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nov/18 v.64 n.11

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innovation in context 06 viewpoint

Bob Gundu

Adrien Williams

canadian architect

november 2019 03

Architects must rally to meet the 2030 deadline for climate action.

10 News

National Architecture Policy consultations launch; letters to the editor on bird-safe design and low-carbon construction.

15 raic JOurnal

Architects commit to climate action; members on why they’re part of the RAIC.

24 insites 37


28 University of Lethbridge–Science Commons A sizable, state-of-the-art building by KPMB and Stantec adjoins Erickson’s iconic University Hall. TEXT Matt Knapik

37 Laurier Brantford YMCA

CannonDesign’s new sports facility for Brantford serves both the university and larger community. TEXT Laura Lind

43 80 Atlantic

48 Technical

Blackwell engineer David Bowick offers a primer on mass timber floor systems.

54 Books

Trevor Boddy reviews Canadian Modern Architecture, 1967 to the present.

65 Calendar

Launch events from Vancouver to Halifax for Canadian Modern Architecture, 1967 to the present.

66 backpage

University of Manitoba students collaborate on a warming hut inspired by artist Anish Kapoor.

Adrien Williams

 oronto gets its first commercial mass timber building, designed by Quadrangle T for Hullmark. TEXT Javier Zeller

Paul Dolick reports from the Chicago Architecture Biennial.

University of Lethbridge– Science Commons, by KPMB Architects and Stantec. Photo by Adrien Williams.


v.64 n.11


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

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Countdown to 2030 One of my first assignments as a freelance writer was an interview with product designer Itai Azerad. As we looked at photos of his Nemo lounge chair, he talked to me about the importance of finding a name for a product. “A name focuses you on the limits of where you’re going to take a design, and limits are what save you. Limits and deadlines.” The long, nebulous spectre of climate change now has a more forceful name—the climate crisis—and a deadline. The Canadian government, along with dozens of cities including Vancouver, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa, and Halifax, have declared a climate emergency. Over 150 Canadian architecture firms and organizations (including this magazine) have signed a declaration of a climate emergency and commitment to action. Launched in the lead-up to September’s global climate strike, the declaration urges architects and designers to raise awareness of the impact of the built environment on climate change, and to take immediate action through their projects and roles as advisors, advocates, educators and enablers.  Now for the deadline: and it’s a tight one. We’ve already locked in 1ºC of warming, and to have a 50 percent chance of limiting future warming to 1.5ºC, we must peak our carbon emissions in 2020, cut emissions in half by 2030, and reach carbon-neutrality by 2050. “To have a 67 percent chance of staying below a 1.5 degrees global temperature rise— the best odds given by the IPCC—the world had 420 gigatons of CO2 left to emit back on January 1st, 2018. Today that figure is already down to less than 350 gigatons,” said Greta Thunberg in a speech to the UN in September. “How dare you pretend that this can be solved with just ‘business as usual’ and some technical solutions? With today’s emissions levels, that remaining CO2 budget will be entirely gone within less than 8 1/2 years. There will not be any solutions or plans presented in line with these figures here today, because these numbers are too uncomfortable. And you are still not mature enough to tell it like it is.” In Canada, “business as usual” plans are indeed failing to effect meaningful change. Buildings contribute up to 40 percent of greenhouse gases globally, and at least 17 percent of Canada’s GHG emissions. Over the past few years, Canada’s buildings have be-

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come modestly more energy efficient—but houses have gotten larger and the economy has grown, so we’ve built more of them, and emissions from buildings overall have gone up. Based on the policies that were in place as of September 2017, GHGs from buildings will see a modest decrease of 3 percent between 2015 and 2050—nowhere close to the dramatic reduction needed for the sector to do its part in climate action. According to the Climate Tracker, an independent scientific analysis, our government’s current and projected policies overall are “insufficient” to “highly insufficient”. If all countries held the same Paris Agreement targets as Canada, warming would reach over 2º C and up to 3º C. And we aren’t even meeting those goals: our current path puts us into a 3º C to 4º C warming scenario. Scientists warn that 4º C of warming is incompatible with an organized global community, and would destroy the majority of the Earth’s natural ecosystems. A report by Australian non-profit think tank Breakthrough, endorsed by a military admiral, sketches out a 3º C warming scenario where, by 2050, more than half the world’s population faces lethal heatwaves, global crop yields decline by a fifth, and a billion people are displaced by climate change. In the worst case, “the scale of destruction is beyond our capacity to model, with a high likelihood of human civilization coming to an end.” The declaration of climate emergencies invites the bold action that will be necessary to turn things around—a goal we must all work towards, if we aim to assure our common safety and survival. Architects must rise to the role of becoming leaders in climate action. “Building to support the intergenerational health of our communities and living systems will require rapid paradigm shifts in thought and action for everyone working in the design, construction and procurement of our built environments,” states the Canadian Architects Declare pledge. “The knowledge, research and technologies exist for us to begin this transformation now.” We’re in a climate crisis with a 2030 deadline. Let’s act like it. Elsa Lam

Editor Editor elsa elsa lam, lam, fRAIC fRAIC Art Art Director Director Roy Roy Gaiot Gaiot Contributing Contributing Editors Editors Annmarie Annmarie Adams, Adams, FRAIC FRAIC Odile Odile Hénault Hénault Douglas Douglas MacLeod, MacLeod, ncarb ncarb,, MRAIC MRAIC online online Editor Editor Christiane Christiane Beya Beya Regional Regional Correspondents Correspondents Montreal Montreal David David Theodore Theodore Calgary Calgary Graham Graham Livesey, Livesey, MRAIC MRAIC Winnipeg Winnipeg Lisa Lisa Landrum, Landrum, MAA, MAA, AIA, AIA, MRAIC MRAIC vancouver vancouver adele adele weder, weder, Hon. Hon. MRAIC MRAIC Sustainability Sustainability Advisor Advisor Anne Anne Lissett, Lissett, Architect Architect AIBC, AIBC, LEED LEED BD+C BD+C Vice Vice president president & & Senior Senior Publisher Publisher Steve Steve Wilson Wilson 416-441-2085 416-441-2085 x105 x105 sales sales MANAGER MANAGER Faria Faria Ahmed Ahmed 416-441-2085 416-441-2085 x106 x106 Customer production Customer Service Service // production laura laura moffatt moffatt 416-441-2085 416-441-2085 x104 x104 Circulation Circulation President President of of iq iq business business media media inc. inc. Alex Alex Papanou Papanou Head Head Office Office 101 Duncan Mill Mill Road, Road, Suite Suite 302 302 101 Duncan Toronto, ON M3B M3B 1Z3 1Z3 Toronto, ON Telephone Telephone 416-441-2085 416-441-2085 E-mail E-mail Website Website Canadian Canadian Architect Architect is is published published monthly monthly by by iQ iQ Business Business Media Media Inc.. Inc.. The editors have have made made every every reasonable reasonable effort effort to to provide provide accurate accurate and and The editors authoritative authoritative information, information, but but they they assume assume no no liability liability for for the the accuracy accuracy or or completeness completeness of of the the text, text, or or its its fitness fitness for for any any particular particular purpose. purpose. Subscription Subscription Rates Rates Canada: Canada: $54.95 $54.95 plus plus applicable applicable taxes taxes for for one one year; year; $87.95 $87.95 plus plus applicable applicable taxes taxes for for two two years years (HST (HST –– #80456 #80456 2965 2965 RT0001). RT0001). Price Price per per single single copy: copy: $15.00. $15.00. USA: USA: $135.95 $135.95 USD USD for for one one year. year. International: International: $205.95 $205.95 USD USD per per year. year. Single Single copy copy for for USA: USA: $20.00 $20.00 USD; USD; International: International: $30.00 $30.00 USD. USD. Return Return undeliverable undeliverable Canadian Canadian addresses addresses to: to: Circulation Circulation Dept., Dept., Canadian Canadian Architect, Architect, 101 101 Duncan Duncan Mill Mill Road, Road, Suite Suite 302 302 Toronto, Toronto, ON ON M3B M3B 1Z3. 1Z3. Postmaster: Postmaster: please please forward forward forms forms 29B 29B and and 67B 67B to to 101 101 Duncan Duncan Mill Mill Road, Road, Suite Suite 302 302 Toronto, Toronto, ON ON M3B M3B 1Z3. 1Z3. Printed Printed in in Canada. Canada. All All rights rights reserved. reserved. The The contents contents of of this this publication publication may may not not be be re­ re­pproduced roduced either either in in part part or or in in full full without without the the consent consent of of the the copyright copyright owner. owner. From From time time to to time time we we make make our our subscription subscription list list available available to to select select companies companies and and organizations organizations whose whose product product or or service service may may interest interest you. you. IfIf you you do do not not wish wish your your contact contact information information to to be be made made available, available, please please contact contact us us via via one one of of the the following following methods: methods: Telephone Telephone 416-441-2085 416-441-2085 x104 x104 E-mail E-mail Mail Mail Circulation, Circulation, 101 101 Duncan Duncan Mill Mill Road, Road, Suite Suite 302, 302, Toronto, Toronto, ON ON M3B M3B 1Z3 1Z3 Member Member of of the the Canadian Canadian Business Business Press Press Member Member of of the the ALLIANCE ALLIANCE FOR FOR AuditED AuditED MEDIA MEDIA Publications Publications Mail Mail Agreement Agreement #43096012 #43096012 ISSN ISSN 1923-3353 1923-3353 (Online) (Online) ISSN ISSN 0008-2872 0008-2872 (Print) (Print)

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Concrete steps to a carbon-neutral future. In a country warming faster than the rest of the world, Canada’s building industry is under increased scrutiny to deliver low-carbon solutions for our built environment.

As the makers of the most consumed commodity on the planet after water, the cement and concrete industry shares this responsibility. We are rising to the challenge, taking concrete steps that have reduced our carbon footprint and are laying a path toward a carbon-neutral future.

Top five carbon-cutting innovations

Concrete’s essential ingredient is cement – a fine powder that binds other ingredients together and typically represents no more than 10 to 15 per cent of a concrete mixture. Cement is produced using an energy intensive process that is benefiting from exciting innovation and new technologies. The results are measurable reductions in CO2 emissions and new and greener building options and solutions.


Top five built-in low carbon advantages

While reducing embodied carbon emissions is important and remains a priority for the cement and concrete industry, energy efficiency, long service life and material efficiency over the full life-cycle of a structure are essential factors in decarbonizing our buildings. Concrete can achieve all these carbon advantages while maintaining its unparalleled design flexibility and performance.


Industry Energy Efficiency

CO2 emissions

Blended cements Lower-carbon Portland-limestone cement Low carbon fuels Carbon capture, utilization & storage (CCUS) Future innovations






Carbon-cutting path to neutrality


Carbon neutral/ Carbon negative

Industrial energy efficiency – Over the last twenty years, the cement sector has modernized its manufacturing fleet, reducing the energy required to make a tonne of cement by about 20%. We continue to make investments at historic levels to further reduce emissions.

Lower carbon cements – Portland-limestone cement (Contempra) reduces CO2 emissions by 10% compared to traditional cement yet produces concrete of equivalent strength and durability. No significant changes are required to concrete mix designs and it could reduce Canada’s greenhouse gas emissions by up to one megatonne annually.

Alternative blends create greener cement – Partially replacing cement with supplementary cementing materials (SCMs) reduces CO2 emissions. In Canada, SCMs typically replace 20% of the cement that would be required to produce a metre3 of concrete. This avoids nearly two megatonnes of carbon emissions, a number that would be improved further if the use of SCMs was optimized. The added benefit is that blended cements make use of by-products from other industrial processes that would be destined for landfills, including slag from steel and copper production and fly ash from electrical utilities. Using low carbon fuels such as waste biomass and single-use plastics – The cement sector is transitioning to low- or zero-carbon fuels such as those derived from the waste stream, including construction, demolition and agricultural waste and non-recyclable plastics. Achieving current global best-in-class fuel substitution rates could further reduce GHGs by another 20% to 30% from the cement manufacturing process.

Capturing carbon and putting it to good use – We are deeply invested in longer term carbon capture, utilization and storage (CCUS) technologies that could transform concrete from a carbon emitter to a carbon neutral or even carbon negative building material. CarbonCure, Solidia and Pond Technologies are only some of the exciting innovations gaining traction in the market.





Operating energy efficiency – Depending on its location, the operational energy needs of a typical building in Canada can account for 90% of its carbon emissions, largely from heating and cooling demands. Concrete’s high thermal mass capacity reduces these demands by absorbing temperature variations. Strategic use of thermal mass, integrated with smart design and geothermal technologies, has enabled Manitoba Hydro Place to reduce energy use by 60% compared to the Model National Energy Code for Buildings (MNECB). Thermal mass-based concrete designs also allow buildings to remain serviceable over longer periods during power disruptions and extreme heat or cold.

Natural carbon sequestration – Concrete naturally absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere. This process is known as “carbonation” and it is an important consideration in measuring the carbon impact of building materials. Studies show that up to 25% of cement’s process emissions are re-absorbed and locked into the concrete products over the life of the material.

Historic durability and resilience – Concrete is durable and resilient. It is strong enough to resist extreme weather-related events like tornadoes and natural disasters including earthquakes, wildfires and floods. Concrete has proven to be an effective mitigation solution against infrastructure failures that threaten the safety and security of communities and citizens. Ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) – Recent developments in ultra-high-performance concrete materials are enabling the realization of forms and structures that are remarkably slender, light and elegant, with visually appealing surface finishes, yet remain exceptionally strong and durable. UHPC represents an exciting opportunity to use concrete more efficiently while further enhancing the durability and longevity of buildings and infrastructure – especially in the face of more frequent and more extreme weather events.

Locally produced and 100% recyclable – On average, the supply of concrete is never more than an hour away from a job site, reducing the environmental impact of shipping building materials over long distances. And concrete is 100% recyclable, used as aggregate or granular material once crushed – when it actually absorbs atmospheric CO2 at increased rates.


Mind the gap


Emission Omissions :

Mazimizing material efficiency

Optimizing a building’s longevity

Specifying Portland-limestone cement for concrete will reduce emissions by 10%

At the end of the building’s usable life, concrete can be 100% recycled

Carbon accounting gaps in the built environment

Integrating concrete’s thermal mass with smart design & geothermal technologies can save 60% in operational energy


Using blended cements could reduce GHGs by 20%

Concrete’s natural carbonation could absorb 25% of its process emissions over the life of the material

A new independent study by the International Institute for Sustainable Development (ISSD) has identified serious gaps in how carbon emissions Seton Stiebert from building materials are currently accounted for – gaps that may be Daniella Echeverria Philip Gass undercutting today’s climate change efforts and shortchanging future Lucy Kitson 2018 International Institute opportunities. for Sustainable Development | April 2019 emission reduction Among its more surprising conclusions, Emission Omissions: Carbon accounting gaps in the built environment found that up to 72% of carbon emissions from wood may not be accounted for in commercial Lifecycle Assessments (LCA). When these emissions are taken into account, concrete’s embodied carbon footprint could be up to 6% less intensive than that of wood products, challenging the assumption that wood materials are inherently less carbon intensive than steel or concrete. Table ES1. Cradle-to-grave building embodied emissons (tCO2e) Traditional Assumptions (Carbon Neutral) Scenario including Biogenic Carbon Losses related to forest management practices



Wood Concrete


Wood 0

Every step counts

The path to a carbon-neutral, climate-resilient future is complex and there is no quick-fix. New research and innovation are constantly changing the available options. Canada’s cement and concrete industry will continue its carbon-cutting work to enhance concrete’s role as a climate solution so that architects, designers and builders have the best possible options to support a carbon-neutral built environment. For more information, visit

Industrial Emissions Biogenic Carbon Losses






90% regeneration rate

Soil carbon loss


Conversion of natural forest When combined factors such as forest regeneration rates, soil carbon loss and primary-to-new-grownforest-conversion are all accounted for, the cradle-to-grave embodied emssions for a wood building could be 6% greater than that for a concrete building.

The IISD study concluded that LCAs are still the best approach to measure carbon emissions in buildings but that more data, transparency and robust standards are needed, especially with respect to unaccounted biogenic carbon.1 It also highlighted that while embodied carbon emissions are important, energy efficiency, long service life and material efficiency should be priorities for decarbonizing our buildings. 1

Emission Omissions: Carbon accounting gap in the built environment, IISD 2019,

canadian architect 11/19




For the first time in the history of the Green Building Festival, all three Lifetime Achievement Award winners are women. The winners—Teresa Coady of Victoria’s Capital Regional District, Janna Levitt of LGA Architectural Partners, and Birgit Siber of Diamond Schmitt Architects— received their awards on October 8th in Toronto. The Lifetime Achievement Awards acknowledge green building initiatives through advocacy, research, innovation and design excellence across a range of building types.

on Education (CAFÉ), a series of consultations at architecture schools aimed at informing an Architecture Policy for Canada. This outreach project will discuss and debate the role of architectural education and research in shaping Canada’s future. Twelve schools of architecture will participate in five forums at five universities across the country during the 2019-2020 academic year. The initiative also includes a call for student-authored manifestos. A series of public consultations, hosted by provincial and territorial architecture organizations, is also taking place. Sessions have been held in Calgary, Moncton, Charlottetown, St. John’s, and Toronto, and a session is planned in Yellowknife. An online forum for collecting feedback on the Architecture Policy for Canada is also being put in place.

Edmonton Funicular wins International Architecture Award

World Green Building Council Releases Net Zero Future Report

Three women receive Green Building Festival’s Lifetime Achievement Award /

DIALOG’s 100 Street Funicular project in Edmonton has won a 2019

As part of the 10th annual World Green Building Week, the World Green Building Council (WorldGBC) has issued a new vision to fully decarbonize the building sector by eliminating both operational and embodied carbon emissions. According to the WorldGBC, building and construction are responsible for 39 percent of all carbon emissions in the world, with ational emissions accounting for 28 percent. The remaining 11 per cent comes from embodied carbon emissions, or “upfront” carbon that is assoWhat’s New ciated with materials and construction processes. The Council’s report highlights how buildings around the world CAFÉ consultations launch across Canada can reach 40 percent less embodied carbon emissions by 2030, and achieve 100 percent net zero emissions by 2050. It proposes solutions The Canadian Council of University Schools of Architecture (CCUSA) to accelerate immediate action by the entire building and construction isad_shure_MXA910_Can pleased to announce theArchitect_0910.qxp_Layout launch of the Canadian Architecture Forums 1 2019-10-02 10:34 AM Page value chain. The transition towards mainstream net zero carbon standards requires immediate action to achieve improved processes to calculate, track and report embodied carbon, voluntary reduction targets from industry, and roll-out of new legislation at city, national and regional levels. Approaches that maximize the use of existing assets, promote renovation instead of demolition, and seek new circular business models that reduce reliance on carbon intensive raw materials are also needed. International Architecture Award. It is the only Canadian project recognized in this year’s awards, organized by The Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and The European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies.

Letters to the Editor Declaring—and acting

I am encouraged to see so many architects signing the Architects Declare statement, and your ongoing coverage of the climate change emergency. It has inspired our office to take stock of our current action, and deeply consider what we can do as a business, and as architects involved in single-family residential. Houses may be smaller buildings, but they cover our country in multitudes! We would love to hear more about the practical actions our fellow architects across the country are taking, and what other actions, small and large, we can take to limit our impact and build more sustainable homes. In our office, we have a set of principles that we discuss among ourselves and with all our clients: Build only what you really need, once. What do you truly need to be happy in your home? It might be less extensive than you think. At the beginning of our projects, we do an in-depth journalling exercise to gain insight into what our clients need now, and how they envision their life in the future. This way, we are designing a home that will last, and not need reworking or rebuilding in the future.

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Build Small. How small is NOT too small? Let’s make our homes only the size we truly need, and no bigger. If we simply start by building less, then less materials need to be produced and shipped, less packaging is used and discarded, and less energy is consumed at all stages of the process. By building small we also leave more natural environment intact. This principle releases budget that would have otherwise been spent on building large.

canadian architect 11/19


Prioritize the “Invisible.” How much of your budget do you mind not seeing? Let’s spend more on insulation, air tightness, and super efficient windows and mechanical systems. We are lucky that most of our clients already think this way, even if it means spending less on the visible things like interiors. It also means we get published in the media less, because oftentimes our projects don’t look “fancy” enough. We would love to see more super-efficient homes get published in mainstream journals, but that’s a whole other Letter to the Editor. Go all-electric. Electric heating no longer means inefficient baseboards. With super efficient, air-tight buildings, we can build homes that use only a small amount of electricity and don’t rely on non-renewable fossil-fuels like natural gas. We can work towards a net-zero electricity grid, making all-electric homes net-zero too. Whenever you can build with wood, you should. Some clients come to us with a pre-set idea of what makes a sustainable home. For example, ICFs are popular, but many people don’t realize that concrete is very carbon intensive to produce. We counsel our clients about these issues, and, for instance, limit use of ICFs to foundations only. By carefully specifying sustainable wood products (structural and non-structural), we can support a sustainable forestry industry and move away from fossil-fuel-heavy materials like concrete. Run a resource-efficient office. We try to do as much as we can in our office to limit our impact. We are almost completely paper-free for all our admin. We keep office Tupperware for neighbourhood take-out lunches, and have a full complement of dishes, cutlery, and cloth napkins to make bringing lunch easy. We make French press coffee with fair trade, organic grounds. We use toilet paper with 100 percent recycled content, which meets Green Seal standards for chlorine-free processing, and energy and water efficiency. We are meticulous about waste sorting, and make sure all recyclables and compost go in the right bins, always checking for crosscontamination. In our project work, we try to do as much on our screens as possible. We only print on paper when absolutely necessary, and we use FSC-certified paper with 100 percent post-consumer recycled content. These activities seem basic and almost silly to claim as initiatives, but we often see people not doing them, so we still need to talk about it. Offset unavoidable emissions. As hard as we try, we still contribute to carbon emissions. For the past decade, we have been annually offsetting our whole building’s electricity consumption with Bullfrog Power; that includes our office and two apartment units. We are also now offsetting our driving and natural gas consumption as well. Our Principals Tom and Christine own two all-electric triplexes in Toronto and are offsetting the consumption for those buildings as well. We continue to make every effort to reduce our corporate footprint, and the impacts of our projects. Please keep this conversation going in your magazine. We would love to continue learning from the collective experience and wisdom of our peers across the country. Carla Crawford, M. Arch, Solares Architecture / LNWY

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canadian architect 11/19



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In the October issue, Canadian Architect published the winners of the RAIC’s annual awards, including Emerging Architectural Practice winner UUfie. While this young firm’s accomplishments are admirable, their Lake Cottage caught my eye for another reason: it looks like a death trap for birds. The cottage’s outdoor porch features a mirrored ceiling and walls that reflect the surrounding forest. Unfortunately, for birds, reflective surfaces (and even plain glass) can cause sudden death. Birds do not understand the concept of glass. They see landscape reflected in windows and mirrored building exteriors, and mistake them for safe passage. Though millions of birds collide with buildings in urban areas each year in Canada, most collisions are with houses. Many of these collisions occur on windows on homes in wooded areas and in locations near bodies of water, where migrating birds travel. The journal Science recently reported that nearly 30 percent of all birds (that is, 3 billion birds) have disappeared since the 1970s. This loss includes some birds we take for granted—backyard regulars like blue jays—as well as migrating songbirds such as warblers, kinglets, and ovenbirds. Loss of habitat and dramatic changes in weather contribute to declining populations, but losses caused by the built environment are startlingly high, and they are not necessary. Across North America, the number of migrating birds killed annually in collisions with buildings is estimated to be 699 million. Bird behaviour is dictated by instincts deep in avian DNA. They are unable to adapt rapidly to changes in migratory routes. Reflective surfaces and lighting at night on migratory routes lead to dramatic bird kills. In Toronto and New York, cities full of gleaming office towers, migratory birds can literally rain down on sidewalks, where volunteers endeavour to retrieve and save those still living. The stunning breadth of collisions with buildings in Toronto is exhibited each year at the Royal Ontario Museum in a disheartening display. Volunteers from Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP), an organization that has been studying migratory birds in built environments for over 25 years, collect injured and deceased migratory birds over the year. An annual exhibit displays the birds’ bodies. With help from FLAP and two decades of effort, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) recently produced a voluntary Bird-Friendly Design Standard. The Standard covers bird-friendly building design in both new construction and existing buildings, along with design requirements for glazing, building-integrated structures and overall building and site design. It should be understood that it is not necessary to give up attractive design while considering birds. Appropriately fritted glass, for example, makes glass visible to birds. Sometimes a simple adjustment of an angle or an overhang makes all the difference. The City of Toronto provided Bird-Friendly Guidelines as far back as 2007, but public comprehension and buy-in of new information takes time. Since then, scientists and volunteers have been producing compelling data to support progress in our understanding of architecture’s impact on our feathered friends. With the new CSA Standard, we are one step closer to making bird-friendly design part of sustainable building construction. As in the case of recycling, water management and so many other issues, architects should consider bird-friendly design to be part of sustainable building practice, and they should support a legal framework to make it mandatory. Cynthia Cohlmeyer, Landscape Architect, FCSLA

Our Buildings Can Save the Planet

Climate change has emerged as a critical issue, and yet Canada’s politicians (of all stripes) are ignoring the easiest, the fastest, the least

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expensive and the most effective means of reducing greenhouse gas emissions—energy efficient buildings. The design, construction and operation of our buildings accounts for at least 25 percent of Canada’s emissions. It is now possible to create and even retrofit buildings so they are zero carbon—adding absolutely no emissions to the atmosphere. If this standard were applied to all buildings in Canada, then our emissions would be reduced by a full quarter. Such a project would be enormous and almost impossible in the short term, but the federal government could—and should—lead the way. The Canadian government owns, operates and/or leases 33 million square metres of space which consumes roughly the same amount of energy as the City of Surrey, BC. The current government hopes to be carbon neutral by 2025 but insists they will purchase clean energy to reach this goal. Deep retrofits would be a far more economical and beneficial approach. Here’s why: one in every 13 Canadians is employed in the AEC industry and these are jobs that can’t be outsourced to other countries. Buying solar panels or wind turbines from other countries doesn’t really create a lot of economic activity in Canada, but retrofitting that much space would create thousands of high value jobs for Canadians. Moreover, this project could also be used as a testbed, showcase and demonstration site for new homegrown green building products and services, ranging from biocomposite insulation, to wireless sensors for monitoring building performance, to blockchain for protecting the data generated by those sensors. The construction industry is projected to have a value of $24 trillion USD by 2021. This represents a huge export opportunity for any country that brands itself as a leader in green buildings, and can offer the products and services to support that claim.

This entire market is ripe for disruption and a concentrated effort to use new technologies to combat climate change could also help drag it into the 21st century with dramatic improvements to its productivity. The productivity benefits, however, don’t stop there. Energy efficient buildings are healthier buildings. Natural light, for example, has been shown to reduce absenteeism and improve productivity. Imagine the increase in productivity if this approach was applied across the entire country. In short, a nationwide initiative in deep retrofits would not only dramatically reduce our country’s greenhouse gas emissions but would have significant long-term economic, societal and health benefits as well.

canadian architect 11/19


Dr. Douglas MacLeod, Chair, RAIC Centre for Architecture at Athabasca University

Memoranda 2020 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

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2020 National Urban Design Awards

Entries are due for the National Urban Design Awards. Winners in the 2019 municipal competitions are invited to submit, and architects with projects in other communities across Canada are also eligible. Entries are due November 21, 2019.


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Savings by Design Affordable Housing Program Savings By Design Commercial Program

By participating in the Enbridge Savings by Design Workshop, we were able to discuss real costs of choices, both for construction and long-term operating. The overall building massing and layout was set by very complex program and siting restrictions, so the areas in which we benefited greatly were in rethinking storm water management on site, window type and performance, exterior wall assembly, and healthy materials. The mechanical engineering part was also indispensable and so instructive; highlighting important and easy changes, discussing more complex upgrades, and understanding the long-term and performance impacts of our systems, both as climate change worsens and as building systems need replacement and upgrades. The Enbridge charrette provided the perfect opportunity to make clear and informed choices that brought our project to the next level of energy, health and operating performance. It saved construction and operating costs and made for a healthier building. — Chantal Cornu, LGA Architectural Partners

In 2018, Evergreen Brick Works was in the midst of an ambitious effort to transform the historic Kiln Building – and make it carbon neutral by using the right energy at the right time. Early in the process, Enbridge led a Savings by Design workshop for the project. On a fast track project, this provided a tremendous opportunity for the integrated design team to reflect on the early trajectory set in the project, and obtain informed perspectives from invited experts on enhancing it. The workshop also provided a spring board to brainstorm how the Kiln Building project could serve as a catalyst to transform the entire Brick Works campus to be carbon neutral, which has been a longstanding vision of Evergreen. The Savings by Design workshop struck a great balance between both blue sky and detail level thinking. It was informative, fruitful, and an overall positive experience. We’d highly recommend Enbridge’s Savings by Design workshop program for anyone thinking about making more sustainable buildings. — Drew Adams, Associate, LGA Architectural Partners

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Save the date! The RAIC Conference on Architecture comes to Alberta June 3 to 7, 2020, at the Edmonton Convention Centre. Be there to network, learn, and celebrate architecture.

Architects commit to climate action Les architectes s’engagent pour le climat

Notez la date! La Conférence de l’IRAC sur l’architecture se rend en Alberta, du 3 au 7 juin 2020, au Centre des congrès d’Edmonton. Soyez-y pour réseauter, apprendre et célébrer l’architecture.

On September 20, the RAIC Committee on Regenerative Environments issued a call to Canadian architectural and design firms to commit to combatting the climate crisis by signing a new Canadian Architects Declare pledge.

The RAIC is offering a Financial Management for Architects course across Canada, starting with Vancouver, Ottawa, and Toronto. The course explores an architect’s role in managing firm operations and finances. RAIC members save on registration fees. See for details.

Here’s the declaration, titled Canadian Architectural Professionals Declare Climate and Biodiversity Emergency and Commit to Urgent and Sustained Action. There are more than 150 signatories so far. Le 20 septembre, le Comité sur les environnements régénératifs de l’IRAC a lancé un appel aux cabinets d’architectes canadiens à s’engager à combattre la crise climatique en signant une nouvelle déclaration d’engagement des architectes canadiens.

L’IRAC offre un cours sur la Gestion financière pour les architectes à la grandeur du Canada, en commençant par les villes de Vancouver, Ottawa et Toronto. Le cours porte sur le rôle de l’architecte dans la gestion des opérations et des finances de la firme. Les membres de l’IRAC ont droit à des rabais sur les frais d’inscription. Consultez la page Webday Wednesdays are back! The theme for December’s webinars is Marketing and Communications in Architecture. Select the classes you want a la carte or bundle and save. Find details at Les Mercredis en ligne sont de retour! Les webinaires de décembre porteront sur le thème du marketing et des communications en architecture. Sélectionnez les webinaires de votre choix à la carte ou en forfait mensuel et économisez. Consultez la page pour plus de détails. RAIC membership renewal for 2020 is in full swing. Make sure your membership is renewed today to continue enjoying access to the many member-only savings and benefits. Not a member? Learn more at Le renouvellement de l’adhésion à l’IRAC pour 2020 bat son plein. Assurez-vous de renouveler votre adhésion dès aujourd’hui pour continuer d’avoir accès aux nombreux avantages et rabais exclusifs aux membres. Vous n’êtes pas membre? Renseignez-vous à

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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Voici la déclaration, intitulée Les professionnels canadiens de l’architecture déclarent l’urgence du climat et de la biodiversité et s’engagent à prendre des mesures urgentes et soutenues. On compte plus de 150 signataires à ce jour. Jennifer Cutbill, FRAIC, founder of the RAIC Committee on Regenerative Environments, with daughter Isabel, joins the climate strike march in Vancouver on September 27. Jennifer Cutbill, FRAIC, fondatrice du Comité sur les environnements régénérateurs de l’IRAC, avec sa fille Isabel, se joint à la marche pour la grève climatique à Vancouver le 27 septembre.

Our interconnected crises of climate breakdown, ecological degradation, and societal inequity are the most serious issues of our time. The design, construction, and operation of our built environment accounts for nearly 40% of energy-related carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, and pervasively impacts our societies and the health of the living systems that sustain us. Building to support the intergenerational health of our communities and living systems will require rapid paradigm shifts in thought and action for everyone working in the design, construction, and procure­ment of our built environments. Together with our clients, collaborators, and communities, we need to develop buildings, cities, and infrastructures as indivisible components of larger nested living systems— interconnected, resilient, and regenerative, now and for future generations. The knowledge, research, and technologies exist for us to begin this transformation now. Through collective will and collaborative action, we will elevate, empower, and evolve our sustained action.

Les professionnels canadiens de l’architecture déclarent l’urgence du climat et de la biodiversité et s’engagent à prendre des mesures urgentes et soutenues.

•R  aise awareness of these interconnected crises, and the impact the built environment has on them, with our clients and colleagues;

Nos crises interdépendantes de dérèglement climatique, de dégradation écologique et d’inégalités sociales sont les problèmes les plus graves de notre époque. La conception, la construction et l’exploitation de notre cadre bâti sont responsables de près de 40 % des émissions de dioxyde de carbone (CO2) liées à l’énergie et elles ont des répercussions généralisées sur nos sociétés et la santé des systèmes vivants qui assurent notre viabilité.

• Take immediate action through our projects, and in our capacities as advisors, continued on page 16

Bâtir pour soutenir la santé intergénérationnelle de nos collectivités et de nos suite à la page 16

Accordingly, we commit to:

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continued from page 15 advocates, educators, and enablers within our communities, cities, and supply chains.

maintenant. Avec une volonté commune  et une action collaborative, nous renforcerons notre action soutenue, nous la doterons des moyens nécessaires et nous la ferons évoluer.

Towards this, we further commit to: En conséquence, nous nous engageons à : •D  esign for holistic reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, and advocate for investments in a rapid transition to resilient climate-positive alternatives; •E  liminate waste and harm, and support a rapid transition to circular economies; •D  esign for holistic health, resilience, and regeneration; respecting the rights and wisdom of Indigenous Peoples as outlined in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples; •A  dopt regenerative design principles and practices to build the necessary capability to design and develop projects and environments that go beyond the standard of net zero in use; • Advocate for the rapid systemic changes required to address the climate and ecological health crises, as well as the policies, funding priorities, and implement­ation frameworks that support them. Join us in making this commitment by adding your organization to the signature form at A companion document, Designing for the Future, expands upon actions that architects and designers can take. Find it at

suite de la page 15 systèmes vivants exigera des changements rapides de paradigmes dans la pensée et dans l’action pour tous les intervenants qui travaillent dans la conception, la construction et l’approvisionnement de nos cadres bâtis. De concert avec nos clients, nos collaborateurs et les membres de nos collectivités, nous devons réaliser des bâtiments, des villes et des infrastructures en tant que composantes indivisibles de systèmes vivants plus grands et imbriqués —interdépendants, résilients et régénératifs, dès maintenant, et pour les générations futures. Les connaissances, la recherche et les technologies existantes nous permettent de commencer cette transformation dès

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•S  ensibiliser le public à ces crises interdépendantes et à l’impact du cadre bâti sur celles-ci, avec nos clients et collègues;    •P  rendre des mesures immédiates dans l’exécution de nos projets et dans nos rôles de conseillers, de défenseurs, d’éducateurs et de catalyseurs au sein de nos collectivités, de nos villes et de nos chaînes d’approvisionnement.   À ces fins, nous nous engageons également à : •C  oncevoir en vue de réductions holistiques des émissions de gaz à effet de serre et plaider en faveur d’investissements dans une transition rapide vers des solutions de rechange respectueuses du climat; •C  oncevoir de façon à éliminer les déchets et à soutenir une transition rapide vers des économies circulaires; •C  oncevoir pour soutenir la santé, la résilience et la régénération holistiques; respectant les droits des peuples autochtones tels que décrits dans la Déclaration des Nations Unies sur les droits des peuples autochtones; • Adopter les principes et les pratiques de la conception régénérative pour renforcer les capacités nécessaires en architecture et en urbanisme qui vont au-delà de la norme du nez zéro en usage; •P  romouvoir les changements systémiques rapides nécessaires pour lutter contre les crises du climat et de la santé écologique, ainsi que les politiques, les priorités de financement et les cadres de mises en œuvre qui les appuient. Joignez-vous à nous dans cet engagement et ajoutez le nom de votre organisation à la liste des signataires à : Un document d’accompagnement, Conce­ voir pour l’avenir, développe les mesures que les architectes et les concepteurs peuvent prendre. Vous pouvez le consulter à l’adresse :

By / Par Tanner Morton RAIC Communications Assistant Adjoint aux communications de l’IRAC

Millennials are defined as the generation of digital disruption, and the effects are visible in the architectural profession. Millennials in Architecture: Generations, Disruption, and the Legacy of a Profession, by Darius Sollohub, explores the concept of the millennial generation and the influence young architects will have on the future of the practice.   The 352-page book, published in June 2019 by the University of Texas, is described as the first book to look at the impact of the newest generation of architects. Sollohub is an architect and associate professor of architecture at the New Jersey Institute of Technology.   The term “millennial” describes the first generation that grew up with the internet and came of age at the dawn of the new millennium. The Pew Research Center in Washington, D.C. defines millennials as those born between 1981 and 1996. The youngest millennials are still in school while the oldest members, at 38, are working.   Sollohub first became aware of the idea of millennials after offering a course on affordable housing design. He initially thought it would be a struggle to fill registration, especially with other more exotic options available. Instead, he found his ethics-driven program had a waitlist of eager students waiting to learn skills they could apply in the real world.   

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As Sollohub discovered, incorporating ethical values into work is essential for millennials. Whether it’s an increased awareness of the environmental impact of buildings, a desire to create community-focused projects, or the need to establish fair and equitable business practices, millennials believe that ethics and business should not be separate. According to the Pew Research Center, millennials are the generation that has received the most coverage by journalists and academics. From this exhaustive examination, a set of character attributes has emerged that distinguish millennials from the generations that came before.   Key characteristics include their understanding of technology, collaborative mindset, decentralized work habits, focus on ethics in their work, and a struggle to create a work-life balance.   “Millennials in architectural practices and schools clearly share the characteristics of self-confidence, team orientation, and sense of outward and socially responsible focus with their large cohort,” Sollohub writes.   “They have expanded their digital skills beyond those of their non-architect peers to deploy them to physically make things. They fully understand the new design  Gesamtkunstwerk that governs digital devices as a strategy and can apply it to their own work. And, they have answered the call to take their actions to the community and respond to crises.”   The most significant feature that separates millennials from previous generations is that they are the first generation to grow up with computers and the internet. As “digital natives,” they were born to this new world, compared to “digital immigrants” who came to it from another.    “This culturally inborn digital acumen gives them confidence, enhances their social connectivity, and enables a sense of selfawareness even deeper than that which bound together their Boomer parents,” says the author.   Design thinking, though not an approach invented by millennials, is a process that has been enthusiastically adopted by young architects. It’s an approach that prioritizes user experience, collaboration, and innovation when developing a solution to a problem.   continued on page 22

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Les millénariaux sont définis comme la génération de la perturbation numérique, et les effets sont visibles dans la profession d’architecte. Le livre Millennials in Architecture: Generations, Disruption, and the Legacy of a Profession, de Darius Sollohub, explore le concept de la génération du millénaire et l’influence que les jeunes architectes auront sur l’avenir de la pratique. Le livre de 352 pages, publié en juin 2019 par la University of Texas, est décrit comme le premier livre à examiner l’influence de la nouvelle génération d’architectes. Sollohub est architecte et professeur agrégé d’architecture au New Jersey Institute of Technology.   Le terme « millénarial » décrit la première génération qui a grandi avec l’Internet et a atteint sa majorité à l’aube du nouveau millénaire. Le Pew Research Center de Washington, D.C., définit les millénariaux comme les personnes nées entre 1981 et 1996. Les plus jeunes sont encore aux études alors que les plus vieux, âgés de 38 ans, travaillent. Sollohub a d’abord pris conscience de l’idée des millénariaux après avoir donné un cours sur la conception de logements abordables. Il a d’abord pensé qu’il serait difficile de remplir son cours, d’autant plus que d’autres options plus originales étaient offertes. Il a plutôt constaté que son programme axé sur l’éthique comportait une liste d’attente d’étudiants impatients d’apprendre les compétences qu’ils pourraient appliquer dans le monde réel.   Comme Sollohub l’a découvert, l’intégration de valeurs éthiques dans le travail est essentielle pour les millénariaux. Qu’il s’agisse d’une plus grande sensibilisation à l’impact environnemental des bâtiments, d’un désir de créer des projets communautaires ou de la nécessité d’établir des pratiques commerciales justes et équitables, les millénariaux croient que l’éthique et les affaires ne devraient pas être séparées.   Selon le Pew Research Center, les millénariaux sont la génération qui a reçu le plus d’attention de la part des journalistes et des universitaires. Cet examen exhaustif a permis de dégager un ensemble de caractéristiques qui distinguent les millénariaux des générations qui les ont précédés.   Les caractéristiques principales comprennent la compréhension de la technologie, l’esprit de collaboration, les habitudes de travail décentralisées, l’accent mis sur l’éthique dans leur travail et la lutte pour concilier travail et vie personnelle.

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« Les millénariaux dans les cabinets et les écoles d’architecture partagent manifestement les caractéristiques de la confiance en soi, de l’esprit d’équipe et du sens des responsabilités extérieures et sociales avec leur vaste cohorte », écrit Sollohub.   « Ils ont étendu leurs compétences numériques au-delà de celles de leurs pairs nonarchitectes pour les élaborer et fabriquer des objets physiques. Ils comprennent parfaitement le nouveau design Gesamtkunstwerk qui régit les appareils numériques en tant que stratégie et peuvent l’appliquer à leur propre travail. Et ils ont répondu à l’appel d’agir auprès de la communauté et de répondre aux crises ».   La caractéristique la plus importante qui distingue les millénariaux des générations précédentes est qu’ils sont la première génération à avoir grandi avec les ordinateurs et l’Internet. En tant que « natifs numériques », ils sont nés dans ce nouveau monde, comparés aux « immigrants numériques » qui arrivés d’un monde différent.   « Ce sens du numérique inné culturellement leur donne confiance, améliore leur connectivité sociale et leur procure une conscience de soi encore plus profonde que celle qui unit leurs parents babyboomers », dit l’auteur.   Même s’il ne s’agit pas d’une approche inventée par les millénariaux, la conception créative est un processus qui a été adopté avec empressement par les jeunes architectes. Il s’agit d’une approche qui accorde la priorité à l’expérience utilisateur, à la collaboration et à l’innovation lors de l’élaboration d’une solution à un problème.   Sollohub soutient que cette approche interdisciplinaire du design - qui abandonne l’idée du génie solitaire ou « starchitecte » n’a cessé de se développer à mesure que les millénariaux ont commencé leur carrière professionnelle. La collaboration est considérée comme la clé du succès et l’intégration d’idées hors du domaine de l’architecture est la norme pour les professionnels millénariaux.   La décentralisation et le travail à distance ont eu un impact sur toutes les professions, ce qui permet de travailler partout dans le monde. Ce changement a touché à la fois les cabinets d’architectes classiques et l’enseignement.   suite à la page 22

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We’re part of the RAIC. Join us. Nous faisons partie de l’IRAC. Joignez-vous à nous. IT’S TIME TO RENEW RAIC MEMBERSHIP FOR 2020 Be part of a creative, engaged, and inclusive community that is building a healthy future for architecture in Canada. Find out more at or contact Membership Administrator Gretta Inamahoro at or 1-844-856-RAIC (7242) Ext. 200. Here’s what some of our members have to say.

IL EST TEMPS DE RENOUVELER VOTRE ADHÉSION À L’IRAC POUR 2020 Faire partie d’une communauté créative, engagée et inclusive qui bâtit un avenir sain pour l’architecture au Canada. Pour en savoir plus, visitez le site ou communiquez avec Gretta Inamahoro, administratrice des adhésions, à ou au 1-844-856-RAIC (7242) poste 200. Voici les commentaires de certains de nos membres.

Interviews by / Entrevues par Tanner Morton and Maria Cook

Janna Levitt, FRAIC, Partner / Associée LGA Architectural Partners, Toronto, ON I believe every project is an opportunity to make something beautiful and can’t be wasted by doing anything less than one’s best. I joined right after I graduated from architecture school. I knew so little about the practice and culture of the profession, and I thought the RAIC would be a good introduction to this community. I would suggest being a member to any architect as the RAIC offers an incredibly broad range of services and programs. The professional resources, awards, and publications are extremely valuable. I use the RAIC contract documents all the time. It’s so great to know that there is a tried and true contract to use for all kinds of projects. The Festival of Architecture is a great venue to catch up with colleagues across the country. The Governor-General’s Medals in Architecture are an essential program for the country to promote excellent architecture.   Je crois que chaque projet est une occasion de réaliser quelque chose de beau et on ne peut le gâcher en faisant moins que son mieux. J’ai rejoint l’équipe juste après l’école d’architecture. Je connaissais très peu la pratique et la culture de la profession, et je pensais que l’IRAC serait une bonne introduction à cette communauté. Je suggérerais à tous les architectes d’être membres de l’IRAC, car l’IRAC offre une gamme incroyablement vaste de services et de programmes. Les ressources professionnelles, les prix et les publications sont extrêmement précieux. J’utilise les documents contractuels de l’IRAC tout le temps. C’est formidable de savoir qu’il existe un contrat éprouvé à utiliser pour toutes sortes de projets. Le Festival d’architecture est une excellente occasion de rencontrer des collègues de partout au pays. Les Médailles du Gouverneur général en architecture sont un programme essentiel pour le pays afin de promouvoir l’excellence en architecture.   Matt Davis, MRAIC, Intern Architect / Architecte stagiaire FBM, Halifax, NS   I want to work on public and civic projects that are for the greater good, using my knowledge and expertise as an architect for advocacy. I am starting to look at housing needs and ways to address these needs through a public policy standpoint. Joining the RAIC enables you to be part of a national collective, not just the local architecture scene, where you can connect with other like-minded individuals. As an intern, it opens opportunities to take webinars, especially those geared at helping prepare for the ExAC, which I’ll be writing next year. I use the Canadian Handbook of Practice as well as a wide range of other documents produced by the RAIC. 

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Je veux travailler sur des projets publics et citoyens qui sont pour le bien de tous, en utilisant mes connaissances et mon expertise en tant qu’architecte pour la défense des intérêts. Je commence à examiner les besoins en matière de logement et les moyens d’y répondre du point de vue des politiques publiques. L’adhésion à l’IRAC vous permet de faire partie d’un regroupement national, et non seulement de la scène architecturale locale, où vous pouvez communiquer avec d’autres personnes aux vues similaires. En tant que stagiaire, cela me donne l’occasion de participer à des webinaires, en particulier ceux qui visent à aider à préparer l’ExAC, que je vais passer l’an prochain. J’utilise le Manuel canadien de pratique de l’architecture ainsi qu’un large éventail d’autres documents produits par l’IRAC. Derek Kindrachuk, FRAIC, Principal Architect / Architecte principal Kindrachuk Agrey Architecture, Saskatoon, SK Our three core ideals are sustainability, context, and collaboration. Our new office space is LEED Platinum—the first in Saskatchewan. We believe we should practice and demonstrate what we preach.   I always saw the RAIC as this advocacy body that represents architects and people interested in architecture nationally. It’s the one voice we all collectively have. That’s especially valuable when you consider that Saskatchewan is one of the smaller provincial associations. We rely on the RAIC for the greater-good advocacy. I’ve gone to a lot of the RAIC conferences over the years. They’re a wonderful opportunity to see a different part of the country, be with likeminded people, and hear great presenters. What the RAIC brings together in a conference, you couldn’t find elsewhere. The educational opportunities the RAIC is providing have really stepped up. I’ve been in practice for 30 years, but I can always learn. Nos trois idéaux fondamentaux sont la durabilité, le contexte et la collaboration. Nos nouveaux bureaux sont certifiés LEED Platine - les premiers en Saskatchewan. Nous croyons que nous devrions pratiquer et démontrer ce que nous prêchons. J’ai toujours considéré l’IRAC comme cet organisme de défense des intérêts qui représente les architectes et les personnes intéressées par l’architecture à l’échelle nationale. C’est la seule voix que nous avons tous collectivement. C’est particulièrement utile si l’on considère que la Saskatchewan est l’une des plus petites associations provinciales. Nous comptons sur l’IRAC pour défendre nos intérêts. J’ai assisté à de nombreuses conférences de l’IRAC au fil des ans. C’est une merveilleuse occasion de visiter une autre région du pays, d’être avec des gens aux vues similaires et d’entendre d’excellents conférenciers. Ce que l’IRAC réunit dans une conférence, vous ne le trouverez nulle part ailleurs. Les possibilités de formation offertes par l’IRAC se sont vraiment multipliées. Je pratique depuis 30 ans, mais je peux toujours apprendre.   Henry Tsang, MRAIC, PhD, Architect/Assistant Professor / Architecte/professeur adjoint RAIC Centre for Architecture / Centre d’architecture de l’IRAC Athabasca University, Athabasca, AB As an architect and educator, I aspire to contribute to the design of greener, healthier, and happier places, and to cultivate an architectural culture that is socially responsible in shaping good buildings, livable cities, and a sustainable planet. I first signed up as a member of the RAIC in 2012 to gain access to study material for the ExAC. I discovered that not only does the RAIC publish the Canadian Handbook of Practice for Architects (CHOP), but also many essential resources that support architectural practice. I became registered in 2014, yet I still regularly take advantage of the various reference materials, as well as continuing education courses. Through the RAIC’s members’ network, I have met many mentors who have guided me throughout my career. I often encourage my students to connect with their local architects’ association or RAIC chapter.

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En tant qu’architecte et enseignant, j’aspire à contribuer à la conception de lieux plus verts, plus sains et plus agréables, et à cultiver une culture de l’architecture responsable sur le plan social, à créer de bons bâtiments, des villes viables, une planète durable. Je me suis inscrit comme membre de l’IRAC pour la première fois en 2012 afin d’avoir accès au matériel didactique de l’ExAC. J’ai découvert que non seulement l’IRAC publie le Manuel canadien de pratique de l’architecture (MCPA), mais aussi de nombreuses ressources essentielles qui appuient la pratique de l’architecture. Je suis inscrit comme architecte depuis 2014, et je continue de profiter régulièrement des différents documents de référence, ainsi que des cours de formation continue. Grâce au réseau des membres de l’IRAC, j’ai rencontré de nombreux mentors qui m’ont guidé tout au long de ma carrière. J’encourage souvent mes étudiants à communiquer avec leur association d’architectes locale ou leur chapitre de l’IRAC.   Oscar-George Emuwa, MRAIC, Architectural Project Lead / Chef de projet d’architecture WBA Architects and Engineers, Vaughan, ON Goal: To design buildings that will stay long enough to tell a story. To design buildings with nature as a partner, not a force that needs to be conquered or subdued.   I practiced architecture in Nigeria for 13 years, and I am currently going through my internship process in Canada, with about 600 hours left to apply for my licence. Canadian work experience was important to me, but I love to be equipped with knowledge and understanding to add value. Hence my sojourn back to school to understand Canadian construction methods, the Ontario Building Code, and building science. I joined the RAIC because I value having the MRAIC designation, which gives some professional status. Also, there are some perks like the member discounts, and I also get my CCDC documents from the RAIC. I particularly like receiving Canadian Architect each month.    Objectif : Concevoir des bâtiments qui resteront assez longtemps pour raconter une histoire. Concevoir des bâtiments avec la nature comme partenaire et plutôt que comme une force à conquérir ou à dompter. J’ai pratiqué l’architecture au Nigeria pendant 13 ans, et je suis actuellement en stage au Canada, où il me reste environ 600 heures avant de demander mon permis. L’expérience de travail au Canada était importante pour moi, mais j’aime bien avoir les connaissances et la compréhension nécessaires pour créer une valeur ajoutée. D’où mon retour aux études pour comprendre les méthodes de construction canadiennes, le Code du bâtiment de l’Ontario et la science du bâtiment. J’ai rejoint l’IRAC parce que je suis heureux d’avoir le titre de MRAIC, ce qui me donne un certain statut professionnel. De plus, il y a certains avantages comme les rabais aux membres, et je reçois aussi mes documents du CCDC de l’IRAC. J’aime particulièrement recevoir Canadian Architect chaque mois.   Gail Little MRAIC, Principal Architect / Architecte principale pico Architecture inc., Winnipeg, MB Architecture should not only be functional and highly sustainable, but its spaces should inspire, heal, and nurture those who inhabit them. One of the main benefits of membership with the RAIC is having a national voice for the profession. The Festival of Architecture is an excellent asset for members with all the services that are available when you attend. The organization is a vehicle to connect with other architects and professionals across the country, which can greatly benefit your practice. The publications and continuing education produced by the RAIC are a valuable benefit for members at any point in their career.  L’architecture ne doit pas seulement être fonctionnelle et extrêmement durable, mais ses espaces doivent inspirer, apaiser et nourrir ceux qui l’habitent. L’un des principaux avantages d’être membre de l’IRAC est d’avoir un porte-parole national de la profession. Le Festival d’architecture est un excellent atout pour les membres avec tous les services qui sont offerts lorsque vous y assistez. Cette organisation est un moyen de com-

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Journal de l’IRAC


muniquer avec d’autres architectes et professionnels de partout au pays, ce qui peut grandement profiter à votre cabinet. Les publications et la formation continue offertes par l’IRAC sont un avantage précieux pour les membres à tout moment de leur carrière.

Ouri Scott, MRAIC, Associate Architect / Architecte associé Urban Arts Architecture, Vancouver, BC As a designer, I look to develop a modern design language to react and respond to contemporary First Nations culture. I’m passionate about sustainable architecture and see it as honouring my role as a steward of the land. I joined the RAIC so I could be part of the Indigenous Task Force. To be able to connect with and advocate with other Indigenous architects across Canada has provided me with a strong sense of community. I really appreciate the work the RAIC does to advocate for architecture and bring recognition to what we do as architects. That’s important for building understanding. We don’t have very many Indigenous architects in Canada. Being able to build on some of the work the RAIC is doing to raise awareness about the profession will encourage more young people to study architecture. En tant que concepteur, je cherche à développer un langage de conception moderne pour répondre à la culture contemporaine des Premières Nations. Je me passionne pour l’architecture durable et la considère comme un hommage à mon rôle d’intendant du territoire. Je suis devenu membre de l’IRAC pour faire partie du Groupe de travail autochtone. Le fait de pouvoir communiquer avec d’autres architectes autochtones du Canada et de défendre leurs intérêts m’a donné un fort sentiment d’appartenance à la communauté. J’apprécie vraiment le travail que fait l’IRAC pour promouvoir l’architecture et faire reconnaître ce que nous faisons en tant qu’architectes. C’est important pour favoriser la compréhension. Nous n’avons pas beaucoup d’architectes autochtones au Canada. Le fait de pouvoir s’appuyer sur le travail de sensibilisation de l’IRAC à l’égard de la profession encouragera un plus grand nombre de jeunes à étudier en architecture.

Anne Carrier, FIRAC, Founder / Fondatrice Anne Carrier Architecture, Lévis, QC

Duquet - Photographie

Throughout my career as an architect in private practice, research and promoting quality architecture have always been a priority. I therefore chose to become a member of the RAIC because of its vision, mission, and values that resonate with me. I believe that membership in the RAIC, which brings together architects and architectural firms with common concerns, can strengthen our individual missions of promoting excellence. While I am very active in Quebec, the RAIC allows me to become better acquainted with the issues of our profession in the rest of Canada. It is a wonderful opportunity for me to meet architects from the other provinces and to share our cultures, concerns and knowledge. As an RAIC Fellow, I am proud to contribute to the recognition of our profession and the impact of quality architecture in our communities. Depuis le début de ma carrière d’architecte en pratique privée, la recherche et la promotion d’une architecture de qualité a toujours été une préoccupation très importante. J’ai donc choisi d’être membre de l’IRAC à cause de sa vision, sa mission et ses valeurs qui me rejoignent. Je crois que l’adhésion à l’IRAC, qui regroupe des architectes et des firmes d’architecture ayant des préoccupations communes, peut renforcer nos missions individuelles de promotion de l’excellence. Je suis déjà très impliquée au Québec et l’IRAC me permet de mieux connaitre les enjeux de notre profession dans le reste du Canada. C’est aussi pour moi une belle occasion de rencontrer les architectes des autres provinces et de partager nos cultures, nos préoccupations et notre savoir-faire. En tant que Fellow de l’IRAC, je suis fière de pouvoir contribuer à la reconnaissance de notre profession et de l’impact de l’architecture de qualité dans nos milieux de vie.

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RAIC Journal

Journal de l’IRAC

continued from page 17 Sollohub argues this interdisciplinary approach to design—which abandons the idea of the solitary genius or “starchitect”— has continued to grow as millennials enter the profession. Collaboration is thought of as a key to success and incorporating ideas from outside of architecture is standard for millennial professionals. Decentralization and working remotely have impacted every profession, allowing for work to be done anywhere in the world. This shift has affected both the traditional architecture firm as well as education.   Students no longer need to be in a classroom. Webinars and online courses allow students across the country to learn techniques and practices that were once limited by location. Nevertheless, reports suggest the popularity of e-learning is due to convenience rather than preference.    “Millennials have indicated a strong preference for the hands-on, experiential learning methods that studio offers,” says Sollohub. “Millennials learn by doing, engaging through experiences such as case studies, hands-on work, and increasingly, games and simulations.”   Offices are changing as millennial architects enter the profession, with open-concept office layouts becoming more prevalent, in contrast to cubicles and individual desks, according to Millennials in Architecture.   The goal for open offices is to allow greater collaboration on projects. While studies from academic institutions such as Harvard University have called the effectiveness of open office design into question, it is still commonly associated with millennial office culture.   The narrative on the work ethic of millennials has shifted over the past five years. The New York Times and CBC used to report on the laziness and lack of drive exhibited by the millennial generation. Whether this negative coverage motivated young professionals or not, the dial has swung the other way, and millennials have now become the patron generation of “hustle culture.” This glorified type of workaholism prizes personal brand growth, workflow optimization, and a “work-hard-play-hard” lifestyle that young professionals can plaster across their social media channels.   The downside to hustle culture is that it can cause mental and emotional strain. Being

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always connected to work through smartphones and the guilt that comes with unplugging from your job only further exacerbates problems. Architecture is already a profession that requires dedication and passion. The danger of burnout can be high among young architects eager to advance their careers and establish themselves. Firms will need to grow an office culture that values personal wellbeing as much as high-quality work, says Sollohub. For millennial architects, climate change may be the signal crisis of their lifetime.   If the discipline of architecture chooses to lead in the fight against global heating, it “will need to rely on the shared millennial traits of confidence, team-spiritedness, and outward focus in addressing the future technological and interdisciplinary issues related to solving environmental problems,” he writes.   “Combining the drive of millennials, the tactical leadership of Generation X, and the strategic idealism of Boomers offers the best possible generational alignment to meet these coming challenges.”

suite de la page 17 Les élèves n’ont plus besoin d’être dans une salle de classe. Les webinaires et les cours en ligne permettent aux étudiants de partout au pays d’apprendre des techniques et des pratiques qui étaient autrefois limitées par le lieu d’enseignement. Néanmoins, les rapports indiquent que la popularité de l’apprentissage en ligne est plus une question de commodité que de préférence. « Les millénariaux ont manifesté une forte préférence pour les méthodes d’appren­ tissage pratiques et expérientielles qu’offre le studio, nous confie Sollohub. Les millénariaux apprennent en réalisant des expériences telles que des études de cas, des travaux pratiques et, de plus en plus, des jeux et des simulations. »   Les cabinets d’architectes évoluent au fur et à mesure que les architectes millénariaux entrent dans la profession, avec des bureaux à aire ouverte de plus en plus répandus, contrairement aux cubicules et aux bureaux individuels, selon Millennials in Architecture.   L’objectif des bureaux ouverts est de permettre une plus grande collaboration dans

les projets. Bien que des études menées par des établissements d’enseignement comme l’Université Harvard aient remis en question l’efficacité de l’aménagement de bureaux ouverts, il est encore couramment associé à la culture d’entreprise préconisée par les millénariaux. La description de l’éthique de travail des millénariaux a changé au cours des cinq dernières années. Le New York Times et la CBC avaient l’habitude de faire état de la paresse et du manque de dynamisme de la génération du millénaire. Que cette couverture négative ait motivé ou non les jeunes professionnels, la tendance s’est inversée et les millénariaux sont devenus la génération montante de la « culture de la performance ». Ce type de bourreau de travail glorifié valorise la croissance de l’image personnelle, l’optimisation du rythme de travail et le style de vie « travail et loisirs sans limites » que les jeunes professionnels peuvent étaler sur les réseaux sociaux.   La culture de la performance a l’incon­ vénient de provoquer un stress mental et émotionnel. Le fait d’être toujours connecté au travail par le biais des téléphones intelligents et la culpabilité qu’entraîne le fait de se débrancher de son travail ne font qu’aggraver les problèmes.   L’architecture est déjà une profession qui exige dévouement et passion. Le risque d’épuisement professionnel peut être élevé chez les jeunes architectes désireux d’avancer dans leur carrière et de s’établir. Les cabinets d’architectes devront créer une culture d’entreprise qui accorde autant d’importance au bien-être personnel qu’à un travail de qualité, selon Sollohub.   Pour les architectes millénariaux, les changements climatiques peuvent constituer la crise déterminante de leur vie.   Si l’architecture choisit de jouer un rôle de premier plan dans la lutte contre le réchauffement planétaire, elle devra « répondre aux traits communs des millénariaux que sont la confiance, l’esprit d’équipe et le souci d’ouverture pour aborder les enjeux technologiques et interdisciplinaires futurs liés à la résolution des problèmes environnementaux », écrit-il.   « Combiner le dynamisme des millénariaux, le leadership tactique de la génération X et l’idéalisme stratégique des baby-boomers offre la meilleure solution générationnelle possible pour relever ces défis futurs. »

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Call to Action text

Paul Dolick

The Chicago Architecture Biennial challenges the profession’s entanglement with neoliberal economics, and its accompanying social and environmental ills.

“This Marble Was Quarried and Assembled by Exploited Labor.” So reads a sign within steps of the entrance to the Chicago Cultural Center and the third installment of the city’s Architecture Biennial. This sobering acknowledgement is one of several—each strategically placed throughout the four-storey building to awaken the silenced history of its magnificent spaces and the deplorable labour practices through which they were procured. The Biennial’s theme, “...and other such stories,” convenes a crosssection of architects, artists, collectives, and researchers from twenty countries to examine globally pressing and spatially implicated challenges. The result is a searing critique of architecture’s ongoing entanglement with neoliberal economics, mass-incarceration, and environmental degradation. These trends, symptomatic of unhinged urban growth

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ABOVE An installation by MASS Design Group with Hank Willis Thomas displays the personal belongings from victims of gun violence.

decades in the making, are cast not only as threats to the planet and to our collective well-being, but as professional blind spots in need of critical reassessment. The Biennial is a call to action. Occupying the Center’s central lobby, an installation by MASS Design Group in partnership with artist Hank Willis Thomas powerfully draws attention to America’s gun violence epidemic. Four glassenclosed memorial “homes” display an affecting selection of victims’ personal belongings: graduation photos, sports memorabilia, even a cracked cell phone. Typically, such tragedies are reduced to sterile statistics, but in this case the voices of the victim’s friends and family are carried through a more humane and dignified representation. The Plot: Miracle and Mirage by Alejandra Celedón, Nicolás Stutzin, and Javier Correa explains how The Chicago Boys—a small group

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Cory Dewald


of Friedman-trained economists—pioneered Santiago de Chile’s ill-fated “experiment in freedom” by conceiving the wholesale privatization of social services and financial infrastructure during the country’s violent right-wing military dictatorship. The Plot also characterizes Santiago’s economic free-for-all as a contagious “rehearsal” act, swiftly emulated around the world by the likes of Thatcher in 1979 and Reagan in 1981. Work from Canadian contributors addresses more local but equally problematic realities. Architecture-trained artist Adrian Blackwell has created the Anarchitectural Library: Against the Erasure of Chicago’s Common Spaces. A collection of books and print materials solicited from twenty Chicago-based organizations and individuals, Blackwell’s installation is dedicated to “combating the contemporary (neoliberal) erasure of four crucial common resources in the City (of Chicago).” Housing, Schools, Manufacturing Districts, and Metabolic Circuits— the latter referring to clean air and water, food security and park spaces—establish zones around which Blackwell’s lithe, concentric library emanates. An additional portion of the library is dedicated to Spaces of Erasure. Here, texts centre on the “proliferation of spaces which remove citizens from its communities,” including local prisons, police stations, and immigration detention centres. Canadians Tanya Lukin Linklater (artist and choreographer) and Tiffany Shaw-Collinge (intern architect, artist, and curator) have collaborated on Indigenous Geometries. The curved, spine-like, and reconfigurable space is designated for Indigenous performances. Each modular element is composed of laminated bentwood bars, referencing an Alutiiq steam-bending technique used to make visors worn during hunting expeditions. The choice of ash wood, native to the Chicago area, pays respect to the Indigenous people who inhabit land around the city. When assembled, these parts unite into a bulbous form that recalls traditional Alutiiq semi-subterranean homes. According to Linklater and Collinge, performers are encouraged to move the structure’s elements into different configurations, speaking to the ways in which Indigenous social structures have been dismantled by colonial US and Canadian governments and “the continued work of Indigenous peoples toward putting their languages, families, and selves back together.” The Biennial’s primary takeaway is an entreaty for both awareness and accountability. While the exhibits offer little by way of specific design proposals or solutions, their strengths lie in exposing and connecting how architects’ collective experiments, convictions, and fetish-

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Cory Dewald

Tom Harris

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TOP For his Anarchitectural Library, architect-trained Adrian Blackwell solicited print materials from Chicago-based organizations combating to preserve public spatial resources, including housing, schools, manufacturing districts and city parks. Above Canadians Tanya Lukin Linklater and Tiffany Shaw-Collinge contributed a space designated for Indigenous performances, made of modular elements that can be variously configured. The ash wood pieces are shaped in a manner that references an Alutiiq steam-bending technique used to make visors worn during the hunt.

izations are resulting in grave repercussions. Architects can no longer afford to operate in such relative isolation. Like a starling murmuration, “...and other such stories” implores us to change direction and co-opt more meaningful strategies as a profession: to work at the local scale is to resonate within the larger mass. The Chicago Architecture Biennial runs until January 5, 2020. Admission is free and includes public tours, learning initiatives, public programs and curatorial weekends. Paul Dolick is a Lecturer at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago (SAIC-AIADO).

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BELOW The new Science Commons adjoins Erickson’s iconic University Hall and claims a prominent position atop the escarpment. Its mass defines a north edge to the previously remnant Coulee Quad.

This fall, the Science Commons at the University of Lethbridge opened its doors to a new generation of researchers, students and staff. The result of an extensive six-year process with KPMB A rchitects and Stantec, the 38,400-square-metre, $219-million facility presents an ambitious new vision for cross-disciplinary university research in Canada, and a prominent new face for the University of Lethbridge. The Science Commons is sited at the north end of Arthur Erickson’s iconic University Hall, which has kept pensive watch over Alberta’s Old Man River Valley for the past half century. The new building sets out its own formal agenda—there is little deference here to University Hall’s massing or materiality, and no trace of Erickson’s dogmatic fidelity to the prairie datum. Instead, the Commons carries bold lines across its prominent mass, drawing new relationships both to its neighbour and to the rolling coulees. Taken together, it’s tempting to see the two buildings not just as different ideas, but as altogether separate architectural species. Drawing on Moriyama & Teshima Architects’ 2012 Master Plan for the University of Lethbridge, Science Commons is sited to create a defining edge and pedestrian link along the north line of the campus. It closes an important loop around the University’s lower Coulee Quad, reaffirming the long-term viability of University Hall. The building

mass deviates somewhat from the Master Plan’s scheme, finding a more privileged position on an outcrop along the escarpment. The architecture takes good advantage of this position, delivering long views into the campus green and the river valley below. In Erickson’s University Hall, the floor plates are sunk into the coulee topography, presenting an inherent challenge to campus expansion. Even in Erickson’s original master plan, the primary growth strategy simply saw another thousand-foot building placed in the adjacent coulee. Instead, in subsequent decades, buildings linking to University Hall’s southern end had to find ways of descending to Erickson’s elevation. In this regard, Science Commons has achieved a successful internal choreography that eluded the University’s previous expansions. Tall interior volumes, terraced floors, and well-articulated stairways invite the rolling landscape up into the building, providing a natural circulation logic. Within this system, two key gestures complete the campus link. On the west end of the building, a slim and elegant bridge gathers pedestrians from the campus above. To the east, a low, Miesian mass provides a distinct and understated connection to University Hall, a mediating force between the two architectures. The building’s south edge has awakened the University’s Coulee Quad, which should insti-



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ABOVE The west-facing main entrance façade displays several of the building’s comprehensive sustainability strategies, including solar shading and a double-skin envelope with a combination of automatic and operable windows. Opposite top A sheltered terrace on the east façade includes landscaping that allows access to views of the prairie surroundings. Opposite Bottom The interior is guided by a strategy of putting science on display, with visual access to the facility’s top-class lab and research spaces.

gate further review of the potentials of this remnant outdoor space. Proper attention from a landscape architect could unearth the space’s emerging presence and unique landscape character, inviting it more fully into the social life of the campus. The Science Commons is wrapped in a double-skin facade, joining Manitoba Hydro Place in a lineage of sustainable building collaborations by KPMB and German sustainability consultant Transsolar. The exterior wall is populated exclusively by remotely actuated windows, while the interior includes user-operated windows, offering a balance of agency and performance. On the building’s south face, the two layers peel away from each other to produce a compelling winter garden that students can pass through and inhabit. This space alone has twelve modes of operation—and along with the rest of the complex building skin—will become “better tuned” and “better played” as an instrument over time, according to the designers. There is a significant question posed by this lineage of work: does it pay off to build a building-around-a-building? From the perspective of energy performance and environmental comfort, the current case studies are looking positive for large-scale scenarios. Manitoba Hydro Place, for example, has performed beyond its stated targets. It will take time and careful study of each individual project to provide a better answer, but we likely will see more of this solution on institutional buildings in the coming years.

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site plan

 1 Science commoms  2 university hall  3 university centre for the arts  4 library  5 first choise savings centre for sport & wellness  6 martin hall  7 coulee quad




2 5 4




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ABOVE The south side of the building includes a winter garden, slipped between the two layers of the façade. Opposite Bridges cross over the atrium, connecting the building’s labs and classrooms.

thermal energy diagram

The Science Commons is flanked by two outdoor “porches”—a quaint term given the tremendous scale of the spaces. One is essentially the building’s forecourt, inviting visitors from the main parking lot. The other is a grand outdoor gathering space. Its carefully crafted microclimate creates a moment of refuge overlooking the valley—an improved take on the bare and windswept tunnel-effect present at University Hall’s outdoor plaza. The aptly named Science Commons aims to build bridges between the sciences and the community by producing transparent spaces for collaboration and informal gathering. This agenda is a key driver of the plan, which is organized as a series of nested social units. At the largest scale, four large blocks pinwheel around a full-height atrium. As described by project co-lead Bruce Kuwabara, this wellappointed space is “the piazza to Erickson’s thousand-foot street; a destination at the end of a long filmic procession through the prairie.” The atrium serves as building hub, event space, and anteroom to the main lecture theatre; it will undoubtedly become a campuswide focal point. The four surrounding blocks are divided into “neighbourhoods” with central places for gathering. These neighbourhoods are in turn home to smaller clusters, which provide lab, office and support spaces for groups of students and researchers. Evident care has gone into the scale, arrangement and appointment of these spaces, providing opportunities for collaboration at many scales.

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Level 6

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level 8

 1 Lounge  2 Vivarium  3 magnetic resonance facility  4 Microscopy Lab  5 workshops  6 Innovation Maker Space  7 Central Analytical Facilities / Storage  8 Tiered Lecture Halls  9 Link Lounge 10 Connection to University Hall


4 7

5 4

 1 Main Entrance

 2 Auditorium  3 Hung Meeting Room  4 Neuroscience Wet Labs  5 Neuroscience dry Labs  6 Chemistry Wet Labs  7 Psychology Dry Labs  8 Physics Dry Labs  9 Winter Garden 10 East Terrace 11 Main Atrium




2 3




7 5




9 9 10


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A glazed link connects Science Commons to Erickson’s University Hall, at left. A series of ramps leads to a central lounge, topped by the building’s main atrium.


Natural light streams through the building’s skylights and plentiful glass walls. “Science on display” is the repeated chorus, an idea that stemmed from the design team’s first engagement question to its clients: “Why did you choose to become a scientist?” The resulting interior is a celebration of science as a theatre of discovery. There are open views into nearly every laboratory and classroom, interactive displays, and a dedicated learning space for community and K-12 programming. Scientific research and its intriguing paraphernalia are the building’s core seduction, and an important ingredient in the facility’s broader economic agenda. As Alberta premier Jason Kenney noted in his remarks at the building’s grand opening, the facility plays a key role in attracting international talent and securing the province’s long-term prosperity. Walking through large, gleaming labs full of modern instruments, one can feel the weight of this promise. The Science Commons is a bold signal—both of Alberta’s pressing need to reimagine itself and of its enduring optimism and innovation. KPMB and Stantec have produced a provocative architectural statement next to Lethbridge’s landmark University Hall. While Erickson’s most fervent devotees will likely never fully embrace the new presence, the students, faculty and community that call Science Commons home know full well that they are in possession of one of Canada’s premiere science facilities.

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Matt Knapik is a designer and educator based in Calgary. He studied architecture and urban design at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape at the University of Calgary, where he has taught as a sessional instructor since 2011. He is an Urban Designer at O2 Planning + Design.

CLIENT University of Lethbridge | ARCHITECT TEAM KPMB—Bruce Kuwabara (FRAIC), Mitch Hall (FRAIC), Kael Opie, Nic Green, Lucy Timbers, Amin Monsefi, Andrew Hill. Stantec— Michael Moxam (FRAIC), Stephen Phillips (FRAIC), Justin Saly (MRAIC), Rich Hlava, Trish Piwowar, Dale Bateman, James Strong, Chris Onyszchuk (MRAIC), Ruth Wigglesworth, Bo Kim, May Fung, Mahshid Matin, Wilfred Lach, Tim Lee, Michael Reagan, Matthew Emerson, John Higgins, Peter Eng, Renato Calanog, Dennis Flandez, Russell Flores, Floren Jose, Joan Diaz | STRUCTURAL Entuitive | MECHANICAL SNC-Lavalin | ELECTRICAL SMP Engineering | LANDSCAPE PFS Studio | INTERIORS KPMB Architects / Stantec Architecture, Architects in Association | CIVIL Stantec Consulting | ENERGY/CLIMATE Transsolar Inc. | WIND/MICROCLIMATE/ACOUSTICS RWDI | GREENHOUSE GHE/ JGS | LEED Stantec Consulting | VIBRATION NOVUS Environmental | AV/IT The Sextant Group | VERTICAL TRANSPORTATION Soberman Engineering | QUANTITY SURVEYOR Altus Group | GEOTECHNICAL Tetra Tech EBA | VIVARIUM The ElmCos Group | VIVARIUM WALL COVERING Altro Whiterock | CONTRACTOR PCL | AREA 38,400 m 2 | BUDGET $219 M | COMPLETION August 2019

Energy Use ENERGY USE INTENSITY (PROJECTED) 383.2 kWh/m 2 /year; 51% energy reduction (relative the MNECB) | BENCHMARK (NRCAN, hospitals built after 2010) 666.7 kWh/m 2 /year | WATER USE INTENSITY (PROJECTED) 35% water use reduction

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Low Block, High Block An athletic centre bridges between town and gown, with users from both the community and university. Laurier Brantford YMCA, Brantford, Ontario CannonDesign TEXT Laura Lind PHOTOS Adrien Williams PROJECT


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The Laurier Brantford YMCA is a minimal, austere, rectilinear building. With its mirrored façade and a truss-supported cantilever extension on its eastern flank, it sits on the street with all the permanence of a mirage. At first glance, its modernity is a blunt counterpoint to the historic core of downtown Brantford. Completed in December 2018, the 11,318-square-metre facility by architects CannonDesign consists of dual bars, each almost a block in length, stacked atop one another. The massing is apropos, since the co-owned recreational centre is designed to bring together two segments of Brantford’s population: YMCA members and Wilfred Laurier University students. Concurrently, the building serves as a conduit between the elevated commercial Colborne Street, and the Grand River basin, a sharp 10.6-metre drop to the south.

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The lower volume, entered from Water Street, is embedded deep into the side of the slope. Subterranean, rendered in architectural concrete block, and clad in metal panels with limited fenestration, it houses 90 percent of the rec center’s programmed space. Further, its two-footthick, 10.6-by-137-metre retaining wall braces the southern edge of downtown Brantford. The top of the lower volume acts as a plinth supporting a second, steel-framed bar. This smaller scaled, two-storey box accommodates a student lounge, administration offices, mechanical facilities, a weight room and a spin studio. It faces the 19th-century streetscape of Colborne with its dramatic cantilevered end pointing like an accusation on the criminality of ornament. And yet, the structure is not without historical references, says CannonDesign vice president James Lai. He notes that the glazing pattern of the Colborne Street façade is accented by superimposed plot lines of mullions, to retain the rhythm of the streetscape that the YMCA replaced. Further, the architectural louvres on the YMCA’s west flank alternate in tone along the old property boundaries. The former streetscape is something of a sticking point. In 2010, the Brantford City Council demolished forty-one historic properties in the name of urban renewal. No heritage impact study was conducted; 1,700 Laurier staff, students, residents, conservationists and politicians lobbied in vain for an adaptive reuse of the heritage inventory. After the demolitionists prevailed, the YMCA and Laurier University decided to reconcile the situation by enlisting CannonDesign and proposing an athletic facility for the now empty street tract. Conceived under de-

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sign principal Andrew King, the design won a Progressive Architecture Award in 2012. The original 15,100-square-metre design was cited for its potential to modernize and transform downtown Brantford. It featured an expansive green roof ramping down to the river front in the manner of a ziggurat—providing much-needed outdoor lawn space for the campus. Unfortunately for the construction timeline, when ground broke in November 2014, archeological articles were discovered on the site. More than 450,000 artifacts were unearthed, dating back to 500 BC. The excavation delayed the project by a year and a half and upped the budget by $8 million. Also adding to costs, the contaminated soil required the installation of a pricey sub-slab methane vapour extraction system. Design modifications and scale-backs resulted from these unexpected expenses. King also left Cannon. Says architect James Lai, “We were worried we couldn’t build anything.” Lai moved from Buffalo to Toronto to shepherd the project through to completion. The third-floor cantilever was reduced. Program-wise, a retail store was lost and a jogging track disappeared, as did much of the green roof landscaping. The project still has a green roof—which is planted in bands alternating with gravel to demarcate the 19th-century lot lines— but budget restrictions prevented the necessary upgrades to make the green space accessible for occupancy. There is a small landscaped plaza on level with the main street, giving a notion of what the green roof could become if it were fully retrofitted for public use. Despite the reduction in interior space by one floor and 4,000 square metres, there was no significant loss in programming. The completed facility includes three gymnasiums, a two-tank aquatics centre with a 400-

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Level 01 Previous page The reflective upper block faces downtown Brantford. The entrance opens to an outdoor plaza, atop the roof of the lower block. Opposite A dynamic stair weaves through the multi-storey facility. ABOVE Sculptural lights add a playful touch to the stair, which offers glimpses to various activity spaces. Below A student lounge looks out over the town’s main street.

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 1 mechanical  2 maintenance  3 lobby / reception  4 aquatic centre  5 child-minding  6 community gym  7 youth zone  8 loading  9 competition gym 10 dance / yoga studio 11 wellness / fitness cen-

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tre 12 conference room 13 aerobic studio 14 announcers / media booths 15 spectator concourse 16 spinning studio 17 weight room 18 lobby 19 outdoor plaza 20 green roof 21 administration 22 student lounge



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metre swimming pool, a daycare, student centre, cardio rooms, weight facilities and multiple exercise and fitness spaces. These are balanced around a sleek but playful central stair, linking the commercial core of Brantford down three stories to Water Street. Its balustrade is strung in a direct vector from the floor, regardless of the landings on the main run, so that athletes descending the staircase disappear and reappear in an off-beat manner that animates the two-storey glass entrance. In its central void from the second to third levels, the stair detours in a set of right-angle turns around a light well and elevator shaft, graced with bespoke white tubular lights strung on a 15-degree tilt. From the landing of the stairs, there’s a visual connection through the length of the building—from the wellness studio to the gymnasium, which meets regulations for varsity-level competitive basketball. The gymnasium includes retractable bleacher seating for 860 spectators, a press booth, and a dedicated dressing room, with an entrance from the street for visiting sports teams. At the moment, Laurier University’s varsity athletic program is limited to cross-country running and indoor soccer, but the centre is designed with the future of the campus in mind. The Brantford campus was established in 1999 with one building and 39 students. They now have 3,000 students, 17 buildings and over 20 programs. “If you look at how it’s grown in 20 years and flash forward 20 more years to see what’s possible, this facility is going to play a big part,” says Beth Gurney, the university’s associate director of communications and public affairs. This social sustainability piece is integral to the project. Laurier Brantford is the first YMCA in the world co-owned with an academic

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institute. “Any child that walks into this facility—regardless of their family’s means and background and experience—they’re on a university campus,” Gurney says. “It doesn’t mean everybody will have to come to Laurier, but it means that they feel this is their home and this is their place too, which is what we want as a campus in Brantford.” Laurier is celebrated for its history of championing adaptive reuse in downtown Brantford, and the university has revived and repurposed multiple formerly neglected properties in the once moribund downtown core. The intention is that the new YMCA will bring more pedestrian traffic to the area and reanimate the businesses in the historic smaller storefronts. As regional YMCA manager Genevieve Hladysh sees it, “as soon as you’ve got a reason for people to come into an urban centre, whether that’s through YMCA community members or students, it then provides an opportunity for future small businesses to come in and take over, and it all starts to form a livelier urban core.” It’s a fitting addition for a downtown campus in the midst of a regenerative surge. This modern building on the edge of the riverbank literally reflects the Colborne streetscape, with its extant historical properties. And when the inventory work is done, a selection of the 450,000 Indigenous artifacts found during the excavation will be displayed in its central atrium. Mirroring the past and moving forward, as Lai puts it, the structure serves as a backstop for the campus—but at the same time provides an open vista and limitless horizon for those looking to the future. Laura Lind is a Toronto-based culture writer.

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1 2



7 5

8  1 dance / yoga studio  2 aquatic centre  3 lobby / reception

 4 community gym  5 competition gym  6 aerobic studio

 7 spectator concourse  8 maintenance



ABOVE The facility includes a double-gym that meets regulations for varsity basketball competitions, another gymnasium for community use, an aquatic centre, and various fitness studios. ABOVE The lower block faces Water Street, with a bridge connecting to an existing parkade. The area south of the centre includes a hockey arena, park and casino. Right Public spaces and planted areas slip under the higher block, adding to the heritage streetscape.

Client Wilfrid Laurier University and YMCA Hamilton Burlington Brantford | ARCHITECT TEAM Andrew King, Aaron Salva, Carlos Carrillo Duran, Guy Mclintock, James Lai, Julia Pascutto, Kevin Hinchey, Kate Korotayeva, Keith Thomas, Ryan Dunlop, Victoria Chow, Zsofi Schvan-Ritecz. | CIVIL MTE Consultants Inc. | STRUCTURAL Read Jones Christoffersen Consulting Engineers | MECHANICAL/ELECTRICAL Crossey Engineering | LANDSCAPE Vertechs Designs Inc. | INTERIORS CannonDesign | NATATORIUM Aquapro Aquatic Design Inc. | SIGNAGE CannonDesign | CONTRACTOR/ CONSTRUCTION MANAGER D. Grant Construction | AREA 11,318 m 2 | BUDGET $67 M | COMPLETION December 2018

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Brick and Beam 2.0 A Toronto developer chooses mass timber to create a premium office space that resonates with its century-old neighbours.

80 Atlantic Quadrangle TEXT Javier Zeller PHOTOS Bob Gundu PROJECT


ABOVE Four storeys of office space at 80 Atlantic are built from glulam beams and columns, with nail-laminated timber floors. The building has a conventional concrete parking garage, ground floor and core.

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Can a building material have moral weight? The way architects have associated morality with material over the past 100 years seems almost quaint in view of our current situation, where a human-caused planetary transformation is underway—much of it precipitated by the way we build. It seems faintly ridiculous to tout the virtues of steel and rubber, like Hannes Meyer, or to bemoan falseness of surfaces, as Adolf Loos did. Our current imperative focuses on thinking about embodied carbon and energy use intensity. We are in a moral moment around materials again—but this time, the anxiety is less about capturing the Zeitgeist than avoiding Gotterdammerung. Wood will be the future for Canadian architecture and construction. It doesn’t take any boldness to make this proclamation. Like moving to a plant-based diet, wood construction—and particularly mass timber construction—has an apparently unassailable logic. Any leftover prejudices against wood as un-modern or poorly suited to contemporary programs has been demolished by designers across the world, led by the pioneering work of Canadian architects and engineers, such as Michael Green and Fast + Epp.

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44 Typical




ABOVE The building’s main entrance is set within the block, off a courtyard shared with a warehouse renovated into retail and office spaces. OPPOSITE The mass timber elements are fire-proofed within a raised access floor that consolidates services.

Their projects and advocacy for the use of mass timber—as a means of offsetting more greenhouse gas intensive construction practices and sequestering carbon—have had significant influence. Clients across the country are increasingly aware of the virtues of mass timber, and building codes are being adjusted to incentivize its use. Among the resulting new wave of structures is Eastern Canada’s first mass timber office building, 80 Atlantic. Located in Liberty Village, a former manufacturing district west of Toronto’s downtown, 80 Atlantic is an 8,000-square-metre through-block building that combines a conventional underground concrete parking garage and ground f loor retail with four mass timber storeys of open office space. It is the second of two projects in Liberty Village by Quadrangle for Hullmark, a Toronto development and real estate investment firm with a focus on downtown neighborhoods. The new office building adjoins their previous collaboration—the renovation of a historic warehouse into offices and retail at 60 Atlantic. Liberty Village has undergone a rapid and sometimes insensitive development over the past 25 years. While noteworthy original buildings remain, many large floor-plate warehouses and factories were demolished to make way for the new vernacular of Toronto construction: residential condos with concrete shear wall structures, clad in window-wall. In contrast to this trend, Hullmark sought out a solution that would distinguish 80 Atlantic—the first new office building in the area in generations—from typical downtown offices. They aimed to create what Hullmark president Jeff Hull calls a “premium product” to attract tenants to the neighbourhood. Quadrangle architects Richard Witt and Michelle Xuereb found in Hullmark a partner willing to pursue mass timber, not just for its environmental logic, but as an aesthetic differentiator that

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 1 office space  2 courtyard  3 60 ATLANTIC



had associations with the area’s historic brick-and-beam warehouses. The resulting office building isn’t simply environmentally virtuous, it’s also a very good addition to the urban fabric. The thoughtfulness of the design begins with its relationship to the site. Paired with its neighbour to the south, 80 Atlantic frames a new landscaped plaza, sloped down from the street to give direct entrance to a brew pub at 60 Atlantic. The courtyard provides access to 80 Atlantic’s entrance lobby, located at mid-block a half floor below street level. Because of the lobby’s large size and direct exposure to the courtyard, it becomes an extension of that exterior social space. The mid-block entrance has the added advantage of allowing the Atlantic Avenue street frontage to be dedicated to the ground floor retail tenant. A glassed-in loggia along the side of the courtyard guides visitors to the lobby in inclement weather. Numerous connections at grade—including a through-block alley along the north face of the building that will include an art installation (not yet in place at the time of this writing)—are sensitively scaled. Together, they give the site a porous character, not unlike the better examples of the 19th-century factories that remain in the neighborhood.   The building form itself is straightforward and elegant. The ground f loor is inset as a glazed plane on Atlantic Avenue, while service and parking entrances are consolidated on the building’s west face along Jefferson Avenue. Floating above this recess are the office f loorplates, wrapped along their west, north and east faces in a super-scale punched window composition of curtain wall and a rainscreen of porcelain panels. The curtain wall is set into the field of panels and composed freely in horizontal bands, its proportions and sizes an abstracted ref lection of the surrounding fabric.

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The use of mass timber columns, beams and deck creates a warm, spacious atmosphere for the open office floors.

An uninterrupted glass curtain wall along the building’s south face overlooks the courtyard. This face of the building is the most dramatic showcase for the mass timber structure. Here, like a section cut, the delicately detailed glazing reveals the exposed wood ceilings, beams and columns that immediately set this project apart. The upper four storeys of 80 Atlantic are made up from glulam beams and columns on a 6.1-by-8.5 metre grid, supporting a naillaminated timber ( NLT) f loor structure. The steel connections between column and beam are concealed (and fire protected) within the structure. The feeling on these four floors is warm and airy. The one-way NLT slab, comprised of grade-2 SPF 2x8s, is completely exposed on the underside, un-interrupted apart from sprinklers and the occasional conduit feeding power to the smoke detectors and suspended lights. The floor assembly is completed with plywood sheathing, an acoustic mat, and 50 mm of concrete topping to reduce sound transmission and create a level surface for a raised access floor. The concrete topping also provides the non-combustible surface required within the concealed plenum of the access floor. For this reason, the lower 400 mm of each glulam column is clad in a non-combustible gypsum assembly. Above this, a metal flange lifts the exposed glulam atop the access floor, creating a reveal that ensures a neat termination regardless of the tenant’s flooring choice. Construction is sometimes simplified into a stark choice between concrete, steel and wood. But as project principal Richard Witt says, with mass timber, “it’s never just wood.” From the first floor ceiling down, a concrete slab on a nine-by-nine-metre column grid ensures compliance with the required fire separations between retail and office uses. The building’s elevator core and fire stairs are also structural concrete, providing lateral bracing to the mass timber structure on the upper four f loors. Where def lection in the cantilevers at the office floors exceeded the design requirements, some steel elements were added within the access floor for improved stiffness.

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What isn’t apparent to a visitor of the nearly completed building is the profound change that the wood structure made to the construction and design process. As the architects describe it, the site was comparatively quiet. Wood columns, beams and NLT panels were craned into place directly from transport trucks, saving lay-down space on the tight urban site, and a crew ranging from four to eight carpenters erected each floor in about two days. Project architect Michelle Xuereb also notes that with no off-theshelf components, mass timber construction—still a nascent industry in this country—compels a process of engaging directly with fabricators. This changes the design process to introduce significantly greater integration than is typical in traditional construction. Mass timber construction is still new enough in Canada to be remarkable in its own right: radical for its capacity to transform architects and the building industry from villains in the climate crisis into a positive force. The elegance with which the material is deployed by Quadrangle at 80 Atlantic reflects a clear understanding of the logic and potential of this construction type. As mass timber is adopted more widely, its qualities as part of an architectural and civic framework will continue to be explored and refined. The success of buildings has always depended on more than their component parts—a lesson clearly understood by the design team of 80 Atlantic. CLIENT HULLMARK | ARCHITECT TEAM RICHARD WITT (FRAIC), MICHELLE XUEREB, WILL MARENCO, JAN SCHOTTE, WAYNE MCMILLAN, PHIL GOLDSMITH | STRUCTURAL READ JONES CHRISTOFFERSEN | MECHANICAL/ELECTRICAL SMITH & ANDERSEN | LANDSCAPE VERTECHS | INTERIORS CAROLINE ROBBIE, JULIE MROCZKOWSKI, KATHY ROUDSARY, ANDREA HALL, DIANA SMICIKLAS | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER EASTERN CONSTRUCTION | BUILDING ENVELOPE RDH | SUSTAINABILITY RWDI | AREA 8,361 M2 | BUDGET WITHHELD | COMPLETION OCTOBER 2019





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Technical 1

Mass Timber Primer texT AND DIAGRAMS


J. David Bowick

Structural engineer David Bowick explains some of the many possibilities opened up by working with mass timber structures.

The hottest architectural material in Canada right now is an old one—wood. But when made into mass timber beams and panels, the age-old material gains structural and fire-resistance qualities that open up new possibilities for construction. We asked structural engineer David Bowick to walk us through the basics of working with mass timber structures. Here’s what he told us. Mass timber construction—which makes use of glue laminated (glulam) beams and columns with products like cross-laminated timber (CLT), nail-laminated timber (NLT), and dowel-laminated timber (DLT)— is in its early days. With concrete and steel, there are clear templates for commercial construction—the 9x9 bay concrete flat slab, with 4 metres from floor to floor, and for big box retail, the 9x12 bay with steel beams and open web steel joists. With mass timber, it seems every project is constructed using a unique structural system. There’s an opportunity to go beyond purely pragmatic concerns with mass timber. The uniqueness of the system can become a design goal. What are the baseline rules of working with this family of materials? Mass timber systems follow inherently different rules than concrete and steel. Square bays are effective when you have a system that has similar strength and stiffness in both directions, but are inefficient with wood, which is necessarily “stick built” with “one-way” elements (elements that are much greater in one dimension than the others, or decks which are much stronger in one direction than the other) stacked on perpendicular one-way elements. Because mass timber systems rely on beams, they are necessarily deeper than slab systems, requiring greater floor-to-floor heights. The beauty of wood, and the cost premium in constructing with mass timber, means that architects and owners often want to expose and express the structure. Fire-protecting exposed wood structures and protecting them from the elements during construction creates design challenges and can be costly. One also needs to consider construction economics. With mass timber construction, the cost of fibre represents roughly two thirds of the cost of the structure. Mass timber elements are manufactured off-site in large pieces, often taking advantage of CNC milling, which minimizes both factory and site labour. The impact is that systems

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that minimize material use may prove economical, even if they result in increased complexity in the system. As the use of mass timber becomes more widespread, it may become more affordable. For many years in North America, the cost of construction has been dominated by the cost of labour. Current estimates place labour at more than 50 percent of the overall construction costs. When other contributing costs are considered, such as equipment and general conditions, the cost of material in construction represents a relatively small part of the overall budget for a building. Moreover, the inevitable shift to a carbon-based economy means that those technologies that have the lowest contribution to greenhouse gas emissions will ultimately prove to be the most economical. Wood is a renewable resource that encapsulates carbon. It is part of the solution, rather than part of the problem. The only question is how long this shift will take, and how bad the climate crisis will get first. In the meantime, opportunities and challenges await the architects and engineers working with mass timber. At the conception of this article, I planned to present the relative merits of a half dozen ways one might assemble a mass timber floor. I quickly realized that there are many, many more than that. Here are a few. 1

Long Beam Short Deck

If there was such a thing as a “normal” system in mass timber, this would be it. In fact, Toronto’s “first commercial timber building in 100 years” at 80 Atlantic uses this configuration, so it’s worth discussing first. Gary Williams, president of fabricator Timber Systems, once told me “the system that has the least expensive deck will be the least expensive system.” This may seem counter-intuitive since, in general, beams are the big expensive components of f loors. But with mass timber, beams account for the minority of the material—so it is the deck that drives the cost of the system. Consider, too, the fact that to reduce the cost of the deck, one must reduce the deck span, which means adding beams. But as beams are added, the demand on those beams drops proportionally. So while the volume of timber used in the deck goes down, the amount of material in the beams stays about the same.

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If you are using a beam and deck system, it makes sense to orient the beams in the long direction and the deck in the short direction, since the beams, being deeper, resist bending more efficiently, resulting in a structural system with less fibre overall. However, this also results in a deep system, so it might not be right if floor-to-floor heights are critical. 2

Short Beam Long Deck

In cases where the floor-to-floor height is critical, it may make sense to orient the beams in the short direction, since this will result in a shallower overall floor system. Because mass timber components are made of wood laminations, the sizes jump in increments. For CLT, these are 105 mm, to 175 mm, to 245 mm, to 315 mm, and so on. GLT and NLT follow the dimensions of sawn lumber: 89 mm, 140 mm, 184 mm, 235 mm and 286 mm. In the case of dissimilar spans that are close to each other, it is reasonably likely that the deck is the same either way, so it may make sense to minimize the beam size by spanning the deck in the long direction. Beam and deck systems can minimize “beam shadowing” in largely glazed buildings, if beams are oriented perpendicular to the perimeter walls. 3

Beams and Girders

A system of beams and girders is a strategy for ensuring minimum cost, by keeping the deck as thin as possible. Beams are spaced at the maximum span of the most economical deck. Girders must then be provided to support the beams and transfer load to the columns. Any system with beams has an impact on the distribution of services and potentially, as a result, on floor-to-floor heights. Providing beams and perpendicular girders further reduces f lexibility, although it may generate the most economical structural scheme. Beam and girder systems result in a greater amount of “beam shadowing” relative to beam and deck systems. 4

Two-Way Beams

Two-way beam systems are particularly interesting to consider when bay sizes are equal in both directions. By alternating the deck orientation in

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a basket weave pattern, the beams in both directions are loaded equally. Each beam receives half the load that it would see in a unidirec­tional beam system, and as a result, the beams can be smaller and lighter. Any system of sticks that is exposed to view on a ceiling will tend to organize the perception of the space, creating a primary and a secondary orientation. An advantage of a two-way beam system is that there is no dominant orientation, which may have a beneficial impact on space planning. 5

Reciprocal Frame

A reciprocal frame is an apparently whimsical system that, nevertheless, offers some distinct structural advantages. The whimsy arises from the fact that beams do not necessarily span from support to support, but form a network that researcher Olga Popovic Larsen describes as “mutually supporting beams in a closed circuit.” The colours red and cyan in the diagram above represent the warp and weft directions of the frame, and highlight the reciprocal nature of their support. As with a beam and girder system, the density of the reciprocal frame can be set to optimize the deck, offering economic advantages. Unlike a beam and girder system, though, it is a democratic framing arrangement without a dominant orientation. Another benefit is that in a reciprocal framing system, all members simultaneously contribute to the support of the load, which helps mitigate floor vibration. While the total static deflection under load may be the same, optimized to the design criteria, the single point load deflection—which is an indicator of vibration performance—is much less. A reciprocal frame system that spaces beam elements equal to the width of a CLT panel allows the deck to span simultaneously in two directions. This is of limited advantage in normal loading conditions, since the CLT will manage short spans comfortably without the twoway benefit, but it can be a significant benefit in the event of fire, since all laminations are effective in resisting load. A distinct disadvantage of a reciprocal framing arrangement is that the system is not self-supporting until it is complete, and will require some amount of falsework to complete erection.

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Technical 7




Point Supported CLT

A two-way, point-supported CLT framing system takes advantage of the two-way bending strength of CLT to eliminate beams altogether, creating an extremely thin floor system. In particular applications, this can be a tremendous benefit. The system is limited, though. CLT is much weaker and less stiff in one direction because of the lay-up of the laminations. It also only comes in widths ranging from 2.4 to 3.0 metres, so this establishes your column spacing in the direction perpendicular to the grain. Fire is also particularly challenging. After about 1 ½ hours, you have burned through two laminations of the CLT in a five-ply panel. This leaves only two laminations in the strong direction and one lamination in the weak direction, which may not sustain the fire load case. Thus, CLT used in this manner will often have to be encapsulated in drywall for fire protection, concealing it from view. Michael Green has used point-supported CLT ingeniously to create beam-free zones for mechanical distribution, in buildings which otherwise use beam-and-deck systems. 7

Wide Flat Beams - Beams on the Bottom

When an objective is to achieve long spans coupled with thin structural depth, wide flat beams made from glulam or CLT can be used. Bending capacity is proportional to width, but varies with the square of the depth, so wide f lat beams are less efficient than narrow deep ones. As a result, the structure will be less economical. While there is an apparent reduction in span, the system does not achieve the savings in deck that one might expect. If the edge of a wide flat beam is loaded, it will topple over, so the bending stiffness of the deck is needed to resist that. Effectively, the deck has to span to the middle of the beam, regardless of its width. 8

Wide Flat Beams - Beams on Top

With a wide flat beam system, there is an opportunity to hang the deck from the beams, as opposed to supporting it from below. It makes no difference to the deck, which has to span to the middle of the beam

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regardless, although it adds the complication of designing hangers (or possibly long screws) and fire-protecting those hangers. On top of the deck, the floor can be made flush with a raised floor system, or the cavity between beams can be filled with EPS foam billets, and the whole made flush with a concrete topping. This system can it be helpful in space planning and possibly has aesthetic benefits by eliminating beam shadowing. Alvar Aalto’s Villa Mairea gives you a sense of the extraordinary impact of natural light penetration on a wood ceiling uninterrupted by beams. 9

Wide Flat Beams - Beams Flush

It is possible to use wide flat beams in a system where they are flush with the deck. This will provide a very thin system overall, and potentially an economical one, because in this case, the deck span is only the distance between beams, not centre to centre. It has the toppling problem though. If conventional columns are used, the system is unstable and the beams will topple under unbalanced loads. To resist this, the columns must be made to be wide—almost as wide as the wide flat beam—so that unbalanced moments are resisted by the column. It also presents other challenges for the designer, who must develop a flush hanging system for the deck and prove the torsional strength and stiffness of the beam; these properties are not well understood or documented. This system was advanced by Fast and Epp for the Arbour, with Moriyama & Teshima Architects and Acton Ostry Architects. The team writes: “The long-span timber-concrete-composite ‘slab band’ system creates a near flat ceiling for easy service routing and space flexibility. The system was inspired by underground concrete parking structures, where very shallow, very wide bands are commonly used.” All of the wide flat beam systems present a minimal amount of surface area relative to volume, so their fire performance is near to optimal. 10

Staggered Deck

The staggered deck system has been used by Michael Green Architects and advanced by Equilibrium Consulting. It consists of two parallel layers of deck—a top deck and a bottom deck—gapped and offset, with

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a relatively small overlap between the two. The overlap is fastened with diagonal screws in a way that develops longitudinal shear. The impact is that the deck may be thin, as the structural performance ref lects the overall thickness, similar to corrugated metal deck or cardboard. It is a means of achieving long spans with minimal material. 11


The term cassette—literally a box—is used in mass timber construction to describe manufactured assemblies of beams and deck. These are optimized to crane capacity, minimizing the number of pieces to be erected and accelerating construction. One form of the cassette is the timber box beam, which consists of CLT top and bottom flanges with mass timber (possibly glulam) webs. This combination can be very efficient, since the least effective material near the neutral axis has been removed. Such a system would be capable of very long spans. The void may be left open for distribution of services, or may need to be filled to prevent a cavity which can spread fire. 12

Stressed Skin Lattice

“Stressed skin” is an expression used in wood construction to describe a system where the deck contributes to the f lexural strength of the system by carrying compressive and tensile forces, and doesn’t merely transfer load to the beams. A box beam, as illustrated earlier, is one example of a stressed skin, as is a structural insulated panel (SIP). A stressed skin lattice is a system which attempts to gain the benefits of a stressed skin system in a two-way system. Since wood is inherently a one-way material, strong only parallel to its fibres, the “skins” (CLT panels) are used in opposite orientations: the top skin in one direction and the bottom skin in the other. The web must work in both directions as well. One layer transfers shear across its width, and the other carries the axial chord force, balancing the skin. The above diagram shows, in cyan, the upper lattice which acts composite with the bottom skin, forming a shallow vierendeel truss oriented into the page. The lower lattice, which acts composite with the upper skin spanning parallel to the page, is shown in tan.

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What would Italian architect and engineer Pier Luigi Nervi do? With material cost high relative to labour costs, Nervi developed structural forms in concrete that optimized the use of material and minimized weight. The mass timber industry is in a similar situation today. The cost of the raw material is high (at roughly two-thirds of the overall cost) and CNC fabrication allows complex forms and assemblies to be constructed relatively economically. The structural strategy used by Nervi for the Palace of Labour in Turin could be adapted to a mass timber solution. In this proposal, 16 radial beams span directly to each column support, eliminating the need for a girder—another example of using wood in a two-way system. Eight of the 16 beams are curved and therefore subject to torsional forces. In order to resist the torsion and prevent these beams from rotating under load, an annular ring of blocking is provided. 14


Voided concrete timber composite (VCTC) is a timber concrete composite (TCC) system with a thick topping, roughly equal to the thickness of the mass timber. The “voided” part is about removing the concrete where it is least effective, closest to the neutral axis, saving weight and reducing the carbon footprint of the system. The voids can be formed in any number of ways. Commercially available voiding systems such as Bubbledeck, Cobiax or Sonovoid can be used, as can custom voids such as EPS blocks or even plywood boxes. The significant advantage of a VCTC system is the elimination of beams and the ability to achieve long spans. The direction perpendicular to the wood fibre is carried by the concrete alone, which acts as a wide flat beam within the thickness of the topping. The elimination of beams results in a thinner structural system overall. In addition, space planning is simplified and beam shadowing is eliminated. A secondary benefit is that the system is very versatile. The same system can be adapted to accommodate transfer beams or exceptional spans (such as for an auditorium) without changing the overall thickness or appearance, by varying the balance of concrete to timber.

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A VCTC system presents the minimal surface to fire, making it extremely fire-safe. By adding rebar to the bottom of the topping, just above the wood, the system can be made to sustain fire load in the complete absence of the wood. Because the system has a strong direction (parallel to the wood fibre) and a weak direction (perpendicular to the wood fibre), it is ideally suited to situations with unequal bays in an aspect ratio of around 1:1.5. The VCTC system was developed by Blackwell and proposed in a wonderful (but unsuccessful) submission for the Arbour project at Goerge Brown University, with MJMA and Patkau Architects. 15

Delta Beam

The Peikko Delta Beam system is an extremely effective solution to the challenge of achieving both long spans and a shallow depth. The triangular-section delta beam was originally developed for use with hollow core precast and has been adapted for mass timber. The delta beam is a flush steel beam, consisting of a tapered box with a wide bottom flange that serves as a seat. The webs of the box are perforated with large holes that allow the beam to fill with concrete from the topping. The concrete topping is fully composite, with both the deck and the steel beam contributing to the bending strength and stiffness of the overall system. Reinforcing steel may be placed inside the box, and made capable of sustaining load in the case of fire without the contribution of the bottom flange—so the bottom flange may not need to be fire protected. This system is being used on 77 Wade Avenue, an eight-storey commercial office building designed by BCN A rchitects with Blackwell Structural Engineers. 16

Cree by Rhomberg

As mass timber matures, many proprietary and non-proprietary systems have shown up in the marketplace—and between writing and publishing this article, there will no doubt be a few more. Some will have legs and endure, while others will not. Many are composites, combining wood with steel and concrete to maximum benefit. Cree by Rhomberg is one proprietary, modular system that has gained some traction in Europe. It consists of mass timber beams with a com-

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posite formed concrete deck, pre-manufactured in panels of 2.5 to 3 metres in width by one full bay long. At the exterior edges, the concrete is turned down to form an edge beam. The exterior may be supported on columns or modular wall panels. In the interior, the panels are supported on a steel box beam, with a wide bottom flange which acts as a seat. 17

Zollinger Lamella

When German architect and engineer Friederich Zollinger invented the lamella roof in the 1920s, it was to respond to a severe shortage of housing and building materials following the First World War. The system uses simple, standard segments of timber in a rhomboid pattern. The Zollinger Lamella is a reciprocal framing system, where the beams are oriented in the fashion of a diagrid. One of the great benefits of the Zollinger Lamella comes from the arched form of the roof. The system has benefits when on the flat as well. The high density of the lamella means that individual pieces can be made small and the deck panels may be made as thin as possible. Orienting the deck orthogonally on a diagrid of beams creates a very strong diaphragm, which is a benefit for resisting wind and seismic loads. 18

Triple Beam

The triple beam system is one of a number of all-wood, shallow-beam systems. With a triple beam system, the middle beam is discontinuous, allowing the column to pass through to support the column above. This configuration prevents the problem of crushing perpendicular to the wood grain, and of large shrinkage perpendicular to the grain. The two side beams may be continuous past the column, adding significant strength and stiffness benefits. By assembling the beam out of multiple pieces, a designer is able to push past the limiting width of 365 mm usually linked to glulam beams. While wide shallow beams are less efficient, there is a benefit from a fire perspective, as they present less surface relative to volume; in addition, the side beams provide fire protection to the connection of the middle beam. The savings in depth with this system can be critical as timber buildings get taller. J. David Bowick is a principal with structural engineering firm Blackwell.

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The Near-Empty Shelf The appropriate shelf in the library tower at the University of Calgary was almost empty, so I convinced myself I had scrambled the Library of Congress “NA” catalogue number. I’d been given a research paper assignment from Professor Michael McMordie in his pioneering 1977 “Canadian Architecture” class, and wanted to browse the books, seeking inspiration. There were less than a dozen books at the appropriate spots for Canada—fewer than that library’s holdings on Dutch or Mexican architecture. I inquired with the reference librarian if their other Canadian volumes had been checked out. She replied, with a tinge of melancholy: “This is all we have.” As I was pivoting from my undergraduate background in the humanities and fine arts towards architecture, this lack of a local literature for my chosen discipline was unsettling. From my reading in global design history, I knew that books, like buildings, are complex creations. And An aerial view of Expo 67, one of the flagship projects of Canada’s centennial year. FAR LEFT Designed by Étienne Gaboury in 1968, the Paroisse du Précieux Sang remains a Prairie icon in St. Boniface, Manitoba. LEFT Montreal’s Place Bonaventure, designed in 1967 by Affleck, Debarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Sise, was the subject of international interest for its megastructural approach. ABOVE


Canadian Modern Architecture, 1967 to the present Edited by Elsa Lam and Graham Livesey (Princeton Architectural Press and Canadian Architect, 2019) REVIEW Trevor Boddy

architecture books—like the best buildings they describe and illustrate— are not worth indulging if they do not have a clear authorial voice. Before starting architecture school, I had only read three books about Canadian architecture, but they were, and remain, some of the finest books ever produced about the design ideas shaped by, and for our country. Carol Moore Ede’s large-format Canadian Architecture 1960/70 was a revelation. It is the work of a journalist who first travelled Canada by car looking at buildings and taking her own stunning black-and-white images. I was struck especially by the power of the Prairie buildings she selected that were close at hand to me—designs by Etienne Gaboury, Clifford Wiens, Jack Long, and Douglas Cardinal. The Architecture of Arthur Erickson from Tundra Books had an even larger page layout in a landscape format, plus sumptuous illustrations. Simon Scott’s glowing colour photography and the architect’s elegant and thoughtful prose had me hooked. The only Canadian architectural history I could find as an undergraduate was University of Victoria art historian Alan Gowans’ Building Canada: An Architectural History of Canadian Life. Like Ede’s, this book was also produced by criss-crossing the nation each summer—in his case in a beat-up station wagon. I loved this book for the same reason many staff historians at Parks Canada and provincial heritage agencies hated it. Rather than the staid, fact-based accounts they had been obliged to produce at work, Gowans ventured interpretations, theories, conspiracies— in short, stories about who we are and how we live in our buildings.



books Courtesy Arthur Erickson fonds, Canadian Architectural Archives, University of Calgary

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ABOVE A rendering of the central mall of Simon Fraser University, one of the signature spaces of the campus master-planned by Arthur Erickson and Geoffrey Massey in 1963.

What does one do in an intellectual vacuum, a nation of buildings without names and stories? For my mentor Michael McMordie, it meant co-founding the Canadian Architectural Archive at the University of Calgary, our nation’s most important collection of materials from leading Canadian modernist architects. My own trajectory in architectural criticism was launched with an article in the late, lamented Toronto magazine Canadian Forum. It had been produced by travelling by rail across the plains to look at buildings, talking to ultra-friendly architects, just as Ede and Gowans had done before. Building With Words In the decades since I graduated in the 1980s, the shelf of books on Canadian architecture has grown rapidly. Parks Canada issued a fine series of studies on the key architectural styles of the 19th and early 20th centuries. Cottage industries of publishing catalogues and modest architectural books—mainly on houses, and those who shape them— began at either end of the country, with TUNS (now Dalhousie Architectural) Press in Halifax, and Greg Bellerby at Emily Carr University in Vancouver producing volume after volume. The big university presses sponsored the occasional architecture book, and UBC’s SALA has recently produced a series of ten books on West Coast Modern houses, although visuals suffered from the pocket-book format. Toronto, Edmonton, Winnipeg and Vancouver produced exhibitions with related catalogues about their modernist legacies. Toronto’s Ruth Cawker produced a wonderful collection of writings by architects in 1981, Building With Words. Zimbabwe-born Leon Whiteson produced a 1983 survey during a short period writing for the Toronto Star, while in 2016, Michelangelo Sabatino and Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe issued a theoryladen history of modernism.

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Much of this writing and publishing was made possible by new streams of funding for architectural research and writing from the Canada Council, proving to be as catalytic for architecture books as the Massey (now Governor-General’s) Medals for Architecture had been for creative new buildings themselves, after their establishment in 1956. The publishing situation is more variable among Canadian monographs dedicated to the work of a single current architectural practice. Some of these books—like those by Richard and Gregory Henriquez, Todd Saunders and Pierre Thibault—have intellectual ambitions, a singularity of voice and prospect, a meticulous craft of drawing and photography. Others are major disappointments, however, little more than brochures wrapped in hard binding. Even with this, crucial figures such as Peter Hemingway, Jim Donahue, Peter Cardew and Carmen Corneil today remain without comprehensive books documenting their groundbreaking designs. But the biggest caesura in Canadian architectural publishing is critical and comparative works, and full-blown histories. The Architecture of a Book Canadian Modern Architecture, 1967 to the Present is an astonishing achievement by editors Elsa Lam, Graham Livesey and their fifteen essayists. The book is essential for anyone who cares about architecture, or who cares about Canada, and we’ll be talking about it for decades. The gracious and to-the-point Introduction begins with a nod from the editors to the survey of our built history produced by Alan Gowans’ leading protégé, Harold Kalman. But they point out that his “magisterial” A History of Canadian Architecture “devotes only one of fifteen chapters to modern architecture.” The editors argue that “distinctly Canadian architecture only emerged mid-century and fully blossomed after Expo 67.” In broad strokes, I agree.

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Steven Evans Photography, courtesy KPMB

Ian Sampson, courtesy DSAI

canadian architect 11/19


ABOVE A.J. Diamond & Barton Myers’ York Square in Toronto (1968) and Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects’ Kitchener City Hall (1993) are both influenced by the discourse of postmodernism.

The first thing one needs to know about Canadian Modern Architecture is that it is decidedly, even polemically not a history, in the conventional meaning. The fifteen separately authored and lushly illustrated essays of around five thousand words each, forming the book’s chapters, are group­ ed by theme, region, even city-state, but most assuredly not historical sequence. The book refuses to present a fully rendered image of Canadian architecture, rather offering a mosaic—that preferred representational mode for this country. One quarter of the book is devoted to “International Influences,” itself a very Canadian thought. “International Influences” exist in all architecture, everywhere, as universal as brick or stone. There is an impressive range of information and visuals collected within the book’s 544 glossy pages, but trying to read it straight through is confounding. The editorial decision to include multiple authors and overlapping themes means that the same building or architect will pop up in various essays, as does Erickson-Massey’s Simon Fraser University, and names like KPMB and Moshe Safdie. Despite the sense of déjà-vu that sometimes occurs, I frankly do not know how Lam and Livesey could have organized their book any other way, so diverse and unknown to itself is our country. But it is in the nature of such books that very few will read it right through, as this reviewer was obliged to. Everyone knows that architecture books are skimmed for their visuals, dropped into for reference drawings, sometimes even read, episodically. Many of our architects will browse a copy in a bookstore and first check the index for names of their rivals and classmates, then actually buy a copy if they find refer-

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ence to any firm they have worked for. And they will. I estimate there are proper name references to one thousand Canadian architects in this book, as naming is a crucial initial task for any higher order writing, be it history or criticism. While the book is not a history, it also resists a single axis of interpretation, and argued architectural criticism makes an appearance in only about half of the essays. Canadian Modern Architecture does exhibit some overarching academic apparatuses however, including birth and death dates of the architects mentioned. From the accretion of these dates, we learn that 1939 produced a bumper crop of Late Modernists, architects born in 1959 have the highest likelihood of becoming academics, and 1969 produced most of the innovative young designers whose work we see too little of in the book.


Portrait of a Nation All but three of Canadian Modern Architecture’s 17 essayists are current or emeritus full-time academics. At times, the book reads like the proceedings of an academic conference convened to define the subject from all approaches. But define the subject it does, and with considerable editorial élan, no small accomplishment. Some of the chapters, though, feel like 20-minute slide talks, each of them eagerly trying to usher their charges into the now-emerging canon of Canadian architecture. In accumulation, one of the key weaknesses of the book is that there are too many buildings included, and too many of these have but one or two sentence perfunctory descriptions—single idea, Instagram-like snapshots insufficient to do the projects full justice. Not surprisingly, active critics and professors of architectural history and theory with books under their belts have the best essays, with insights and syntheses marching along with the parade of facts and names. George Baird’s essay on “Megastructures and High Tech” is a fine example of how knowledge of architectural history and ability as a descriptive writer can shine a light on one of the most internationally prominent Canadian moments in global design, now all but disappeared. But in not mentioning Arthur Erickson’s heroic visualizations of a future Vancouver in his “Plan 56” (thankfully picked up by Ian Chodikoff in his essay on urbanism) Baird misses including this essential Canadian alongside the Japanese and European inventors of the megastructure. He gives Erickson his due, however, in gracious accounts of Lethbridge and Robson Square as late examples. Some of our scholars till previously productive thematic soil, be it Ryerson’s Marco Polo and Colin Ripley on the architecture of the Centennial projects, or Lateral Office’s Lola Sheppard and Mason White on design for the arctic. One of the standout pieces of writing is Odile Hénault’s “First Nations Architecture: A Long Journey Forward,” which collects innovative, largely under-published new work from Pacific to Atlantic to Arctic oceans by and for our Indigenous citizens, then makes sense of it. This is sterling criticism in a field that deserves reflection—I dearly hope that she expands her essay into a book. Lisa Landrum’s essay on campus architecture is nearly as good, although I would quibble with her on the inspirations behind Simon Fraser University’s massing. Sherry McKay produces the best of her string of overviews of the evolution of architecture on the Pacific Coast, from Ron Thom to the Patkaus, with pointed critical perceptions and apt, artful photographs and drawings, marred only by occasional lapses into Harvard studio-speak. Arthur Erickson makes an appearance in all three of these chapters, and Lam and Livesey really had no choice but to put an Erickson work on the cover of the book. The UBC Museum of Anthopology was a clear choice for its association with First Nations, its brilliance of form, the cadence and conviviality of its plans and sections, and the tour-de-force of its interiors and display systems. The museum is a standout masterpiece in a nation that admits to few such words or works.

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McEwen School of Architecture – Laurentian University Architect: LGA | Photography: Bob Gundu

Rendering courtesy of Moriyama & Teshima Architects/Acton Ostry Architects Inc. Associated Architects for The Arbour

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Ihor Pona, courtesy Taylor Architecture Group

canadian architect 11/19


Courtesy Peter Cardew Architects

ABOVE Designed by Pin/Taylor Architects, the MacDonald Drive Condominiums in Yellowknife (2008) respond to the demands of building in the North. LEFT Peter Cardew’s Stone Band School in Chilcotin, BC (1990) was part of a government program of creating design-led schools for Indigenous communities.

Larry Wayne Richards’ very finely argued account of postmodernism in Canada makes it clear that, with the exception of Vancouver’s Richard Henriquez and Anglo-Montrealer Peter Rose, PoMo here is almost entirely an Ontario phenomenon. Why? Is Kitchener City Hall not a mutation of PoMo, with its multiple quotations of the modernist canon sparking Toronto’s taste for Neo-modernism (which the Prairie originals will tell you, loudly, is not modernism at all)? This kind of national surmise, the finding of broad themes, is largely missing in the book, given its structure and its lack of a concluding chapter. Another great unspoken of this vast book is the question of why Quebec was not home to a wave of highly original architecture after the World’s Fair catalyst—as was constructed on our Prairies, of all places, as made clear in Graham Livesey’s essay. There can be no doubt that some of Canada’s best architecture of the 1970s is found in the works of Cardinal, Hemingway, Atkins, Wiens, Gaboury and the Patkaus. Edmonton was home to two great Diamond-Myers designs: the HUB Mall (Canada’s last megastructure) and the Citadel Theatre (ur-project to the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto). David Theodore picks up with the Quebec innovations of Dan Hanganu, Atelier Big

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City, Saucier + Perrotte and many others, mostly recent—but the two decades after Expo remain a void, telling in their absence. If we ever start a truly national dialogue on architecture’s relationship to Canadian political, economic and cultural evolution, themes like this will be explored by writers to come. The production of the published object by New York’s Princeton Architectural Press is excellent, though its slick paper makes it weigh four pounds and its bulky hard cover renders it a tough book to cuddle up with. Not to worry; Trudeau the Elder defined us as a nation that knows “how to make love in a canoe,” so surely we can manage. While there are excellent endnotes and the best possible range and colour rendering of visuals, somewhat strangely, there is no bibliography. For now at least, the length of the no-longer-empty-shelf of books on Canadian architecture shall remain indeterminate. The real point of this book is that it will help others write the books—reflective, critical, synthetic, risk-taking—that Canadian architecture deserves. Canadian Modern Architecture is a heroic accomplishment, and its editors and contributors have earned a standing ovation. Hurrah, everyone, this book is Canada: for good and bad; innovation and tory timidity; metropolitan ambition and rural redoubt. Chapter and verse, Lam, Livesey and their fifteen contributors have nailed the names and listed the key works of the last half century of architecture here. It will now be up to future books, and future writers, to make critical and historical sense of it all. Vancouver-based Trevor Boddy’s first book was a regional history of modernism,

Modern Architecture in Alberta . He has subsequently created books or exhibitions and catalogues on designers including Douglas Cardinal, Clifford Wiens, Bing Thom, Arthur Erickson, Fast + Epp, Bjarke Ingels, KPF (San Diego), Stantec ( Airports), HCMA ( Pools), Blue Sky, Gino Pin, Cornelia Oberlander, Jeremy Sturgess, James Cheng and Alfred Waugh.

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Members of Canada’s House of Commons moved to a new home in January of 2019 at Parliament Hill. That’s when West Block, one of three structures where Canadian government officials conduct business, opened after an $863 million, seven-year renovation. The building, which was built approximately 150 years ago, had not been renovated since the 1960s. “In that time span, all the expectations and standards of operating and working in a parliamentary office building changed,” said Georges Drolet, a partner in EVOQ Architecture and an architectural historian. The firm formed a joint venture partnership in 1995 with Architecture 49 to plan and design the West Block Rehabilitation Project. “Everything from comfort expectations to security concerns, communications network, energy efficiency targets, hazardous materials management, universal accessibility standards, broadcasting and public engagement programs changed. As time went by, all those issues became pressing. Hence the need for an overall, holistic rehabilitation of the building.” There was more to the project, however, than updating it with the latest and greatest. In a building with such historical magnitude, architects had to be mindful of not overreaching and turning Parliament Hill into a structure that was out of character with its heritage. Parliament Hill is classified as a Federal Heritage Building because of its important historical associations, architectural quality, and environmental impact. The roofing project alone required more than two years of labor. The self-supporting, curved glass roof includes 2,485 square meters of triple-glazed glass, 938 tons of steelwork for roof and tree columns, 2,554 square meters of laylight glazing under the roof, 871 square meters of movable louvres, 929 square meters of acoustic panels and 1,813 square meters of open-grid flooring for a service catwalk at the roof level. Some roofing sections required roof hatches to access attic space. Aluminum roof hatches with copper cladding and prime painted galvanized steel hatches were custom-made by The BILCO Company of Connecticut and were installed by Heather and Little and Covertite. The hatches were installed on flat roofs and even on some seriously sloped steeples.

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“The hatches were a bit harder to install mostly due to the complexity of the design,” Photo: Heather + Little said Brian Marshall, a Project Manager for Heather and Little. “They were installed on a sloping roof that was in a near vertical position.” Marshall said his team also installed fire-rated floor hatches to gain access to attics and mechanical space, and ladder-up safety posts to help ensure safety for workers entering and exiting the roof hatches. They were also manufactured by BILCO. The rehabilitation of the West Block required teamwork, skill, experience and communication. The completed project now stands as a tribute to Canada’s heritage while also providing its government and citizens the tools necessary to keep pace in a rapidly changing world. “This was the most complex rehabilitation project ever executed in Canada,” Drolet said. “Each decision was analyzed, discussed and reviewed by dozens of professionals, specialists and project managers to make sure that the transformed West Block would meet the challenges of a 21st-century legislative function while celebrating its 19th-century origins.”

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tect speaks at the National Gallery of Canada, as part of Carleton University’s Forum Lecture series.

Vancouver 11/07–10

Architecture and Design Film Festival Presented by Vancouver Special and All in Pictures, New York’s design-focused film festival makes its Canadian debut in Vancouver.

Gatineau –03/22/2020

Unceded—Voices of the Land Created to represent Canada at the 2018 Venice Architecture Biennale, this exhibition features the work of 18 Indigenous architects and designers from across Turtle Island.


Hernan Diaz Alonso The director of Los Angeles’s SCI-Arc lectures at the School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape’s downtown outpost.

Toronto –11/12

Winter Stations Presents Impulse An installation of glowing seesaws by Lateral Office, originally designed for Montreal’s Luminothérapie Festival, comes to Toronto’s Harbourfront Centre.


Architecture and Design Film Festival New York’s design-focused film festival continues its Canadian debut with a stop in Toronto, including an opening night screening of City Dreamers.


Toronto Biennial of Art This inaugural festival of contemporary art spans the city with exhibitions, installations and talks. Commissioned works include an installation by architectural designer Adrian Blackwell.


The Buildings Show Held at the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, this tradeshow opens with an international archi-

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© Boris Iofan; collection of Tchoban Foundation




Building a New New World Curated by Jean-Louis Cohen, this exhibition at the CCA examines the paradoxical bilateral relationship between Russia and the United States during the long 20th century.

ABOVE The CCA’s new exhibition includes Boris M. Iofan’s 1934 drawing of a Project for the Palace of Soviets, Moscow.

tecture roundtable on mass timber with Alan Organschi, Andrew Waugh, Janne Vermeulen and Michael Green.



Soirée des Grands A This annual fundraiser for Architects Without Borders Quebec gathers architects, advocates, and other allies.


TSA Bash The Toronto Society of Architects’ annual year-end party includes architect-led tours of the venue and a lively reception.



A Place of Pride This exhibition examines Raymond Moriyama’s pioneering design of the first Japanese Canadian Cultural Centre.

Ottawa 11/25

Vladmir Djurovic The Lebanese landscape archi-

Chicago Architecture Biennial The third edition of the Biennial is titled “and other such stories,” and considers questions of land, memory, rights and civic participation (see page 24). New York –01/26/20

Museum of Modern Art The MoMA reopens with a new expansion by Diller Scofidio Renfro. The season’s exhibitions include an exploration of energy in its myriad forms, curated by Paola Antonelli.

Canadian Modern Architecture, 1967 to the present A series of panels and talks marks the launch of a new book co-published by Princeton Architectural Press and Canadian Architect.

canadian architect 11/19


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11/13_Daniels School of Architecture, Landscape, and Design George Baird and Larry Wayne Richards 11/14_University of Waterloo School of Architecture Elsa Lam, Martin Liefhebber, Carol Philips, Lola Sheppard 11/21_Halifax Central Library Peter Busby, Elsa Lam, Mary Lynk, Steven Mannell 11/25_University of Lethbridge Graham Livesey 11/27_Vancouver Central Library James KM Cheng, Sherry McKay, John Patkau, Adele Weder 01/15/20_University of Calgary School of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Jessie Andjelic, Dustin Couzens, Matt Knapik, Graham Livesey 01/16/20_Laurentian School of Architecture Aliki Economides, David Fortin, Terry Galvin, Elsa Lam 02/03/20_University of Manitoba Faculty of Architecture Graham Livesey 02/03/20_McNally Robinson, Winnipeg Brent Bellamy, Ryan Gorrie, Lisa Landrum, Graham Livesey, Lindsay Osler 02/15/20_Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montreal Jean-Pierre Chupin, Elsa Lam, David Theodore 03/05/20_Ryerson University Department of Architectural Science George Kapelos, Elsa Lam, Marco Polo, Colin Ripley 03/05/20 – Stanley A. Milner Library, Edmonton Cynthia Dovell, Jan Kroman, Graham Livesey, Vedran Skopac

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Into the Labyrinth TEXT

Lawrence Bird

A group of 40 students collaborate on a Winnipeg Warming Hut conceived to harbour an artwork by Anish Kapoor.

If architecture is always poised between creativity and technical rigour, the same can be said for design pedagogy. Does one give students the freedom to explore on their own, at the risk of wandering too far into the weeds; or does one provide a framework to ensure rigour and proficiency? Teaching that achieves this balance is an art that can take decades to cultivate. A design-build project can be a test of how effective it is, for there is no escaping the end product: out there in public for all to see, as is the case with the University of Manitoba’s annual contribution to Winnipeg’s Warming Huts. In 2019 this contribution was led by Eduardo Aquino, Chad Connery, Terri Fuglem, and Liane Veness, at the head of a team of forty students. Most students were in third year, but a number of them were graduates of other degrees, completing an Architecture Master Preparation studio. This diverse group proved well-balanced to meet the challenge of designing and constructing, in less than three weeks, a Warming Hut conceived, in theory, to harbour an artwork by IndoBritish artist Anish Kapoor. Taking Kapoor as a subject served several pedagogical intents. It provided a framework and a reference for design decisions not based on the individuality of any of the makers but

on the universe of this remarkable artist. The question became not “what do I want?,” but “what would Anish want?” Kapoor is also renowned for his attention to material and craft, which offered another pedagogical opportunity: to demand the highest level of professionalism, both in research and making. As part of their work, about half the students took advantage of a studio trip to Portugal to visit Kapoor’s exhibition at Porto’s Serralves Museum, where they experienced his Descent into Limbo. Impacted by this (in Aquino’s words) “elemental shape (the cube), inhabited by an “absence” (a circular hole on the ground)”, and also the memory of Kapoor’s own 2017 Warming Hut, Stackhouse, the design coalesced as a matte cube whose expressionless exterior belies a complex inner world. A wood frame structure enfolds the human body, yet looms unsettlingly over it. As the visitor’s path is bent and compressed on entry, they undergo what student Rachel Laird identifies as a state of “anticipation through delay,” followed by a release as the space opens up into a centre of utter darkness. To achieve the building in the brief time available, all students contributed to design, and all built, and each took on a third role based on personal expertise: communications, drawings, photography, project management,

ABOVE, left to right The sculptural hut was inspired by Kapoor’s aesthetic; a bespoke device carves an ice lens inside the hut.

or writing for the publication that later came out of the project (a student initiative). Five construction captains led shifts working 16 to 18-hour days. On completion, though, the team realized that this cube was a fragment of labyrinth that lacked a minotaur. The central black space was simply not enough. Under the instructors’ direction, the team began to explore the design of an oculus, intended to bring light from the sky. But the teaching moment here was provided by a group of students, who came forward with an alternate concept: rather than an oculus above, a lens below. The challenge then became to invent a way, in only a few days, of carving a lens from ice. An implement of wood and mild steel was designed and built, and a method for working developed, to turn the ice into an optical device. The river was no longer just a foundation. It became a well into which the visitor gazed, and from which light, simultaneously murky and clear, filtered up into the heart of the labyrinth. The booklet WHAK , from which the above images have been drawn, can be purchased from the website of the Winnipeg Architecture Foundation. Lawrence Bird (MRAIC) is an architect, planner, and visual artist. He is currently co-editing a book on the

Warming Huts with Peter Hargraves and Sharon Wohl, with publication anticipated in 2020.

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Profile for IQ Business Media

Canadian Architect November 2019  

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

Canadian Architect November 2019  

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