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It’s a happy coincidence that Flynn Group of Companies helped give WSP Place in Edmonton a new lease on life just as both celebrate their 40th years. A lot has changed since 1978. When it comes to modernizing a decades-old building envelope to LEED® Gold, we’re aiming for a higher standard than “good as new”. Flynn’s design-assist team was involved at an early stage to advise on materials selection and design. Because however sleek the aesthetic, performance is the underlying beauty of any modern façade system. Flynn supplied and installed curtain wall glazing, punched windows, wall panel, and a new membrane roof, all while the building was fully occupied. The insulated wall panel assembly uses thermal isoclips to help bring the building’s thermal performance into the 21st century. Here’s to the next 40 years!


See more photos at

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canadian architect

february 2018

Michael Elken

4 viewpoint

At the global cultural forum of the Venice Biennale, is Canada still short-changing its delegates?


Moving to a low-carbon economy; handling risky “murder clauses.”

21 Insites

Prix de Rome laureate Heather Dubbeldam shares her findings.

41 practice 25

25 Standing tall

In Vancouver, Acton Ostry Architects has completed the world’s tallest mass-timber building at the University of British Columbia. TEXT Courtney Healey

30 douglas Cardinal

In advance of his installation at this year’s Venice Biennale, the venerated Dene architect sits down with Canadian Architect to talk about life, architecture and Indigenous identity.

34 raw Moments

45 books

A selection of recent titles on sustainable building methods.

46 Review

Olivier Vallerand explores The University is Now on Air at the Canadian Centre for Architecture.

48 Calendar

Design-related events from across Canada and elsewhere.

50 backpage

Liat Margolis unpacks the good work of University of Toronto’s GRIT Lab research centre.

simeon rusnak

Recycled, redesigned and rebuilt every year, a series of pop-up restaurants created by an entrepreneurial design team warms up Manitoba’s winter landscape. TEXT Lawrence Bird

Jonathan Kearns lays out the case for Passive House design.

RAW:almond, on the frozen Winnipeg riverfront, one of a series of recycled temporary wintertime restaurants built around Manitoba. Photo by Simeon Rusnak.


v.63 n.02


The National Review of Design and Practice / The Official Magazine of the RAIC

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La Biennale di Venezia, ASAC, Fototeca; Photo by Giacomelli, Venezia

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­­Editor (2017-2018) adele Weder, hon. mRAIC Editor (on leave) elsa lam, mRAIC Art Director Roy Gaiot assistant Editor Stefan novakovic

Interior of the loved-and-loathed Canadian Pavilion at the Venice Biennale.


Venice redux At La Biennale di Venezia, that six-monthlong cultural Olympics, the oddly shaped Canadian Pavilion has long vexed the many architects and artists commissioned to represent our nation. Designed in 1957 by Enrico Peressutti of the Milan architectural studio BBPR , it is evocative of a nautalus shell or a snail, its Fibonaccian proportions largely indifferent to the practical display of architecture and art. Its mass of brick, wood, steel and glass curls around a central support column abutting an outdoor courtyard and pair of trees encased in glass, though many an architect would trade those dramatic features for more specialized curatorial needs, such as an on-site bathroom. On rare occasions, the Pavilion’s unusual volume has been ideal, notably for Philip Beesley’s 2010 Hylozoic Ground, whose acrylic lattice hugged its curving walls like living stalactites. But it hasn’t been so congenial for more straightforward installations, such as SweaterLodge, the 2006 installation by Bill Pechet and Stephanie Robb, in which the team’s gigantic West Coast fleece jacket was scrunched awkwardly within its rigidly proscriptive space, inadvertently strengthening the regional metaphor. Now, after 60 years, the Canadian Pavilion is finally getting its overdue transformation— a renovation and de facto reconstruction, and the promise of an exhibition space equipped to current professional standards. In partnership with Biennale organizers and the Venice Superintendent for Architectural Heritage, the National Gallery of Canada is overseeing the $3-million overhaul. The transformation team includes Canadians Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, Bryce Gauthier and Gordon Filewych, along with Alberico Barbiano di Belgiojoso and Troels Brun.

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Editorial Advisor Ian Chodikoff, OAA, FRAIC Contributing Editors Annmarie Adams, FRAIC Odile Hénault Douglas MacLeod, ncarb, MRAIC Regional Correspondents Halifax Christine Macy, OAA Regina Bernard Flaman, SAA Montreal David Theodore Calgary Graham Livesey, MRAIC Winnipeg Lisa Landrum, MAA, AIA, MRAIC Vice president & Senior Publisher Steve Wilson 416-441-2085 x105 sales MANAGER Faria Ahmed 416-441-2085 x106

Located in the Giardini di Castello section of Venice, the Pavilion won’t be completed soon enough for the 2018 Biennale team to install in time for this year’s opening. Douglas Cardinal’s UNCEDED: Voices of the Land project will instead open on May 26 at the Arsenale site a kilometre away. But it gives us hope for the next Biennale, as well as double the reason to celebrate this year. Except for something we might gently point out: the Biennale’s chosen architects still have to bankroll most of their expenses themselves. The prestige of being selected to represent Canada in Venice usually comes with the imperative to spend as much or more time on fundraising than on creation; tales abound of Canada’s Biennale representatives mortgaging their homes and incurring years of debt in exchange for the honour. Earlier this year, the Canada Council for the Arts announced it would double its usual Biennale funding to $500,000. But that amount still does not come close to covering the enormous costs of researching, creating, shipping, staffing and promoting a major international six-month exhibition on the other side of the ocean. Why are we short-changing the creators who will be showcasing Canadian culture on such a highly visible international forum? The Pavilion has served as a monument to our national architectural identity in the postwar years during Canada’s emergence as a cultural presence on the world stage, as the National Gallery of Canada observed last summer in its announcement of the impending restoration. Now that the monument is getting the transformative attention it has long needed, it’s time to direct the same attention to the artists and architects who activate it. Adele Weder

Customer Service / production laura moffatt 416-441-2085 x104 Circulation President of iq business media inc. Alex Papanou Head Office 101 Duncan Mill Road, Suite 302 Toronto, ON M3B 1Z3 Telephone 416-441-2085 E-mail Website Canadian Architect is published monthly by iQ Business Media Inc.. The editors have made every reasonable effort to provide accurate and authoritative information, but they assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the text, or its fitness for any particular purpose. Subscription Rates Canada: $54.95 plus applicable taxes for one year; $87.95 plus applicable taxes for two years (HST – #80456 2965 RT0001). Price per single copy: $6.95. Students (prepaid with student ID, includes taxes): $27.00 for one year. USA: $105.95 US for one year. All other foreign: $125.95 US per year. Single copy US and foreign: $10.00 US. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Circulation Dept., Canadian Architect, 101 Duncan Mill Road, Suite 302 Toronto, ON M3B 1Z3. Postmaster: please forward forms 29B and 67B to 101 Duncan Mill Road, Suite 302 Toronto, ON M3B 1Z3. 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 416-441-2085 x104 E-mail Mail Circulation, 101 Duncan Mill Road, Suite 302, Toronto, ON M3B 1Z3 Member of the Canadian Business Press Member of the ALLIANCE FOR AuditED MEDIA Publications Mail Agreement #43096012 ISSN 1923-3353 (Online) ISSN 0008-2872 (Print)

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The ceremonial ground has been broken for a Toronto waterfront office tower at 100 Queens Quay East, which has been under construction since late 2017. Designed by B+H Architects, the 25-storey tower is the first phase of a massive new mixed-use community that has been dubbed “Sugar Wharf.” The project will include a new elementary school and a two-acre park. Developed by Menkes, Greystone, and Triovest, the Sugar Wharf community will be located on an 11.5-acre property, located at the corner of Queens Quay East and Freeland Street, one block east of Yonge Street. North of the office tower, five architectsAlliancedesigned residential towers will add a massive influx of density and height to the area.

WHAT’S NEW David Fortin becomes director of Laurentian’s McEwen architecture school

Laurentian University has appointed David Fortin, AAA, MRAIC as the next Director of the McEwen School of Architecture, effective January 1, 2018. Fortin succeeds founding director Terrance Galvin, whose second and final three-year term ended on December 31, 2017. Dr. Galvin, a tenured full professor, continues to contribute at the school as a faculty member. Dr. Fortin, an assistant professor at the McEwen School of Architecture since 2013, is of Métis ancestry and is the first Indigenous director of a Canadian school of architecture. He holds a Doctorate from the University of Edinburgh and a Masters of Architecture from the University of Calgary. He previously spent five years on the faculty of the Montana State University School of Architecture and practised for several years as a professional architect.

Renzo Piano, NORR and EllisDon to design Toronto courthouse

Infrastructure Ontario (IO) has selected a team led by contractors EllisDon and architects Renzo Piano Building Workshop and NORR Architects Engineers Planners to design Toronto’s new courthouse. Located in the heart of the city northwest of Nathan Phillips Square and City Hall, the tower-form courthouse will be 22-storey, LEED Silver facility. Construction is expected to begin in spring.

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Courtesy of Metrolinx

Ground broken for Toronto’s massive “Sugar Wharf”


canadian architect 02/18



Light from Within, public art by Rodney LaTourelle and Louise Witthöft.

Metrolinx unveils public art program for Toronto’s Crosstown LRT

Ontario’s transit agency Metrolinx has unveiled its art installation plans for six stations of the Crosstown light rail transit (LRT) in Toronto. The eight installations are designed by artists Janice Kerbel, Douglas Coupland, Rodney LaTourelle with Louise Witthöft, Hadley + Maxwell with Sara Cwynar, Sarah Morris, and Joseph Kosuth with Dagmara Genda. Also known as EGLINGTONconnects, the LRT line will run across Eglinton Avenue between Kennedy Station and Mount Dennis. The $8.4-billion project will be the largest transit expansion in Toronto history, with LRT, bicycle lanes, landscaping, and future property development.

Hanganu team joins EVOQ   EVOQ Architecture has brought aboard members of the late Dan Hanganu’s architectural team into its newly expanded office, following Hanganu’s death last fall. Architects Gilles Prud’homme and Nathan Godlovitch will head the team structure. “After working in close collaboration with Dan Hanganu for over 30 years, Nathan and I believe that joining with EVOQ Architecture will ensure the continuity of our practice,” says Prud’homme, who was responsible for the Bibliothèque Marc-Favreau in Montréal.


Audain Art Museum wins 2018 AIA Award

KANVA’s IMAGO project cancelled

Patkau Architects’ Audain Art Museum has won a 2018 American Institute of Architects Award. The sole Canadian winner, the museum joins seven major projects, including Chicago Riverwalk by Ross Barney Architects; The Broad, by Diller by Scofidio + Renfro and Gensler; and the New United States Courthouse in Los Angeles by Skidmore, Owings & Merrill.

The much-anticipated installation of inflatable tunnels in Montreal to shelter St. Catherine Street during a four-year construction period has been shelved. The City of Montreal said it was cancelling KANVA Architecture’s project proposal, which won a 2016 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence, in response to practical issues of construction logistics.

MEMORANDA RAIC invites nominations for new College of Fellows Dean

ABOVE Kanva’s inflatable shelter, designed to mitigate the effects of street construction.

Members of the College of Fellows are invited to submit a nomination for the next College Dean. The nomination form and 200-word statement about the candidate must be received at the RAIC National Office by February 26. The term of current Dean J. Robert Thibodeau ends on June 1.

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Design competition launched for Toronto’s King Street CLIENT: TheSiplast City of Toronto has launched JOB#: SIPL-17-002 lic spaces along King Street in the 2018 Print Campaign

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RELEASE: 1/24/2018 INSERTION: February

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Allan Waisman, 1928-2018

Allan Waisman grew up in Winnipeg’s North End, working in his parent’s neighbourhood corner store, where he honed the business and negotiating skills that would serve him later in life, as a founding partner of the firm that would become Number TEN Architectural Group. Waisman graduated from the University of Manitoba in 1950, and by 1965 would become part of Waisman Ross Blankstein Coop Gillmore Hanna Architects. The firm later became Number TEN Architectural Group, named after their unique office building attached to the bridge at 10 Donald Street in Winnipeg, designed and developed by Waisman. At Number TEN, Waisman would be the Principal in Charge of a number of projects including the acclaimed Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre. The building’s sculptural form of exposed reinforced concrete, undressed formwork and solid massing, set within the century old warehouses of Winnipeg’s Exchange District, would make it an important example of Brutalist architecture in Canada. The building’s visionary design was honoured with a National Historic Site designation in 2009. Waisman’s methodical approach, engaging personality and personal flair would make him very successful in the business of architecture. In 1971, his entrepreneurial spirit took him to Vancouver where he would set up an office on a barge moored in Coal Harbour. The new firm, Waisman, Dewar, Grout, Carter Architects would later become the award winning firm Architectura (today part of Stantec), responsible for the design of many noteworthy buildings in British Columbia. Allan Waisman was a devoted patron of the arts, and a generous member of his community, establishing an endowment fund at the University of Manitoba in 2009, to support a graduate scholarship for Indigenous students in the Faculty of Architecture. —Brent Bellamy, Architect and Creative Director, Number TEN Architectural Group

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Royal Manitoba Theatre Centre, Winnipeg. Photo by Henry Kalen.

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Briefs En bref RAIC membership renewal is in full swing for 2018. Log in to your account at to renew quickly and easily. For help with renewal, contact La saison du renouvellement des adhésions à l’IRAC pour 2018 bat son plein. Pour renouveler votre adhésion, ouvrez une session dans votre compte à, puis cliquez sur le lien prévu à cette fin. C’est facile et rapide. Si vous avez besoin d’aide, envoyez un courriel à Not yet a member? Join the RAIC in 2018 to help strengthen the profession. As part of the national association for architects and architecture, you’ll have access to member benefits like discounts on practice support materials, continuing education opportunities and festival registration. The MRAIC designation is a nationally recognized symbol of commitment to the profession. Visit Vous n’êtes pas encore membre? Joignez-vous à l’IRAC en 2018 et contribuez à renforcer la profession. Votre adhésion à l’association nationale des architectes et de l’architecture vous donnera l’accès à une foule d’avantages, comme des rabais sur du matériel d’aide à la pratique, des activités de formation continue et les frais d’inscription au Festival. Le titre MIRAC est un symbole reconnu d’engagement envers la profession. Visitez le Save the date for the Festival of Architecture! The 2018 event, hosted by the RAIC and the Architects’ Association of New Brunswick, takes place from May 30 to June 2 in Saint John, New Brunswick. The program is full of continuing education opportunities, tours and social events. Registration opens Spring 2018. Visit for more info. Notez dès maintenant la date du prochain Festival d’architecture! Organisé par l’IRAC et l’Association des architectes du Nouveau-Brunswick, le Festival de 2018 se tiendra à Saint John (N.-B.) du 30 mai au 2 juin. Le programme offre de nombreuses séances de formation continue, en plus de visites guidées et d’activités sociales. L’inscription sera ouverte au printemps 2018. Visitez régulièrement la page

The RAIC is the leading voice for excellence in the built environment in Canada, demonstrating how design enhances the quality of life, while addressing important issues of society through responsible architecture. L’IRAC est le principal porte-parole en faveur de l’excellence du cadre bâti au Canada. Il démontre comment la conception améliore la qualité de vie tout en tenant compte d’importants enjeux sociétaux par la voie d’une architecture responsable.

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RAIC Journal Journal de l’IRAC


RAIC presents to the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. L’IRAC présente au Comité sénatorial permanent de l’énergie, de l’environnement et des ressources naturelles. John Crace, FRAIC, is a Halifax-based architect and cartoonist. John Crace, FRAIC, est un architecte et illustrateur établi à Halifax.

Maria Cook Editor, RAIC Journal Rédactrice en chef, Journal de l’IRAC

Last fall, the RAIC was invited to present to the Senate Standing Committee on Energy, the Environment and Natural Resources. At the presentation, Emmanuelle van Rutten, MRAIC, Regional Director for Ontario North East & Nunavut, raised the connection between high-performing buildings, innovation, and procurement processes. “How projects are defined, how consultants are selected, and the relationships with clients all radically shape the potential outcome,” said van Rutten. “While federal procurement varies, it often leads to a lowest-fee approach which stifles innovation,” van Rutten told the eight senators at the October 26 hearing on Parliament Hill. “Additionally, placing intermediaries, such as buildings management service providers, to manage procurement and delivery can create barriers to realizing the full benefit that architects bring to a project,” she said. “The transfer of uninsurable risks to professionals is also a serious impediment to innovation, because it creates a risk-averse and adversarial environment.” The committee is studying the effects of transitioning to a low-carbon economy to meet the federal government’s targets for greenhouse gas emission reductions. How, they asked, can the buildings sector best contribute to Canada’s emission reduction goals?

L’automne dernier, l’IRAC a été invité à comparaître devant le Comité sénatorial permanent de l’énergie, de l’environnement et des ressources naturelles. Pendant la comparution, Emmanuelle van Rutten, MRAIC, administratrice de l’IRAC pour le nord et l’est de l’Ontario et le Nunavut, a soulevé le lien entre les bâtiments à haute performance, l’innovation et les processus d’approvisionnement. « La façon de définir les projets, les modes de sélection des professionnels et les relations avec les clients façonnent radicalement le résultat éventuel », a-t-elle déclaré. « Les modalités d’approvisionnement varient au sein du gouvernement fédéral, mais elles sont souvent axées sur les plus bas honoraires, une approche qui étouffe l’innovation », a-t-elle dit aux huit sénateurs présents lors des audiences du 26 octobre sur la Colline du Parlement. « De plus, l’ajout d’intermédiaires, tels les fournisseurs de services de gestion des bâtiments, pour gérer l’approvisionnement et la prestation des services peut empêcher de tirer pleinement parti des avantages que les architectes apportent à un projet », a-telle ajouté. « Par ailleurs, le transfert de risques non assurables aux professionnels est également un frein majeur à l’innovation, car il crée une aversion pour le risque et un contexte conflictuel. » Le Comité se penche actuellement sur les effets du passage à une économie sobre

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RAIC Journal

Journal de l’IRAC

continued from pg 11 While the built environment offers a significant opportunity for moving to a low-carbon economy, it’s not solely a technical fix, said van Rutten. The RAIC’s recommendations included a pilot program for Qualifications-Based Selection (QBS), collaborative project delivery methods, and high sustainable standards through a revised National Energy Code. (See the report, prepared with the RAIC’s Committee on Regenerative Environments, and responses to senators’ questions at The RAIC Journal continues the theme with an article on so-called “murder clauses.” In 2018, the RAIC will continue advocating for fair contracts, fees and procurement processes. Support these efforts by renewing your membership or becoming a member.

suite de la page 11 en carbone pour atteindre les cibles du gouvernement fédéral en matière de réduction des émissions de gaz à effet de serre. Comment, nous ont demandé les membres du comité, le secteur du bâtiment peut-il le mieux contribuer aux objectifs de réduction des émissions du Canada? Le secteur des bâtiments offre une occasion importante d’évoluer vers une économie sobre en carbone. Toutefois, la solution n’est pas seulement de nature technique, a souligné Mme van Rutten. L’IRAC a notamment recommandé d’aller de l’avant avec un programme pilote sur le processus de sélection basé sur les compétences (SBC); d’adopter des modes de réalisation de projets collaboratifs; et d’établir des normes de durabilité élevées par une révision du Code national de l’énergie. (Voir le rapport préparé avec le comité sur les environnements régénératifs de l’IRAC, ainsi que les réponses fournies aux questions des sénateurs à Le présent numéro du Journal de l’IRAC poursuit sur le même thème avec un article sur les « clauses abusives ». En 2018, l’IRAC entend continuer de plaider en faveur de contrats, d’honoraires et de processus d’approvisionnement équitables. Appuyez ces efforts en renouvelant votre adhésion ou en devenant membre de l’organisme.

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The haunting spectre of “murder clauses” Clauses abusives By/par Luis Millán

The list of private and public sector organizations that are trying to rewrite rules and pass on risks to architects seems to be growing by the day. This year alone, the City of Burlington in Ontario tried to do it, with its Request for Proposal (RFP) for the design of a new pavilion building. So too did the City of Kingston when it issued an RFP for a community centre. Educational institutions—such as Ryerson University in Toronto and the Colliers Project Leaders in Fort Frances—had a go at it, as did the Liquor Control Board of Ontario. And that’s apart from one of the largest promoters of these changes: Infrastructure Ontario, a Crown Agency that has been the subject of spirited discussion among the architectural community. All told, the Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) issued half a dozen warnings over the past year to its 4,000 members about RFPs that were plagued with inappropriate, unfair and unreasonable conditions and expectations that subjected architects to unacceptable and uninsurable contract conditions. These client-crafted clauses, dubbed “murder clauses,” may give rise to situations where the architect faces additional obligations and liabilities that will exceed their insurance coverage and claim limits. While these examples are from Ontario, the same trends affect architects across Canada. The Ontario experience offers a useful window on the problem nationally for three reasons: it has the most architects in the country, the OAA has stepped up efforts to address the issues in the past year, and Ontario architects collectively own a mandatory professional-liability insurer that has supported the efforts to assist architects to understand and deal with the difficulties that arise. Bernie McGarva, a commercial and construction litigator at the Toronto firm Aird & Berlis, confronted the issue before a packed audience of architects attending a workshop about these controversial clauses last November in Ottawa. “There seems to be a desire to rewrite the rules of risk, and for parties who have for years assumed obligations, to pass on those

obligations to others,” declared McGarva, who regularly defends architects. The concerted effort to rewrite contract provisions for architectural services has sparked consternation for exposing architects to obligations and liabilities that exceed what is already those of the architect “at law.” As the OAA stated in a 2016 regulatory notice: “This is clearly not in the interest of the public or the architect.” “Your coverage will not expand because you decided or agreed to accept additional liability,” warned John Hackett, FRAIC, at the same workshop. “If you decide to accept obligations outside of the umbrella coverage, you will get wet when it rains,” added Hackett, vice-president of practice risk management at Pro-Demnity Insurance Company, a wholly owned OAA subsidiary. Murder clauses come in many guises, particularly in RFPs. “Understanding the traps is the first step in protecting yourself,” observed Hackett. Some inflate the standard of care to perfection, though it’s couched in legalese using terms such as “non-execution or imperfect execution” of the work. Professionals are expected to be reasonably competent and provide services that are professionally consistent with what one would expect of a professional in his field. But perfection, particularly in project situations where uncertainty and risk are inherent, is not an obligation an architect has to meet, noted McGarva. The murder clauses often call for architects to “ensure” or “warrant” performance—that is, provide express warranties and guarantees—including for the work of others, especially construction contractors. Others insert resolution or settlement provisions that override an architect’s insurance coverage—or, worse, withhold or offset fees against alleged losses at the sole discretion of the client. “That’s a big problem,” said McGarva. “It is in effect a chokehold by the client, who has become the judge, jury and executioner by withholding your fees until it can be dealt with at some other point and requiring you to keep working all the while.”

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RAIC Journal

But murder clauses are particularly prevalent in client-authored contracts dealing with indemnity. In one of several variants of Infrastructure Ontario’s indemnity provisions, the agency calls for the architect to indemnify a broad range of people including agents, appointees, directors, officers, and employees from and against claims, demands, losses, and expenses. There is much that should be renegotiated with this provision, said McGarva. To begin with, the term agent is a broad term that could be interpreted to include consultants who were not retained by the architect. Only clients should be indemnified, and in this case, Infrastructure Ontario, added McGarva. “I’m not sure what losses means but that is kind of a scary proposition,” he said. Just as frightening is indemnifying the client for expenses, particularly since much of it will hinge on how the courts will interpret the word expenses. Even more alarming is the notion that Infrastructure Ontario inserted a clause that expects architects to indemnify for legal costs on a “substantial indemnity basis,” as McGarva put it. “I am sure if you were reading this contract in your office, and you were trying to figure out what it all meant that it may not ring any bells for you, but it means something very important,” explained McGarva. In Ontario as in most of Canada, the winner of a lawsuit gets to recover between 50 to 60 percent of their legal costs. That seemingly innocuous clause, however, turns the equation on its head: an architect who loses a suit against a client could end up paying up to 90 percent of legal costs, a figure that could easily mount up well into the six figures and sometimes beyond. Another trap is the catchall phrase “any and all,” as in the consultant shall be responsible for any and all damages. That language should be stricken from the contract as every professional liability insurance policy will have exclusions, said Hackett. Architects should be just as wary of clauses that call for arbitration as the means to settle disputes. Arbitration under certain circumstances can be much more efficient than litigation, because it provides the parties with an opportunity to define how they want the process to work. However, it is unwise to agree to arbitrate up front. That’s because there is a risk the architect may face pushback from the insurer who may feel that it hampers their ability to manage the defense that it is required to provide to the architect. continued on pg 17

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nous offre cependant une fenêtre utile sur ce problème d’envergure nationale pour les trois raisons suivantes : c’est la province qui compte le plus grand nombre d’architectes au pays; l’OAA a intensifié ses efforts pour résoudre ce problème dans la dernière année; et les architectes de l’Ontario ont un assureur de la responsabilité professionnelle qui a voulu les aider à comprendre les enjeux et à faire face à la situation.

La liste d’organismes privés et publics qui tentent de réécrire les règles et de transférer des risques aux architectes semble s’allonger de jour en jour. Au cours de la dernière année, c’est ce qu’ont tenté de faire la ville de Burlington, en Ontario, dans une Demande de propositions (DP) pour la conception d’un nouveau pavillon, et la ville de Kingston dans sa DP pour un centre communautaire. Des établissements d’enseignement, comme l’Université Ryerson à Toronto, et Colliers Maîtres de projets à Fort Frances, ont eu l’autorisation d’aller de l’avant avec cette façon de faire, tout comme la Régie des alcools de l’Ontario. Et c’est sans compter l’un des plus grands promoteurs de ces changements, Infrastructure Ontario, un organisme de la Couronne, qui a fait l’objet de vives discussions dans la communauté architecturale. En tout, l’Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) a publié une demi-douzaine d’avertissements à ses quelque 4 000 membres au cours de la dernière année, pour les aviser que des DP posaient problème, car elles comprenaient des clauses et des attentes inéquitables et déraisonnables et qu’elles soumettaient inutilement les architectes à des modalités contractuelles inacceptables et non assurables. Ces clauses rédigées par les clients, appelées clauses abusives, peuvent placer les architectes dans des situations qui entraînent des obligations et des responsabilités additionnelles allant au-delà de leur couverture d’assurance et des limites des réclamations. Les exemples ci-dessus proviennent de l’Ontario, mais on observe les mêmes tendances à la grandeur du Canada. L’expérience de l’Ontario

« Il semble y avoir une volonté de réécrire les règles du risque », a fait remarquer Bernie McGarva devant une salle remplie d’architectes qui assistaient à un atelier sur ces clauses controversées en novembre dernier, à Ottawa. « Pour les parties qui ont assumé certaines obligations pendant des années, c’est aussi un désir de les transférer aux autres », a poursuivi cet avocat du cabinet Aird & Berlis de Toronto, qui défend régulièrement des architectes.

Journal de l’IRAC


Bernie McGarva, litigator, Aird & Berlis Bernie McGarva, avocat, Aird & Berlis

L’effort concerté de réécrire certaines clauses des contrats de services d’architecture, exposant ainsi les architectes à des obligations et à des responsabilités qui excèdent celles qui leur incombent déjà « en vertu de la loi », a suscité une vive consternation. « Ce n’est manifestement pas dans l’intérêt du public ni dans celui de l’architecte », a déclaré l’OAA dans un avis d’application de la réglementation en 2016. « Votre couverture d’assurance ne sera pas augmentée du fait que vous décidez ou que vous convenez d’accepter une responsabilité additionnelle », a prévenu John Hackett, lors du même atelier. « Si vous décidez d’accepter des obligations qui ne font pas partie de la couverture parapluie, vous ne serez pas protégés quand il pleuvra », a-t-il ajouté. M. Hackett est vice-président à la gestion des risques de la pratique chez Pro-Demnity Insurance Company, une filiale en propriété exclusive de l’OAA. Les clauses abusives prennent diverses formes, particulièrement dans les DP. « La première étape pour vous protéger, c’est de comprendre les pièges », a souligné M. Hackett. Certaines DP étendent la portée de la norme de diligence pour la rapprocher de la perfection dans un jargon juridique qui utilise des expressions telles que la « non-exécution ou l’exécution imparfaite » du travail. Or, on doit s’attendre à ce que les professionnels soient raisonnablement compétents et qu’ils offrent des services suite à la page 18

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Sites of Interest Sites d’intérêt Saint John, New Brunswick, is the oldest city in Canada and a popular tourist destination known for its natural beauty, fascinating past and distinctive architecture. Combine work with leisure by attending the 2018 Festival of Architecture May 30 to June 2 in this charming port city. Co-hosted by the RAIC and the Architects’ Association of New Brunswick, the festival offers pertinent continuing education sessions, engaging tours, celebratory events with Atlantic hospitality, and internationally-renowned speakers such as Diébédo Francis Kéré and Odile Decq. This map and guide provide a taste of what’s in store, from historic sites and natural wonders to contemporary architecture. Plus vieille ville du Canada, Saint John, au Nouveau-Brunswick, est une destination prisée des touristes et réputée pour sa beauté naturelle, son passé fascinant et la richesse de son architecture. Combinez le travail et les loisirs en assistant au Festival d’architecture 2018, qui se déroulera du 30 mai au 2 juin dans cette charmante ville portuaire. Organisé conjointement par l’IRAC et l’Association des architectes du Nouveau-Brunswick, le programme prévoit des séances de formation continue pertinentes, des visites guidées intéressantes, des festivités animées par l’hospitalité des gens de l’Atlantique et des allocutions prononcées par des conférenciers de renom parmi lesquels Diébédo Francis Kéré et Odile Decq. Cette carte et ce guide donnent un avant-goût de ce qui vous attend, tant sur le plan des merveilles naturelles que de l’architecture contemporaine.

Contemporary Contemporains 1 Saint John Law Courts Palais de justice de Saint John 10 Peel Plaza, Saint John Murdock & Boyd Architects Inc. 2 CBC Radio-Canada Main Lobby Hall principal, CBC Radio-Canada 165 Main St, Moncton Design Plus Architecture Inc. 3 C.E. Nick Nicolle Community Centre Centre communautaire C. E. Nick Nicolle 85 Durham St, Saint John EXP Architects Inc. 4 Beaverbrook Art Gallery Expansion Agrandissement de la Galerie d’art Beaverbrook 703 Queen St, Fredericton MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Limited 5 Currie Centre at UNB Fredericton Centre Currie à l’UNB Fredericton 15 Peter Kelly Dr, Fredericton B+H Architects with Sasaki Associates 6 Resurgo Place Place Resurgo 20 Mountain Rd, Moncton Architecture 2000 Inc. / Stantec Architecture Ltd.

11 Christ Church Cathedral Cathédrale Christ Church 803 Brunswick St, Fredericton 12 St. Stephen Town Hall Hôtel de ville de St. Stephen 34 Milltown Blvd, Saint Stephen 13 *The Structures on Partridge Island *Les vestiges des anciens édifices et des structures de l’île Partridge Saint John 14 The Algonquin Hotel L’Hôtel Algonquin 184 Adolphus St, St. Andrews 15 Douglas Avenue Heritage Conservation Area Aire de conservation du quartier patrimonial de l’avenue Douglas 212-298 and 141-201 Douglas Avenue, Saint John 16 Hartland Covered Bridge Pont couvert de Hartland Route 130, Hartland 17 Le pays de la Sagouine 57 rue Acadie, Bouctouche 18 Village acadien 5 rue du Pont, Bertrand 19 Sussex Train Station Gare ferroviaire de Sussex 66 Broad St, Sussex





7 City Market Marché municipal 47 Charlotte St, Saint John

20 Hopewell Rocks Rochers Hopewell 131 Discovery Road, Hopewell Cape

8 Imperial Theatre Théâtre Impérial 12 King Square S, Saint John

21 Rockwood Park Parc Rockwood 10 Fisher Lakes Dr, Saint John Architect: Calvert Vaux

9 Martello Tower Tour Martello 454 Whipple St, Saint John 10 McAdam Railway Station Gare ferroviaire McAdam 96 Saunders Rd, McAdam

* No public access to this site. Kayak tours are available through River Bay Adventures in Saint John. * Il n’y a aucun accès public à ce site, mais on peut observer les vestiges dans le cadre d’une excursion en kayak offerte par River Bay Adventures de Saint John.

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Shawnna Dickie-Garnhum

James Brittain Photography

Up Close Détails des sites

Architects’ Association of New Brunswick






C.E. Nick Nicolle Community Centre

Beaverbrook Art Gallery Expansion

Saint John City Market

EXP Architects

MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects

McKean and Fairweather

Completion: 2013

Completion: 2017

Completion: 1876

As part of a revitalization of an inner-city neighborhood, EXP partnered with the city to inject new life into a two-storey community centre. The project’s design principles—accessibility, flexibility, healthy environment, safety, and identity—emerged in consultation with citizens during three design charrettes.

The single biggest expansion since the founding of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery in 1959 adds 1,300 square metres of interior space over three levels. Clad in locally sourced Dorchester stone, the new pavilion houses galleries, an artist-in-residence studio, learning centre and café.

A National Historic Site, the City Market is the oldest continually operating farmer’s market in Canada. The design of the Italianate/Second Empire building was selected in a competition among local architects. The four-storey building houses shops and a long open market hall for vendors.

Centre communautaire C. E. Nick Nicolle

Agrandissement de la Galerie d’art Beaverbrook

Marché municipal de Saint John

EXP Architects

MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects

McKean et Fairweather

Année de construction : 2013

Achèvement : 2017   Le plus grand projet d’agrandissement de la Galerie d’art Beaverbrook depuis sa fondation en 1959 consiste en un ajout de 1300 mètres carrés d’espace intérieurs sur trois étages. Revêtu de pierre de Dorchester, dans la région, le nouveau pavillon abrite des galeries, un studio d’artiste-en-résidence, un centre de formation et un café.

Achèvement : 1876   Le marché municipal, un lieu historique national, est le plus vieux marché fermier en opération continue depuis sa création au Canada. Le design du bâtiment de style Second Empire d’inspiration italienne a fait l’objet d’un concours parmi les architectes de la région. Le bâtiment de quatre étages abrite des boutiques et une longue halle dégagée pour les vendeurs.

Dans le cadre de la revitalisation d’un quartier du centre-ville, la firme EXP s’est associée avec la ville pour insuffler une nouvelle vie à un centre communautaire de deux étages. Trois charrettes de conception menées en consultation avec les citoyens ont permis d’établir les principes du design du projet, à savoir l’accessibilité, la flexibilité, l’environnement sain, la sécurité et l’identité.

City of Saint John

Jason Bennett

RAIC Journal


continued from pg 13 There are some things that architects can do to try to mitigate murder clauses. For one, they can just say no. That doesn’t mean it will work, but it’s worth the try. “You have to decide what your level of bargaining power and leverage is, and whether or not to use it,” suggested McGarva. Crossing out clauses that appear to be unreasonable is another option. McGarva proposes telling the client that you will carefully look through the proposed contract, and where it’s recommended by the insurer, strike out certain contractual provisions.   But by far the easiest way of fighting back is to insert a clause that both Hackett and McGarva recommend putting in all contracts. It reads as follows: “Notwithstanding the foregoing, the obligations and liabilities of the Architect are limited to the professional liability insurance provided by [ name of insurer ] and any specific or excess professional liability insurance coverage in force.”




10 McAdam Railway Station

Rockwood Park

Edward Maxwell and W. S. Painter

Calvert Vaux

Completed: 1901. Expanded: 1911

Mid-1800s Created by one of the designers of New York’s Central Park, Rockwood Park encompasses 890 hectares of forest, lakes and trails, as well as a golf course and the city’s zoo. Unique rock formations, caves, and waterfalls reveal the geological narrative of a billion years of history.

This three-storey Château-style granite building is a former Canadian Pacific Railway station and hotel, and has been designated a National Historic Site. Visitors can view a formal dining room, telegraph office, mail and baggage room, lunch counter, 17 hotel rooms, two waiting rooms and jail. Gare ferroviaire McAdam

Parc Rockwood

Edward Maxwell et W. S. Painter

Calvert Vaux

Achèvement : 1901. Agrandissement : 1911   Ce bâtiment de granit de trois étages de style château abrite une ancienne gare ferroviaire du Canadien Pacifique et un hôtel, ainsi qu’un lieu historique national. Les visiteurs y trouveront une salle à manger officielle, un bureau de télégraphe, une salle des bagages et du courrier, un comptoir de restauration rapide, 17 chambres d’hôtel, deux salles d’attente et une prison.

Milieu du 19e siècle Conçu par l’un des designers du Central Park de New York, le parc Rockwood s’étend sur 890 hectares de forêts, de lacs et de sentiers en plus d’héberger un terrain de golf et le zoo municipal. On y trouve des formations rocheuses uniques, des cavernes et des chutes qui révèlent un milliard d’années d’histoire.

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“The beauty of it is that it repairs a host of damages that may have been done by the earlier, conflicting murder clauses— and that puts you on some safe ground,” said Hackett. “This works because it gives you the benefit of knowing that you have limited your liability. You will not be personally exposed. Your corporate assets are not exposed. We think this is the best solution for dealing with difficult contractual situations because if your client will agree to this, you’re in good shape.” The danger for architects who choose to adopt a laissez-faire attitude and accept unfair and unreasonable conditions and expectations is that the courts may eventually deem them to be the new norm. Although we’re not there yet, said McGarva, “it’s been a slippery slope.” Another challenge facing architects who agree to murder clauses is regulatory considerations. For example, in a September 2016 Regulatory Notice, the OAA stated the following: “Knowingly responding to an RFP, or entering into a contract without the insurance protection or personal financial capability to meet the contractual obligations, could not only result in serious legal consequences but also a finding of professional misconduct against the architect or architectural process.”

Luis Millán is a law and business journalist based in Quebec.

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suite de la page 13 professionnellement conformes à ceux que l’on attendrait d’un professionnel dans son domaine. La perfection toutefois, surtout dans des situations où l’incertitude et le risque sont inhérents, n’est pas une obligation d’un architecte, comme l’a précisé M. McGarva. Les auteurs d’autres clauses abusives demandent aux architectes « d’assurer » ou de « garantir » la performance; autrement dit, leur demandent de fournir des garanties expresses, y compris sur le travail d’autres parties au projet, particulièrement les entrepreneurs en construction. D’autres encore insèrent des dispositions de règlement des différends qui outrepassent la couverture d’assurance d’un architecte ou pire encore, des clauses qui retiennent le paiement des honoraires ou qui en rédui­ sent le montant pour compenser des pertes alléguées, à la seule discrétion du client. « C’est un gros problème », a dit M. McGarva. « C’est comme si le client étrangle l’architecte, car il se fait le juge, le jury et l’exécuteur en retenant ses honoraires jusqu’à ce que la question soit résolue de quelque façon, tout en exigeant que l’architecte continue la prestation de ses services. » Les clauses abusives qui portent sur l’indemnisation sont particulièrement fréquentes dans les contrats rédigés par des clients. Dans l’une des diverses variantes de ses clauses d’indemnisation, Infrastructure Ontario demande à l’architecte d’indemniser une vaste gamme de personnes, y compris des agents, des personnes désignées, des administrateurs, des dirigeants et des employés à l’égard de réclamations, de demandes, de pertes et de dépenses. Bien des aspects de ces clauses doivent être renégociés selon M. McGarva. Tout d’abord, le terme « agent » est un terme générique susceptible d’être interprété pour inclure des consultants dont les services ne sont pas retenus par l’architecte. Or, seuls les clients devraient être indemnisés et donc, dans ce cas-ci, Infrastructure Ontario. « Je ne suis pas certain du sens du mot pertes, mais son utilisation est plutôt inquiétante », a dit M. McGarva. C’est tout aussi inquiétant que l’indemnisation du client à l’égard de dépenses, surtout du fait que cela reposera en grande partie sur la façon du tribunal d’interpréter le mot « dépenses ». Une autre notion ajoutée par Infrastructure Ontario est encore plus alarmante. L’organisme a en effet ajouté une clause qui prévoit que l’architecte remboursera les frais juridiques sur une « base d’in-

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clauses qui semblent déraisonnables est une autre option. Il propose aux architectes d’informer leurs clients qu’ils examineront attentivement le contrat proposé et rayeront certaines clauses contractuelles si telle est la recommandation de leur assureur.

demnité substantielle ». « Je suis certain que si vous lisez ce contrat dans votre bureau et que vous essayez de comprendre le sens de cette expression, vous n’y verrez peut-être rien d’alarmant, mais en fait, elle est lourde de sens », a expliqué M. McGarva. En Ontario, et dans la plupart des provinces et territoires du Canada, le gagnant d’une poursuite récupère entre 50 et 60 pour cent de ses frais juridiques. Cette clause qui semble anodine vient toutefois changer la donne. Ainsi, un architecte qui perd une cause contre un client peut être tenu de rembourser jusqu’à 90 pour cent de ses frais juridiques, un montant qui peut monter dans les six chiffres et parfois plus. L’utilisation des mots fourre-tout « tout et tous » (« any and all » en anglais) est un autre piège, par exemple si l’on dit que le professionnel sera responsable de tout dommage ou de tous les dommages. Ce libellé devrait être retiré du contrat, car toutes les polices d’assurance-responsabilité professionnelle comportent des exclusions, a souligné M. Hackett. Les architectes doivent aussi être prudents avec les clauses qui prévoient l’arbitrage pour résoudre les différends. L’arbitrage, dans certaines circonstances, peut être beaucoup plus efficace que le litige, parce qu’il offre aux parties la possibilité de définir comment ils veulent que se déroule le processus. Toutefois, il est « peu judicieux » pour architecte d’accepter l’arbitrage dès le départ, parce qu’il s’expose alors à l’opposition de son assureur qui peut considérer cela comme une entrave à sa capacité de gérer la défense qu’il doit lui offrir. Les architectes peuvent prendre certaines mesures pour tenter d’atténuer les clauses abusives. D’abord, ils peuvent simplement dire non. Ça ne veut pas dire que ça passera, mais il vaut la peine d’essayer. « Vous devez déterminer le niveau de votre pouvoir de négociation et décider de vous en servir ou pas », a suggéré M. McGarva. Raturer les

Toutefois, la meilleure façon de lutter contre les clauses abusives, et de loin, c’est d’ajouter dans tous les contrats une clause que recommandent M. Hackett et M. McGarva et qui se lit comme suit : « Nonobstant ce qui précède, les obligations et les responsabilités de l’architecte se limitent à celles qui sont prévues dans la police d’assurance-responsabilité professionnelle fournie par (nom de l’assureur) et de toute police d’assurance-responsabilité professionnelle spécifique ou excédentaire en vigueur. »

John Hackett, FRAIC John Hackett, FRAIC

« La beauté de cette clause, c’est qu’elle répare une foule de dommages qui peuvent avoir été faits par les clauses abusives antérieures et conflictuelles, en plus d’offrir une certaine sécurité », a conclu M. Hackett. « Elle fonctionne, parce qu’elle vous donne l’avantage de savoir que vous avez limité votre responsabilité. Vous ne serez pas exposés personnellement. Vos actifs d’entreprise ne seront pas exposés. Nous croyons que c’est la meilleure solution pour traiter les situations contractuelles difficiles, parce que si votre client accepte une telle clause, vous êtes bien protégés. » Le danger pour les architectes qui adoptent une attitude de laissez-faire et acceptent des conditions et attentes inéquitables et déraisonnables, c’est que les tribunaux en viennent à considérer que c’est la nouvelle norme. Bernie McGarva ne croit pas que « nous en sommes là pour l’instant, mais c’est une pente glissante ». Par ailleurs, les architectes qui acceptent des clauses abusives s’exposent à un autre problème, d’ordre réglementaire, celui-là. Ainsi, l’Ontario Association of Architects, dans un avis d’application de la réglementation de septembre 2016, a déclaré que : « Le fait de répondre sciemment à une DP ou de conclure un contrat sans avoir la protection d’assurance ou la capacité financière personnelle d’assumer les obligations contractuelles peut, en plus des conséquences juridiques importantes, mener l’OAA à conclure qu’il y a eu faute professionnelle de la part de l’architecte ou du processus architectural. »

(Luis Millán est un journaliste du Québec dans les domaines du droit et des affaires.)

2018-02-07 12:01 PM



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THE NEXT GREEN: REPORT FROM DENMARK prix de rome research and discoveries from Dubbeldam architecture + Design TEXT

Heather Dubbeldam and Joseph Villahermosa Heather Dubbeldam, Andrew Snow


Copenhagen, June 2017. As we descend into the bowels of the United Nations City building to view its sea water cooling system, we are impressed by the immense network of pipes (some as large as two feet in diameter) that form a complex labyrinth beneath the building. “We find ways to use what is available, use existing resources like sea water to create new efficiencies in our buildings,” says Jack Renteria of 3XN Architects, the firm that designed the building. As our tour guide, Jack offers us a rare glimpse not often granted to the public of the innovative cooling system. It’s interesting to hear his comments: Jack is Canadian, and having lived in Denmark for several years, he’s adopted the signature Scandinavian mindset of resourcefulness. United Nations City is the first of many highly sustainable buildings that our office team visits on our trip to Copenhagen, the first leg of our Professional Prix de Rome research project, “The Next Green: Innovation in Sustainability Through Design.” As well as Denmark, the project will also take us to Sweden, Norway and Germany for first-hand study of sustainable precedents for northern climates. We are exploring how architects in these countries are setting new standards for buildings that surpass current protocols for sustainability, without compromising design excellence. We hope to share how these building-integrated sustainable solutions generate a unique spatial and artistic architectural language, one in which energy efficiency and design merge seamlessly. Our next stop in the UN building is the roof and its views of the surrounding harbour, where an expansive array of photovoltaic panels— more than 1,400 of them—generate almost 300,000 kilowatt hours per year, enough to supply most of the annual demand for the building.

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ABOVE left Heather Dubbeldam, Joseph Villahermosa (centre) and Vandkunsten partner Thomas Nybo Rasmussen, at the office of Vandkunsten Architects in Copenhagen. ABOVE right UN City by 3XN unites eight agencies under one roof in one of Denmark’s most energy-efficient buildings. centre One of many sustainable measures: a seawater cooling system. right The sculptural atrium staircase connects floors on all levels, fostering inter-agency communication.

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Although this is a sustainable system that is “applied” to the building, there are many others that are created through an architectural response, including a central atrium with a sculptural staircase connected to bridges across multiple floors (allowing for chance interactions), which is illuminated by immense operable skylights for natural ventilation at the heart of the building. Meanwhile, on the façade, a specially developed shading system reacts automatically to sunlight, providing optimal lighting conditions for those working within. As a visit to 3XN’s office reveals, and as would prove true throughout our travels, Denmark and other Nordic countries are at the forefront of sustainable design in research, urban planning and architecture. Historically, these countries have been early adopters of many sustainable initiatives and standards, and their governments have made a substantial investment in dedicated research, motivated by high energy costs in northern climates. Numerous architecture practices in these regions operate government-funded research divisions within their practices, supported by Realdania and other organizations that investigate sustainable materials and technologies, integrating them into their projects and paving the way for the next generation of sustainable architecture. 3XN’s research branch is called GXN; the “G” stands for “green.” The GXN team develops a variety of innovative systems and materials, while Henning Larsen (another prominent Danish firm) has a research division with a slew of PhD students for this specific purpose. “The whole research program came about as a reaction to our engineers saying ‘No’ to everything,” says Louis Becker, who is a partner and design principal at Henning Larsen. “That’s when we started building our own team of experts in energy performance, to challenge these assumptions and use this knowledge in our projects.” We visited Henning Larsen’s offices as well, to learn about Copenhagen’s “Climate Quarter” and how they are refurbishing old buildings from the outside to make them more energy efficient—all while tenants continue to occupy their homes. This is just one effort among many to address the challenges of a changing climate. Danish architects are preoccupied with resiliency, in terms of how our built environment can evolve and react. Denmark has been experiencing “cloudbursts”—extreme rain incidents—which we have also encountered in Toronto and other Canadian

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cities in recent years. Flemming Rafn Thomsen, principal at Tredje Natur, a multi-disciplinary landscape architecture firm, showed us various proposals for new “climate” neighbourhoods, sidewalks, and public spaces that are being replanned to mitigate flooding, with green and natural means of water diversion. This is achieved though swales and ponds that double as parks and play areas. “Nature seems untouched, in balance,” Flemming explains, “but in reality its an aggressively restorative practice, making something out of nothing.” As a result, many asphalt roads and sidewalks are being replaced with permeable pavers, softscaping and permeable walking paths. New developments incorporate a focus on water as a positive force that is being harnessed rather than one that creates damage. Another day trip finds us gliding along the highway in a Tesla driven by Michael Christensen of Christensen & Co Architects, up to the Lyngby campus of the Technical University of Denmark (DTU). Among the buildings that we visit is DTU Compute, which houses the Department of Applied Mathematics and Computer Science. It is an incredible light-filled space, an unexpected experience given the rather sombre appearance of other buildings on campus. Live trees planted in-ground grow and thrive throughout the various student study areas, blurring the division between inside and outside and contributing to the quality of indoor air. The indoor trees are monitored remotely by experts in The Netherlands. Although there was some initial concern when their leaves started dropping shortly after planting, the experts remotely adjusted the fertilizer formula, ensuring that the trees would continue to thrive. However, environmental considerations in Denmark seem to take a backseat. “Now a major consideration is how we can make buildings that influence society in a positive way,” Michael tells us. “It’s the most important thing because urban societies are becoming more dense and cultures are mixing. It’s much more important than cutting a kilowatt hour or two on energy consumption. How do we make people shake hands, meet, fall in love? You have to provide opportunities for people to have a conversation that leads to the Nobel Prize in ten years. A building, in a very pragmatic way, is shaping the way people work, the way they learn, the way they live.”

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oppositE Left to right: The light-filled interior of DTU Compute, complete with indoor trees; AART’s office set in a refurbished industrial attic; 3XN’s office in a former “gunboat shed” facing an inlet. left Material research by GXN, part of the firm’s systemic examination of biological matter used to research future building construction. below Bicycles parked outside Nørreport station, the busiest rail station in Denmark.

While our research focus is environmental sutainability, we are surprised to discover that in Denmark social and cultural sustainability are prioritized. Environmental sustainability in architecture is a given: building codes are so stringent and sustainability has been such an integral part of Danish architects’ approach for so long that they don’t focus on it or talk about it. From the work of pioneering architects like Jan Gehl, architecture is centred on people: how they inhabit and move through buildings, public spaces and cities. Rather than seeing architecture as material production, Danish architects focus on quality of life and how it can be positively affected by the built environment. We see an emphasis on multi-unit residential developments that are culturally and socially sustainable: designed to accommodate different demographic groups, including families, over the longer term by providing access to private outdoor living spaces. There is also a focus on making architecture accessible and understandable, physically and socially, by anyone, so that children, single people, families, retired people or people who are less able can be involved in architecture in a more profound way. These notions were exemplified in the work of AART Architects, where Rasmus Højkjær Larsen, associate partner and the head of AART ’s Copenhagen office, showed us how they respond to these emerging concerns. Their Musholm project is currently one of the world’s most accessible buildings: it’s a resort for people with severe physical disabilities to enjoy with their families. Between visits to architects’ studios in amazing old buildings, we also trek to the more officious headquarters of research institutions and government organizations that support and promote sustainable architecture, such as Realdania, the State of Green and the Danish Architecture Centre. We observe that Denmark’s goal to be completely fossil-fuel free by 2050 has profoundly impacted the building industry and the people. We sense a feeling of optimism and responsibility, as well as a shared ambition to consume less energy and drive innovation in the construction/energy sector. Building codes for energy consumption are extremely stringent but Danish architects meet and surpass those standards as a matter of course. Some of the mid-size commercial and institutional projects that we tour consume less electricity than the average North American single-family home, using a combination of passive and

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active systems and approaches, which leaves us feeling that we could achieve this in a more widespread way in Canada. Throughout our exploration of Copenhagen, one thing remained constant: the veritable sea of bicycles. Forty percent of the population cycles to work year-round, and with the tide of bicycle commuters peaking during rush hours, the presence of the bicycle was perhaps the strongest reminder that this was very different from not only our home town of Toronto, but of Canada itself. Culturally we are different from Scandinavians, but does this mean that in Canada we are not able to reconsider our methods of building, of designing in a manner that encompasses sustainability in all senses of the word? We see more examples of environmentally and socially sustainable buildings being built, but they are still few and far between. We need a major culture shift, toward urban centres and developments that position people’s health and long-term well being at the forefront. And now that we are back at our Toronto studio, we hope that sharing these precedents and approaches from abroad will help to spark further discussion and stimulate change. We look forward to sharing more insights as our research continues. Heather Dubbeldam, FMRAIC is the founder and principal of Dubbeldam Architecture + Design in Toronto. Joseph Villahermosa is the firm’s marketing and research director.

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Standing Tall

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completed on time and on budget, the world’s tallest mass-timber building is ready for its close-up PROJECT Brock Commons Tallwood House, University of British Columbia, Vancouver ARCHITECTS Acton Ostry Architects TEXT Courtney Healey PHOTOS Michael Elkan

Because it’s 2018, tall wood and mass timber are here to stay. In the race to be the tallest wood tower in the world, he current title-holder, as of this writing, is Brock Commons Tallwood House, an 18-storey student residence at the University of British Columbia, designed by Acton Ostry Architects (AOA) in Vancouver. As Bruce Haden reported in this magazine during the building’s construction last year (See “Reaching New Heights,” Canadian Architect, February 2017), we know that mass timber is light, fast and clean; it’s good for the environment and for the Canadian forestry sector. For anyone still wondering why we don’t see more tall wood buildings, it remains largely a regulatory issue, as building codes scramble to catch up with the advances in material and construction methodology. AOA principal Russell Acton, approached this project as “a highly practical challenge with no ego,” and set out to deliver a mass-wood building that could be easily replicated by commercial developers. This workaday approach dovetailed nicely with the client’s goal to open a new student residence on time and on budget. The university’s Student Housing and Hospitality Services department (SHHS) is in the midst of a fiveyear building plan to deliver 4,000 new beds for on-campus housing. From the beginning of the project, AOA and SHHS set out to do a job with everyone working from the same page: Keep it simple. Get it Built. What got built is a mass-timber hybrid structure. The ground floor, stair and elevator cores are concrete. The superstructure is comprised of a two-way cross-laminated timber (CLT) floor slab supported on gluelaminated columns with steel connections. The enclosure is made of prefabricated, steel-stud panels with pre-installed windows and high-pressure laminate cladding. The timber structure is covered with multiple layers of drywall to satisfy fire-protection regulations and concrete topping for acoustical requirements. The 18-storey Brock Commons student residence is considered to be the world’s tallest wood-frame building, for now.


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A CLT canopy marks the student residence entrance. above The ground floor lobby, with back door at the left and amenity space to the right. The wall panelling is white birch, with Albus wall and ceiling slats and taupe porcelain floor tiles by Aria. opposite The generously glazed ground floor student residence amenity room, with carpet tile by Interface. below Floor plan of the ground level. Left

Ground Floor

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Architecturally, this is a slim machine of a building, the rectilinear extrusion of a narrow site located between a parking structure and Walter Gage Road in the northeast corner of campus. There are two main entrances tucked under a long exposed CLT canopy on the north side of the building. One door opens for the 300 first-year commuter students assigned to the Tallwood Collegium—one of a number of staffed flexible amenity spaces across campus to help “ease the transition to university life.” It operates somewhat like the clubhouse at an all-inclusive resort. The Collegium space is a long, open lounge along the fully glazed north and east sides of the building. A large central kitchen with oversized island and a two-sided fireplace organize the space into four or five different zones. The second front door leads residents into the main lobby, off which various amenity rooms spiral: laundry, meeting rooms, lounge. A long allwhite corridor to the east leads to washrooms, lockers and utility spaces. The elevator core is tucked at the rear of the main foyer. On each residence level of the building, which are identical from floors two to seventeen, a large south-facing window brings daylight and long views into the small elevator lobby at each floor. The 272 single-occupancy units are efficiently deployed along narrow double-loaded corridors running east-west with a door at either end leading to four-person units, which owe their generous space to the expediency of the circulation pattern. On the 18th floor, the west quad-unit is substituted for a communal study lounge. Here, the ceilings rise higher and the rough timber columns are exposed and quietly at home within a well-detailed millwork interior. While the upper-level plans are resolved into logical harmony with the short spans and repetition demanded by the timber structure, the ground floor suffers from a lack of focus. Residents enter as readily from the rear lane as from the main road, yet the architecture projects a clear hierarchical attitude toward front and back. Vagaries of the plan turn the relative freedom of a concrete structure into a liability: columns and wall alignments appear to shift for no other reason than to solve micro-scale interior space planning. The result is an overly complicated arrangement of spaces for such a small floor plate with no real sense of arrival.

Some of these issues may suggest conflicting goals within the university’s mandate for its students. Such as: how to remain open, but also safe and secure. How to foster interaction between students while controlling access to variously administered program spaces. How to allow young people their freedom while mitigating their risk and the university’s liability. This plays out in the appointment of two separate areas for different student groups—one for the tower’s live-in residents; and the other, called the Collegium, for commuter students—on opposing sides of the building and continues more subtly through the assortment of keys, keycards, and keycodes that regulate access to the various areas of the building from common spaces and individual units, to each bedroom in the quad-units, each separate meeting room, storage cubbies and kitchen facilities within rooms. It’s great to have a dedicated “home” for commuters within the building, and important to regulate who enters each section, yet it’s odd for two similar cohorts to lounge within a few feet of one another, often in full view of one another, without having the possibility of joining the other group. To be clear, I get it: a home on campus for commuters, embedded as this one is within a residential tower, is much better than no home at all. But it unintentionally imparts a level of social control that can seem frustrating and heavy-handed. Beyond the exposed CLT canopy and the dozen or so timber columns in the Study Lounge, the largest expression of wood isn’t actually wood at all. The exterior building is clad in vertical strips of Trespa, a highpressure resin panel. The panels at window locations are dark grey, while panels between are printed with a faux woodgrain, effectively turning the building into an 18-story billboard—the literal image of tall wood. This simulacrum is one of the most distinctive elements of the building and, given that the project continues to attract wide-ranging attention from, according to the SHHS, “government … the National Resource Council … green people, wood people, developers … tour buses.” Maybe a billboard building isn’t such a bad idea. But this just points out the difficulty in talking about Brock Commons in architectural terms, beyond technical achievement.



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ABOVE below

In the ground level commuter student Collegium, a double-sided fireplace with Caesarstone quartz hearth and “stacked lumber” cladding. Studio unit with white melamine millwork, vinyl flooring and white birch door. Bottom The 18th-floor quad units have spectacular ocean views.

The architectural expectations and measure of success for tall-wood buildings are currently quite low and can be described as: “Can it get built?” and “Is the wood exposed?” By the first measure, Brock Commons is a success. As for the second, Acton asserts that exposed timber in tall buildings will remain the purview of “elite image-conscious corporations and luxury housing.” In fact, the next significant tall wood project poised to come online in Vancouver is Shigeru Ban’s 19-storey hybrid mass-timber luxury housing addition to Arthur Erickson’s Evergreen Building. Insofar as creating an ordinary high-rise building with mass timber, providing student beds on time and on budget, and promoting innovation and new technology to the wider world, then the Tallwood House stakeholders have pulled it off. Brock Commons demonstrates a model of tallwood for the people. But beyond the very constrained goals of the project team, it falls short of great architecture. Brock Commons Tallwood House helps industry and regulators take important steps toward a future of mass-timber buildings. One hope is that these future tall-wood buildings will exceed the mere achievement of getting built, and will rise to the level of the best buildings made from of any material. Courtney Healey is an architect at Public: Architecture + Communication in Vancouver.

CLIENT University of British Columbia | TALL WOOD ADVISORS Architekten Hermann Kaufmann ZT GMBH | ARCHITECT TEAM Russell Acton, Mark Ostry, Matt Wood, Gjergj Hondro, Susan Ockwell, Rafael Santa Ana, Warren Schmidt, Nebo Slijepcevic, Nate Straathof, Sergei Vakhrameev, Andrew Weyrauch | INTERIORS Acton Ostry Architects | STRUCTURAL Fast + Epp | MASS WOOD Structurlam | MECHANICAL/ELECTRICAL, LEED Stantec | LANDSCAPE Hapa Collaborative | PROJECT MANAGER UBC Properties Trust | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER Urban One Builders Ltd. | WOOD STRUCTURE ERECTION Seagate Structures Ltd. | FORMWORK Whitewater Concrete Ltd. | PREFABRICATED FAÇADE Centura Building Systems Ltd. | FIRE SCIENCE AND BUILDING CODE GHL Consultants Ltd. | BUILDING ENVELOPE RDH Building Science Inc. | VIRTUAL DESIGN MODELLING Cadmakers Inc. | ENERGY MODELLING Enersys Analytics Inc. | ACOUSTICS RWDI Air Inc. | CIVIL Kamps Engineering Ltd. | AREA 15,115 M2 | BUDGET $51.5 M | COMPLETION July 2017

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In the foyer of the First Nations University of Canada, which he completed in Regina in 2003. Above His first major project: the 1969 St. Mary’s Church in Red Deer. Right A young Douglas Cardinal at the St. Mary’s Church building site. Opposite The 1989 Museum of History, in Gatineau, Quebec; in the background is the Canadian Parliament. left


courtesy of Douglas Cardinal Architect

Canada’s lead architect at the 2018 venice biennale contemplates the past, present and future On May 26, the global architectural community will turn its eyes to Venice, where the 2018 Biennale of Architecture will open, showcasing the flagship architectural installations from dozens of nations in the historic Giardini di Castello and Arsenale locations. This year, while Canada’s pavilion in the Giardini nears the end of its reconstruction, the Canadian team, led by architect Douglas Cardinal, will install its exhibition, titled UNCEDED: Voices of the Land, to exhibit for the course of the sixmonth international exhibition. Announced in November in the Year of Reconciliation, the choice of Cardinal—a Dene architect from the Anishinaabe Nation—is a natural one. After gaining national fame in the late 1960s for designing St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in his hometown of Red Deer, Alberta, Cardinal designed several international landmarks, including the 1989 Museum of History

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in Ottawa and the conceptual design for the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., completed in 2004. Through dozens of other projects of every size and genre, Cardinal has embedded his Indigenous values in his work. In Venice, the UNCEDED installation will showcase an ambitious array of Indigenous architecture. Co-curated by Gerald McMaster and David Fortin, the project team includes exhibiting indigenous architects and artists Ryan Gorrie, Jake Chakasim, Wanda Dalla Costa, Ouri Scott, Matthew Hickey, Harriet Burdett-Moulton, Eladia Smoke, Tammy Eagle Bull, Chris Cornelius, Patrick Stewart, Andrea Walsh, Brian Porter, Alfred Waugh, Ray Gosselin, David Thomas, Tamarah Behay and Daniel Glenn. Shortly after the public announcement that Cardinal would lead the 2018 Biennale, he met

with Canadian Architect editor Adele Weder in Toronto for an interview about his formative experiences, architectural values and upcoming plans for Venice. The following is a condensed excerpt of their conversation. CA: How do you see your early background as shaping you as an architect?

I grew up in Red Deer and went to a [Catholic residential school] convent until grade 10, and then went to a high school in Red Deer. My father was First Nations and my mother was German with a Métis mother. She was a registered nurse, very well educated; in fact, she was a supervisor at a mental hospital. When she met my father in 1926, women had very little status. Women were not legally considered to be persons. It was a very patriarchal culture. But my mother was


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The whole basis of our native culture is totally different from the dominant European culture—Western so-called civilization. Western civilization is a patriarchal world view of power and control, and instills fear in people in order to control them. It’s a pyramid system, all about the few exploiting the many, with a so-called dominion over nature. It’s a binary world of good and evil, right and wrong. It objectifies everything: me, you, nature. Our Indigenous governance is in a circle, where everybody is noble, and whatever you do has to last seven generations. Cardinal:


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inform your UNCEDED project in Venice?

CA: You have a pretty large Biennale team, with well-known architects and artists like Alfred Waugh, David Fortin, Patrick Stewart, Gerald McMaster, Wanda Dalla Costa, and a dozen more from all over Canada.

very independent. When she met my father, she found out that how in his matrilineal culture, women are revered. My mother was the one who pushed me; she said: “You’re going to be an architect.” CA: Can you talk about how you developed your love of architecture, and your distinctive curvilinear aesthetic—those beautiful undulations that define much of your work. Cardinal: I was brought up in a convent, surrounded by the power of the Church. And I saw in the Church the role that architecture played: these overwhelmingly powerful architectural statements that create a sense of awe as soon as you walk into these spaces. My first building was the [St. Mary’s Roman Catholic] Church in Red Deer. I wanted to create a feeling of active loving and caring in the architecture itself—which I had found in the Baroque period, when they wanted the architecture, instead of being rigidly classic, to be more organic, more female: more like “mother church” kind of thing, to bring people back to church. It’s odd, given my background. I should really abhor the Church and the State. But guess who my main clients have been? [laughs] CA: So does the curvilinear approach, does that directly stem from those values that you had absorbed from the Church in art history, as well as from your family background and cultural values? Is it accurate to say that it was a conflation of all these influences?

Cardinal: Yes, definitely. Of course, when I went to the University of Texas, that was reinforced too. I had a professor who felt

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the best way that I could develop my whole approach to architecture was to study the work of Rudolph Steiner. He would translate all of Steiner’s German texts for me. Steiner’s philosophy—that all life is sacred and children are sacred—it just seemed to be parallel to the thinking of the Indigenous people. And so at university, I decided that if I’m going to take architecture, then I should also take cultural anthropology, because I wanted to study about people, and I didn’t feel that buildings were being designed around people.

Your buildings are so anthropomorphic— there’s something of the human body in them. So that’s very much a conscious part of your design approach?


Cardinal: Yes, very. I saw this in Rudolph Steiner’s work. And of course Rudolph Steiner was a major influence in where I was coming from.

Cardinal: We have some also from the United States as well. The strength of the team is that we’re very diverse, with different perspectives, different points of view. There is no one leader. CA: What sort of ideas are you developing to express that in Venice?

Cardinal: We’ll use audio-visual projections to show how that is expressed in architecture. Every one of the architects I talked to said: put their people first. Respect and honour the people. The other theme is to respect and honour nature. CA: So these are the two themes, people and nature, but how will this be integrated into the architectural representation?

Well, I attended UBC for two years in the early 50s, and finally they told me that I didn’t have the right family background for architecture—I was native. So I said: Fuck you. And I pointed my car south, and ended up in Texas. The amazing thing was that in Texas, my Canadian accent sounded like a Harvard accent to them. It was reverse discrimination! [laughs] That’s how ridiculous discrimination is.

We will show the experience of how the building relates to the land visually, when you walk in and see how it is expressed in space. The only way you can express that is through audio-visual presentations, bringing visitors into the different spaces and environments that we’ll be producing. I’d like to surround people with screens—because now, they’ve got some amazing things they can do with screens, to be able to project on the walls, the floors. Some people are surprised at that: You come from an Indigenous world view and you embrace the latest technology? Of course! To me, the Indigenous perspective is the inherent values that you have to be loving and caring to all of life on the planet, including our fellow human beings.

CA: How do you expect that your background and these experiences, good and bad, will

CA: One major architectural realm where the Indigenous perspective seems to have been

But you grew up in Alberta—why did you go to the University of Texas rather than to an architecture school closer to home, like the University of British Columbia?




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interview A conceptual plan for a community in Australia. right The proposed 39-storey condominium tower at 100 Davenport Road in Toronto, designed by Douglas Cardinal in partnership with Scott Shields Architects for Diamante Development. left

ignored is in government-issued housing. The mass-production of units delivered to Indigenous communities is, I think we can all agree, disconnected to the localities which it purports to serve. How can we replace it with housing designed more in accordance with the cultural values and practical needs of the local peoples? I’m still working on that. The building industry is caught up in providing crap housing for people, and getting a lot of money doing it. So—we’re still working on it. Neither the housing nor the infrastructure on reserves make sense. We’re trying to create a new model, but it’s just very hard, because it’s taking on the whole bloody system. But we’re going to do it. The model will be centred on natural materials, like wood, and designed so that you can use alternative sources of energy, like solar power; and then to make sure the sewage can be treated so that you have pure water coming back to the ground.


CA: So, a more natural sewage infrastructure, using rainwater and the like.

Yes. You can now design sewage systems that don’t pollute rivers, by purifying it the natural way through the wetlands, and that’s what we’re doing. We’re working with a community on Kettle Point, and we were asked to plan for seven generations in a traditional way. We have to plan for the future of all the herbs, trees, birds, fish—all for seven generations. That community wants to do everything in the way of their Ojibwe culture, because they’re Anishinaabe people, and it’s a joy working with them. Cardinal:

What are the financial means and limitations for improving the system?


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Cardinal: How we finance it is: we create a house that’s long-lasting, that will last for seven generations. You design it so that it can be manufactured in a way, such as with mass timber, so that it can be put up very fast, like four or five days.

Are you confident you’ll get widespread support and collaboration from Indigenous communities for a new model of housing and infrastructure?


Cardinal: The elders, they have always supported me in the past, and even helped me with the vision for my Museum of History. When [Pierre] Trudeau commissioned me, he told me: “If you make the same commitment to this museum as you do to your people, we’ll have a great museum.” CA: So now we have the Museum of History in Ottawa, and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C. Do you see these as your career landmarks? Cardinal: It’s important that I’ve put these statements in both nations’ capitals, but right now the important statement is the [Davenport] tower right here in Toronto—an Indigenous statement right at the end of Bay Street. And then the Biennale will be very important, because I think the worlds needs our values of balance, harmony, respect for the environment and for people. We don’t want to present ourselves as victims, because victims are not responsible; they say: “You did this to me!” And then they’re stuck. If you think of yourself as a victim, then you feel that people owe you one, and then you start feeling that you have to accept, that you have to Take rather than give, and you don’t become a giving person.

CA: In other words, the victim mentality would be against the original Indigenous value system that you were talking about? Cardinal: Yes, because our value system calls for people to be responsible for their lives, that you have a lot to learn from, but you have a great contribution to make. CA: I’m wondering what you think your legacy will be. Do you feel like you’ve done what you set out to achieve?

No, I’ll never feel that way—until I croak, I guess. Until my last breath.


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An entrepreneurial design team winterizes the pop-up restaurant PROJECT

RAW restaurants: Winnipeg, Gimli and Churchill, Manitoba

Joe Kalturnyk, Chad Connery, Jon Reid Lawrence Bird PHOTOS Jacqueline Young and Simeon Rusnak DESIGN TEAM

A simple hut sits in a wind-swept landscape. Materials: wood, white tarpaulin. Overhead, a soulful prairie sky. Beneath, ice: a frozen membrane, stretched across frigid water. The triangular form seems to huddle against the wind; behind it similar, crouched forms are scattered across the snow. Within this building, an entirely different environment unfolds. Thirty diners, who have arrived as couples and small groups, sit on either side of a long table. It is warm compared to the cold lake outside, but not too warm: some of the diners are still wearing sweaters, some are down to t-shirts. The table between them is arrayed with food and drink, and the air crackles with conversation and laughter. This is RAW:Gimli, a restaurant on the frozen surface of Lake Winnipeg that glimmered briefly—for ten days—in January before being disassembled and returned to its source. It is perhaps a transcendent architectural expression of the old ecological trope to reduce, reuse, recycle. The RAW:almond pop-up restaurants have been set up at sites across this province and further afield, over the past five years. They share an approach to architecture that is at once sensitive to event, evocative and sensual in concern, and cognizant of social and cultural setting. Each one inventively yet simply involves the sustainable re-use of its construction materials. In all of these respects, the buildings resonate with the approach to the food served in them: avoiding waste, finding richness in simplicity, imaginatively celebrating local specificity, and drawing on an international outlook. Set among an array of ice-fishing huts, RAW: Gimli takes vernacular culture as its starting point. Its design is derived from two basic volumes: that of a boat house, which forms a central spine, and also of a typical fishing shack, which forms the wings projecting from the spine. The simplicity of the masses is intentional: the designers wanted to provide a necessary sense of weight to what is otherwise a perforated volume. Designers Joe Kalturnyk and Chad Connery, worked with engineer Jon Reid of Wolfram Engineering to apply their design approach to the canon of neo-Brutalism in its use of raw materials, simple masses, and inventive

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Jacqueline Young


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detailing. Like the vernacular architecture it is based on, the design makes shrewdly pragmatic use of available resources. It cost virtually nothing in materials, as supplier Rona provided the wood with the understanding that the materials were to be returned undamaged to the local store. The structure was accordingly designed with disassembly in mind. With the exception of the plywood kitchen wall and some flat roof elements, all members were 12’ or 8’ 2x4 dimensional lumber, because those lengths coincided with the approximate dimensions of a boat house and shacks. There were almost no off-cuts, and no screws or nails were used. Instead, the pieces of lumber are strapped together by tie-downs in tension, and pinned to the ice with rebar staples. As a result, virtually all the wood has been available for re-use. This sustainable strategy took on a human cast in practise. As the builders dismantled the structure, they were approached by a local resident who offered to work for wood: he would help with clean-up if he could take away the materials afterwards to incorporate in his own off-grid greenhouse. An agreement was struck: 80 percent of the materials went back to Rona, and the remainder to the fisherman. So, materials from the structure are destined to pop up again in multiple construction sites around Gimli. Kalturnyk—the former curator of RAW:Gallery of Architecture and Design in Winnipeg, conceived the idea of a temporary restaurant on a snowy river in 2013, along with Mandel Hitzer, the chef at Winnipeg’s acclaimed deer + almond restaurant. The end result was RAW:almond, a restaurant which exists on the Assiniboine River for one month out of the year. As their vision became a reality, it cemented and invented tropes that have come to characterize architectural events in Manitoba— from the ephemeral structures in a wintry public space of the annual Warming Huts (which preceded RAW:almond), to the extra-long table where strangers meet and dine side-by-side, adopted by Table for 1200 (which came after). The first RAW:almond, in 2015, was built by Joe Kalturnyk entirely of tube-and-clamp scaffolding. Since 2017, RAW:almond has taken the form of a pillow-like vault generated by a single repeating structural element. Kalturnyk worked with Jon Reid of Wolfrom Engineering to create a reciprocal frame from 4’ x 8” strips of 3/4” baltic birch plywood, which erects itself as each new element is added.

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photos this page Simeon Rusnak

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RAW:amond at sunset. Built earlier this year on the riverbank at the Forks in Winnipeg, the gently rounded structure is a reciprocal frame, its baltic birch plywood components re-used from previous iterations. oppositE page RAW:Gimli, built for ten days this winter on the shores of Lake Winnipeg about an hour north of Winnipeg. Space heaters in all the installations keep the diners warm. right and below The 2017 RAW:almond in Winnipeg was also built with reused plywood components from previous iterations. The structural framework is functional, economical, and quick to erect—and creates a dramatic interior for each restaurant.

photos this page Jacqueline Young

previous pages

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Kalturnyk and Hitzer connect their work with the social and environmental development of their locations. This was one of the reasons to translate the concept to another site, beneath the northern lights. RAW: Churchill, which has operated for a week in March every year since 2016, inserts a temporary transparent vinyl and plywood structure into the massive stone Prince of Wales Fort in Manitoba’s far north. A general appreciation of the impact this project had on a rural area encouraged Kalturnyk and Hitzer to translate the project yet again; from this sprang RAW:Gimli, on a frozen lake an hour’s drive from Winnipeg. Going even further afield, in the fall of 2017 the pair created RAW:Tokyo, a temporary restaurant whose interior is a cloud of curtains designed by Studio RAP from the Netherlands. The RAW restaurants embody a consistent strategy: the creation of a rich environment from simple gestures and components; sensitivity to a local specificity; yet with that, the potential to move, and be translated across different locales. These dispositions, along with a focus on the life they support, could be seen as characteristic of pop-up or event-based architecture today. They can be traced back to the earliest examples of architecture, which were malleable and mobile. Interestingly, these attitudes are also valued by the community of chefs who find

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a temporary home in the RAW restaurants each year. Sustainable production and a regionally-specific but globally-informed cuisine have become central concepts for many of these chefs. One such is Christie Peters, a Saskatoon-based restaurateur invited to RAW:almond’s 2018 installation on the Assiniboine River (others have come from as far afield as California, Texas, and Iceland). Two evenings this January she prepared and served her work beneath RAW:almond’s vaults—reciprocal frames, clad in the same white insulate used in Gimli. Though Peters apprenticed in Vancouver, Amsterdam and San Francisco, her food is inspired by Saskatchewan’s landscape and history. A single rosehip in a cup of snow is a fitting opening to a meal that will warm the diners, perched as they are on fur-topped stools, feet on the ice floor. Early courses re-think prairie settler staples—the perogie and cabbage roll—in a treatment studded with sea buckthorn, beets and wild rice. Deserts are garnished with berries, rye, wild sage, and even fir—all grown or foraged locally. Architects will recognize the sentiment in Peters’ words: “I think doing a lot with little is an important mantra for our time.” In fact, she makes a connection between the architecture of RAW and the simplicity of her ingredients: “There are so many structurally sound repeating elements in nature, and simplicity in food also mirrors nature

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The 2016 iteration of RAW in Churchill, Manitoba. The Churchill iternation has been hugely popular with international travellers eager to see the Northern Lights in a unique built environment. Right Earlier versions used tube-and-clamp metal scaffolding, including Winnipeg’s 2015 installation (top) and 2014 installation (seen here under construction). Photos these pages by Jacqueline Young. oppositE and above

by letting the ingredient shine in its most natural form ... having the RAW structures be reusable mirrors the future of food culture in this day and age. It is important to create less waste, and in the restaurant industry we can’t afford not to.” Sustainability of practice runs deep with many chefs— even unused fat by-product is turned into soap for the restaurants The Hollows and Primal that Peters runs with her partner, Kyle Michael. Like Kalturnyk and Hitzer, Peters values the social impact of her work—for example, bringing life to a desolate part of the city. Food creates community on many levels. RAW:almond has forged a community of chefs who previously were, at best, strangers; at worst, rivals. And of course there is the community sharing the meal. “Bringing people into a certain moment and place, so that time stops and they are transported, is magical,” says Peters. This is also one of the first roles of architecture. And it is the role of the RAW restaurants which show an awareness of not just natural but also social environments, ecologies of culture as well as nature, sustenance as well as sustainability. Like the architecture indigenous to this region, RAW:almond will move on—and return. Lawrence Bird, MRAIC is a visual artist, planner and architect at Ager Little Architects in Winnipeg.

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Client RAW:Almond | design Team Joe Kalturnyk, Jon Reid | architects of record (code review for Winnipeg installation) AtLRG architecture structural/Mechanical Wolfram Engineering | Area 2,128 sq. ft | Construction budget $30,000 (not including recycled materials) | Completion January 2018

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la nd

Canadian Entry to the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale DOUGL AS CARDINAL It is with deep cultural significance that UNCEDED: Voices of the Land was selected through a national juried competition to represent Canada at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale. The uniquely Indigenous design team is led by Douglas J. Cardinal, renowned architect, philosopher, human rights activist, Officer of the Order of Canada, and “World Master of Contemporary Architecture”. Join Douglas J. Cardinal and team in Venice and share in this significant moment in Canada’s history, as a key supporter of UNCEDED: Voices of the Land, the Canadian entry to the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale.

Media Kit 2017

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Passive House Design: A frontline perspective


Jonathan Kearns Kearns Mancini Architects


Ever since the first OPEC oil crisis of the early 1970s, I have been fascinated by the concept of the “urban farmhouse”—an urban yet off-grid, self-sufficient entity. In the urban farmhouse, all the fundamental elements required to support life are incorporated into one ecosystem, including greenhouse food growth, composting, and the harvesting of rainwater and energy provided by the sun and the wind. Over the course of time, I discovered the work of Malaysian architect Ken Yeang, a pioneer of ecology-based architecture. I studied Ken’s work in considerable detail, reading and studying his treatise on designing sustainable intensive buildings (The Green Skyscraper, 1999). In the late 1990s, I had the fortune of not only meeting Ken Yeang but collaborating with him on the Canadian High Commission in Kuala Lumpur (completed in 2001). And while in Malaysia, I visited several of his projects which further intensified my interest in the role that architecture plays in ecology. Nearly five years ago, my business partner Tony Mancini returned from a conference lecture and excitedly told me about passive energy and the theory that one can heat their home using only a hair dryer. It was then that I was compelled to explore the world of passive energy and quickly discovered the International Passivhaus Institut (PHI) based in Darmstadt Germany. A few months later, after taking all of the available PHI training, we began a Passivhaus renovation (EnerPHit) of a small 19th century farmhouse in Prince Edward County. Passivhaus—or Passive House—is not about complex technologies. It’s about changing how we build, integrating low energy design criteria into projects from day one. There are five key Passive House principles.

A 19th-century farmhouse is gutted and then systematically transformed with Passive House principles into the contemporary, energyneutral Reach Guesthouse.


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Left and Below Rendering of the Endymion, designed for a multi-generational family, and strategically sited on a 3.5-acre property. opposite page Diagram of the UTSC Student Residence proposal for University of Toronto Scarborough.

First: massively insulated, thermally broken airtight envelope. Second: triple-glazed airtight, thermally broken windows. Third: optimized orientation. Fourth: mechanical ventilation energy recovery. Fifth: optimized functional design. A Passive House design allows for the building to heat and cool itself most of the time, providing significant occupant comfort for 90 percent less energy compared to conventional building methods. In a Passive House, you can sit next to a window in the dead of winter and not feel a draft, and then sit next to that same window at the height of summer and not feel overheated. I have had the chance to work on a number of Passive House projects that vary in scale and complexity. The project examples below will allow me to illustrate what I’ve observed: the size of a Passive House project does not necessarily determine its complexity. Last summer my team and I simultaneously launched two projects in Prince Edward County, Ontario: a Passive House renovation using the EnerPHit-Standard, and a new custom-designed, multi-generational residence on a greenfield site. In addition to these two residences, we were completing a Project Output Specification (POS) for a new, largescale mixed-use student residence project at the University of Toronto Scarborough (UTS) campus. The three projects demanded an intensive study of Passive House process while simultaneously developing them in practice, each with their own typologies and scales. In order to achieve certification, the criteria had to be executed using slight variations to accommodate each project’s unique challenges. The Reach Guesthouse (Small scale, high complexity) Like most renovations, this project was a journey. Yet despite the slow progress of the project, we managed to create a systematic combination of “archaeological” discovery, preservation, encapsulation and architectural re-interpretation. The original building was reduced to its barest handhewn wooden structure, meticulously cleaned, and then sealed inside an airtight skin. We then added a new jacket of R43eff Structural Insulated Panel (SIP) based insulation to the walls and roof. (The “eff ” designates “effective” R-values of the wall assemblies as opposed to the suppliers’ nominal values per layer of material.) One of the many challenges was to get an airtight seal around the existing structure. To achieve this, we had to lift all ground level floorboards, insert an Oriented Strand Board (OSB) layer and then relay. We had to pry loose the old board-andbatten walls, working progressively around the building so that we could

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seal the floor to the air/vapour barrier wrapping the house. The front gable window was intentionally oversized to allow a glimpsing view of the original house within the new house. This year, an electric “hair dryer” (actually a tiny electric heater purchased at a yard sale) has been maintaining temperatures comfortably despite the minus 25 degrees Celsius temperatures outside. This renovated farmhouse will be a guesthouse to the future “great house,” which will be perched on the top of the adjacent waterfront escarpment overlooking Adolphus Reach. Our firm’s newly acquired knowledge was immediately put to use creating another guesthouse for another future “great house,” also in Prince Edward County, this time overlooking Prince Edward Bay. Endymion (small scale, moderate complexity) Endymion is a 3,400-sq.-ft. multi-generational house that will enable four families to occupy the house at one time. Since it is a new building on a 3.5-acre site, we were able to select prime south-facing orientation and choose an efficient and simple form. We also selected an idyllic placement for the house so that it can be easily heated by the sun in winter and efficiently shaded in summer. It resulted in an elegant threelevel house, its upper floors facing south over lavender gardens and lowest floor facing east and west and opening up to private courtyards. Endymion is designed to be an R43eff Insulated Concrete Form (ICF) structure with large-format porcelain ceramic tile cladding. Windows and doors are triple-glazed, and the house is ventilated by two Energy Recovery Ventilation (Jablotron Futura ERV) units. Heating, if required, will be provided by two thermostatically controlled gas fireplaces. Walls are typically 500mm thick and the south facing wall has been framed out to 1M to allow a sculpting out of deeply recessed windows to achieve shading without resorting to applied sunshades. As relatively small Passive House buildings, both the Reach and Endymion rely heavily on the sun to supply most of the heating. Siting, orientation and window placement are thus vital to the success of these projects.

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UTSC Student Residence (large scale, high complexity) Comprising approximately 280,000 sq. ft., with a transient population of roughly 1,000 people at any given time, a full commercial kitchen, a dining facility, 750 students with their own micro-refrigerators and computers, this Passive House building performs quite differently from the two smaller examples above. With all the internal heat gains—generated within the building by people and equipment—this building, unlike The Reach and Endymion, is not relying on the sun to supply most of its heating. On the contrary, the internal heat gains are such that this building will largely require cooling. The building envelope is designed to achieve an R41eff insulation value, be airtight, free of any thermal bridging that would allow unwanted heat transfer, and have triple glazed windows that can be effectively shaded and not add to the heat load. The exemplar design demonstrated compliance with Passive House standards in all but the commercial kitchen. Upon further analysis of the demands of a commercial kitchen serving thousands of meals per day to a multi-ethnic population, the International Passive House Institute is reconsidering the qualifying standards for such a facility in North America.

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Based on these experiences, Kearns Mancini Architects will integrate Passive House standards for all future project assignments, where feasible. We understand the significance of Passive House design methodology. True sustainability comes from the measures and practices we set to limit our impact on the earth—practices that support us and help us to live better and do not set out to diminish our livelihoods, our health or our ability to develop as people, cultures, nations. We look forward to seeing high performance buildings become the normal way to build. Not only is Passive House a better way to build, it should be the only way we are permitted to build. It is not a brand, it is a building standard, balancing energy efficiency, occupant comfort, and affordability. As more people become committed to Passive House, additional certified materials will become readily available, which will in turn make it less of a specialty commodity and reduce the overall cost. The Passive House Standard should not be a privilege; it should be a right. Jonathan Kearns, FRAIC is co-founder and a principal of Kearns Manc­ini Architects in Toronto.

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Modernfold, Inc. once again proves why they are the innovation leader in the movable wall industry with their recent release of the new ComfortDrive® Self Driving Panel System. Simply push a button and walk away with the assurance your movable wall was set up quickly and correctly every time.

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Mass Timber: Design and Research By Susan Jones, ORO Editions, 2017.

This softbound book presents new research and design work that harnesses the new construction technology of mass timber. Seattle architect Susan Jones presents her firm, her family and her University of Washington students’ years of research and design. Opening with the story of three generations of her family’s own sustainable forestry practices, she goes on to write about Pacific Northwest forestry, timber and CLT manufacturing practices, carbon analysis and carbon comparisons between standard building construction assemblies and technologies. Generously illustrated with photographs not only of completed architecture but also of the forests and raw materials that serve as its genesis.

Passive House Details: Solutions for High-Performance Design By Donald Corner, Jan Fillinger, and Alison Kwok, Routledge, 2018.

“The devil is in the detail,” as this book asserts, and within architecture, arguably nowhere is this shopworn proviso more pertinent than in Passive House design and building. The ultra-low-energy design standards of Passive House construction require exceptional knowledge of its finer points. This book focuses on the great technical challenges of meeting performance requirements for the heating and cooling demands and rigid building-envelope specifications of Passive House constructions. With sections on foundation, f loor wall, roof, window and door systems, and concluding with a series of case studies across the United States, this book presents a thorough immersion in Passive House construction.

The New Carbon Architecture By Bruce King, New Society Publishers, 2017.

Embodied carbon in our buildings is now widely recognized as a significant environmental threat: the carbon emitted when construction materials are mined, manufactured and transported now comprise roughly 10 percent of global carbon emissions. With the built landscape expected to double by 2030, buildings are a carbon juggernaut threatening to overwhelm the climate. Subtitled Building to Cool the Planet, this softbound book surveys the innovations in architecture and construction that are assisting in that goal. The tour of ecologically efficient architecture includes office towers built from advanced wood products, low-carbon concrete alternatives, ocean-salvaged plastic turned into building blocks and insulation grown from mycelium.

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ARCHITECTURE FOR THE MASSES The CCA explores a groundbreaking architectural education mode text

Olivier Vallerand

“How to engage people with buildings?” In the early 1970s, this question guided a team of architectural historians and educators to devise a pioneering program for the United Kingdom’s Open University, an experiment with mass education that is still ongoing. Forty years later, the question is still relevant, and even more so for an institution like the Canadian Centre for Architecture. Since the built environment is experienced by everyone, it follows that architecture should thus be one of the more “democratic” disciplines. And yet architectural education has paradoxically remained generally closed in on itself, organized around professional elites and academic historians that rarely dialogue between themselves and even less with a broader audience. While there have been attempts to rethink or challenge traditional ways of teaching design, in both architecture schools and more alternative practices, such as the Women’s School of Planning and Architecture, they have been fairly limited. The University Is Now on Air: Broadcasting Modern Architecture, the CCA’s current exhibition on the Open University’s course on modern architecture, is thus a welcome opportunity to think about how to reach a wider audience for both universities and institutions such as the CCA itself. But it also challenges common thinking about the production and diffusion of knowledge. Curator Joaquim Moreno and his team have created a focused exhibition, building on archival material from A305 History of Architecture and Design, 1890–1939, a course offered between 1975 and 1982 by the Univer-

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sity; and from interviews in which four key protagonists in the design on the course reflect on its creation and impact. The exhibition design by APPARATA acknowledges the focus on popular outreach of the Open University by suggesting a domestic setting in the exhibition’s central rooms where mid-century chairs and sofas allow visitors to watch the course’s video material, originally broadcasted by the BBC, on vintage televisions. While not subtle, the set-up invites the slow discovery of the course’s content, in a similar way to how it was originally intended. In the surrounding rooms, the exhibition explains how the material was developed and presents the extent of physical material produced for this “on-air” program, as well as the impact of the course on both British students and international educators and architects. This parallel presentation of a history of the Open University’s experiment and of a history of modern architecture is one of the successes of the exhibition. While the exhibition obviously aims at architects and educators with an advanced knowledge of 20th-century architecture, it also makes available—both in the exhibition and on the CCA’s YouTube channel—material produced to explain modern architecture to a broad public, therefore allowing anyone to learn about the history of modern architecture—just as the original course in the 1970s allowed families across the United Kingdom to do. The exhibition presents another way of teaching and talking about architecture, but also an alternative history of the modern movement.

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Wilton Curtis. Milton Keynes, Open University Press, CCA.

It combines excerpts from the video and radio components of the course with documentaries explaining the technical and pedagogical elements used to create them, and artifacts focusing on the tools specifically developed for a lay audience. The pedagogical elements range from a planreading guide to an elaborate animation combining Bach’s Magnificat with a model of Erich Mendelsohn’s Einstein Tower, at the time inaccessible to a British audience because of Cold War politics. Furthermore, the examples chosen often make parallels to everyday experiences—for example, organizing the lesson on the Villa Savoye’s around the question “Would you like to live in such a house?” or stressing the relevance of technological items as cultural and symbolic forms. While being conscious of their participation in the canonization of modern architecture, the instructors also saw the course as an opportunity to reassess its divergent histories, particularly while the modern movement was being challenged by post-modern architecture and demolitions of emblematic modern housing projects. Of importance are the more than 2,000 student reports, built on primary sources, that present “another map of

English modern architecture” and exemplify, in the words of the curator, the “two-way communication system” that the Open University created, “with its students actively researching the history it taught.” The selection of reports presented at the CCA hints at the richness of this archive and underlines the still current potential of similar exercises. While this is not an “easy” exhibition aimed at a large audience the way the Open University itself was, it nevertheless shows an interest on the part of the CCA to thinking about how to engage people with buildings. The YouTube broadcasting of the televised course and of the oral histories is a good step in democratizing the institution’s mission, as are the discussions held in some of the public programs on mass education that complement the exhibition. However, while the focus in the exhibition on the A305 course allows an in-depth analysis of that case, discussions of its impact are limited to its presentation at the 1976 Venice Biennale dedicated to the democratization of culture. One thus hopes that the CCA is planning to pursue this investigation of the very important topic of architectural education by turning to Canadian experiments in the future. It could then add little-known recent additions to research on the topic, such as the Radical Pedagogies project led by Beatriz Colomina at Princeton University; or Radical Pedagogies: Architectural Education and the British Tradition, a collection edited by Daisy Froud and Harriet Harriss—research projects that further question who should have access to knowledge about the built environment. The CCA, as an institution for both research and exhibitions, is uniquely placed to create a relationship between architecture schools and the public. Taking inspiration from course A305, the institution needs to further democratize studies of architecture, both through wide dissemination and also by including non-architects in its analysis and critique of the built environment. While this has not always happened with the CCA’s sometimes-hermetic exhibitions, let’s hope this exhibition opens the door to a renewed way of doing things, echoing the Open University’s careful balance of sophisticated discussions and everyday examples.

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The University in Now on Air: Broadcasting Modern Architecture exhibits at the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal until April 1. Olivier Vallerand is an architect with 1x1 Creative Lab and a visiting post-doctoral scholar at UC Berkeley College of Environmental Design.

@The Architectural Association

oppositE Still from a filmed interview between Joaquim Moreno and Nick Levinson, discussing production aspects of the A305 course. Film by Shahab Mihandoust, London, 2017. opposite centre Hacker RP37A radio with Open University logo, ca. 1971. above Open 299, “Le Corbusier and the Modern Movement in England,” 1930-39, units 17/18, 1975. right Timetable for A305, in “Broadcasting the Modern Movement,” 1975, by Tim Benton, as published in the Architectural Association Quarterly.

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calendar ACROSS CANADA Vancouver —04/15

Offsite: Asim Waqif New Delhi-based artist Asim Waqif repurposes waste generated by demolition sites in Vancouver’s urban areas, employing materials from abandoned and derelict buildings anticipated for development. Waqif ’s installation combines architecture with contextual reference to urban design and the politics of occupying, intervening and using public space.

Edmonton 03/13

The Prairie Wood Design Awards Gala 2018 The 10th Anniversary of the Prairie Wood Design Awards program recognizes and celebrates a decade of exceptional design in Alberta, Manitoba and Saskatchewan.

Banff 05/11—05/12

Banff Session 2018 Every two years, the Alberta Association of Architects (AAA) hosts a conference that brings speakers from around the globe to share ideas, innovation and ingenuity. Taking place in the remoteness of the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel, the 2018 session offers an arena of dialogue unencumbered by workplace pressures and distractions.

Toronto —09/03

The Evidence Room Held over until September 3 at the Royal Ontario Museum, this landmark exhibition by Waterloo University architecture professor Robert Jan van Pelt reveals the terrifying role of architects in constructing Auschwitz.


Winter Stations Winter Stations is now embarking on its fourth year, again opening up an international design competition to bring temporary public art installations to The Beaches. The design exhibition celebrates Toronto’s winter waterfront landscape.


Infinity Mirrors Infinity may be a difficult concept to grasp, but it is easy to contemplate when you step inside one of artist Yayoi Kusama’s iconic Infinity Mirror Rooms in the exhibition Yayoi Kusama: Infinity Mirrors. This major exhibition also shows the evolution of her immersive, multi-ref lective installations.

The 1999 Reichstag by Sir Norman Foster, exhibiting at UQAM.



Architect@Work Held at the Enercare Centre, the two-day event offers innovationfocused seminars for architects and interior design professionals.

Ottawa 03/15—03/18

Passive House Design and Construction Workshop Passive House Design and Construction is a four-day course that covers the technical, economic and policy elements of Passive House buildings. Participants will learn how to apply Passive House principles in the context of building physics, windows and mechanical systems.


55th International Making Cities Livable Conference The International Making Cities Livable (IMCL) movement’s 55th Conference will take place in Ottawa. Organized with the active partnership of the City, the conference will focus on the theme of Healthy, 10-Minute Neighborhoods.

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Fostering Society: Foster + Partners An exhibition on the work of the internationally renowned integrated design firm Foster + Partners opened at the UQAM Centre de Design on February 8. Fostering Society: Foster + Partners, one of the Centre’s most ambitious exhibitions to date, will focus on the achievements of the London-based global firm, as well as its advances in sustainable development, long before environmental responsibility became a central cultural—and architectural—tenet. Throughout much of its history, the firm has been demonstrably ahead of its time, installing a green roof at the Willis Faber and Dumas Headquarters, Ipswich, in 1975, and creating the world’s first environmentally friendly high-rise for Commerzbank, Frankfurt in 1997.


Greystone: Tools for Understanding the City The material history of Montreal’s Greystone buildings from the 17th to early 20th century. Curated by Phyllis Lambert, at the Canadian Centre for Architecture.


The University is Now on Air: Broadcasting Modern Architecture Exhibition focusing on a pioneering teaching tool: A305, History of Architecture and Design, 18901939. See full review, p. 46.

Saint John, New Brunswick 05/30—06/02

RAIC Festival of Architecture The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s annual Festival of Architecture comes to New Brunswick in 2018. Continuing education sessions, tours, and awards, are planned as part of the annual showcase. The RAIC has also issued a call for presenters for the event.

St John’s, Newfoundland 05/22—05/25

Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada Conference This year’s conference will be held at the base of Signal Hill, a National Historic Site overlooking the entrance to St. John’s Harbour, one of the oldest European settlements in North America.


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Austin 03/09—03/18

The Cities Summit at SXSW The Cities Summit, a new convergence program for SXSW 2018, explores the future of cities through two days of talks, learning sessions and special events. Open to all SXSW registrants.

New York —04/08


Coverings North America’s largest tile and stone show, with 1,000+ exhibitors.


Iconic Houses Conference Focusing this year on East Coast Modernism and Latin America.

Form follows Rule The Architekturzentrum Wien exhibition examines the rules that regulate architecture and urban development: the acts, ordinances, guidelines and standards—the invisible but crucial factors in the design of the built environment.




Dolce Norwalk, Connecticut 05/15—05/18

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The 1955 Eliot Noyes House in New Canaan, Connecticut, is one of the landmarks recognized by the Iconic Houses organization. ABOVE


Thinking Machines: Art and Design in the Digital Age Artists, architects and designers at the vanguard of art and technology used computing in artistic production. The exhibition contextualizes artworks produced with computers with examples of computer design. Atlanta


Futuro A tribute to an icon of the space age: the plastic, spaceship-like Futuro house exhibits in an outdoor space at Pinakothek der Moderne. The Futoro—or Future House—was designed by Finnish architect Matti Suuronen in 1965-1967 and originally intended as a ski lodge but became iconic of the pop and social revolution.


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La Biennale di Venezia Yvonne Farrell and Shelley McNamara curate the 16th installation of the legendary international architecture exhibition, on the grounds of the Giardini in Venice. The Biennale Architettura 2018 will be titled Freespace, evoking a generosity of spirit and a sense of humanity at the core of architecture’s agenda.

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Photo courtesy of GRIT LAB, University of Toronto

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Liat Margolis

A rooftop laboratory yields a bounty of information

Green roofs have now become a standard green building technology, promoted or required in many municipal regions for stormwater management, thermal cooling, and ecological habitat for pollinator species, such as bees. They are a favourite among designers, policymakers and citizens not only because of this ecological multi-tasking, but also because they transform a vast and underused layer of the city—the roof scape—into a thing of beauty. At the University of Toronto’s Green Roof Innovation Testing Laboratory (GRIT Lab), our mission is to study the relation between material choices and environmental performance. Simply put, a “green roof ” is a constructed vegetative system composed of several layers: waterproof membrane, drainage layer, filter cloth, growing medium, and plants. Some green-roof installations include supplemental irrigation as well. Scientists have penned more than 30,000 papers on green roofs and dozens of green roof research labs conduct research worldwide. Why so many? What do we still have to learn about green roof systems? The reasons we need extensive and ongoing

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research into green roof technologies is because there are so many different types of green roof products, materials, configurations and dimensions. Growing media and plants are in most cases locally sourced and therefore tend to vary in terms of soil-plant-climate interactions and performance outcomes relative to the three environmental objectives. The City of Toronto adopted a green roof bylaw in 2009, which requires the installation of a green roof on all new buildings with a floor area greater than 2,000 square metres. The University of Toronto Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design established the GRIT Lab in 2010 as an interdisciplinary research facility to compare and validate industry practices and test new material innovations. Our team, having mined the data collected at the GRIT Lab as well as dozens of green roofs across Toronto, has reached a number of important conclusions about the kind of growing medium is best for water retention and temperature regulation—crucial factors in a green roof ’s true ecological useful rather than just window dressing.

ABOVE The sedums blooming on the GRIT Lab rooftop help researchers determine how to make more effective green roofs.

It turns out that compost-based media outperforms the aggregate media for stormwater management, thermal cooling, and biodiversity. We also test other things: irrigation versus no irrigation and the benefits of soil-moisture sensor irrigation, different depths of growing mediums and nutrient availability and their effect on the plants. We measure the attraction of native wild bees to different plant communities, to evaluate which works best for foraging and nesting. We research the correlation of building height with bee visits, particularly below the eighth storey. A partial conclusion is that biodiverse green roofs for bees are most suitable on mid- and low-rise roofs. Yet after all that testing, we still need more research, and possibly always will. Not all green roofs are the same! Not all are even effective. But we are doing our best to find out how to make them that way. GRIT Lab Director Liat Margolis is also Director of the Master of Landscape Architecture programme and Associate Dean of Research at the University of Toronto Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design.

2018-02-07 11:48 AM


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Schöck Isokorb® Structural Thermal Breaks. Cut heat loss up to 90% and prevent condensation and mould at balconies, canopies, steel beams, slab edges, parapets and rooftop connections.


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Canadian Architect February 2018  
Canadian Architect February 2018  

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