Builders RAIC presents two new Practice Builders: Building with Media and Building Information Modeling (BIM). Practice Builders are free for download to all RAIC members.

La Grande Bibliothèque du Québec – 2000 competition | architects: Patkau / Croft-Pelletier / Menkes Shooner Dagenais Associated Architects | photo: James Dow

CCDC 2 2008 Stipulated Price Contract now available Authorization seals may be purchased from RAIC. For all the details of the changes from the old CCDC 2 1994 document, check out the fivepage report on RAIC’s website.

RAIC Documents Six and Seven The RAIC has included in both the Canadian Standard Form of Contract for Architectural Services – RAIC Document Six – and the Canadian Standard Form of Agreement Between Client and Architect (Abbreviated Version) – RAIC Document Seven – new language related to arbitration and the Architect’s rights when the Owner and Contractor agree to settle a dispute using arbitration. The new language can be found in GC 1.3 in RAIC Document Six and GC 3.7.6 in RAIC Document Seven. Both documents are available on the RAIC website.

Document Nine is now electronic! The 2007 Edition of Document Nine – the Canadian Standard Form of Agreement Between Architect and Consultant – is now available online. This document replaces Document Nine, 1997 (now obsolete).


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en bref NUMÉRO 30.1 PRINTEMPS 2008

L’institut royal d’architecture du Canada Porte-parole de l’architecture et de ses praticiens au Canada

Augmenter nos effectifs par nos actions et les outils d’aide à la pratique Dans le cadre de ses efforts de valorisation de la profession au Canada, l’IRAC négocie au nom de ses membres diverses économies sur des produits et services importants pour les architectes et élabore nombre d’outils d’aide à la pratique.

Nouvel avantage aux membres – Abonnement gratuit à Canadian Architect Les membres de l’IRAC demandent depuis longtemps que l’abonnement à Canadian Architect leur soit offert gracieusement, en tant qu’avantage aux membres. Nous sommes heureux d’annoncer que leur souhait se concrétise.

Les membres devraient avoir reçu une offre de Canadian Architect leur demandant d’activer leur compte. Ils seront dès lors inscrits à la liste d’envoi et recevront les prochains numéros du magazine. Si vous n’avez pas reçu cette offre, veuillez communiquer directement avec Beata Olechnowicz du Canadian Architect au 416-442-5600, poste 3543.

La voix de l’architecture au Canada L’IRAC entreprend diverses activités de promotion et de défense des intérêts des architectes et vise continuellement à faire mieux connaître l’architecture au Canada. • À la suite d’un discours de l’honorable Stéphane Dion, Paule Boutin, FIRAC, a pris la parole devant une salle bondée de délégués à la Conférence de la Fédération canadienne des municipalités (FCM). Son allocution a porté sur le thème du Défi 2030 de l’IRAC. Larry Beasley, lauréat d’un prix d’excellence de l’IRAC en 2003 dans la catégorie promotion et défense de l’architecture s’est également adressé aux délégués. • Le président de l’IRAC, Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, FRAIC, a participé à la cérémonie d’entrée en fonction de Marshall E. Purnell, FAIA, à Washington, D.C., en décembre dernier. M. Purnell est le 84e président de l’AIA. Il a auparavant assumé le poste d’administrateur régional pour les États du centre du littoral de l’Atlantique (2003 à 2006) et de président de l’AIA / Washington, D.C. (2003). • L’IRAC a joué un rôle de premier plan devant le Conseil des gestionnaires immobiliers fédéraux à qui il a présenté les principes de la Modélisation des données du bâtiment (BIM) en sensibilisant à l’importance de l’adoption

de ces principes pour assurer la compétitivité du Canada dans le secteur de la conception et de la construction. • Les animateurs de la séance, Allan Partridge, MRAIC, et Mitchell Clark, ont présenté leur exposé à plus de 30 gestionnaires fédéraux. Charles Matta, FAIA, de la US General Services Administration s’est également adressé aux participants. • Le président de l’IRAC, Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, FRAIC, et le directeur général Jon Hobbs, FRAIC, ont participé à l’assemblée générale annuelle de la Federación de Colegios de Arquitectos de la República Mexicana (FCARM), où ils ont rencontré les représentants mexicains pour discuter de la prochaine réunion du Conseil central de l’APEC qui aura lieu à Vancouver, en août 2008 et dont le Canada sera l’hôte avec le soutien du Mexique (secrétariat actuel de l’APEC). • L’IRAC continue d’organiser des tables rondes avec les dix associations et ordres provinciaux et territoriaux d’architectes. Ces rencontres ont mené à l’harmonisation des régimes de formation continue et au développement d’une base de données nationale permettant de gérer les dossiers de formation continue et d’inscrire les heures d’activités de formation suivies par les architectes. Tous les ordres et associations et leurs membres pourront y accéder. À ce jour, six provinces ont convenu d’utiliser cette nouvelle base de données et deux autres envisagent sérieusement de le faire. L’IRAC espère qu’à terme, les 11 organismes de réglementation y adhéreront.

Dernières nouvelles sur le renouvellement du Syllabus de l’IRAC Le comité consultatif intérimaire du programme poursuit son travail avec diligence. Il procède à des consultations, participe au développement du programme et établit un plan de transition avec notre partenaire institutionnel, l’Université Athabasca, en vue d’offrir un programme renouvelé. La première des deux étapes du processus est franchie, l’IRAC ayant reçu les premières approbations du conseil des affaires universitaires de l’Université Athabasca.

aux étudiants inscrits et nous avons voulu que le programme soit disponible en anglais et en français,», a déclaré le président de l’IRAC, Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, FRAIC. «,Nous sommes en voie d’atteindre ces deux objectifs et je m’en réjouis,».

Le nouveau programme mènera à l’obtention des diplômes suivants,: • Baccalauréat en sciences (Architecture) – B.Sc. (Architecture) • Diplôme d’études supérieures en sciences (Architecture) pour les diplômés en technologie de l’architec- • Diplôme d’études supérieures en «,Dès le début, nous avons tenu à ce architecture – Dipl. Architecture ture de collèges communautaires ou que le renouvellement du programme de cégeps – B.Sc. (Architecture) cause le moins de préjudices possible Pour plus d’info, voir le www.raic.org.

Conseil d’administration de l’IRAC de 2007-2008 Président Kiyoshi Matsuzaki, FRAIC Première vice-présidente et présidente élue Paule Boutin, MIRAC Deuxième vice-président et trésorier Ranjit (Randy) K. Dhar, FRAIC Présidente sortante de charge Vivian Manasc, PP/FRAIC Directeurs régionaux Stuart Howard, FRAIC (Colombie-Britannique/Yukon) Leonard Rodrigues, FRAIC (Alberta/T.N.-O.) Andrew Wach, FRAIC (Saskatchewan/Manitoba) Ranjit (Randy) K. Dhar, FRAIC (Sud et Ouest de l’Ontario) Ralph Wiesbrock, MRAIC (Est et Nord de l’Ontario/ Nunavut) Claude Hamelin Lalonde, FIRAC (Québec) Daniel Goodspeed, FRAIC (Atlantique) Chancelier du Collège des fellows Paul-André Tétreault, AP/FIRAC Conseil canadien des écoles universitaires d’architecture (CCÉUA) Eric Haldenby, FRAIC Conseiller à la rédaction Ralph Wiesbrock, MRAIC Directeur général Jon Hobbs, FRAIC Rédactrice en chef Sylvie Powell Le siège social de l’IRAC est situé au,: 55, rue Murray, bureau 330 Ottawa ON K1N 5M3 Tél.,: (613) 241-3600 Télec.,: (613) 241-5750 Courriel,: info@raic.org

www.raic.org


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Festival d’architecture 2008

Aide à la pratique – les outils de la profession Site Web sur les concours d’architecture maintenant en ligne

Le Festival d’architecture de l’IRAC, organisé conjointement avec l’Association des architectes du Nouveau-Brunswick (AANB) aura lieu à Fredericton, Nouveau-Brunswick, du 25 au 28 juin 2008. Nous sommes heureux d’annoncer la présence des deux personnalités de marque suivantes qui recevront le titre de fellow honoraire et présenteront des allocutions,: Bob Berkebile, Hon. FRAIC, FAIA, est associé principal chez BNIM Architects et chef de file reconnu dans le domaine de la conception durable. Il est le président fondateur du comité national de l’environnement de l’AIA et a contribué à la formation du US Green Building Council. Très estimé de ses confrères, il est réputé pour créer de beaux environnements restaurateurs et pédagogiques. Il a dirigé nombre de charrettes et ateliers de conception durable pour la Maison blanche, le ministère américain de la Défense et celui de l’Énergie, pour n’en nommer que quelques-uns. Herménégilde Chiasson, Hon. FRAIC, lieutenant-gouverneur du NouveauBrunswick, est un ardent défenseur des architectes et de l’architecture dans la province. En 2005, il a créé le programme de Prix d’excellence en architecture du lieutenant-gouverneur, voulant ainsi reconnaître l’excellence du travail des architectes de la province et promouvoir la valeur de l’architecture pour les collectivités de la province. Il a également parrainé une série de conférences sur l’architecture en partenariat avec l’Université du Nouveau-Brunswick. Évitez les déceptions! Réservez dès maintenant votre hôtel pour le Festival d’architecture de l’IRAC et congrès de l’AANB, qui aura lieu du 25 au 27 juin 2008. À compter du 14 avril, il sera possible de s'inscrire en ligne au Festival d'architecture de l'IRAC 2008 jumelé au congrès de l'Association des architectes du Nouveau-Brunswick qui aura lieu à Fredericton, NouveauBrunswick, du 25 au 28 juin 2008. Évitez les déceptions – inscrivez-vous dès aujourd'hui.

L’IRAC a récemment affiché en ligne un nouveau guide sur les concours d’architecture. Le site fournit toute l’information nécessaire sur les divers aspects relatifs à la tenue de concours justes et équitables. Vous le trouverez à l’adresse suivante,: www.raic.org. Ce guide remplace l’ancien Document Cinq, «,Règlement pour les concours d’architecture au Canada,», maintenant désuet. Les commentaires sont toujours les bienvenus.

Deux nouveaux titres de la série Bâtisseur d’entreprise L’IRAC présente deux nouveaux titres de la série Bâtisseur d’entreprise,: Bâtir sa collaboration avec les médias et Modélisation des données du bâtiment (BIM). Les membres de l’IRAC peuvent télécharger gratuitement ces deux documents.

La Grande Bibliothèque du Québec – concours de 2000 | architectes : Patkau / Croft-Pelletier / Menkes Shooner Dagenais Associated Architects | photo : James Dow

Le Contrat à forfait CCDC 2 2008 est maintenant disponible On peut se procurer des sceaux d’autorisation auprès de l’IRAC. Pour plus d’information sur les changements apportés par rapport à l’ancienne version de 1994 du CCDC 2, consultez le document de cinq pages sur le site Web de l’IRAC.

Documents Six et Sept de l’IRAC L’IRAC a modifié le libellé de clauses traitant de l’arbitrage et des droits de l’architecte lorsque le maître de l’ouvrage et l’entrepreneur conviennent de régler un différend au moyen de l’arbitrage dans les deux documents suivants,: La Formule canadienne normalisée de contrat de services en architecture – Document Six de l’IRAC et la Formule canadienne normalisée de contrat entre client et architecte (Version abrégée) – Document Sept de l’IRAC. Les modifications ont été apportées à l’article CG 1.3 du Document Six et à l’article CG 3.7.6 du Document Sept. Ces deux documents sont disponibles à partir du site Web de l’IRAC.

Document Neuf maintenant disponible en ligne! L’édition 2007 du Document Neuf – la formule canadienne normalisée de contrat entre architecte et ingénieur ou autre consultant – est maintenant disponible en ligne. Ce document remplace le Document Neuf, 1997 (maintenant désuet).


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CAPITALIZING ON THE BASICS

PETER FRITZ

AN OTTAWA ARCHITECT DESIGNS WITH HIS CLIENTS’ WISHES IN MIND WHILE ESCHEWING FUSSY DETAILS FOR A SIMPLE, WELL-CRAFTED PALETTE OF MATERIALS RESULTING IN TWO SUCCESSFUL RESIDENTIAL PROJECTS. CALLARD HOUSE AND FREEN HOUSE, OTTAWA, ONTARIO JOHN DONKIN ARCHITECT TEXT JANINE DEBANNÉ PHOTOS PETER FRITZ AND GORDON KING PROJECT

ARCHITECT

“Ottawa is sticky on ‘style’,” notes architect John Donkin. Indeed, it can certainly seem as if some Committee of Adjustment mandated the neoVictorian and neo-Tudor designs that dominate Ottawa’s neighbourhoods. The vanguard modernist residential architecture of the National Capital Region (NCC) is, in contrast, either almost wholly confined to 1950s and ’60s-era forested suburbs, or hidden deep in the Gatineau Hills. Donkin, who graduated from Carleton University in 1986, is one of a small number of Ottawa architects who pursues a progressive design language while working primarily within the city limits. His casually resolved “as it is” approach is informed by prior studies in sociology and by stints building barns and

ABOVE SITUATED IN OTTAWA’S MECHANICSVILLE, THE CALLARD HOUSE ADOPTS A LINEAR PLAN CULMINATING WITH A PROTECTIVE FAÇADE OF RUSTING MILLED STEEL. THE UPPER LEVEL WILL EVENTUALLY BECOME A SELFCONTAINED LIVING UNIT FOR THE CLIENT’S MOTHER.

houses. The houses he builds are, remarkably for Ottawa, quite unburdened by conventional architectural expectations. Two houses, in distinct and even contrasting neighbourhoods, demonstrate his responsiveness to site and client while cultivating a modern formal and constructive language. Mechanicsville, historically a working-class neighbourhood, is where Donkin built a 1,700-square-foot house in 2005 for his client Cynthia Callard. Like all of Ottawa’s neighbourhoods located in the core of the city, housing prices are becoming increasingly expensive. Rental properties, group homes and rooming houses are still present alongside well-appointed single-family residences. Only a progressively minded Ottawan would choose to invest and settle in Mechanicsville, an area where Donkin’s unabashedly unconventional project met with no resistance at all—either from neighbours or the City. The house, with its strong elemental volumes and bold cladding (using both metal and rough-cut unfinished cedar siding), blends into the colourful housing mix: its milled-steel front façade, which has now turned a rusty red, is at first indistinguishable from the local 04/08 CANADIAN ARCHITECT

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GORDON KING

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98 STIRLING AVENUE

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CALLARD HOUSE—SITE PLAN

GORDON KING

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CALLARD HOUSE—SECOND FLOOR

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CALLARD HOUSE—SECTION

TOP THE SPARE, COMPACT LIVING ROOM ALLOWS CONSIDERABLE NATURAL DAYLIGHT WHILE SERVING DOUBLE DUTY AS A POINT OF ENTRY INTO THE HOUSE. MIDDLE CLAD IN GALVALUME, THE LIVING AND DINING AREA EXUDES A NEARLY GARDEN SHED UTILITARIAN QUALITY. ABOVE THE SEPARATE UPPER LIVING AREA CONVEYS AN OPEN LOFT-LIKE QUALITY.

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CALLARD HOUSE

FREEN HOUSE

CLIENT CYNTHIA CALLARD ARCHITECT TEAM JOHN DONKIN, RICK SHEAN STRUCTURAL HARMER PODOLAK ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS INC. CONTRACTOR EAL CONSTRUCTION LTD. AREA 1,700 FT2

CLIENT RUSS AND SUSAN FREEN ARCHITECT TEAM JOHN DONKIN, RICK SHEAN STRUCTURAL LAMPKIN STRUCTURAL SERVICES LTD. CONTRACTOR ROJO CONSTRUCTION MANAGEMENT INC. AREA 2,400 FT2

BUDGET $240,000 COMPLETION SEPTEMBER 2005

BUDGET $435,000 COMPLETION NOVEMBER 2005


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GORDON KING

brick structures. The Callard House unfolds alongside a linear sideyard garden graced with southern exposure and a mature maple tree. The client requested a house with the direct and open spatial qualities found in everyday commercial architecture or in converted churches. “Why aren’t houses built like Mac’s Milk?” she asked Donkin. The client’s attitude allowed him to design in the way he prefers: in an open-ended and common-sense conversation with the site, materials and costs, and with a current language of construction. Donkin, who often asks himself, “Why does outside feel better than inside?” pursues an architecture of immediacy. The resulting house was conceived as a single, open 16-by-29-foot living space flanked by a bedroom and an office. It is essentially a 65-foot-long slab-on-grade box with a sloped roof transected by a second living suite that perches atop the main house. The 10foot cantilever of the Galvalume-clad upper dwelling doubles as a carport, shelters the entrance, and marks a transition from the street to the private realm beyond. The upper self-contained unit is ready for the client when her mother moves in below at some point in the future; until then the space will be rented. In this farsighted provision, social pragmatism meets architectural planning. On a sunny winter’s day, the architecture’s intentions are immediately recognizable: light streams in through the generously fenestrated south wall; a heated slab floor warms the feet; and a couch is positioned to survey the room and overlook the outdoors, providing the house with a

GORDON KING

GORDON KING CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT A VIEW LOOKING BACK TOWARD THE GARDEN FROM INSIDE THE UPPER LEVEL’S CANTILEVERED SPACE; A CONTRASTING PALETTE OF GALVALUME AND ROUGH-CUT CEDAR SIDING HELPS ACCENTUATE THE GENEROUS CANTILEVER OF THE SECOND-FLOOR BEDROOM; THE KITCHEN IN THE CALLARD HOUSE IS SIMPLY DETAILED WITH PLYWOOD AND IKEA-MADE FIXTURES.

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PETER FRITZ

PETER FRITZ

PETER FRITZ

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PETER FRITZ

p25-30 Donkin Donuts

THE ELEGANT FREEN HOUSE, SEEN AT DUSK. OPPOSITE THE ELEMENTAL MATERIAL PALETTE OF STEEL, GLASS AND WOOD CONSTITUTES A SOBER AND THOUGHTFUL FRONT FAÇADE WHERE THE LIVING AND SLEEPING VOLUMES REMAIN CLEARLY DISTINGUISHABLE. ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT SITUATED ON A TONY OTTAWA STREET, DONKIN RECLAD THE EXISTING QUASI-MODERNIST FREEN HOUSE WITH A CLEARER VISUAL VOCABULARY WHILE ADDING A MORE EXPRESSIVE LIVING SPACE TO THE FRONT OF THE HOUSE TO HELP DEFINE ITS MAIN ENTRY; THE ORIGINAL HOUSE BEFORE ITS MAKEOVER. TOP

central location. An open kitchen—finished with “unimportant plywood” and shiny red Ikea cabinetry—strongly punctuates the room. On the floor along the window, hibiscus, oleander, and bougainvillea plants, entrusted for the winter by a friend, thrive in the February light. In contrast to the constant sound of heating systems in most homes, Callard, who has a background in music, prizes her home’s silence. Donkin understands that winter in Ottawa is no small affair, so he organized the house as a receptor of 28 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 04/08

light and warmth in which to quietly enjoy the season. The filter-like quality of the side and rear façades underscores social engagements. Callard shares her backyard (as well as garden work, equipment and meals) with immediate neighbours who, like her, are all “women of a certain age.” The robust materials, modest scale, and strong inside-outside connection uniquely situate this house in its corner of Ottawa, facilitating communal life.


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PETER FRITZ

p25-30 Donkin Donuts

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Donkin had greater scope to develop his domestic modern language in renovating a builder-designed Modernist house dating from 1958 in the affluent Glebe district, a 10-minute drive from Mechanicsville. The 2,220-squarefoot Freen house, completed in 2006, sits between two embassies on Clemow Avenue, a renowned Ottawa street that terminates at the Rideau Canal and overlooks a park maintained by the NCC. Donkin’s clients, a couple returning downtown from suburban Kanata after raising a family, had previously lived in a restored Eichler house in Palo Alto in the early 1990s, and wanted a home with similar qualities—in particular, fluid spaces that were open to interpretation. The owner’s real estate agent recommended Donkin, and again, the architect’s open-mindedness was matched by that of the client. Together they asked questions such as, “who here is in love with the stone?” and decided to remove a heavy and inconveniently located fireplace—a gesture unthinkable for more conventional owners. And in less competent hands, the whole house might have just been demolished. The original building provided a solid starting point, but, as Donkin describes it, “the designer had seen Modernism and knew it was out there, but didn’t quite get it.” The house lacked a strong visual connection to its site and had a symmetrical façade of picture windows making the interior static. Donkin began by gutting the interior to the framing and stripping the exterior down to the sheathing. He recomposed the south façade asymmetrically and used floor-to-ceiling glass instead of punched windows. This created a more dramatic diagonal visual path from the living room across the site. Inside, these new openings organize the living room and a conservatory-like sitting space in the southwest corner. The view now terminates at an elegant row of houses some 200 feet away. In addition, Donkin clarified circulation by boldly relocating the staircase from its position in the southwest corner of the house. The new open-riser steel stair, pulled inward in plan, now leads to a central point in the upper floor, leaving room for both an office and a master bedroom along the south side. The ground floor still consists of the same living spaces as before, but is now reconfigured as visually interconnected zones linking the street to the rear yard. Donkin’s fascination with continuous spaces is evident in every corner of the house. Rooms do not contain, but rather terminate at distant points, giving the house a scale far greater in perception than in measured reality. Donkin is committed to a language of construction sympathetic to the builder’s tasks and difficulties. He eschews precious modernist details like frameless doors and windows for simpler forms of the same design ideas. To promote greater connection between inside and out, he uses a clever assembly of simple finger-jointed pine straps around all doors and windows—in the Freen House, this frame is recessed while in 04/08 CANADIAN ARCHITECT

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PETER FRITZ

p25-30 Donkin Donuts

THE QUIET ALLURE OF THE MASTER BEDROOM IN THE FREEN HOUSE. MIDDLE LEFT CLEVERLY DETAILED SIMPLE FINGER-JOINTED PINE STRAPPING AROUND ALL THE DOORS AND WINDOWS HELPED CONTROL THE COST OF CONSTRUCTION WHILE RESULTING IN A CLEAN AESTHETIC, AS SEEN HERE IN THE STUDY. BOTTOM, LEFT TO RIGHT THE WHITE-PAINTED STEEL STAIRCASE IS ONE OF THE FREEN HOUSE’S MOST SIGNIFICANT DESIGN FLOURISHES; THE CENTRAL STAIR ALSO PROVIDES A SIGNIFICANT ORGANIZING PRINCIPLE; THE DOUBLE-HEIGHT ATRIUM GIVES THIS MODESTLY SCALED HOUSE A GREATER SENSE OF DIMENSION.

LEFT

PETER FRITZ

the Callard House, it sits on the wall surface. Details like these kept the budget of the Freen renovation under $180 per square foot and that of the Callard House under $140, budgets considered reasonable despite Ottawa’s typically inflated construction rates. In fact, progressive architecture in Ottawa has never depended so much on clients’ wealth as on their desire to realize new ways of dwelling. This is as true today as it was in the 1950s. Neither the Callard nor the Freen House are typical Ottawa houses. Their market values strongly differ due primarily to the respective values of their locations, but their construction is actually very similar in spirit. Callard, who is aware of the Freen House, reflects, “We both paid what we could, and we both got what we wanted.” Continuous spaces, thoughtful seasonal transformations, well considered dimensions, configurations that resonate with the client’s life are, for Donkin, the pleasures of architecture—and they are not determined by budget. The directness of Donkin’s work recalls a more adventuresome time in the Capital Region, and brings it back downtown. CA

PETER FRITZ

PETER FRITZ

PETER FRITZ

Janine Debanné is an Associate Professor at the Carleton University School of Architecture.

30 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 04/08


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NIP AND TUCK

A MID-CENTURY MODERNIST HOME BY THOMPSON BERWICK PRATT RECEIVES A REFRESHINGLY DEFERENTIAL RENOVATION IN VANCOUVER’S TONY SOUTHLANDS NEIGHBOURHOOD. McLELLAN-SADDY RENOVATION, VANCOUVER, BRITISH COLUMBIA D’ARCY JONES DESIGN INC. TEXT ADELE WEDER PHOTOS ROBERT LEMERMEYER PROJECT

DESIGNER

32 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 04/08

In Vancouver, residential modernism reached its high watermark a halfcentury ago, before successive phases of architectural flamboyance, pseudohistoricism and just plain dullness all but wiped out much of its legacy. But a new generation of architects and clients are making the efforts to seek and update these singular specimens of West Coast Modernism. D’Arcy Jones, an emerging Vancouver designer and the principal of his eponymous firm, assumed the daunting task of renovating a classic 1958 Thompson Berwick Pratt (TBP) residence in Vancouver’s leafy Southlands neighbourhood. Jones is just beginning to gain renown in British Columbia for a series of graceful, well-proportioned and emphatically Modernist residences. Because most of his projects have been outside of Vancouver, they have received less critical and media attention—less “buzz”—than merited. His Mosewich House in Kamloops, BC, reads as a Modernist sculpture:


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UNLIKE SO MANY NEWLY RENOVATED HOMES WHOSE BULKY FORMS DOMINATE THE LANDSCAPE, THE McLELLAN-SADDY HOUSE INTEGRATES WELL WITH ITS LEAFY SITE THROUGH AN UNOBTRUSIVE HORIZONTAL FORM AND A SUBDUED NATURAL MATERIAL PALETTE. ABOVE THE SUBTLE ELEGANCE OF NATURAL MATERIALS IS EVIDENT IN THE SLATE FLAGSTONE FLOORS AND THE CEILING’S EXPOSED FIR PLANKS, REVEALED ONLY AFTER SCRAPING OFF THE LAYERS OF STUCCO.

OPPOSITE

beautifully proportioned and gracefully spare. Clients Cam McLellan and Rikia Saddy are a design-conscious couple with two preschool children. Cognizant and appreciative of Mid-Century Modernism, they recently purchased this TBP house with the express intention of resurrecting its original character for a contemporary context. The McLellan-Saddy House is also evocative of Frank Lloyd Wright’s 1930s-era Usonian houses (which in turn were a primordial influence on Ron Thom) in its L-shaped modular grid, clerestory glazing, carport and

deference to landscape. By the time of its original construction, though, the Vancouver area was already a fusion of influences. Local sons C.B.K. Van Norman, Peter Thornton and B.C. Binning had built paradigmatic Modernist homes around 1940, and by the early 1950s Richard Neutra had visited the city twice, championing the open-plan, indoor-outdoor concept. In 1950s Vancouver, TBP was the largest and most important design firm, and every architect of talent and ambition was expected to spend at least a year there. While the firm had designed its own share of Neoclassical 04/08 CANADIAN ARCHITECT

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2007

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knockoffs, it’s best remembered as the engine house for High Modernism. Perhaps the most crucial role of TBP, the largest firm in town, was to make the new Modern paradigm accessible and attractive—not just for academics and mavericks but also for ordinary middle-class families. The original house was constructed as a one-storey bungalow in 1958, while Ron Thom was a rising star at TBP and headed for partnership. While contributing significantly to important projects like the 1957 BC Electric headquarters, Thom also led a small group of associates at TBP in designing several dozen graceful Modernist houses. According to biographer Douglas Shadbolt, who was also an architect in practice at the time, Thom and TBP associates Dick Mann and Bob Burniston comprised the core team, and drew on other TBP talents as required. These other contributors often just wanted the chance to work with and learn from Thom, wrote Shadbolt, and included Barry Downs, Fred Hollingsworth and Dick Archambault—the ensuing wave of major West Coast talent. The surviving blueprints of the McLellan-Saddy House, like most of TBP’s smaller houses, aren’t signed by any individual architect. But Thom’s influence, if not his direct hand, lurks throughout. Roughly two miles away from the McLellan-Saddy residence is Thom’s Works-Baker House—also of the same era. Thom’s trademark strengths—the horizontal emphasis and the poetic solid-void rhythm—are in evidence in both houses. So are the Japanese influences so beloved of Thom: the geometric array of horizontal and vertical lines, and the spatial cavity alongside the fireplace evokes a ryokan wall. By Thom’s own standards, it wouldn’t be deemed a perfect specimen. For instance, the one beam protrudes awkwardly into the living room, inches below another beam. Still, the graceful arrangement of interlocking spaces, and the integrity of the original materials were worth carrying forward into the 21st century. TBP’s circa-1970 addition of a second floor had generated more living space for the originally tiny bungalow. But, it needed restoration and updating for a contemporary young family of four. Jones had to face the reality of peeling back—often literally—a few decades’ worth of ornament and historicism. Several walls were sheathed in striped and floral wallpaper. The brick fireplace had been painted white, and the exterior a dank hospital green. In the kitchen, the original TBP millwork had long been replaced with the ubiquitous circa-1980 wood-edged MDF cabinetry. Once the layers of past interventions were stripped away, the clarity of its mid-century design ethos revealed itself. In many ways, the subsequent transformation serves to enhance rather than alter the existing form. The


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essential changes to the basic form are the expansion of the southwest corner adjacent to the kitchen to create an eating nook, and the extension of the northeast second-floor corner to create a bedroom area for the children. In that newly constructed wing, the children’s secondfloor bedrooms are configured as large niches or nooks that you step up into, their floors raised as they follow the rise in ceiling height from the first floor. When they grow to need a more conventional bedroom space, they’ll move to the downstairs bedrooms, and their niches can convert into guest or study areas. For the kitchen, Jones fashioned a system of custom cabinets framed with plywood and faced with formaldehyde-free MDF, strategically configured to be shallow at eye level with a deeper bank of cabinets above, to preserve the viewlines to the property’s lush landscaping. Jones crafted an elegantly long island counter and transformed the facing wall into a streamlined cabinetry faced with walnut veneer.

A VIEW FROM THE ENTRY FOYER INTO THE SITTING AREA AND DINING ROOM; FROM THE PLAY AREA, THE CHILDREN STEP UP TO THEIR SLEEPING ALCOVES; THE NEW EATING NOOK PROVIDES PRIVILEGED VIEWS OF THE LUSH BC GARDEN OUTSIDE; FURTHER INTEGRATING INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR SPACES, A LARGE FULLY GLAZED DOOR SWINGS OPEN FROM THE KITCHEN TO THE PATIO.

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CLIENT CAM McLELLAN AND RIKIA SADDY DESIGN TEAM D’ARCY JONES, MILOS BEGOVIC, MATT STORUS, ARYA SAFAVI STRUCTURAL CHIU HIPPMAN ENGINEERING (CARLOS CHIU) MECHANICAL CAMBIE PLUMBING & HEATING ELECTRICAL V&N ELECTRIC (VICTOR SCHELLENBERG) LANDSCAPE D’ARCY JONES DESIGN INC. INTERIORS D’ARCY JONES DESIGN INC. CONTRACTOR CAM McLELLAN MILLWORK GTW ENTERPRISES AREA 2,837 FT2 BUDGET $400,000 COMPLETION JUNE 2007

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ABOVE WITH THIS VIEW INTO THE OPEN-CONCEPT LIVING ROOM/MUSIC ROOM FROM THE OUTDOOR PATIO, THE FLOOR-TO-CEILING GLAZING AND THE CONTINUITY OF THE BRICK WALL REINFORCES THE INTEGRATION OF INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR SPACES.

In some cases, Jones has taken it upon himself to do what the original designers arguably should have done in the first place. He extended both the slate flagstone flooring and the foyer area’s channel siding to generate more visual cohesion. The main floor’s stucco ceiling was scraped off to expose the fir planks of the original bungalow. After removing the stucco, Jones chose to retain the natural gap between wall and ceiling as a reveal, to prevent an awkward flush meeting of old wood and fresh drywall. The runaround reveal also enhances the sense of lightness and fluidity, as though the ceiling floats on ball bearings. Jones modestly considers the McLellan-Saddy project more a restoration than renovation, but neither term quite fits this project: reinterpretation is a better word. A 1999 graduate of the University of Manitoba’s architecture school, Jones came into the profession just as working designers and some of the more sophisticated clients were questioning the 1980s and ’90s lega36 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 04/08

cy of huge, self-consciously stylized houses. For the McLellan-Saddy House, both architect and clients defiantly chose not to max out the allowable square footage (over 5,000 square feet on an 8,200-square-foot lot), and instead returned to the original idea of efficiently arranged spaces that allow room outside for copious greenery, and the provision of generous glazing through which to appreciate it. The McLellan-Saddy House was first built when an accepted formula for gracefulness was felicitously replicated all over Vancouver. In the context of the city’s current huge and ungainly designs, its sympathetic renovation suggests the timelessness of the Thompson Berwick Pratt aesthetic, as well as the welcome emergence of newer talent. CA Adele Weder is an architectural critic and curator based in British Columbia.


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VIEW MASTER WITH SITE AND LANDSCAPE AS INSPIRATION, TORONTO-BASED ARCHITECT IAN MACDONALD CONSISTENTLY IMBUES THE POETIC INTO THE HOUSES HE DESIGNS. LESLIE JEN

Among the esteemed architects in Canada who focus on residential design—among them Brian MacKay-Lyons, Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe, Peter Cardew and the Patkaus—Ian MacDonald distinguishes himself through subtly nuanced and modest design gestures whose sublime results far exceed the sum of their parts. There are no bombastic theoretical statements at play, just an uncanny ability to interpret the specific site conditions of each commission and determine an imaginative—and completely appropriate—response. Within his buildings, most of which are located in Ontario, there is a clear sense of MacDonald’s understanding of and connection to the regional landscape. Visiting MacDonald at his downtown Toronto office, my first impression is of design studio from architecture school days long past. No hierarchies are in place; MacDonald sits amongst his staff of six in a compact arrangement of desks in an atmosphere of close-knit collaboration. Cardboard study models are mounted on the walls, and everyone works intently and diligently in a relaxed environment. In a refreshingly affable manner, MacDonald is adamant that the office is not about him— there is very much a collective studio approach to the work, a clear benefit of running a small firm. 40 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 04/08

TOM ARBAN

TEXT


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TOM ARBAN TOM ARBAN

OPPOSITE THE ENTRY SEQUENCE INTO THE WYCHWOOD PARK HOUSE. RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM THE LAYERED SPATIAL COMPLEXITY IS EVIDENT IN THIS INTERIOR VIEW OF THE WYCHWOOD PARK HOUSE; THE CORRIDOR LEADING TO THE LIVING ROOM, WHICH VISUALLY CONNECTS TO THE OUTDOOR COURTYARD THROUGH FLOOR-TO-CEILING GLAZING; THE INTIMATE COMPRESSION OF A 7’-4” CEILING HEIGHT IS FELT IN THE LIVING ROOM, CENTRED AROUND THE FIREPLACE HEARTH AND COURTYARD.

MICHAEL AWAD ARCH+PHOTO

TOM ARBAN

That MacDonald has worked with some of Canadian architecture’s luminaries—such as Ron Thom and Arthur Erickson—comes as no surprise. These senior practitioners clearly impressed upon the young architect the lessons of site and structure and the paramount importance of landscape in architecture. For each project, the studio undertakes extensive site and topographical analysis, roaming the property and assembling detailed photographic composites to assess all conditions to determine the most advantageous siting and form with respect to oftcompeting concerns of light, view and privacy. Contributing to this sensitivity, MacDonald is an avid outdoorsman who has a healthy respect for the land, particularly in Ontario where he has spent most of his life. Seeking to uncover a site’s potential and to exploit its virtues while diminishing awareness of its liabilities, MacDonald incorporates the client’s program into the development of a form possessing an appropriate spatial character relative to the site. In communicating his approach to clients, he uses terms like “spatial interpretation,” “digestion of the landscape,” “sequence of experience” and “strategic view-framing.” Years of experience and an intuitive approach have enabled MacDonald to finesse his decidedly nonlinear process to achieve an entirely new level of integration between building and site, creating a harmonious and virtually seamless relationship. Although they are invariably beautiful artifacts, the houses the firm designs are not merely objects in a field; they burrow into and enmesh with the landscape. The influence of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Usonian houses from the 1930s cannot be denied. In Substance Over Spectacle (Arsenal Pulp Press, 2005), George Baird states that MacDonald’s houses “present more complex and obscured visual impressions to the approaching visitor,” and describes the narratives in the spaces as “cinematic, sequential, pictorial.” As such, they are difficult to photograph as single entities, their strengths being revealed experientially, in physically moving through the spaces. A modernist language of shifting planes and overlapping layered volumes reveal themselves in sectional complexity. Though the houses are largely orthogonal in plan, the roof lines are often highly expressive. For instance, the dramatically folded and soaring roof plane of the House in Mulmur Hills 1 (1999) incorporates the protruding form of a large angled skylight to draw

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WYCHWOOD SITE PLAN

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southern light into the primary living spaces. In the House in Mulmur Hills 2 (2001), two distinct but interlocking building forms are clearly differentiated by their contrasting roofs: evoking the rural barn typology, a steeply pitched gable roof defines the volume containing the private spaces of bedroom and studio, while a flat-roofed volume encloses the more public spaces. What is particularly striking about MacDonald’s houses is the impeccable attention to detail, revealed in the exquisite craft and materiality present. Having built his own boats, MacDonald is a skilled craftsman who indulges his interest in carpentry in his fully equipped home workshop, a place of experiment where architectural ideas are honed and tested in model form. His is a process of building up from a small detail, of knowing intimately how a particular material feels and sensing its joinery, how it should meet with other materials. He is not afraid to get his hands dirty; we sense his connection to materials as much as we sense his connection to site and landscape. Exhibiting the mastery of a landscape painter— but one working in three dimensions—MacDonald is exceedingly skilled at editing views. Though the manipulation of the view is an intuitive process, the firm’s practice of fleshing out sectional drawings with carefully constructed sight lines clearly illustrates how this is done. Deconstructing the generic “view” into three general components—foreground, middle ground, and distant ground, MacDonald picks and chooses one or two on which to focus, editing out the least compelling component(s). For example, the hilltop siting of Mulmur House 1 on a 100-acre property keeps the poetic tall grasses of the foreground in constant view, editing out the mediocre middle view while securing a long vista of the forest. Without the scaling references of foreground, middle ground and distant ground in complete view, the landscape stretches endlessly, or so it seems. Conversely, the House in Erin Mills (2002) is sited rather counterintuitively on 10 acres of meadow and forest, not at the highest point of the site from which to survey the entirety of the property, but at its lowest point adjacent to the CONTROLLED VIEWS AND A VARIED CEILING HEIGHT CREATES A STRONG SPATIAL DYNAMIC IN THE FAMILY ROOM OF THE WYCHWOOD PARK HOUSE. LEFT A SKETCH SECTION REVEALS SIGHT LINES FROM THE APERTURES IN THE HOUSE, ILLUSTRATING MACDONALD’S PROCESS OF EDITING THE VIEW.

TOP LEFT

HOUSE IN WYCHWOOD PARK, TORONTO, ONTARIO CLIENT DIANE MACDIARMID ARCHITECT TEAM IAN MACDONALD, OLGA PUSHKAR, TIM WICKENS, MICHAEL ATTARD STRUCTURAL BLACKWELL BOWICK ENGINEERING MECHANICAL TOEWS SYSTEM DESIGN MILLWORK KOBI’S CABINETS CONTRACTOR CENED CONSTRUCTION AREA 2,600 FT2 + 1,500 FT2 STUDIO COMPLETION 2002 WYCHWOOD SKETCH SECTION

42 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 04/08


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road. In doing so, the nearby marsh and the gentle topography of the rolling meadow constituting the middle ground is captured, while the distant view is controlled to minimize potential view pollution from future encroaching suburban development. In an amusing anecdote, MacDonald recalls how the form of the House in Erin Mills was derived from an offhand comment by a developer friend. In referencing the million-dollar views exploited to maximum effect in so many of MacDonald’s projects, the friend remarked that with a spectacular view like that, it didn’t matter what the rest of the house looked like; that one could, in fact, staple an Atco trailer to the back of it and no one would notice. Which is what MacDonald did, more or less. The house is comprised of two perpendicular volumes in a T-shaped plan, with most of the budget dedicated to the public volume enjoying the primary view. Detailed millwork, hardwood and wood-framed glazing equals big money. To mitigate the cost, the “dumb box” (albeit an elegantly rendered dumb box) containing the den, bedrooms and washrooms is constructed with more economical materials. Another fine example is the architect’s own home, the Wychwood Park House (2002), located in an idyllic enclave in midtown Toronto. The Narnia-like ambiance of this heavily treed neighbourhood pocket is distinguished by the presence of a pond and ravine, and is enhanced by 19thcentury Arts and Crafts style homes and cottages—many designed by architect Eden Smith. Given the project’s small awkward triangular site and extreme restrictions placed on this heritagedesignated neighbourhood, the house is an exercise in controlling views largely for reasons of privacy. In order to accommodate the program of private indoor and outdoor spaces required for a family of four within the 1,100-square-foot building footprint of the 1951 developer’s bungalow that previously sat on the property, the design undertakes a substantial renovation of the existing structure, creating a site within a site that involved excavation far below grade, incising new walls in the process. As the house is located in the heart of the city, understandably it is not so much about capturing spectacular distant rural views as it is about manipulating and editing immediate views for

TIM WICKENS

3/24/08

TED YARWOOD

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ERIN SITE PLAN

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RIGHT VARIOUS PHOTOS AND DRAWINGS INDICATE THE SITING OF THE HOUSE IN ERIN MILLS AT THE LOWEST POINT OF THE PROPERTY TO CAPTURE VIEWS OF THE ADJACENT MARSH AND ROLLING MEADOW IN THE IMMEDIATE AND MIDDLE GROUND.

HOUSE IN ERIN COUNTY, ERIN, ONTARIO ARCHITECT TEAM IAN MACDONALD, TIM WICKENS, OLGA PUSHKAR, MICHAEL ATTARD STRUCTURAL YOLLES PARTNERSHIP INC. MECHANICAL TOEWS SYSTEM DESIGN MILLWORK GIBSON GREENWOOD CONTRACTOR MARCUS DESIGN BUILD AREA 2,200 FT2 COMPLETION 2002 ERIN SKETCH SECTION

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privacy. As a result, there is a wonderfully insular feel; its embedded condition translates into the sensation that the house is the landscape. Here, it is the middle ground that is edited out to block views of vehicular and pedestrian traffic while focusing on the immediate foreground of the front courtyard and on distant views of the trees, intact remnants of Carolinian forest. The project is actually two separate structures linked below grade, originally conceived as a 2,500-square-foot house for the family with a 1,500-square-foot secondary structure intended as a studio for MacDonald’s architectural practice. For now, the office still operates in a separate location downtown and the studio space is largely unused, though it is designed and wired for future occupation. Along with MacDonald’s workshop where he actively builds architectural models and boats as a hobby, the surprisingly light-filled studio is neatly and discreetly tucked beneath the garage, 20 feet below grade. While view-framing and manipulation is a paramount driver to the design response, maximizing the quality of daylight is also considered. These competing concerns find happy resolution in MacDonald’s design methodology. Mulmur House 1 is adept at achieving this balance between light and view. While the spectacular north view is captured and framed by a low horizontal band of windows opening from the main living space, premium southern light is addressed instead through a protruding skylight volume punching through the roof on the opposite side. The Wychwood Park House also achieves this balance of light and controlled view along the double-height slot with a strategically glazed back wall: the lower panels are kept clear for unimpeded views outdoors, while the upper panels are sandblasted to a translucent finish to accept light but not the prying eyes from the neighbour’s mansion looming overhead. Wide spatial variation and diversity is another consistent theme in MacDonald’s oeuvre. He has stated that being commissioned to design a house for a client or clients—often a couple—is like being hired as a therapist: conflicting demands make for interesting spaces that can accommoTHE DRAMATICALLY ARTICULATED SKYLIGHT IN THE ROOF PLANE DRAWS IN HIGHLY DESIRED SOUTHERN LIGHT TO COMPLEMENT THE PRIMARY NORTHERN VIEW IN MULMUR HOUSE 1. MIDDLE LEFT A SECTIONAL DIAGRAM REVEALS THE HILLTOP SITING OF MULMUR HOUSE 1 TO SECURE VIEWS OF THE DISTANT FOREST. LEFT MULMUR HOUSE 2 IS PERCHED DRAMATICALLY ON A HIGH POINT OF A STEEPLY SLOPING SITE IN DUFFERIN COUNTY.

TOP LEFT

MULMUR 1 SECTION

HOUSE IN MULMUR HILLS 1, DUFFERIN COUNTY, ONTARIO ARCHITECT TEAM IAN MACDONALD, ADRIAN BLACKWELL, OLGA PUSHKAR STRUCTURAL BLACKWELL ENGINEERING MECHANICAL TOEWS SYSTEM DESIGN MILLWORK RADIANT CITY MILLWORK CONTRACTOR DAVID H. SIMPSON CONSTRUCTION AREA 2,700 FT2 COMPLETION 1999 MULMUR 2 SITE PLAN

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MICHAEL AWAD ARCH+PHOTO

MICHAEL AWAD ARCH+PHOTO

date both. In Mulmur House 2 and the Wychwood Park House, one can find the signature Ian MacDonald inglenook—a cozy low-ceilinged zone contained within a larger room with a more expansive ceiling height. In the former project, the house is sited such that the main living space seems perched perilously, with views down the dramatic slope of the property to the forest beyond. The completely eroded corner condition of the space defined by floor-to-ceiling glazing can make the house’s inhabitants feel overexposed: to counter this, the bookshelf-lined inglenook next to the fireplace offers a sense of intimacy and compression with its 7’-4” ceiling height. MacDonald uses this dimension time and again across his projects to communicate a human scale, creating a powerful dynamic when juxtaposed with adjacent double-height spaces. The tension between the compression and expansion of varied ceiling heights is particularly potent in the Wychwood Park House. Though seemingly a simple hip-roofed bungalow form, the house is spatially complex and sectionally rich. Besides the provision of the inglenook in the double-height family room, modulation of the ceiling plane occurs in other parts of the home. The entry sequence conveys a sensation of intimate compression, which continues into the kitchen and through the corridor to the living room at the far south of the house. It works because of the immediate relationship to the adjacent fully glazed double-height slot along the back of the house, where the space explodes vertically. This diversity of ceiling heights and spatial conditions present is complementary rather than schizophrenic, creating a dynamically compelling experience. In recent years, MacDonald has expanded his repertoire beyond residential design towards public projects. In 2005, the two-part expansion to Sidney Smith Hall on the University of Toronto’s downtown campus was completed, providing an extra 6,000 square feet of administrative office space on the second and third floors of this building dedicated to the Faculty of Arts & Science, in addition to a 12,000-square-foot ground-floor student lounge. The second- and third-storey “infill” addition RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM THE SIGNATURE IAN MACDONALD INGLENOOK IN THE LIVING ROOM OF MULMUR HOUSE 2 PROVIDES COZY REFUGE FROM THE GLAZED OPEN CORNER CONDITION; ADJACENT TO THE MEADOW, A LAP POOL BENEFITS FROM SOUTHERN EXPOSURE; ELEVATIONS INDICATE THE TOPOGRAPHICAL DYNAMIC OF SITING MULMUR HOUSE 2 AT THE HIGH POINT OF THE PROPERTY.

HOUSE IN MULMUR HILLS 2, DUFFERIN COUNTY, ONTARIO ARCHITECT TEAM IAN MACDONALD, OLGA PUSHKAR, SCOTT SORLI STRUCTURAL BLACKWELL ENGINEERING MECHANICAL TOEWS SYSTEM DESIGN MILLWORK MILLWORKS CUSTOM FABRICATORS CONTRACTOR DAVID H. SIMPSON CONSTRUCTION AREA 2,700 FT2 COMPLETION 2001 MULMUR 2 ELEVATIONS

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TIM WICKENS

was executed first, on top of the existing central single-storey link between two buildings of varying heights. To avoid appearing like a uniformly terraced structure stepping down from the north, the central volume was rendered in a contemporary vocabulary through stainless steel cladding. The addition reads as distinct and of its time, but nonetheless exists harmoniously with its adjacent structures by referencing the silverygrey colour from the handsome 1959 John B. Parkin-designed tower to the north. And instead of literally incorporating historical or architectural motifs of a bygone era into the design itself, references are made through what is captured in the all-important view. Rather than framing a distant vista in a dramatic rural landscape for a country house, here, a horizontal band of glazing in the second-storey conference room captures a wide expansive view eastwards of important buildings at the heart of the urban campus, a true historical link. One year later, a student lounge at Sidney Smith Hall was also constructed, expanding the groundfloor area by a considerable 12,000 square feet, but whose perimeter edges are dematerialized through the provision of floor-to-ceiling glazing. The overall result is a balanced intervention that achieves a wonderfully broken-down massing and unique materiality wherein the three distinct structures comprising the Faculty of Arts & Science complement each other beautifully. In the evolution of Ian MacDonald’s practice over the past two-and-a-half decades, we have come to witness the maturation of one of Canada’s finest practitioners and have benefited from the increasingly refined process he employs to create sensitively detailed site-specific buildings. Materially, the houses are a seductive and sensory delight. They present a symphony of natural materials where the warmth of mahogany contrasts with smooth polished concrete and the power of irregularly textured dry-laid stone walls. His seemingly subtle design gestures create sectionally complex and experientially rich layered spaces that demand revisiting, invoking discovery and wonder. The results are consistently inspirational and aspirational. CA

CLAD IN STAINLESS STEEL, THE INFILL ADDITION TO SIDNEY SMITH HALL AT THE UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO SPEAKS OF ITS TIME. LEFT AN HISTORICAL LINK TO THE REST OF THE CAMPUS IS MADE THROUGH THIS EXPANSIVE EASTERN VIEW FROM THE CONFERENCE ROOM AT SIDNEY SMITH HALL. TOP LEFT

SIDNEY SMITH HALL, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO, TORONTO, ONTARIO CLIENT FACULTY OF ARTS AND SCIENCE, UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO ARCHITECT TEAM IAN MACDONALD, MICHAEL ATTARD, OLGA PUSHKAR, TIM WICKENS, NOVA TAYONA, JEREMY CAMPBELL, YVETTE JANSCO STRUCTURAL READ JONES CHRISTOFFERSEN MECHANICAL ENSO SYSTEMS MILLWORK MCM 2001 CONTRACTOR JJ MACGUIRE GENERAL CONTRACTOR BUDGET $4 M AREA 6,000 FT2 (PHASE 1); 12,000 FT2 (PHASE 2) COMPLETION 2005

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RIBBON CUTTING

A LAVISH RETREAT ON VANCOUVER ISLAND PROVIDES AN UNUSUAL OPPORTUNITY FOR A YOUNG ARCHITECT TO EXPERIMENT WITH SITE AND PROGRAM. METCHOSIN HOUSE, METCHOSIN, BRITISH COLUMBIA ARCHITECT MARKO SIMCIC ARCHITECT TEXT MATTHEW SOULES PHOTOS MARKO SIMCIC ARCHITECT, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED PROJECT

Since the end of the Second World War, the average house size in Canada has more than doubled. In 2002, this average measured in at 1,800 square feet with the largest homes located in British Columbia. The expansion is all the more striking in relation to shrinking household size over the same period. Despite the rising volume of information signalling impending environmental calamity, Canadians appear unable to live in a more compact manner. Given this seemingly incurable addiction to increasingly large spaces, it may very well be that architecture’s most significant task is to reconstitute the “big” in a manner that achieves the benefits of the “small.” That is, to make a big that is more efficient, more agile, and more responsive. Marko Simcic’s Metchosin House on a rural waterfront acreage southwest of Victoria weighs in at 8,000 square feet, but is stretched, subdivided, and made porous in an effort to find the small within the big. Large buildings tend to hit the ground heavily and this posed a significant challenge for a site that supports mature groves of Garry Oak in close prox-

ABOVE A REFLECTING POOL, FLANKED BY CONCRETE AND GLASS WALLS, DIVIDES THE HOUSE’S TWO PRIMARY FUNCTIONS: LIVING AREAS ARE TO THE LEFT OF THE IMAGE WHILE SLEEPING QUARTERS OCCUPY THE NORTHERN WING AT THE RIGHT OF THE IMAGE.

imity to the shoreline. Garry Oak is a unique species of tree that exists only in a small region of southwestern British Columbia and is in serious decline due to development that is swallowing larger chunks of forested land. The desire to connect the house with the ocean put it on a collision course with the survival of the groves. In a tireless effort, Simcic worked with an arbourist and agrologist to study the particularities of the site’s ecosystem in order to preserve the trees. A surveyor produced a three-dimensional mapping of all trees including the size and location of branches. An air spade was used to gently blow away soil to understand the subterranean root networks. From this rigorous analysis, the house emerged as a long bar that is nestled between two groves, permitting it to both thrust toward the ocean and coexist with the trees. Since Garry Oak is especially sensitive to moisture and nutrient modifications, a specific structural strategy seeks to maintain preconstruction conditions. Uphill surface and subsurface water are allowed to flow under the house because it is raised on a series of concrete piers that support a central structural spine from which floors cantilever. Footings sit beneath the clay line to further reduce impediment to moisture movement while gutterless inclined roof planes encourage an even distribution of rainfall along the perimeter of the home. The careful coexistence with the trees is not only an important act of ecological sensitivity but affords an exciting spatial interlock with the landscape. At certain moments, the trees 04/08 CANADIAN ARCHITECT

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press up extremely close to the house, forming living edges to the interior spaces. At other moments, the branches extend under and over built form. In addition to setting the home sensitively within the site, Simcic used the program as an opportunity to break apart the 8,000 square feet into a set of discrete but interconnected pieces; in essence, wrestling small parts from the larger whole. The first move was to divide the bar into two essentially separate buildings, locating the larger main house to the east, closest to the ocean, and the guest house to the west, on the inland side of the site. While separate in the sense that one must pass through exterior space to move between the two, these buildings maintain their affiliation with the whole through tight adjacency and continuity of the roof plane. The second move was to split the bar along its length, placing the more open social programs such as dining, cooking and living on the southern side and situating the more private and enclosed programs like sleeping on the northern side. This straightforward strategy affords a number of opportunities. For instance, the master bedroom and living area can occupy the same floor level at the ocean end of the site, yet they benefit from a

SECTION A—LOOKING EAST

SECTION G—LOOKING SOUTH

ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT A CANTILEVERED SEATING AREA HOVERS OVER A BAR SITUATED JUST OFF THE MEDIA ROOM; WENGE WOOD FLOORING AND LOW-VOC MATERIALS WERE USED THROUGHOUT THE HOUSE TO ENSURE A HEALTHY LIVING ENVIRONMENT.

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degree of separation and hence, privacy. The canyon-like slot between the separated halves contains a reflecting pool that circulates in an open loop with the ocean and provides much of the home’s heating and cooling. Exterior and interior bridges link the two sides. Altogether, the result is a variegated space in which the exterior is omnipresent. While navigating the house, one moves from side to side and between inside and outside, producing an experience that is akin to inhabiting a small village. The interplay between the parts and also with the surrounding landscape is heightened by an array of punched openings of varying size and location that exist throughout the project. These openings, sometimes touching the floor and sometimes high above, are placed in an effort to produce a range of effects from accepting light bounced off the reflecting pool to creating sightlines from one side of the home to the other, then to the landscape beyond. Perhaps most unexpectedly, this technique plays itself out not only on the walls, but also on the ceiling, in what amounts to an intriguing reimagination of attic space. Punched openings in the ceiling allow visual access into the attic, a space that is both daylit and artificially illuminated, creating unique indirect lighting effects and revealing the delicate wood structure of the roof. The combined porosity of wall and ceiling increases the experiential complexity of the house both unto itself and in relation to the landscape while further fragmenting the home’s volumetric presence. By emphatically dividing the home into constituent parts and also pursuing a heightened degree of visual interconnection, Simcic foregrounds the question of syntax: what characteristics—formally, tectonically, and materially—do the different pieces of the whole assume and how do they interrelate? It is clear that Simcic has been ambitious in this regard. Outer perimeter walls of the home are clad in vertical tongue-and-groove White Oak, while the walls rising from the linear reflecting pool are clad with glass etched in a pattern mimicking the White Oak. The floors of the main house are Wenge hardwood and those in the guesthouse are finished in a similarly dark brown epoxy concrete. Rooms on the private northern side of the reflecting pool are articulated by exterior projections in plan, while the south side is smooth and linear at its edge, but the continuity of ceiling/attic treatment reinforces a connection. In these instances, the concern has been to signify difference and also to make a legible connection. Simcic explores the “big” as a domain of almost limitless potential and diversity, where each moment is explored in its own micro context. This is, of course, a fine line to tread, as at what point should the singularity of the whole project supercede the expression of a series of differentiated elements? On these terms, one is tempted to think that the home would benefit from an architectural edit: to be a bit simpler, to be a bit less varied. Nonetheless, the agility of the Metchosin House emphasizes the difficulty in assessing the expansion of a culture’s footprint on a square-foot basis alone and at its strongest, reveals the power of research and performative-based design. CA Matthew Soules is the founding director of the Vancouver design firm MSD.

TOP DELICATELY ARCHED CONCRETE ALLOWS VEHICLES TO BE DISCREETLY PARKED UNDERNEATH THE BEDROOM WING. WOOD AND GLASS FORM A DELICATE ROOF OVER THE CARPORT. ABOVE THE ELEVATED SWIMMING POOL IS SEMI-PROTECTED FROM THE ELEMENTS WHILE THE HOUSE’S EXTERIOR WALLS PROVIDE A NECESSARY ENCLOSURE AROUND THE POOL AS PER CODE REQUIREMENTS. OPPOSITE LOOKING DOWN THROUGH THE INTERIOR COURTYARD OF THE METCHOSIN RESIDENCE, EXTERIOR WALKWAYS AND CONSCIOUSLY PLACED WINDOWS PUNCTURE A FAÇADE LARGELY COMPRISED OF GLASS PANELS WITH AN APPLIED FRITTED PATTERN OF WOODEN PLANKS.

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CLIENT ED AND DOROTHY BANSER ARCHITECT TEAM MARKO SIMCIC, BRIAN BROSTER STRUCTURAL EQUILIBRIUM CONSULTING INC. MECHANICAL EARTH TECH CANADA INC. ELECTRICAL SCHENKE BAWOL ENGINEERING LTD. LANDSCAPE ID A LANDSCAPE DESIGN, MARKO SIMCIC ARCHITECT INTERIORS MARKO SIMCIC ARCHITECT CONTRACTOR ANDERSON COVE CONSTRUCTION ARBOURIST DOGWOOD TREE SERVICES AGROLOGIST ROBERT MAXWELL INTERIOR ENVIRONMENTAL ARCHEMY CONSULTING LTD. AREA 8,000 FT2 BUDGET WITHHELD COMPLETION AUGUST 2006


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TECHNICAL

MANIPULATING THE IMAGE

ABOVE A VERY HIGH-RESOLUTION IMAGE OF ARTHUR ERICKSON’S WATERFALL BUILDING IN VANCOUVER WAS ASSEMBLED FROM THE FOUR IMAGES SHOWN ON THE RIGHT. WITH THE CAMERA FIXED ON A TRIPOD, SHIFTING THE 24MM TILT/SHIFT CANON LENS TO ITS VERTICAL EXTREMES CREATED THE UPPER AND LOWER IMAGES BEFORE JOINING THEM IN PHOTOSHOP. THE IMAGES ON THE EXTREME RIGHT WERE EXPOSED FOR SHADOW DETAIL, WHILE THE TWO MIDDLE IMAGES WERE EXPOSED FOR HIGHLIGHT DETAIL.

IN THE SECOND OF TWO ARTICLES EXAMINING THE POWER OF DIGITAL IMAGING IN ARCHITECTURAL PHOTOGRAPHY, A FEW PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS OF PHOTOSHOP TO ENHANCE DIGITAL PHOTOGRAPHS ARE DISCUSSED.

TEXT + PHOTOS

GERRY KOPELOW

My previous article made a theoretical case for the power of digital imaging in architectural photography. This piece will provide practical instructions on how to use Photoshop to enhance your digital photos. The first and most important Photoshop correction is the establishment of proper colour balance, image density, and contrast. To do this well it is best to work with a calibrated monitor—a monitor whose display characteristics have been aligned with industry standards for density and colour. Calibrating your monitor is easy to do, but requires purchasing about $100 worth of calibration hardware, such as the ColorVision Spyder2. The calibration process involves positioning a light-sensitive device on your CRT or LCD monitor screen, and then running some diagnostic software. This process installs an electronic colour profile for your monitor, so that what you see on your screen is an accurate visual representation of the state of your digital images. The latest version of Photoshop has many 56 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 04/08

colour and density controls built in. As I recommended in my earlier article, it makes sense to bite the bullet and work through a Photoshop tutorial or a formal Photoshop course, perhaps at a technical school, to get a good grounding in the software’s full potential. That being said, the adventurous can simply plunge in and start playing. I recommended shooting your digital architectural images in RAW format. This approach yields files that contain the maximum amount of image data, but all this data is contained in a format that is not fit for presentation on a computer screen or reproduction on paper. When a RAW file is opened in Photoshop, a built-in sub-program called Camera RAW is automatically launched. Camera RAW provides a preview window showing the photo, plus a set of sliders for controlling exposure, brightness, contrast, etc. Positioned just above these sliders on the Camera RAW screen is a button labelled “Auto.” Clicking on this button automatically adjust all the sliders to settings that preserve image data while rendering the RAW file into a new file that is editable in Photoshop. Once this file is saved in TIFF format, the process of refinement can begin. If you have calibrated your monitor, what you now see on the screen will be a reasonably accurate representation of how your image will look when reproduced on paper. More often than not, the colour balance of the image will be off by

some degree and/or the image will be too bright or too dark. Use the “Auto Levels” control (Image→Adjustments→Auto Levels) for a very quick fix. For a more personal correction, work with the individual R (red), G (green), and B (blue) sliders under the “Levels” control (Image→Adjustments���Levels). Once your image is well corrected for density and colour overall, you can start making local adjustments to areas within the image frame that are too bright, too dark, or off-colour. This is done using the “Lasso” tool to select the area to be altered. Use the “Refine Edge” control to soften (feather) the border between a local correction and the balance of the image. A 100-pixel setting is a good starting point for this feathering, but the exact setting depends on the relative size of the selected area. Like all Photoshop operations, some trial-and-error experimentation will quickly give you a practical sense of what looks good, and what doesn’t. The rule of thumb is always use a more subtle intervention than what looks good on the screen. Now that your image is in reproducible form, it’s time to start making more radical alterations. Perhaps the most useful of these is the elimination of unwanted or awkwardly positioned objects, like hydro poles or ugly signage. This is easily done with the incredibly useful “Cloning” tool. This tool is used to copy and reapply image


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information harvested (or cloned) from one area of the image to a different area, thus replacing the original unwanted image information. The size of the area cloned with each mouse click and the degree of feathering at the edge of the cloned area are widely adjustable using the drop-down menu. Sample and clone several different areas so as to avoid generating obvious, easily identifiable patterns in the areas you are building up. Some practice and restraint is required to skillfully apply the cloning tool. Happily, these alterations can always be undone using the “Step Backward” control found in the drop-down menu under “Edit” in the horizontal toolbar. Should things go too far, it is easy enough to start over from the beginning with the original RAW file. A bolder version of cloning is called “Cut and Paste,” an operation very similar to the cutting or pasting of text in word-processing programs. I use cut and paste often to move image information from one image file to another. This is extremely useful when shooting high-contrast situations, such as available light interior views including windows. During the daytime, what is visible through a window is invariably significantly brighter than the rest of the room. This disparity in brightness usually exceeds the tonal range that the sensor in the camera can capture. The remedy here is to shoot several different frames at brighter and darker exposures with the camera mounted on a tripod. Once processed with Camera RAW, image information from the window area of a dark exposure can be cut and pasted into a lighter frame. The lasso tool with appropriate feathering is the method of choice. In this case, the overexposed window in the lighter frame is selected. Next, the entire dark frame is selected (Select All), copied (Edit→Copy), and pasted into (Edit→Paste Into) the selected area in the lighter frame. Since both images were made with the camera on a tripod the transported pixels will arrive in perfect alignment. Use the “Levels” control for fine-tuning density and colour to match the imported image information with the existing image. A more sophisticated version of cut and paste is used to enhance or replace dull-looking skies in exterior views. In this case, the initial selection is made using the clever “Magic Wand” tool. An overcast sky usually reads as uniform white or light grey in the processed image. Clicking on such a sky area with the magic wand (uncheck the “Contiguous” check box in the horizontal magic wand menu) will select all areas of identical tonal value throughout the image. Most of these will be sky, but inevitably some other areas will be selected as well. Unselect the non-sky areas using the lasso tool while depressing the “Options” key. I maintain a collection of interesting skies—a variety of cloud formations, sunsets, and sunrises—that can be easily pasted into any images

ABOVE THIS HOUSTON SKYSCRAPER WAS PHOTOGRAPHED CLOSEUP FROM STREET LEVEL WITH A 14MM L SERIES CANON CAMERA. EXTREME MANOEUVRES IN PHOTOSHOP WERE REQUIRED TO REALIZE A FINAL RECTILINEAR IMAGE. THE SEVERE “SHIP’S PROW EFFECT” OF THE ORIGINAL IMAGE HAS BEEN ADDRESSED BY SPLITTING THE BUILDING DOWN ITS MAJOR VERTICAL COMPOSITION LINE, THEN ALTERING EACH HALF OF THE IMAGE SEPARATELY. THE FINAL IMAGE IS PRESENTABLE, BUT AT ONLY ABOUT 25 PERCENT OF THE SIZE OF THE ORIGINAL UNCORRECTED IMAGE.

ABOVE USING THE “CLONING” TOOL, CLONED IMAGE INFORMATION WAS USED TO ELIMINATE A LIGHT STANDARD, A TRASH CAN AND A BICYCLE RACK.

ABOVE CALIBRATING COMPUTER MONITORS IS THE DEFINITIVE APPROACH TO RELIABLE COLOUR MANAGEMENT THROUGHOUT THE DIGITAL WORKFLOW. A CALIBRATION DEVICE IS SUSPENDED OVER THE MONITOR IN ORDER TO MAKE DIRECT MEASUREMENTS AT THE SURFACE OF THE SCREEN. THE BOTTOM OF THE DEVICE CONTAINS AN ARRAY OF SENSORS SURROUNDED BY A NUMBER OF SOFT RUBBER SUCTION CUPS THAT ATTACH THE DEVICE TO THE SCREEN SURFACE. A DIALOGUE BOX FROM THE CALIBRATION SOFTWARE IS SHOWN ON THE MONITOR. DURING THE PROCESS, DOZENS OF PATCHES OF SPECIFIC COLOURS ARE MEASURED BY THE SENSOR POSITIONED ON THE SCREEN, RESULTING IN A PERFECT COLOUR PROFILE OF THE MONITOR.

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ABOVE, LEFT TO RIGHT SHOT ON LOCATION IN THE LOBBY OF A HONG KONG SKYSCRAPER, AN ORIGINAL “RAW” IMAGE REQUIRED SUBSTANTIAL COLOUR AND CONTRAST ADJUSTMENTS; THE FINAL IMAGE INCORPORATES OVERALL AND LOCALIZED COLOUR, DENSITY AND CONTRAST ADJUSTMENTS.

COLOUR IMBALANCE ASSOCIATED WITH USING MIXED LIGHT SOURCES OFTEN NECESSITATES THE USE OF PHOTOSHOP. THE FLUORESCENT BACKLIGHTING INSIDE AN OUTDOOR SIGN HAS GIVEN THE PHOTOGRAPH AN OVERALL GREENISH TINGE. ABOVE RIGHT THE COLOUR HAS BEEN CORRECTED BY SELECTING THE OFFENDING AREA, AND THEN MODIFYING THE COLOUR USING A COMBINATION OF LEVELS AND HUE/SATURATION CONTROLS. ABOVE LEFT

that lack sky interest. Once the new sky has been imported, they can then be adjusted for colour and density. One more Photoshop adjustment is required before sending your images off to the publication or printer: “Sharpening.” The physical configuration

of the picture elements (pixels), colour filters, and micro-lenses that make up image sensors render images that appear somewhat “soft” (i.e., lacking in fine detail) to human eyes. This is remedied in Photoshop by applying something called “Unsharp Masking” (Filter→Sharpen→ Smart Sharpen), a software solution that seeks out the borders between areas of different density in the image file. By increasing the brightness on the light side while decreasing the brightness of the dark side of such junctions, apparent sharpness is increased. Here as well, restraint is the key. Sharpening is easy to overdo. Always apply about 10% less sharpening to your image than looks good on the screen. By now the scope of Photoshop’s powers is becoming apparent. The range of interventions are limited only by imagination and good taste. CA Gerry Kopelow is an architectural photographer whose work has appeared in many publications. He is the author of several books on architectural photography, including How to Photograph Buildings and Interiors.

FRAMING PROJECTOR Bridging function with design, the W2 Framing Projector brings artwork and wall décor to life by delivering performance-based, direct accent lighting in retail, hospitality and commercial applications. A self-illuminating effect is created by framing objects with minimal light spill. The die-cast aluminum, low voltage luminaire offers superior heat dissipation, lockability and aiming capability resulting in precise control of the light beam size, angle and sharpness. Uses 39W HID ES16 Lamping. Visit us at Lightfair, Booth 249.

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PRACTICE

P3 FOR YOU AND ME? THE RELATIVELY RECENT AND HOTLY DEBATED PROCUREMENT MODEL OF PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIPS BRINGS BOTH OPPORTUNITIES AND RISKS.

THE TYPICAL STRUCTURE OF A PUBLIC-PRIVATE PARTNERSHIP OWNER’S ADVISORS (INCLUDES FINANCIAL, DESIGN, LEGAL REPRESENTATIVES, ETC.)

PUBLIC SECTOR OWNER TEXT

BRIAN WATKINSON

Governments at all levels in Canada are using public-private partnerships (P3) to procure and deliver public buildings. On the face of it, this major investment translates into opportunities for our profession. However, architects need to understand that P3s result in startlingly different business and working relationships which bring with them new roles, responsibilities, challenges and risks. Why are Governments Using P3s?

When first venturing into P3s, governments cited our massive “infrastructure deficit” in Canada— now estimated at well over $130 billion—the reason for seeking innovative financing schemes from the private sector, claiming that they couldn’t afford to address the issue alone. P3 proponents went on to proclaim that public buildings can benefit from the efficiencies resulting from the private sector’s ability to work smarter, faster and cheaper than the public sector. Today, it is “risk sharing” that is most frequently offered as the reason for using P3s. Public owners maintain that under traditional project delivery models, they are unfairly saddled with responsibility for risky cost overruns, delays, and substandard quality in design and construction. As a result of this economic and political climate, governments are creating complex P3 contracts that transfer these kinds of risks—and more—to private-sector “partners” with the expectation that they are better positioned to manage those risks, often by transferring as many of these risks as they can on to other partners, including architects. With P3s, it is this transfer of risk that leads to some of the greatest challenges for our profession. What Does a P3 Look Like?

Partnerships BC, the Crown corporation in that province responsible for public-private partnerships, defines a P3, in part, as “a partnership arrangement in the form of a long-term performance-based contract between the public sector (any level of government) and the private sector (usually a team of private sector companies working together) to deliver public infrastructure for citizens.” The prototypical P3 was launched as the Private Finance Initiative (PFI) in the UK during the 1990s. In a PFI project, the public-sector partner—a hospital for example—enters into a 25- to 40-year contract with a private sector consortium. Under that agreement, the consortium designs, constructs, owns, maintains and operates the building for the

P3 PROJECT AGREEMENT BEGINS HERE

CONSORTIUM OR PROJECT COMPANY (TYPICALLY INCLUDES FINANCIER; MAY INCLUDE BUILDER)

BUILDER (EVEN WHEN PART OF CONSORTIUM, BUILDER IS TYPICALLY RESPONSIBLE FOR ENGAGING THE DESIGN TEAM AND SUBCONTRACTORS)

ARCHITECT

ADVISORS TO CONSORTIUM (I.E.,LAWYERS)

FACILITY MANAGERS BUILDING OPERATORS

SUBCONTRACTORS/SUPPLIERS

SUBCONSULTANTS* *IN SOME P3S, ENGINEERING CONSULTANTS ARE ENGAGED BY KEY SUBTRADES SUCH AS MECHANICAL OR ELECTRICAL CONTRACTORS

life of the contract, providing the financing to cover the cost of those activities—all on a “for profit” basis. The public sector uses the building to deliver its services, in this example health care, paying its private sector partner in regular installments. The risks related to the design, construction and financing as well as the maintenance and operation of the facility are all allocated to the private sector through the PFI agreement, at the end of which title to the building is transferred to the public owner. Thus, a PFI consortium is a corporation created specifically for any given project and typically includes the financier, managers and often the builder. To fulfill the responsibilities it is undertaking, the consortium assembles a project team that brings together all of the expertise it will require to design and construct the building, then operate and maintain it over the life of the contract. Risk and Risk Allocation

In a P3, the contract between the private and public sector partners sets out the risks being transferred to the consortium. The contracts between the consortium and the rest of the project team define how that risk is then allocated to other team members, including the architects. Numerous forms of P3 are being used in Canada on a wide range of public building types including education, health care, judicial, correctional, residential and commercial. Each building type has its distinct risk profile. With so many variations on P3s in use, it is critically important to understand the specific model being used on a given project in order to identify the risks that are being trans-

ferred to the architect. A case in point: Infrastructure Ontario is the Crown corporation dedicated to renewing and expanding infrastructure under that province’s Alternative Financing and Procurement variation of P3. It established a unique model for a number of health care projects. The owners, who were originally contemplating a design-bid-build procurement model, engaged the architects for these projects who then prepared the design and construction documents, and readied them for bidding under a stipulated sum contract. However, to be consistent with government policy calling for risk to be allocated to the party best able to manage it (and away from the public sector as much as possible), Infrastructure Ontario created its “Build-Finance” model. Instead of calling for bids, Requests for Proposals were issued for builders to construct the hospitals and provide financing during the construction phase. As a key component of the risk transfer, the builders are required in those contracts to accept all risks related to design, including cost overruns attributable to design errors or omissions, delays and any resulting liquidated damages. Naturally, the builder would be likely to attempt to recover any losses experienced as a result of what they would consider to be designer-related errors or omissions. Yet those architects had originally prepared the construction documents based on a traditional design-bid-build model, knowing that the owner would be carrying a contingency in the budget for any issues that inevitably arise during a complex construction project. The Ontario 04/08 CANADIAN ARCHITECT

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Association of Architects’ (OAA) professional liability insurance subsidiary considered this particular threat so serious that it took the unusual step of issuing an endorsement restricting coverage on Infrastructure Ontario projects. The following are just a few examples of some of the other risks and challenges P3s can present for our profession. Many architecture firms in the UK faced financial ruin in the 1990s as a direct result of their exposure to massive pursuit costs on early PFI projects. A public sector owner would invite a number of consortia to submit proposals where each of those bidders required the architects to complete a fully developed, detailed design demonstrating how the proposal would meet the project requirements. Unsuccessful consortia were never paid for their proposals, and they in turn did not pay their architects. There were cases where architects had progressed well into completing construction documents while receiving no compensation. The handling of pursuit costs varies widely in Canada. Unsuccessful bidders on the Calgary Courts Centre received an honorarium. Yet most municipal P3s do not provide for payment to bidders and their architects. Infrastructure Ontario has agreed to a fee for unsuccessful consortia but only if they submit complete and compliant proposals. This fee is not expected to fully compensate those bidders, and the proportion of that fee which actually finds its way to the architects depends on their skill in negotiating with their clients, typically the builders. Furthermore, architects who obtain their portion of the fee must agree to provide a license for their intellectual property rights in their designs. Aside from pursuit costs, architects have reported severe cash flow problems on P3s often because financing may not begin to flow until most of their work has been completed. Others have observed that this highly competitive market can lead to downward pressure on professional fees. Risks can also arise from unrealistic expectations related to the delivery of professional services being provided by the design team in a P3. Once negotiations are complete and the commercial terms established, any additional construction costs are expected to be borne by the private sector. This usually means that construction budgets become effectively frozen. There is no margin for error, and relative certainty that any private sector team suffering losses during the construction process will attempt to recover damages from those they consider to be at fault—and the architect is usually an easy target. In transferring delay risks to the private sector, P3 contracts include requirements that the consortium pay liquidated damages should the building not be fully operational on schedule. The consortium would expect to recover those damages from those who caused the delay. This creates huge pressure on the design team to complete all of its work at what some architects have called “a frantic pace,” necessitating costly overtime and the tapping of additional resources through strategic alliances 60 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 04/08

with other firms. Even worse, this dangerous mix of aggressive schedules and rigid budgets intensifies the quality management challenges normally faced by design professionals in the preparation of their design and construction documents. Paradoxically, in P3s there is little tolerance for anything other than perfection. Transferring risk for geotechnical and other site conditions to the consortium—often passing them on to the builder—regularly occurs in P3 contracts. In turn, the builder will try to transfer these costs on to the designers, apparently with the expectation that the designers will miraculously anticipate the unforeseeable. There have been P3 contracts which require the consortium to guarantee a specified level of LEED certification. The consortium passes that risk downstream. Yet no one, certainly not the architect, can guarantee LEED certification because an independent third party carries it out. To make matters worse, the architect’s errors and omissions insurance is unlikely to respond to a claim arising from this requirement because of the exclusions relating to warranties. This is a good illustration of a situation where the intention to transfer the risk is unrealistic, and is ultimately thwarted because there is no insurance to mitigate the risk.

more traditional, less risk-intensive procurement models. Unfortunately, it doesn’t appear that P3s will be abandoned any time soon. When P3s were first announced, there was great public concern and the majority of Canadians didn’t support them. Today, two-thirds of Canadians approve of the use of P3s to meet our infrastructure needs. The federal government, five provinces and many lower-tier governments are now employing P3s. In jurisdictions outside Canada where P3s were introduced, their use has only continued to expand. Many believe P3s are only viable on megaprojects, and thus are of concern only to the largest firms. Firstly, the dollar threshold above which P3s are considered viable has already dropped from over $100 million to as low as $20 million. It must be understood that public clients will bundle a number of smaller projects together to create a viable P3. For example, a school authority in the UK bundled over 100 properties together into a single PFI contract. That highlights another risk to the profession— consider the impact of this bundling on the small, local architectural practice that sustained itself by winning a project from a local school board. These firms simply cannot compete in the P3 market.

P3s and Design Quality

P3 Strategies for the Profession

Design quality is paramount to our profession, and an important contributor to every architect’s reputation. However, many architects and others (MPPs, owners, critics, public) have found the design quality of many early PFI projects in the UK to be below par, a circumstance often attributed to time and budget pressures in addition to the inexperience of the teams with a new procurement model. The media even reported on politicians being too embarrassed to stand in front of a new school or hospital for the ribbon-cutting ceremony. Some early PFI schools were described as “...little better than agricultural sheds [i.e., barns] with windows.” Looking beyond aesthetic considerations to functional and operational concerns, observers have commented that some of the early PFI hospitals were clearly designed with the interests of building maintenance and facilities management trumping those related to the delivery of quality health care. One reason this can happen is that in many P3 models, the architects engaged by the competing consortia are allowed only limited, if any, access to the end users when critical design decisions are being made during the preparation of the proposal. Close interaction with users, which most architects consider essential in the design process, is replaced by reference to a performance-based statement of requirements that is prepared on behalf of those users.

With P3 likely to be with us for some time, practices, especially those active in public sector projects need to learn all they can about P3 in their own marketplace and formulate their own informed responses—which may include continuing to “just say no” to these types of projects, at least for now. Those who elect to participate should consider a comprehensive P3 strategy that would include mechanisms for identifying and evaluating potential risks on specific projects and under particular P3 models, determining which of those risks they are prepared to accept, and then mitigating and managing the risks once they are taken on. The latter could include improved quality assurance measures in the practice, new investment in human resources and technology, additional insurance, and methods of either transferring risk or sharing it with others. At the same time, we should encourage and support our national, provincial and territorial professional associations in their ongoing efforts to work with public agencies in refining the P3 procurement model to ensure ongoing business opportunities for architects and equitable, reasonable and practical sharing of the risks on public projects. CA

Are P3s Here to Stay?

Given these and other risks in P3 and the potential impact on design quality, many in the profession hope that governments will conclude that the merits of P3 have been oversold, and will return to the

Led by architect and former Executive Director of the Ontario Association of Architects Brian Watkinson, Strategies 4 Impact! Inc. provides strategic support, advice and consulting services to businesses in the design and construction sector, their associations and clients. Brian has been researching P3s and studying their implementation since they were first introduced to Canada. He can be contacted at brian@strategies4impact.com.


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REPORT

MIND THE GAP

AN ARCHITECT DEVOTES HIMSELF TO THE PURSUIT OF UNIVERSAL ACCESS USING SOME VERY BASIC STRATEGIES.

TEXT + PHOTOS

RON WICKMAN

I was only three months old when my father was injured in an industrial accident that rendered him a paraplegic. Growing up after the accident, I experienced the built environment from the unique perspective of travelling around with someone who uses a wheelchair. My father and I rarely entered a building in the same way as the majority of others; the service entrance was the norm for us. We were also less likely to visit friends at their homes. Helping my father up to the front door from a set of exterior stairs was both dangerous and a reminder that he had less independence than others. Even when we did visit someone else’s home, our stay was usually short because my father was unable to use the washroom. It is because of these types of experiences that I chose to work in the field of architecture. And working as an architect, I now realize how easy it is to design a building or space to be more useable by more people, including persons with disabilities. The concept of “visitability” is one of the simplest and most economical approaches to universal design that can address homeowners’ and community needs over time, contributing to a more flexible and sustainable built environment. Visitability ensures that everyone—regardless of mobility—will be able to at least visit someone else’s home and use the washroom. Visitable homes are constructed to be more accessible by having: one entrance into the home with no steps; a 32-inch-wide clear passage through all main floor doors and hallways; and a useable bathroom on the main floor.

Visitable homes do not include full accessibility features for people with disabilities. But the three simple requirements of visitability do allow a person with a mobility limitation to at least enter and visit the occupants of the house. The Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation has stated: “By 2031, the number of seniors over age 75 will grow by 277 percent to about 4 million, up from 1.5 million in 1995. The number of seniors in the over-85 age group will more than triple to over 1 million from 352,000 in 1995.” Many in this growing senior population will have mobility limitations. If we build visitable housing today, the future economic benefits will be vast. I have completed close to 100 accessible dwelling modifications ranging from $10,000 to over $200,000 in construction costs. I am constantly challenged to design accessible home modifications to be economical, beautiful and sustainable. Given the statistical information that we already know, what an incredible waste of resources if we build homes today, only to tear them apart 10 years from now to make them accessible for persons with disabilities. The concept of visitability is important for so many reasons. In new construction, total added cost for visitability features is typically less than $1,000, with no extra square footage required to accommodate the universal design needs. This would reduce future renovation costs by thousands of dollars. Visitable housing responds to the increasing seniors’ population and their desire to “age in place.” The vast majority of elderly persons prefer to remain in their homes as long as possible. With today’s housing stock, this is virtually impossible. Visitable housing promotes socially sustainable communities and provides residents with

choice as housing needs change over a lifetime. The intent here is to simplify life for everyone by creating housing that is more useable by as many people as possible at little or no extra cost. Visitable housing promotes safety by reducing stair-related injuries for residents and visitors. Residents could also live at home if they were ever to suffer a temporary or permanent injury as a result of an accident; this would reduce the length of stay in a hospital environment. Visitable housing is more adaptable and flexible for persons with disabilities as well as persons carrying groceries into the home, transporting a stroller or moving furniture. Visitable housing needs to be beautiful and invisible so that everyone uses the home in the same way, and such that the visitable features blend in with the architectural style of the home. Visitable features can easily be incorporated with other building innovations such as affordable design, green architecture and energy efficiency. Resale value of a home with visitable features should not be negatively affected as the features are invisible in the design. Why does there seem to be a lack of acceptance of visitable features in housing design by developers, builders, designers, policy makers, jurisdictions, organizations and individuals? There is a continued dearth of knowledge surrounding the concept of visitability. The building industry most often likes to keep repeating the construction processes it is familiar with, and general contractors do not like to train subtrades on unfamiliar construction methods unless they see immediate, short-term financial benefit. Architects and other designers are often motivated in the same way unless they are paid specifically to research a concept of visitability. Organizations and individual homeowners are 04/08 CANADIAN ARCHITECT

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also reluctant to pay for such research by architects and other designers. Most research then is conducted through government-funded grants. Governments at all levels are generally reluctant to enforce too much legislation on the development and building industry. Currently, there is no legislation specifically addressing visitability in Canada. Only government-funded public buildings require universal and adaptable features to benefit persons with disabilities, but the single-family home is not part of this legislation. Sweden first started using the term visitability in 1976. The concept slowly filtered throughout the rest of Europe, the United Kingdom (Lifetime Homes), Japan, Australia (Smart Housing), the United States and finally Canada. Research shows that the majority of visitable housing has been built with financial assistance from one or more levels of government. Today, there is a rapid increase of visitability legislation in the US which demonstrates a growing awareness of the need for housing with specific features that afford all individuals, especially those with disabilities, independent and safe access. Disability groups and advocates have been very successful in getting visitable housing legislation passed, and they played a significant role in the promotion and monitoring of this legislation. Such activism and promotion has led to a positive development for visitability in the US Green Building Council’s Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) program. A LEED point is now given in the Neighbourhood Development Section when designers incorporate basic universal access into single-family homes. My personal quest is to help other architects learn more about universal design more generally and visitability specifically. Frank Lloyd Wright stated that 62 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 04/08

ABOVE RON WICKMAN’S HOME RENOVATION INCLUDED POURING A NEW RAMPED CONCRETE WALKWAY LEADING FROM THE SIDEWALK AND DRIVEWAY TO THE FRONT DOOR OF THE HOUSE, ENABLING HIS WHEELCHAIR-BOUND FATHER TO EASILY ACCESS THE HOME.

“form and function are one.” To me, this means that architecture involves making buildings and spaces as accessible to as many people as possible. Today, too many architects focus on the business and aesthetic dimensions of design, and little attention is given to the end users of their creations. I know from personal experience the benefits of focusing on the end users of a building or space. I have had the satisfaction of seeing someone independently access his/her home or a public building for which I am responsible. With my own house renovation, I poured a new sidewalk leading to the front door that provided smooth, on-grade access straight into the front door. Before the renovation, three steps led up to the front door, and my wheelchair-bound father had to park his van in the driveway and phone us to come out and help

6

him inside. After the renovation, my father can now wheel himself straight into our family home. It was a seemingly small design gesture—but one with a huge emotional impact. CA For more than 10 years, Ron Wickman has been a leading advocate for barrier-free design in buildings and landscapes. As an architect, his commitment to accessible housing and his award-winning practical and functional designs have earned him national recognition as an expert in accessibility and barrierfree design. For more information and resources on visitable housing in Canada and to share initiatives that are occurring in your province, please visit www.visitablehousing.com.

7 9

10

8

2

1

5

3 11

4

GROUND FLOOR 1 2 3 4

VESTIBULE ENTRY HALL LIVING DINING

12

0 5 6 7 8

KITCHEN MUSIC ROOM OFFICE BATHROOM

9 GARAGE 10 DRIVEWAY 11 DECK 12 COURTYARD

10’


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PRODUCT & LITERATURE SHOWCASE

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The Persuade™

Hambro Girder

With its versatile design aesthetic, clean lines and subtle two-piece construction, the KOHLER Persuade™ toilet offers an unparalleled combination of design and performance. The gravity-fed Persuade with dual flush technology offers the option of selecting one of two water levels with each flush — the latter of which allows a household of four to save between 2,000 and 5,000 gallons of water per year versus standard models. Visit www.KOHLER.com or call 1-800-4-KOHLER.

Hambro has added a new composite “concrete-steel” girder, intended for the multi-residential and commercial markets, to its existing range of products. The “Hambro Girder” acts as a principal beam supporting the Hambro joists installed perpendicularly at regular intervals on each side. The advantage of the new composite girder is that it offers greater spans than the conventional steel girder while maintaining a minimum depth to adapt to the Hambro joists.

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Turning up the Heat

Ultimate Replacement Casement Window

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NEW High Performance Insulation Board

Corflex/Hufcor introduces the unique Unispan® system, that consists of self supporting horizontal truss and columns, making it completely independent of the building structure. Since the bottom cord of the truss system is the operable wall track, therefore eliminating the need for additional overhead structural support, it can not only be used in buildings that couldn’t previously accommodate operable partitions, but can also save you substantial money. www.corflex.ca

SilveRboard is a NEW high performance rigid insulation made from Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) which is coated with reflective lamination. This highly effective combination offers a higher r-value per inch than traditional rigid insulation, as well as provides built-in moisture and air barriers eliminating the need for house wrap. These features help to improve energy efficiency. SilveRboard contains no CFCs or HCFCs and has no off gassing.

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PRODUCT & LITERATURE SHOWCASE

PROFESSIONAL DIRECTORY

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Tri-Pane Titan PVC Windows: The Tritan

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W.A.C. Lighting introduces stunning Black/White Double-Paned, CutGlass “Quick Connect Pendants”— a classic look popular with today’s high-profile designers. Shades comprise two panes of glass fused together, then hand-cut to create a 3D design. Using Quick Connect QP-501 socket set components, the pendants adapt easily to the Low Voltage Monorail System, all-new Line Voltage Flexrail 1 System, Monopoints, Multipoints, Line and Low Voltage Track Systems. 1-800526-2588, www.waclighting.com

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CALENDAR Gordon Matta-Clark: You Are the Measure

February 2-May 4, 2008 During the brief but highly productive decade that he worked as an artist—and even more so since his early death— Gordon Matta-Clark (1943-1978) has exerted a powerful influence on artists and architects and has emerged as a key figure of the generation that came after Minimalism. This retrospective at the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago celebrates the brilliance and radical nature of his work in a number of different media: sculptural objects (most notably from building cuts), drawings, films, photographs, notebooks, and documentary material. www.mcachicago.org/exhibitions/ exh_detail.php?id=174 Ecology.Design.Synergy

February 23-May 25, 2008 This exhibition at the Carnegie Museum of Art’s Heinz Architectural Center presents recent collaborative work by Behnisch Architekten and environmental engineering company Transsolar ClimateEngineering, both based in Stuttgart. The exhibition documents 10 innovative, aesthetically refined, energy-efficient and sustainable building projects in Europe and the United States. www.cmoa.org Design and the Elastic Mind at the MoMA

February 24-May 12, 2008 This exhibition will include objects, projects and concepts offered by teams of designers, scientists, and engineers from all over the world, ranging from the nanoscale to the cosmological scale. The objects range from nanodevices to vehicles, from appliances to interfaces, and from pragmatic solutions for everyday use to provocative ideas meant to influence our future choices. www.moma.org/exhibitions/ exhibitions.php?id=5632 Unseen Current at Chicago’s Extension Gallery for Architecture

March 14-May 11, 2008 This exhibition is an interactive installation and exhibition of the work of BallNogues Studio, an integrated design and fabrication practice that creates products and experimental built

environments to enhance and celebrate the potential for social interaction through sensation, spectacle and physical engagement. www.extensiongallery.us Graphic Thought Facility: Resourceful Design

March 27-August 17, 2008 This exhibition at the Art Institute of Chicago showcases the work of the eponymous London-based graphic design studio, Graphic Thought Facility (GTF), which is emerging as one of the most progressive and creative design firms working in both two and three dimensions. Committed to the expressive power of images and typography, GTF is known for pushing the boundaries of materials and methods. Rejecting the slickly styled graphics that characterized much of British design in the 1990s, GTF instead favours a “do-it-yourself” aesthetic. www.artic.edu MERLETTI<inter>LACE

March 28-May 11, 2008 The SCI-Arc Gallery presents this site-specific installation by Italian architect, fashion designer and SCI-Arc professor, Elena Manferdini. The installation explores the intricacies of lacemaking at a scale far beyond the intimate scale commonly associated with lace. Manferdini’s architectural projects have been exhibited internationally in art and architecture museums. www.sciarc.edu Hal Foster lecture

techniques and products, and broaden networks while working towards building more sustainable cities through green roof implementation. Conference streams fall under Policy, Design and Case Studies, and Research. www.greenroofs.org/baltimore

builders, students, and manufacturers exploring recent developments in flexible fabric formworks for concrete structures in architecture and engineering. The conference will include workshop demonstrations of full-scale and model construction techniques. www.umanitoba.ca/architecture/ffc/

Irit Rogoff lecture

May 3, 2008 As part of the Urban Field Speakers Series held at the Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art in Toronto, Irit Rogoff, Professor of Visual Cultures at Goldsmiths—University of London discusses spatial and artistic practices in relation to disappearing global boundaries at 7:30pm. www.prefix.ca Art Center Design Conference 2008: Serious Play

May 7-9, 2008 This event promises three days with some of the greatest inventors, designers and architects, tech wizards, performers, and artists of our time. Taking place at the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, the conference will feature luncheon roundtables with conference speakers, special guests, and Art Center leaders along with opening and closing parties. Featured speakers include architect Elizabeth Diller, principal of Diller Scofidio + Renfro. www.artcenter.edu/designconference 12th Canadian Conference on Building Science and Technology call for abstracts

April 24, 2008 As part of the Urban Field Speakers Series held at the Prefix Institute of Contemporary Art in Toronto, Hal Foster, Professor of Art and Archaeology at Princeton University speaks on problems in contemporary art, architecture and design at 7:30pm. www.prefix.ca

May 1, 2008 This is the submission deadline for abstracts for this conference, which will take place from May 6-8, 2009 at the Montreal Convention Centre. The conference is being hosted by the Quebec Building Envelope Council and is organized by the National Building Envelope Council. www.cebq.org/NBEC.htm

2008 Greening Rooftops for Sustainable Communities

International Conference on Fabric Formwork

April 30-May 2, 2008 This conference, awards and trade show takes place in Baltimore, and will raise awareness of the many benefits of green roofs, share new research findings, provide information on the latest designs, implementation

May 16-18, 2008 C.A.S.T., the Centre for Architectural Structures and Technology, will host the first international conference on fabric formwork at the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg. This will be the first gathering of architects, engineers,

KRAZY! The Delirious World of Anime + Comics + Video Games + Art

May 17-September 7, 2008 The Vancouver Art Gallery brings the worlds of anime, comics, cartoons, video games, manga, graphic novels and contemporary art together in one exhibition occupying two entire floors of gallery space. Designed in collaboration with Tokyo-based architectural firm Atelier BowWow—a design team renowned for their understanding of informal culture and ability to enhance communal visual experiences, the exhibition comprises more than 600 artworks, including original sketches, concept drawings, sketchbooks, storyboards, production drawings, films, video games, animation cells, three-dimensional models, sculptures, books, manga and much more. www.vanartgallery.bc.ca 30th Annual Meeting of the Alliance for Historic Landscape Preservation

May 28-31, 2008 Taking place in Montreal, this conference will cover a variety of issues. Passionate enthusiasts will speak on how they are managing the challenges of development pressures in and around Mount Royal Park, and Boulevard St-Laurent—or the “Main” as it is commonly called—provides a laboratory on how to manage linear corridors comprised of an array of cultural groups. St-Denis and SteCatherine along with Old Montreal are dynamic public spaces with a European flavour that are unique in North America. www.ahlp.org FOR MORE INFORMATION ABOUT THESE, AND ADDITIONAL LISTINGS OF CANADIAN AND INTERNATIONAL EVENTS, PLEASE VISIT www.canadianarchitect.com

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SADDEST LIGHT IN THE WORLD

AS WE EMERGE FROM A LONG, DARK WINTER, LET US PONDER TWO INSTALLATIONS AT THE UNIVERSITY OF MANITOBA’S FACULTY OF ARCHITECTURE.

TEXT

HERB ENNS EDUARDO AQUINO

PHOTO

A wonderful installation, SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), filled the John A. Russell Courtyard with the delicate healing light of five illuminated roadside sign boxes through the months of January and February, 2008. The animistic ready-made industrial lanterns were aligned like so many offduty stoic beasts of fluorescent burden, casting warm coloured light into the glazed spaces. Like 66 CANADIAN ARCHITECT 04/08

James Turrell’s Sky Spaces, the installation was most potent at dusk, as the fading blue/black winter night light mingled with the mechanistic glow of the steel and plastic electric horses. Making high art out of the DNA of ordinary atface-value urban wasteland life by subtle extraction and extreme nuance requires a particular gift. Like the lyrics of the Weakerthans, the art of Simon Hughes and the films of Guy Maddin—the works of spmb_projects (São Paulo-Manitoba) heighten our understanding of ready-made/everyday spaces, places, and social relationships. Winnipeg artists and architects are at their best when they ignore the wider world and do what comes naturally, finding beauty in their immediate circumstances. In this case two breakthroughs occurred. The

neutral glass courtyard was recognized as a potential arbiter of amplified illumination. Like stacked Russian dolls, the light within a light box within a glass box within a big blue winter sky generated infinite combinations of viewing angles and reflections. Second, the light sources were corralled from the godforsaken Pembina Highway. The portable sign boxes are advertising’s most banal product, either lost in the blind spot of habituated urban perception or contributing to urban light blight. In the courtyard they rise to the occasion of newfound visibility and take on a patient and noble bearing. Borrowing from Marcel Duchamp’s recontextualizing of ready-made projects, Dan Flavin’s installations using off-the-shelf light tubes, and James Turrell’s rich and mysterious lighting amalgams, spmb_project’s Karen Shanski and Eduardo Aquino (with the minimalist Matt Baker) opted for a sensate chromo-therapeutic treatment to address a more serious deficit, the lack of light in a long Winnipeg winter. As easy as it might have been to create a text-based words-are-cheap installation, keeping the letters off the shelf reduced the legibility of the obvious meaning to zero. Quietly observing the five-horse scene is the beautiful installation of Edith Dekynt’s poem, Myodesopsies 04 (Probable Song), about the phenomenon of particles (floaters) in our view when we stare at blank surfaces like a blue sky. Commissioned by Neil Minuk, curator of the Architecture II Gallery, the Belgian artist wrote the poem to conform to the geometric proportions of the Russell Building’s curtain wall system, and then distributed it as lyrics to more than 20 musicians, who composed songs for broadcasting into the courtyard—music for a film without images. Both SAD and Myodesopsies suggest intelligent ways to engage architecture through works of sculpture, poetry, and music. Relinquishing control of our pristine urban and architectural spaces is necessary to support the rich and interactive possibilities for collaborative engagement amongst artists and designers. Finding examples of their sophisticated resolution is a rarity. Dekynt, Shanski, Aquino, Baker and Minuk have set a high standard of exemplary transdisciplinary practice, exploring the thresholds of vision and perception with poetry, music and installation art, making architectural and urban production invisible. CA SAD was on display in the courtyard of the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Architecture from January 4-February 4, 2008. Myodesopsies 04 (Probable Song) was installed in September 2006. Herb Enns is the director of the Experimental Media Centre at the University of Manitoba, and a contributing editor to Canadian Architect.


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Canadian Architect April 2008 Edition