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CANADIAN ARCHITECT MAR/16

BUILDING UP

THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE RAIC

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MAR/16 V.61 N.03


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BUILDING UP

05

CANADIAN ARCHITECT

MARCH 2016

DOUBLESPACE PHOTOGRAPHY

9 NEWS

Coast Capital Savings headquarters opens in Surrey; Perkins+Will selected to renovate Trent’s Bata Library; winning garden installation designs for Winnipeg and Grand-Métis festivals announced.

13 RAIC JOURNAL

The inaugural issue of the RAIC’s “magazine within a magazine” includes a letter from RAIC president Allan Teramura, a map of must-see architectural sites near the 2016 Festival of Architecture in Nanaimo, BC, and an interview with Moriyama RAIC International Prize winner Li Xiaodong.

33 INSITES

22 QUEEN RICHMOND CENTRE WEST Soaring steel columns allow a commercial tower by Sweeny&Co Architects to delicately hover over two brick warehouses in Toronto. TEXT David Steiner

28 U

ALAIN LAFOREST

Montreal firm Atelier Big City reinvents the standard apartment block with an infill project that incorporates elements from the city’s iconic walk-up triplexes. TEXT David Theodore

Sean Ruthen reports on an exhibition and debate series tackling hot-button issues of density, affordability and public space in Vancouver.

36 REVIEW

An exhibition on pioneering firm Papineau Gérin-Lajoie Le Blanc deserves the attention of audiences beyond Montreal, according to Odile Hénault.

41 CALENDAR

Design Matters: A Pre-Post Occupancy Evaluation of Bridgepoint Active Health exhibition at Ryerson University; MAQ Young Critic Awards evening in Montreal; Architecture+Design Film Festival in Winnipeg.

42 BACKPAGE

Broadcaster Stuart McLean reflects on living in architect Jeffery Stinson’s former laneway house in Toronto.

COVER Queen Richmond Centre West by Sweeny&Co Architects. Photo by Doublespace Photography.

V.61 N.03 THE NATIONAL REVIEW OF DESIGN AND PRACTICE / THE OFFICIAL MAGAZINE OF THE RAIC

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CANADIAN ARCHITECT 03/16

06

VIEWPOINT

LEFT Bjarke Ingels’ proposed development in downtown Toronto stacks Habitat-like cubes atop heritage brick warehouses on King Street West.

Big Ideas In February, Bjarke Ingels of Danish firm BIG revealed Toronto’s most audacious highrise proposal since Frank Gehry’s super-tall sculptural towers. Dubbed “Habitat 2.0” in a talk by Ingels, the design consists of 12-foot-cube modules stacked in hills rising above and around a string of heritage warehouses on King Street West. A central courtyard is accessible through alleyways from King Street to the north and Wellington Street to the south. Similar concerns are arising as with Gehry’s proposal, just a few blocks away: are heritage buildings on the property being properly handled? Is the scale appropriate for this area immediately west of downtown? Should the central core continue to be densified with upscale condos? Then there’s that pestering question: does Toronto need international starchitects? Within the architecture community, there’s a justifiable tinge of professional envy behind the inquiry. Canadian architects can, and have, produced equally original and innovative work (including, of course, Moshe Safdie’s original Habitat 67). But outsiders enjoy certain advantages. They are relatively unencumbered by local rivalries and planning politics. This allows them to bring a fresh eye to existing situations. Perhaps more important, their time and opinions are often accorded a premium value by clients and municipal bodies—including those who must provide approvals to execute out-of-the-box commissions. Bjarke Ingels, in particular, has a flair for building a compelling narrative—told through massing diagrams, clever spatial logic and humorous anecdotes—to back his firm’s projects. On stage, he strikes a charismatic presence, speaking with disarming candour. As Richard Sommer, Dean of the Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto notes, “These strategies are important for capturing support in a diverse society.”

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The Toronto project is one of three that BIG is working on in Canada—the others, towers in Vancouver and Calgary, are also for developer Westbank. While starchitects such as Ingels are important as public spokespeople for architecture, local partnerships are crucial to this trio of Canadian projects. As anyone in the profession knows, built architecture is rarely the work of a single genius, but comes from the insights, frictions and cooperative efforts of diverse teams. In Vancouver, BIG is working with DIALOG (whose predecessor firm, Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden, built their urbanism cred with such landmark projects as the redevelopment of Granville Island) and with James KM Cheng (pioneer of the podium-tower typology). BIG is also working with DIALOG in Calgary. In Toronto, Westbank has teamed up with developer Allied REIT—which assembled the King Street West properties over two decades. Allied recently demonstrated the success of a building-on-stilts approach for a commercial property on Richmond Street (see page 22). As for the King Street West project, the proof will be in the pudding. At present, the project seems to be little more than a beguiling series of renderings and a foamcore model. What is the structural support system? How will the unit layout work? What will be the scale of the openings into the courtyard? How will thermal bridging be averted? Such details—developed with the broader team—will merit scrutiny when they become available. For now, the project deserves applause as a provocation to the rote developments in Toronto—and a move towards raising the bar of quality and design innovation for all.

­­EDITOR ELSA LAM, MRAIC EDITORIAL ADVISOR IAN CHODIKOFF, OAA, FRAIC ART DIRECTOR ROY GAIOT CONTRIBUTING EDITORS ANNMARIE ADAMS, FRAIC ODILE HÉNAULT DOUGLAS MACLEOD, NCARB, MRAIC REGIONAL CORRESPONDENTS HALIFAX CHRISTINE MACY, OAA REGINA BERNARD FLAMAN, SAA MONTREAL DAVID THEODORE CALGARY GRAHAM LIVESEY, MRAIC WINNIPEG LISA LANDRUM, MAA, AIA, MRAIC VANCOUVER ADELE WEDER PUBLISHER TOM ARKELL 416-510-6806 SALES MANAGER FARIA AHMED 416-510-6808 CIRCULATION / CUSTOMER SERVICE / PRODUCTION LAURA MOFFATT 416-510-6898 PRESIDENT OF IQ BUSINESS MEDIA INC. ALEX PAPANOU HEAD OFFICE 80 VALLEYBROOK DRIVE, TORONTO, ON M3B 2S9 TELEPHONE 416-510-6845 FACSIMILE 416-510-5140 E-MAIL elam@canadianarchitect.com WEBSITE www.canadianarchitect.com Canadian Architect is published monthly by iQ Business Media Inc.. The editors have made every reasonable effort to provide accurate and authoritative information, but they assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the text, or its fitness for any particular purpose. Subscription Rates Canada: $54.95 plus applicable taxes for one year; $87.95 plus applicable taxes for two years (HST – #81538 0985 RT0001). Price per single copy: $6.95. Students (prepaid with student ID, includes taxes): $27.00 for one year. USA: $105.95 US for one year. All other foreign: $125.95 US per year. Single copy US and foreign: $10.00 US. Return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Circulation Dept., Canadian Architect, 80 Valleybrook Drive, Toronto, ON Canada M3B 2S9. Postmaster: please forward forms 29B and 67B to 80 Valleybrook Drive, Toronto, ON Canada M3B 2S9. Printed in Canada. All rights reserved. The contents of this publication may not be re­produced either in part or in full without the consent of the copyright owner. From time to time we make our subscription list available to select companies and organizations whose product or service may interest you. If you do not wish your contact information to be made available, please contact us via one of the following methods: Telephone 1-800-668-2374 Facsimile 416-510-5140 E-mail circulation@canadianarchitect.com Mail iQ Business Media, 80 Valleybrook Drive, Toronto, ON M3B 2S9 MEMBER OF THE CANADIAN BUSINESS PRESS MEMBER OF THE ALLIANCE FOR AUDITED MEDIA PUBLICATIONS MAIL AGREEMENT #43096012 ISSN 1923-3353 (ONLINE) ISSN 0008-2872 (PRINT)

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CANADIAN ARCHITECT 03/16

NEWS

LEFT Designed by Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership Architects, the Coast Capital Savings headquarters recently opened in the city centre of Surrey, British Columbia.

PROJECTS Coast Capital Savings headquarters opens in Surrey.

Coast Capital Savings, Canada’s largest credit union by membership, has moved into its innovative new headquarters in Surrey’s city centre. Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership Architects (MCM) designed the building. Located at the crossroads of two major highways and the start of the Expo ALRT line, the exterior form was shaped to project a sense of movement. According to Mark Whitehead of MCM Architects, “Coast Capital is not your typical financial institution. This building couldn’t be your standard monolithic skyscraper. It had to mirror the organization’s innovative, irreverent, fun-loving brand.” Extensive research led to a marriage of office design, technology, and important work-lifestyle features. Designed to appeal to the changing needs of today’s workers, in particular those of Coast Capital’s own employees and its growing percentage of younger workers, the new office space reflects the company’s values of transparency and community, and fosters an environment of collaboration. www.coastcapitalsavings.com

Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts opens at Mount Royal University.

The Taylor Centre for the Performing Arts has opened at Mount Royal University in Calgary, offering amenities unique to music education in Canada. The design team was led by Pfeiffer Partners in association with locally based Sahuri + Partners Architecture. At the centre of the new building is the 773seat Bella Concert Hall, whose design refers to a rural barn, reflecting Alberta’s heritage and landscape. The concert hall’s ceiling design is inspired by a Prairie rose. The Taylor

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Centre also includes ensemble studios for rehearsal and performance, multi-use event spaces, flexible teaching and rehearsal studios, percussion studios, student lounges and a purpose-built early childhood instructional suite. Located on the school’s Lincoln Park Campus, the building is part of a six-phase expansion program that started in 2001. www.mtroyal.ca

Environmental Sciences Building opens at University of Toronto Scarborough.

An innovative new research and teaching facility for the study of environmental sciences and chemistry has officially opened at the University of Toronto Scarborough. Designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects and delivered with design-build construction partner EllisDon, the 10,220-square-metre building provides state-of-the-art laboratory and teaching space for some of Canada’s brightest minds. The project is a showpiece for integrating the requirements of a modern and dynamic postsecondary academic campus plan, and meets the institution’s objectives for stringent sustainable design targets. The facility also features collaborative learning opportunities while providing flexible lab space that ensures adaptability for the ever-changing nature of research and teaching methods. At its core, the five-storey building connects laboratories and academic offices around a skylit forum and crossroads designed to encourage collaboration and exchange. A host of sustainable design features put the facility on track for LEED Gold certification. These include an earth tube system that draws fresh air through six large tubes where it is pretreated just below the frost line to heat or cool, depending on the season, before entering the mechanical system. The labs are given the building’s best views, oriented towards an adjacent ravine.

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NEWS Perkins+Will to renovate Trent University’s Bata Library.

Architecture and design firm Perkins+Will has been selected to transition Trent University’s Bata Library into a modern learning hub at the heart of its Symons campus in Peterborough, Ontario. The mandate includes overseeing the creation of new collaborative study spaces and innovative services in the iconic library, originally designed by Ron Thom. “This is an important step in the transformation of the Bata Library into a modern, people-centred learning hub—a library of the future,” said Robert Clarke, the university’s librarian. “The space plan that Perkins+Will produces will help us create a vibrant and exciting environment for research and discovery.” Planning for the redesign and renovation of the library will pay close attention to Thom’s original design features and concept as a light-filled structure. www.trentu.ca

AWARDS Yves Patrick Poitras wins Canada Council Prix de Rome for Emerging Practitioners.

Yves Patrick Poitras, who studied at the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental

Design, has won this year’s Prix de Rome in Architecture for Emerging Practitioners for his proposal to explore how hybrid forms of architecture can make communities stronger and more efficient. The $34,000 award will allow Poitras to spend time in Berlin and Hong Kong, cities that have successfully re-purposed their urban fabric by creating unique hybrid spaces. Poitras plans to collect case studies for improving Calgary. He explains: “Lessons learned from visiting and studying these examples may help us move away from developing cities as a series of isolated entities. Cities and buildings should instead be seen as a sum of parts that, when grafted together, can result in shared efficiencies and make our neighbourhoods more dynamic at all hours of the day.” www.canadacouncil.ca

Reford Gardens International Garden Festival announces winning installations.

Five new gardens have been selected to join the contemporary landscapes of the International Garden Festival at Reford Gardens. The new installations, selected from 203 projects submitted from 31 countries, are: Le caveau by Christian Poules of Basel, Switzerland; Carbone by Coache Lacaille Paysagistes

of Nantes, France; Cyclops by Craig Chapple of Phoenix, Arizona; La maison de Jacques by Romy Brosseau, Rosemarie Faille-Faubert, and Émilie Gagné-Loranger of Quebec City; and TiiLT by SRCW of Winnipeg. The gardens will be exhibited alongside winning installations from previous years in Grand-Métis, Quebec, from June 24 to October 2, 2016. www.refordgardens.com

Winnipeg’s Cool Gardens designs unveiled.

Located throughout downton Winnipeg, Cool Gardens is a public exhibition of contemporary garden and art installations that offers a shift of sensation for the summer—cooling—as a general theme for public projects in the city’s core. The exhibit aims to bring together architects, designers, landscape architects and artists to celebrate contemporary garden culture and the local landscape. This year’s winners are: The Wheat Lookout by Marta Milà Pascual and Marc Torrellas Arnedo of Barcelona, Spain; Cool Dunes by Matt Hagen and Brydget Lewicki of Winnipeg; Big Red by Open Design Collaborative and Mark Bauche of Saskatoon and Winnipeg; and 2° by LADR Landscape Architects of Victoria, BC. www.coolgardens.ca

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Your Future Home: Creating the New Vancouver at the Museum of Vancouver.

WHAT’S NEW Venice Biennale exhibition to present architectural evidence from the Holocaust.

In addition to the Canadian pavilion, a second exhibition at this year’s Venice Architecture Biennale will feature the work of Canadian architectural researchers. The Evidence Room, by Robert Jan van Pelt, Anne Bordeleau, Sascha Hastings and Donald McKay, will be shown in the Central Pavilion, at the invitation of Alejandro Aravena, the biennale’s director. “It is important for architects and architecture students to be confronted with the worst act ever committed by an architect,” says Van Pelt, whose research focuses on the blueprints and architectural remains of Nazi death camps. The Evidence Room consists of life-sized replicas and casts of key pieces of architectural evidence, including a wall section with gastight hatch, that were used in a court case to prove that Auschwitz was a purposefully designed factory of death, equipped with homicidal gas chambers and massive incinerators. The exhibition will be on display in Venice from May 28 to November 27, 2016, and will subsequently travel throughout Canada. www.uwaterloo.ca

Partnering with the Vancouver Urbanarium Society, the Museum of Vancouver has recently launched the exhibition Your Future Home: Creating the New Vancouver. The exhibition explores topics including housing affordability, urban density, ease of mobility and access to public space through the analyses, proposals, and futuristic visions of local architects and urbanists. The exhibition is accompanied by a series of programs, including happy hours, Out & About tours, presentations, and debates among architectural, real estate and urban planning experts.

dent-led installations contributed by Ryerson, OCAD and Laurentian University. The winning designs are: In the Belly of a Bear by Caitlind r.c. Brown, Wayne Garrett and Lane Shordee of Calgary; Floating Ropes by MUDO (Elodie Doukhan and Nicolas Mussche) of Montreal; Sauna by FFLO (Claire Fernley and James Fox) of Kent, UK ; and Flow by Sandbox (Calvin Fung and Victor Huynh) of Toronto. In addition to these installations, a fire pit designed by architect Douglas Cardinal, FRAIC, was also unveiled. The Winter Stations will remain standing until March 18.

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CANADIAN ARCHITECT 03/16

NEWS

www.winterstations.com

Open call for speakers for IIDEX 2016.

www.museumofvancouver.ca

Winter Stations launches in Toronto.

For the second straight year, the Winter Stations installations have taken over Toronto’s beaches. The international design competition, founded by RAW Design, Ferris + Associates and Curio, revealed the built pieces on February 15. Of the seven installations on display, four are the product of the Winter Stations design competition, which garnered 378 submissions from 45 countries around the world. These winning designs are joined by three stu-

The call is now open for speakers at IIDEX Canada 2016, a trade show held in Toronto between November 30 and December 1, 2016. Speakers have the opportunity to present to thousands of influencers and decision-makers in the worlds of design, architecture, building and real estate. IIDEXCanada seeks seminar presentations in a variety of categories that cover a breadth of topics and themes related to design, architecture, accessibility, facility management, sustainability, trends, technology, wellness and more. www.iidexcanada.com

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13 Call for Proposals

The RAIC Foundation Bursary Deadline: March 28, 2016 The RAIC Foundation award recognizes a project that relates to architecture in its broadest sense; encourages public education; or makes possible significant scholarly research that results in publications, exhibitions, symposia, lectures and/or conferences. Individuals and organizations may apply. www.raic.org/news/call-proposals-raicfoundation-bursary Appel de propositions

Bourse de la Fondation de l’IRAC Date limite: 28 mars, 2016 La Bourse de la Fondation de l’IRAC est offerte à un projet qui a un lien avec l’architecture au sens le plus large, qui incite le public à se renseigner, ou qui permet des recherches théoriques majeures aboutissant à des publications, expositions, symposiums, exposés ou conférence. Les propositions peuvent être soumises par des particuliers ou par des organismes. www.raic.org/fr/news/appel-de-propositionspour-la-bourse-de-la-fondation-de-l’irac

Festival of Architecture Nanaimo, British Columbia, June 8-11, 2016 The RAIC heads to Nanaimo, BC, with a 2016 Festival of Architecture that is designed to engage the public as well as architects from across the country. The four-day Festival celebrates the theme of CONNEXIONS within a landscape that exemplifies the concept. Architects will connect with each other and, through a series of special events open to the public, connect with the Vancouver Island community. festival2016.raic.org

Festival d’architecture Nanaimo, Colombie-Britannique, 8-11 juin, 2016 L’IRAC se rend à Nanaimo pour y présenter un Festival d’architecture 2016 conçu pour mobiliser le public et les architectes de partout au pays. Le Festival de quatre jours se déroule sur le thème CONNEXIONS dans un paysage qui illustre le concept. Les architectes tissent des liens les uns avec les autres et, dans le cadre d’une série d’activités spéciales ouvertes au public, en créent de nouveaux avec les collectivités de l’île de Vancouver. festival2016.raic.org/fr

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. www.raic.org 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. www.raic.org/fr

RAIC Journal Journal de l’IRAC John Crace, FRAIC, is a Halifax-based independent consulting architect focused on sustainability. He has illustrated two books and published dozens of cartoons over the past 40 years. John Crace, FRAIC, est un architecte indépendant établi à Halifax qui axe sa pratique sur la durabilité. Il a illustré deux livres et publié des dizaines de dessins humoristiques au cours des 40 dernières années.

First Edition Premier numéro Starting this month, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) launches a quarterly “magazine within a magazine” in the pages of Canadian Architect. The bilingual supplement will showcase the activities of the RAIC, such as advocacy, practice support and recognition of excellence. It will also publish articles on current issues affecting architectural practice and the profession. For those of you who are not yet members, the RAIC was established in 1907 as the national voice for architects and architecture in Canada. We are delighted to team up with Canadian Architect and proud to designate it the Official Magazine of the RAIC. The new section is called the RAIC Journal, taking its name from a periodical published by the RAIC between 1924 and 1973. The March edition features a message from 2016 RAIC President Allan Teramura and a map of architectural sights on Vancouver Island as a run-up to our summer conference in Nanaimo. Also, we’ve included an interview with RAIC Moriyama Prize winner Li Xiaodong. We hope you enjoy it. We welcome feedback and ideas at mcook@raic.org.

Avec ce numéro, l’Institut royal d’architecture du Canada (IRAC) lance un « magazine trimestriel dans un magazine », dans les pages de Canadian Architect. Le supplément bilingue présentera les activités de l’IRAC dans les domaines de la sensibilisation, du soutien à la pratique et de la reconnaissance de l’excellence. Il publiera également des articles sur des questions d’actualité qui ont des incidences sur la profession d’architecte. Pour ceux d’entre vous qui ne sont pas encore membres de l’IRAC, précisons que l’organisme a été créé en 1907 comme porte-parole national des architectes et de l’architecture au Canada. Nous sommes ravis de faire équipe avec Canadian Architect et nous sommes fiers de le désigner comme le magazine officiel de l’IRAC. La nouvelle section s’appelle le Journal de l’IRAC, du nom du périodique publié entre 1924 et 1973. Vous trouverez dans le numéro de mars un message d’Allan Teramura, notre président pour 2016, une carte de curiosités architecturales de l’île de Vancouver comme avantgoût de notre conférence estivale qui se tiendra à Nanaimo, ainsi qu’une entrevue avec le lauréat du Prix Moriyama IRAC, Li Xiaodong. Nous espérons que vous prendrez plaisir à nous lire et nous serons heureux de recevoir vos suggestions et commentaires pour cette nouvelle publication à l’adresse suivante : mcook@raic.org

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

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RAIC Journal

Journal de l’IRAC

President’s Message Lettre du président

Allan Teramura, FRAIC 2016 RAIC President Président de l’IRAC pour 2016

In my Presidential Investiture address earlier this year, I discussed the need for the RAIC to advocate for improved living conditions in indigenous communities. As well, the keynote speaker for the occasion, novelist and educator Joseph Boyden, delivered a powerful, beautiful and unsparing depiction of life in some of Canada’s troubled indigenous communities. His call for a more responsible and sensitive approach to working in these settlements received a standing ovation from the 120 architects in attendance. The health and sustainability of First Nations communities is an advocacy issue I intend to spend a significant amount of energy on during my term in office, as I did previously as Regional Director for Ontario North, East and Nunavut. There are few moments in our lives that we can pinpoint as life-changing, but for me, my trip in 2014 to Kashechewan—a remote First Nations reserve in Northern Ontario—was one. Reconciliation with indigenous Canadians is the defining issue of our time, and I believe our Institute has a role to play in changing entrenched attitudes. At the same time, there are other challenges and opportunities confronting our profession.

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The current government has proposed to spend significant funds on infrastructure projects to stimulate the economy. The RAIC will be stepping up its government relations efforts to ensure that the federal leadership appreciates that good architecture and urbanism is also infrastructure. We are encouraged by informal indications that suggest the new government has a greater interest in high-calibre design than its predecessor. We are working to ensure that we can support any government-led initiatives that reflect this appreciation for quality. I also intend to take full advantage of the fact that I am based in Ottawa, and that my office is a 10-minute walk from Parliament Hill. Being nimble and able to respond quickly to opportunities is important in government relations. That the RAIC President is an Ottawan in the year that may be a game-changer for our relationship with the country’s largest landlord is a happy coincidence we must fully exploit. A further objective is to explore joint opportunities with business schools in Canadian universities. The intent is to develop a body of credible research that demonstrates

what we all know from experience: design costs are a drop in the ocean relative to the operating costs of a building over its lifetime, and better design can yield a massive return on investment over that time. I hope to continue to develop relations with our allied professional organizations. The advocacy against the proposed Memorial to the Victims of Communism site in Ottawa included collaboration among the RAIC, the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects, the Canadian Institute of Planners, and Heritage Ottawa. The breadth of this inter-disciplinary coalition was part of the reason our position received so much media attention. Finally, the RAIC 2017 Festival will be in Ottawa, to coincide with the nation’s sesquicentennial celebrations. Again, taking advantage of my residence in Ottawa, I will be working closely with the ambitious program the City of Ottawa has developed for the year, to find ways to expand the RAIC’s public profile in the capital, in a year that an anticipated 2.75 million additional tourists will pass through the city. I hope to see you there.

Kashechewan is a First Nations community in Northern Ontario. The stark living conditions remind Allan Teramura of the internment camp in British Columbia where his relatives lived during the Second World War. La bande de Kashechewan est une communauté des Premières Nations du nord de l’Ontario. Ses conditions de vie austères ont rappelé à Allan Teramura le camp d’internement en Colombie-Britannique dans lequel ses ancêtres ont vécu pendant la Seconde Guerre mondiale.

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RAIC Journal

Dans mon allocution d’investiture à titre de président, un peu plus tôt cette année, j’ai mentionné que l’IRAC devait plaider en faveur de meilleures conditions de vie dans les communautés autochtones. Dans le même ordre d’idées, le conférencier de la soirée, le romancier et enseignant Joseph Boyden, a livré un beau et puissant discours sur la vie dans certaines communautés autochtones en difficulté au Canada qu’il a décrite de manière saisissante. Son appel à une approche plus responsable et plus sensible au travail dans ces communautés lui a valu une ovation des quelque 120 architectes présents. Pendant ma présidence, j’ai l’intention d’accorder beaucoup d’énergie aux questions liées à la santé et à la durabilité des communautés des Premières Nations, tout comme je l’ai fait dans le passé à titre d’administrateur régional pour le nord et l’est de l’Ontario et le Nunavut. Il y a certains moments dans nos vies qui sont déterminants et qui nous marquent à jamais. Mon voyage à Kashechewan, en 2014, une réserve éloignée des Premières Nations, dans le nord de l’Ontario, est l’un de ceux-là. La réconciliation avec les autochtones du Canada est un enjeu de premier plan de notre époque, et je crois que notre Institut a un rôle à jouer pour changer des comportements bien ancrés. Dans le même temps, notre profession a bien d’autres défis à relever et bien d’autres opportunités à saisir. Le gouvernement actuel a l’intention de consacrer des sommes considérables à des projets d’infrastructures pour stimuler l’économie. L’IRAC intensifiera ses relations avec le gouvernement pour bien faire passer son message voulant que la bonne architecture et le bon urbanisme fassent aussi partie des infrastructures. Fait encourageant, certains signaux informels nous permettent de croire que le nouveau gouvernement porte un plus grand intérêt au design de grande qualité et nous allons nous assurer de pouvoir soutenir toutes les initiatives qu’il voudra mettre en œuvre en ce domaine. J’ai également l’intention de profiter pleinement du fait que je suis établi à Ottawa et que mon bureau n’est qu’à 10 minutes

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de la Colline du Parlement. La capacité de répondre rapidement aux occasions qui se présentent est un facteur important dans les relations gouvernementales. Nous devons exploiter pleinement cette heureuse coïncidence que le président de l’IRAC soit un Ottavien en cette année charnière où s’établira peut-être une nouvelle donne pour nos relations avec le plus important propriétaire d’immeubles au Canada. Je me suis également fixé comme objectif d’explorer des possibilités de collaboration avec les écoles de commerce des universités canadiennes, le but étant d’effectuer une recherche crédible qui démontre ce que nous savons tous par expérience, à savoir que les coûts de conception ne sont qu’une goutte dans l’océan par rapport aux coûts d’exploitation d’un bâtiment au cours de sa durée de vie et que la bonne conception peut entraîner un rendement substantiel de l’investissement pendant cette période. J’entends aussi poursuivre sur la lancée de mes prédécesseurs et renforcer nos relations avec nos organisations professionnelles apparentées. Le mouvement de résistance contre l’emplacement proposé pour l’érection du monument commémoratif aux victimes du communisme à Ottawa nous a amenés à collaborer avec l’Association des architectes paysagistes du Canada, l’Institut canadien des urbanistes et Patrimoine Ottawa. Nul doute que l’étendue de cette coalition multidisciplinaire a joué un rôle important dans la vaste couverture médiatique que nous avons reçue. J’aimerais en terminant souligner que le Festival d’architecture de l’IRAC 2017 se tiendra à Ottawa, en cette année de célébrations du 150e anniversaire du pays. Là aussi, je mettrai mon statut de résident d’Ottawa à profit et je collaborerai étroitement au programme ambitieux que la ville a élaboré pour cette année de festivités, afin de trouver des façons de rehausser le profil public l’IRAC dans une année où la capitale prévoit accueillir 2,75 millions de touristes additionnels. Je serai heureux de vous y rencontrer.

Journal de l’IRAC

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Take a break in Nanaimo Prenez une pause à Nanaimo

The 2016 Festival of Architecture, which takes place June 8 to 11, 2016, in Nanaimo, BC, offers a perfect chance to enjoy a minivacation on stunning Vancouver Island. Known as the Harbour City, Nanaimo sits between scenic mountains and sparkling ocean. The city and vicinity are also home to a wealth of must-see architectural sites, new and old. This map and guide provide a taste of what you can experience by taking an extra day or two to explore. Attend the Festival and earn continuing education points with sessions by leading experts; hear inspiring keynote speakers; participate in lively social events with fellow architects from across Canada, and encounter the cultural richness of First Nations communities. Get all the details at festival2016.raic.org. Le Festival d’architecture 2016, qui se déroule du 8 au 11 juin 2016 à Nanaimo, en Colombie-Britannique, est l’occasion parfaite de profiter de mini-vacances sur la magnifique île de Vancouver. Nanaimo est une ville portuaire nichée entre l’océan et des montagnes spectaculaires. La ville et ses environs abritent également de nombreux sites architecturaux incontournables, nouveaux et anciens. Ce guide avec carte vous donne un aperçu des expériences que vous pourriez vivre en prolongeant votre séjour d’un jour ou deux. Venez au Festival et suivez des activités de formation continue reconnues présentées par des spécialistes; écoutez les allocutions de conférenciers inspirants; participez à des activités sociales avec des collègues de partout au pays et profitez de la richesse culturelle des collectivités des Premières Nations. Pour tout savoir, visitez le site du Festival, à festival2016. raic.org/fr.

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DRIVE CONDUIRE NANAIMO > COURTENAY 1 hr 8 min (109 km), via BC-19 N

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DRIVE CONDUIRE NANAIMO > PORT ALBERNI 1 hr 15 min (86 km)

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2016 FESTIVAL 14 DRIVE CONDUIRE NANAIMO > TOFINO 3 hrs (208 km)

12 DRIVE CONDUIRE NANAIMO > UCLUELET 2 hrs 45 min (182 km), via BC-4 W

13 11 DRIVE CONDUIRE NANAIMO > BAMFIELD 3 hrs 45 min (175 km)

Prepared by Wayne De Angelis, PP/FRAIC, with contributions by Angela Quek, MRAIC, David Witty, MRAIC, David Poiron, MRAIC, Franc D’Ambrosio, MRAIC, Ian Niamath, MRAIC, Patricia Patkau, FRAIC and John Patkau, FRAIC.

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DRIVE CONDUIRE NANAIMO > LADYSMITH 30 min (23 km) FERRY TRAVERSIER TSAWWASSEN > SWARTZ BAY 1 hr 40 min

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Nanaimo Port Authority Welcome Centre 100 Port Drive, Nanaimo Checkwitch Poiron Architects

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BC Ferries Departure Bay Ferry Terminal 680 Trans-Canada Hwy., Nanaimo Grout McTavish Architects

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Ladysmith Maritime Society 610 Oyster Bay, Ladysmith de Hoog & Kierulf Architects

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Vancouver Island University, Cowichan Campus 2011 University Way, Duncan Garyali Architect

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Tseshaht Tribal Multiplex and Health Centre* 7641 Pacific Rim Hwy., Port Alberni Lubor Trubka Associates Architects

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Alberni District Secondary School* 4000 Roger St., Port Alberni Meiklejohn Architects & Atelier Pacific Architecture

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McLean Mill National Historic Site* 5633 Smith Rd., Port Alberni

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Deep Bay Marine Field Station, Vancouver Island University 370 Crome Point Rd., Deep Bay (Bowser) McFarland Marceau Architects

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Vancouver Island Visitor Centre 3607 Small Rd. #101, Courtenay Moore Wilson Architects

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École Au Coeur De L’ile School 566 Linshart Rd., Comox McFarland Marceau Architects

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Rix Centre for Ocean Discoveries 100 Pachena Rd., Bamfield de Hoog & Kierulf Architects

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Whiskey Landing Lodge 1645 Cedar Rd., Ucluelet

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Ucluelet Aquarium 180 Main St., Ucluelet Blue Sky Architecture

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Middle Beach Lodge 400 MacKenzie Beach Rd., Tofino Leith Anderson Architect

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Victoria Parklet 718 Fort St., Victoria Cascadia Architects

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Dockside Green 353 Tyee Rd., Victoria Perkins+Will Architects

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Empress Hotel 721 Government St., Victoria Francis Rattenbury

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800 Yates Atrium 800 Yates St., Victoria D’AMBROSIO architecture + urbanism

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Strawberry Vale Elementary School 4109 Rosedale Ave., Victoria Patkau Architects

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Vancouver Island Regional Library Nanaimo North Branch 6250 Hammond Bay Rd., Nanaimo Low Hammond Rowe Architects

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Sites of Interest Sites d’intérêt

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* Due to an emergency exercise, access to these sites may be limited between June 7-10, 2016. En raison d’un exercice d’urgence, l’accès à ces sites sera peut-être limité entre le 7 et le 10 juin 2016.

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HA Photography

Up Close Détails des sites

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Nanaimo Port Authority Welcome Centre

BC Ferries Departure Bay Ferry Terminal

Vancouver Island University, Cowichan Campus

Checkwitch Poiron Architects

Grout McTavish Architects

Garyali Architect

Completion: 2011

Completion: 2008

Completion: 2011

Designed to receive cruise ship passengers, this 14,000-square-foot building contains a multi-purpose hall, an area for the Canadian Border Services Agency and offices for the Nanaimo Port Authority. The building was designed and constructed in 12 months. Showcasing local resources, it employs a variety of wood products, including curved glulam columns and beams, interior and exterior wood screens, and stratified timber panels. These materials give the main hall the feeling of a giant ship’s hull. Glass walls offer panoramic views of the Nanaimo harbour.

More than 300,000 passengers a year traverse this terminal, which consists of three one-storey buildings connected by enclosed walkways. A roof structure clad in BC plywood floats above glass walls facing sea vistas. To ensure the durability of the fir veneer, the fascia slopes sharply from the edge, out of the line of direct rain. Innovative structural systems, natural daylighting, a Sea Loop heat exchange system and radiant heat floor slabs contributed toward this project’s LEED Silver rating.

This campus is part of Cowichan Place, a precinct containing a recreation centre, public library and other community facilities. Certified LEED Gold, it consists of three interconnected structures: the academic wing, lecture theatre and cafeteria. Green roofs cover 90 percent of the buildings. The plan zig-zags around a grove of maples framing a social and ceremonial entry space. The design evolved through a participatory design process that included the Cowichan Tribes, and references First Nations’ big houses and potlatch platforms.

Centre d’accueil de l’autorité portuaire de Nanaimo

Gare maritime de Departure Bay

Université de l’île de Vancouver, campus de Cowichan

Checkwitch Poiron Architects

Grout McTavish Architects

Garyali Architect

Année de construction : 2011

Année de construction : 2008

Année de construction : 2011

Conçu pour accueillir les passagers des navires de croisière, ce bâtiment de 14 000 pieds carrés comprend un hall multifonctionnel, une aire pour l’Agence des services frontaliers du Canada et des bureaux pour l’autorité portuaire de Nanaimo. Le bâtiment a été conçu et construit en 12 mois. Il comporte divers produits du bois, dont des poutres et colonnes cintrées en lamellé-collé, des écrans de bois intérieurs et extérieurs et des panneaux en bois d’œuvre stratifié. Ces matériaux font écho à la ressource naturelle de la région et le hall principal ressemble à une coque de navire géante. Les murs en verre offrent des points de vue panoramiques sur le port de Nanaimo.

Plus de 300 000 passagers traversent chaque année la gare maritime qui comprend trois bâtiments d’un étage reliés par des passerelles fermées. Une toiture revêtue d’un parement en contreplaqué flotte au-dessus des murs vitrés qui offrent des vues sur la mer. Pour assurer la durabilité du placage en Douglas, les concepteurs ont donné à la toiture une pente forte qui favorise l’évacuation des eaux pluviales. Ce projet a obtenu une certification LEED Argent, notamment à cause de l’utilisation innovatrice des systèmes de structure, de l’éclairage naturel, d’un système d’échange de chaleur à eau de mer et d’un plancher à chauffage par rayonnement.

Le campus fait partie de la Place Cowichan, un complexe qui comprend un centre récréatif, une bibliothèque publique et d’autres installations communautaires. Certifié LEED Or, il comprend trois bâtiments reliés les uns aux autres : l’aile universitaire, la salle de conférences et la cafétéria. Des toitures vertes recouvrent 90 pour cent des bâtiments. Le plan serpente autour d’un bosquet d’érables qui donne un caractère social et cérémonial à l’entrée. Le design fait référence aux grandes maisons des Premières Nations et aux plateformes du potlatch, et il est le fruit d’un processus participatif auquel des membres des tribus Cowichan ont pris part.

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Michael Elkan

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Dockside Green

Strawberry Vale Elementary School

Perkins+Will Architects

Patkau Architects

Opened 2008

Completion: 1996

This LEED Platinum project on 15 acres of a former brownfield industrial site was named a model development by the Clinton Climate Initiative. The mixed-use community of mid- and low-rise buildings adjacent to the Upper Harbour also represents the biggest development of city land in Victoria’s history. When complete, it will offer 1.3 million square feet of residential, office, retail and industrial space, and house 2,500 people. Features include district energy, on-site sewage treatment and a biomass gasification facility. Storm water is treated through green roofs and flows via a series of connected naturalized creeks.

Winner of a 2002 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture, this public school is set beside rock outcrops and a grove of rare Garry oaks. Sixteen classrooms are grouped in pods of four, oriented to the south for natural light and woodland views. The location and elevation of each pod follow the contours of the land. A meandering interior street links the pods to a library, gym and offices. The school’s asymmetrical configuration, along with twists and angles of its oversized roof, provide a variety of spaces for gathering and learning.

Dockside Green

École primaire Strawberry Vale

Perkins+Will Architects

Patkau Architects

Ouverture en 2008

Année de construction : 1996

Ce projet certifié LEED Platine s’étend sur 15 acres et il est situé sur un site industriel désaffecté. Désigné comme lotissement modèle par la Clinton Climate Initiative, il comprend plusieurs immeubles à usages mixtes de moyenne et de faible hauteur. C’est le plus grand projet urbain dans l’histoire de Victoria. Lorsqu’il sera achevé, il offrira 1,3 million de pieds carrés d’espaces pouvant accueillir des logements, des bureaux, des commerces et des industries et abriter 2 500 personnes. Parmi ses caractéristiques écologiques, mentionnons l’énergie de district, le traitement des eaux usées sur place et une usine de gazéification de la biomasse. Les eaux pluviales sont traitées par les toitures vertes et s’écoulent par une série de ruisseaux naturalisés.

Récipiendaire d’une Médaille du gouverneur général en architecture en 2002, cette école publique est construite à proximité d’un boisé de chênes de Garry et d’affleurements rocheux. Les seize salles de classe sont regroupées par quatre et donnent vers le sud pour profiter de l’éclairage naturel et des vues sur le boisé. L’emplacement et l’élévation de chaque groupe de classes épousent les contours du terrain. Un couloir intérieur méandreux relie les classes à la bibliothèque, au gymnase et aux bureaux. La configuration irrégulière et les angles de la toiture surdimensionnée fournissent une diversité d’espaces.

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Enrico Dagostini

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Interview Entretien

Li Xiaodong is a Beijing-based architect, university professor and researcher. In 2014, he won the inaugural Moriyama RAIC International Prize for the Liyuan Library, located in a village on the outskirts of Beijing. He spoke to the RAIC’s Maria Cook when he was in Montreal to deliver the RAIC International Prize Illumination Lecture last fall. How has Liyuan Library transformed Jiaojiehe village? Jiaojiehe was very isolated. The library suddenly opened up a window for the people living there. It’s also opened up a window for the city people, who can see a different context—that people can live harmoniously with nature. Every weekend, Jiaojiehe now receives 200 to 300 visitors. The Moriyama RAIC International Prize is given to a work of architecture that is judged to express the values of justice, respect, equality and inclusiveness. How can the prize encourage such work? The Moriyama Prize is one of the few major international prizes that sends jury members to visit the finalist buildings. The value of the prize is very high in that sense. Nowadays, we communicate by email, by Facebook, by Twitter—140 characters to transmit our ideas. Ideas are skin deep. To overcome this problem, we need to put away the flashy forms and shapes, and to go deeper. This is exactly the position from which the Moriyama Prize can encourage more meaningful ideas. What are your observations on the massive urbanization and construction programs underway in China? In the last 30 years, urbanization has been so rapid. We didn’t have time to waste to reflect on what pattern we should adopt. I think it’s now the time for us to look at the mistakes we have been making. We need to adjust how we proceed with our urbanization process in the next

20 years—because we are planning to bring another 400 million from the countryside to the cities. What are your thoughts on international and imported versus local architecture? Modern architecture is an invention of the West. China is a late-comer. Over the last 30 years, we learned, copied and tried to capture the essential meaning of modern architecture. But what about our culture? Our traditions? Our regional differences? To be reflective is very important. That’s what I’m trying to do now: to identify a more genuine contemporary Chinese architecture instead of superimposing ideas from the West onto China. Li Xiaodong est un architecte de Beijing, un professeur et un chercheur. En 2014, il a remporté le Prix international Moriyama IRAC, alors décerné pour une première fois, pour la bibliothèque Liyuan, située dans un village en périphérie de Beijing. Il s’est entretenu avec Maria Cook, lors de son passage à Montréal pour prononcer la conférence publique Illumination du Prix international Moriyama IRAC. Comment la bibliothèque de Liyuan a-telle transformé le village de Jiaojiehe? Jiaojiehe était un village très isolé. La bibliothèque a soudainement créé des possibilités pour ses résidents. Elle a également ouvert les horizons des citadins qui peuvent observer un contexte de vie très différent du leur et constater que les gens peuvent vivre en harmonie avec la nature. Le village accueille maintenant de 200 à 300 visiteurs chaque fin de semaine. Le Prix international Moriyama IRAC récompense une œuvre d’architecture appréciée pour son expression des valeurs de justice, de respect, d’égalité et d’inclusion. Comment le prix encourage-t-il les architectes à emprunter cette voie?

Le Prix Moriyama est l’un des rares prix internationaux d’importance qui envoient les membres du jury visiter les bâtiments finalistes. C’est ce qui lui confère une si grande valeur. De nos jours, nous communiquons par courriel, par Facebook et par Twitter—en 140 caractères pour transmettre nos idées. Les idées sont pourtant plus profondes que cela. Pour surmonter ce problème, nous devons éviter le tape-à-l’œil et approfondir notre réflexion. C’est exactement ce à quoi nous encourage le Prix Moriyama.

Two views of the Liyuan Library, located in a village on the outskirts of Beijing. Deux aperçus de la bibliothèque Liyuan, située dans un village en périphérie de Beijing.

Que pensez-vous de l’urbanisation massive et des programmes de construction en cours en Chine? Au cours des 30 dernières années, l’urbanisation a été très rapide. Nous n’avions pas le temps de réfléchir au modèle que nous devions adopter. Je pense que le temps est maintenant venu pour nous de réfléchir à nos erreurs. Nous devons modifier nos modes d’urbanisation pour les 20 prochaines années, parce que nous sommes en train de planifier l’arrivée de 400 millions de personnes additionnelles qui quitteront la campagne pour s’établir dans les villes. Que pensez-vous de l’architecture internationale et importée par rapport à l’architecture locale? L’architecture moderne est une invention du monde occidental. La Chine est arrivée relativement tard dans le mouvement. Mais qu’en est-il de notre culture? De nos traditions? De nos différences régionales? Il est très important que notre architecture reflète tout cela. C’est ce que j’essaie de faire maintenant : j’essaie de définir une architecture chinoise contemporaine plus authentique plutôt que d’importer en Chine des idées de l’Occident. Read the full interview at www.raic.org. Pour lire l’entrevue complète, visitez le www.raic.org/fr.

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Banking center strengthened with MAPEI’s CFRP products

Scotiabank’s concourse and ground levels at Scotia Plaza in Toronto are undergoing structural strengthening in order to increase the live load capabilities of the floors to greater than 50 lbs. per square foot. The center’s vertical support columns are being strengthened by MAPEI’s MapeWrap C Uni-Ax 300 and MapeWrap C Uni-Ax 600 uni-directional carbon fiber fabrics in combination with MapeWrap resins. Two pultruded carbon fiber plates – MAPEI’s Carboplate E 200 and Carboplate E 250 – are being used on the floors themselves and on the underside of load-bearing beams on the two levels. The Carboplate products on the floors are being covered with MAPEI’s Planibond EBA bonding agent and Topcem Premix screed to provide a flat, level surface for floor coverings.

MAPEI products used:

• Carboplate™ E 250 (100 mm and 150 mm plates) • Carboplate E 200 (50 mm, 100 mm and 150 mm plates) • MapeWrap™ C Fiocco anchors • MapeWrap C Uni-Ax 300 • MapeWrap C Uni-Ax 600 • MapeWrap Primer 1 • MapeWrap 11 • MapeWrap 31 • Topcem™ Premix • Planibond ® EBA

As part of a total solution for industrial applications, MAPEI has a line of structural strengthening products that have been ICC-approved for commercial buildings.

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QUEEN STREET WEST

PETER STREET

RICHMOND STREET WEST

SITE PLAN

QRC West

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CASTLE IN THE SKY

A DARING DOWNTOWN TORONTO DEVELOPMENT USES ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY TO RAISE AN OFFICE BLOCK UP AND ABOVE TWO BRICK WAREHOUSES.

Queen Richmond Centre West, Toronto, Ontario Sweeny&Co Architects TEXT David Steiner PHOTOS Doublespace Photography unless otherwise noted PROJECT

ARCHITECT

Richmond Street runs west through the centre of downtown Toronto. When it passes Peter Street, it pulls slightly south, then straightens. This jog in the road gives drivers the impression that they’re heading directly for the lobby of the new Queen Richmond Centre West, developed by Allied Properties REIT and designed by architecture firm Sweeny&Co. That kink in Richmond Street—and the way the view ends at a century-old brick warehouse—created an opportunity to construct an iconic commercial building. A client who wants to build an icon is often hard to please. In this case, however, the architects and Allied president Michael Emory shared a clear and simple idea of what the finished result would be. They wanted

to preserve two existing brick buildings set at right angles to each other and imagined a new office tower perched above, starting 24 metres in the air. The office tower would be built with exposed concrete, which is as close as you get in new construction to Allied’s brand of brick-and-beam buildings, meant to attract those who value the texture of exposed wood structure and masonry walls. To carry a concrete building, the team designed a massive tabletop for it to rest on. Supporting the table top are three giant steel columns, coming down through the atrium, and eight additional concrete columns, buried inside one of the historic buildings. The elevator core provides additional support. The twenty-metre-high L-shaped atrium replaces what used to be surface parking. At its two ends, the atrium is capped with structural glazing, suspended from the edge of the tabletop above. Many parts of the design are good commercial practice—the raised flooring throughout the tower, for instance, which incorporates displacement air vents, and a negative pressure core that draws air out

LEFT Housing the headquarters of developer Allied Properties REIT along with tenant spaces, the new building is supported by sculpted steel columns within the atrium as well as by concrete columns buried inside an existing building. ABOVE From street level looking north, the office block appears to hover gently over the historic brick warehouse at the corner.

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CAST CONNEX CAST CONNEX

of all tenant spaces without the need for ductwork. Moveable light shelves on the south, west and east façades are connected to the building automation system, reflecting sunlight off the underside of the slab and deeper into the floor plate. These interior details come standard with the “core and shell” of the building for all tenants, dramatically reducing energy consumption and making office workers more comfortable. Other parts of the design are strategic. The oversized elevator core has the capacity to serve a future development planned for a parcel of land immediately to the north, also owned by Allied. Then there’s the martini bar poking into the atrium, set on top of the loading dock. It was decided to add it in near the end of construction, in what was a leftover space. There is no parking, despite 30,000 square metres of office space— instead, the developer has struck an arrangement with the city to use a nearby parking structure that they own. But it’s those three columns in the atrium that make this building a thrill to enter and an icon for Toronto. Stephenson Engineering, which led the structural design, calls them “delta frames,” and they support close to three-quarters of the gravity load from the tower above. All three are essentially the same: made of eight steel legs, each a metre in diameter with 50-millimetre-thick walls. These are filled to the top with concrete, pumped in through a hole at the bottom of each leg. A large steel plate at the base of every leg, hidden under the tapered column end, bears on the corners of a 1.8–metre-thick concrete slab, carried to bedrock by caissons. The top of every steel leg aligns with a concrete column in the tower above. The upper and lower legs connect at a cast steel node. Speaking with the architects, owner and engineers, the magic of this project resides in these three nodes, one in each frame. During development, the difficulty in resolving the connection of the legs was both structural and aesthetic. Slender columns require bracing that can look bulky and cluttered. Dermot Sweeny, MRAIC, principal of Sweeny&Co, said he wanted the legs to just “kiss” one another at the joint, but the fabricator’s solution at the time was a big steel plate, welded on site, to join the legs. The practical requirements of welding such a plate pushed the legs out from one another, reducing the stiffness of the connection. It also meant the stair and elevator cores would grow in size to take more lateral load. Cast Connex, a Toronto engineering firm specializing in steel castings, was hired on a design assist contract to develop custom cast nodes. Cast steel made the joints stiffer (the amount of material buried inside the hollow castings increases the surface area the load travels through) and allowed the exterior forms to be graceful. Each node binds the legs together and transfers load through the frame, without compromising the impression that the column is made from four bent rods, lightly touching at the middle. Because this kind of large-scale, custom structure is relatively rare in Toronto architecture, it’s worth noting the process that went into constructing these nodes. Cast Connex worked with Stephenson and Sweeny&Co to find the correct exterior geometry, and then shaped the interior to support the loads involved. This entailed detailed digital models tested through finite-element numerical analysis—essentially taking the node’s complex geometry and chopping it up into tiny squares that are mathematically examined for structural ability. Though the loads are different in each delta-column, the node is the same in all three, designed to accommodate the largest forces. The

CAST CONNEX

LEFT Three bundles of steel-and-concrete columns, which the project team calls “delta frames” for their triangular geometry, support the majority of the load from the tower above. An intense engineering process led to the development of the cast steel nodes that elegantly connect the upper and lower legs. RIGHT, TOP TO BOTTOM A cast steel connecting node is removed from its sand mould; excess flashing material is ground away from the node; the node is lowered by crane and temporarily fastened into place at the junction of the steel columns.

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NORTH-SOUTH SECTION OFFICE LOBBY ATRIUM COMMERCIAL/RETAIL

0

10M

ABOVE The slender columns soar five storeys above visitors in the semipublic atrium, supporting the tabletop base of the tower above. A minimalist glass curtain wall is hung from the structure overhead.

TYPICAL FLOOR LOUNGE/COLLABORATIVE Core and Mechanical Areas SPACES WORKSTATIONS

Lounge/Collaborative Spaces

BOARDROOMS Workstations

Boardrooms

CORE/MECHANICAL

PETER STREET

fabricator (a foundry in Kansas) made a 24-piece, CNC-cut wood block of the node’s negative shape and filled it with a sand-slurry mixture that cured into a mould or “tool.” To create each cast, twenty-three tonnes of chemically tested recycled steel was poured into the tool in a sixtysecond operation; the cast was then cooled for a week, heat treated, tested through non-destructive examination, heat treated again and finished. All parties commented on the cost involved in the design and construction of the delta frames, but acknowledged that the investment paid off through a fully leased tower. Also, they noted that the simplified and rapid process of steel erection—along with the leaner stair and elevator cores involved—made the investment comparable to more conventional fabrication methods. Allied’s Michael Emory said it was a struggle to sell the building’s image on paper to early tenants, but once the delta frames were erected, the remaining vacancies disappeared. Companies could see that something unique was underway and wanted in. Allied Properties oversaw a highly integrated procurement process, where all parties shared design information as it was being developed. This was a calculated risk to build something complex and unique. When a developer wants to invest in the research and development of custom building components, it is evidence of a healthy relationship between architecture and business. The old adage holds: good design is good business. David Steiner is a freelance writer living in Toronto. He writes about architecture and design for a number of national publications. CLIENT ALLIED PROPERTIES REIT | ARCHITECT TEAM DERMOT SWEENY, JOHN GILLANDERS, NOAH SLATER, PETER KURKJIAN, BJ SMITH, ROZALIA RAJEWSKI | STRUCTURAL STEPHENSON ENGINEERING | MECHANICAL THE MITCHELL PARTNERSHIP | ELECTRICAL MULVEY & BANANI INTERNATIONAL | LANDSCAPE NAK DESIGN | INTERIORS SWEENY&CO ARCHITECTS | STRUCTURAL STEEL ENGINEER & FABRICATOR CAST CONNEX, WALTERS GROUP | CONTRACTOR EASTERN CONSTRUCTION | AREA 30,000 M2 | BUDGET $85 M | COMPLETION JUNE 2015

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RICHMOND STREET WEST

GROUND FLOOR OFFICE LOBBY ATRIUM COMMERCIAL/RETAIL (FUTURE RESTAURANT) CORE/MECHANICAL/LOADING

0

5M

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BUILDING THE BIG CITY, ONE BLOCK AT A TIME

RU E DELA

4

SITE PLAN 1 U

2 UNITY BUILDING 3 UNITY 2 4 DESBARATS BUILDING

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GAUCHE TIÈ

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SITUATED ON A TIGHT INFILL SITE, THE U BUILDING REINTERPRETS MONTREAL’S CELEBRATED WALK-UP TRIPLEXES TO CREATE A SENSITIVE NEW HOUSING TYPOLOGY.

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U, Montreal, Quebec Atelier Big City TEXT David Theodore PHOTOS Alain Laforest PROJECT

ARCHITECT

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The U building is photogenic. For the façade, the architects at Atelier Big City divided the 14-storey apartment building into one-storey-high horizontal strips of mullion-free glazing. They used a simple commercial curtain wall system, peppered with vertical operable windows and trimmed with opaque, coloured glass spandrels. The strips are angled in an aleatory pattern of canted, seesawing bays, which have multiple rationales and varied effects. For instance, the bays give identity to the individual units when viewed from the outside, and, at the same time, offer unusual views out over the city from the inside. The U is the second commercial project Big City has designed for intrepid developers Federico Bizzotto and Sebastiano Di Maria (formerly

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part of Les Développements D’Arcy McGee Ltée) on a small block of land in downtown Montreal. The area is known as Paper Hill, recalling the bustling printing industry that flourished there a century ago. The revitalization of nearby Victoria Square has given us some of Montreal’s most loved 21st-century buildings—the Palais de Congrès and the Centre CDP Capital (both 2003)—as well as a plethora of for-profit residential buildings. The U is part of a new trend in Montreal real-estate development, in that it offers luxury rentals rather than for-sale condominiums. Although the U is a private commission, Big City is better known as an advocate for civic building. The firm’s motto—Make Architecture a Public Policy—is manifest in its public projects: the Centre

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TYPICAL PLAN (FLOORS 7-13) 1 ELEVATOR LOBBY WALKWAY TWO-STOREY CUBE TWO BEDROOM FLAT ONE BEDROOM FLAT STUDIO APARTMENT

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UNIT TYPES

TWO-STOREY CUBE

ONE BEDROOM FLAT

ONE BEDROOM FLAT

STUDIO APARTMENT

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Angled window bays and coloured insets give the downtown apartment tower a distinct visual identity, while providing a variety of views for its residents. OPPOSITE The dynamic façade abuts the historic Unity Building. ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM LEFT The upper floor rental units are accessed from exterior walkways; the brick side elevation of the Unity Building encloses the courtyard; the spatial scheme preserves natural light to the infill site.

OPENING SPREAD

d’interprétation du bourg de Pabos in the Gaspésie, Parc de l’aventure Basque in Trois-Pistoles, and the recent Centre culturel de NotreDame-de-Grâce in Montreal. Because they win major prizes, these commissions are often vaunted as an endorsement of Quebec’s on-again, off-again competition system. But rather than think of Big City as a competition-based office like BIG or SANAA, it is perhaps better to see the firm as a deliberately small, idiosyncratic studio like that of Peter Zumthor, Sverre Fehn, or Glen Murcutt. It’s just that instead of building in Europe or the Australian Outback, they work in Quebec. The designers reveled in the constraints of the site, a small infill lot that is blind on three sides. The showpiece of the block is the J-shaped Unity Building. Built by American architect David Jerome Spence in 1913, the tripartite skyscraper sports an iconic cornice. Now under heritage protection, it was converted into residential lofts in 2003. A few years later, Big City added another J-shaped building to the south—the 89-unit condo building dubbed Unity 2—that won a Governor General’s Medal in 2006 (see CA, August 2007). Located at the northwest side of the block, the U proffers and safeguards unusual views of Montreal. On the opposite side of the street sits Saint Patrick Park, an urban garden that retains visible traces of St. Bridget’s Refuge, a 19th century asylum for destitute Irish

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immigrants. A set of wooden stairs rises up a ridge to the recently restored Saint Patrick’s Basilica, built in 1847. Apartments on the lower f loors have a view of the church; higher f loors enjoy a unique lookout over downtown. The penthouse suite on the 14th f loor, set back from the façade by four-metre-wide terraces on all sides, boasts a magnificent, 360-degree panorama of the city. It’s worth studying the site plan to see just how little room there was to maneuver. The “U” of the building’s name partly refers to the building’s footprint, which wraps around a small interior courtyard, closed at the lot line by a wing of the Unity Building. The first two floors contain the double-height entrance lobby, a restaurant, and the entrance to a five-storey underground parking garage. The courtyard gives light and air from the ground up. Glazed double-height “cube” units face one narrow end of the vertical courtyard, while a stucco-covered elevator tower caps the other end. Floors three to six provide hotel-like accommodations laid out along a single-loaded interior corridor. Access to the wider units on floors seven to thirteen, by contrast, is from an outdoor deck. The developers oversaw the high-end interior design: raw concrete floors and ceilings, white-painted gypsum walls, compact Italian modular kitchens, and large bathrooms with oversized fixtures. The U inventively combines Montreal housing forms with European

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Targeting a luxury rental market, the U’s residential units are finished with polished concrete floors, exposed columns, and high-end kitchens and washrooms.

ABOVE

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models. Its two distinguishing elements—an interior courtyard and deck access units—are rarely seen in Canadian residential developments. Deck access is more common in milder climates—in British postwar housing estates, for instance. Montreal’s celebrated Plateau triplex housing, however, does include access to units through communal stairs and balconies. And at the rear of paired triplexes, six units face each other around a small interior courtyard. The deck access at the U recalls this choreography of intimate, shared spaces. Big City’s adoption of this communalism for a high-rise is simply clever. The U is less successful in making urban history visible. Originally, the in-and-out movement at the eastern end of the façade was meant to show the brick and stone traces of other buildings on the Unity Building’s firewall. However, after consultation with heritage authorities, Big City decided to cover the top part with aluminum that continues the curtain wall. They also added a veneer of local Stanstead granite up to the height of a former cornice, and a stylized “U” at ground level. Some social history has also disappeared from view. The project was originally named “Le 456,” after a well-known gay bathhouse, Le 456 Sauna, which was still open when Bizotto bought the lot. In 2011, a Montreal newspaper reported that Bizotto planned to include a bathhouse in the U (called a “gym” in early plans), “because it has a cultural value, serves a niche market and is part of the heritage of that building.”

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SITE SECTION

In the final version, the gym has disappeared, and the lower two floors are given over to commercial rentals. Finally, it must be said: in contrast to the standard condo towers popping up across Canadian cities, the U is extraordinarily well designed. There is nothing hazy or rote about it. When the design won a Canadian Architect Award of Excellence in 2010, one juror opined: “This is a truly outstanding design—intelligent, careful, and spare—grammatically correct keeps coming to mind.” The building shows a deep understanding of Montreal residential mores, inventive stacking and intertwining of unit types, and a love of the exigencies of urban construction. The design is welcoming, allowing considerable input from the client, the builders, and the people who will live there. David Theodore, MRAIC , is Assistant Professor at the McGill University School of Architecture.

CLIENT FEDERICO BIZZOTTO AND SEBASTIANO DI MARIA | ARCHITECT TEAM RANDY COHEN, HOWARD DAVIES, TRIANA DIMA, EMILY LAFRANCE, SÉBASTIEN ST-LAURENT, VI NGO | STRUCTURAL SILVERIO MARZIN—GENIUS CONSULTANTS | MECHANICAL/ELECTRICAL DUPRAS LEDOUX | INTERIORS FEDERICO BIZZOTTO | AREA 9,000 M2 | BUDGET $16 M | COMPLETION NOVEMBER 2015

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INSITES

YOUR FUTURE HOME IN YOUR FUTURE CITY TEXT

Sean Ruthen Flora Gordon unless otherwise noted

PHOTOS

AN EXHIBITION AND DEBATE SERIES DIVES INTO VANCOUVER’S MOST CONTENTIOUS URBAN ISSUES, INCLUDING HOUSING AFFORDABILITY, DENSIFICATION AND TRANSPORTATION. The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man. — George Bernard Shaw An ambitious new exhibition, currently on display at the Museum of Vancouver, is turning heads and spurring heated discussions about pressing topics. Your Future Home, put on by the museum in partnership with the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture at UBC and a newly founded consortium called Urbanarium, touches on four of the city’s hot-button current issues: housing affordability, densification, transportation and public space. Accompanied by six thematic debates (which so far have seen full houses), the content of the exhibition is intended to provoke and

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ABOVE A room-sized aerial photo of Vancouver graces the opening gallery of an exhibition on the city’s future growth at the Museum of Vancouver.

stimulate conversation both within the design professions and among the general public. To reach these goals, it provides eye-popping material, including a six-metre-high aerial photograph of Vancouver (looking up Main Street to the North Shore mountains), a six-metre-wide digitally animated fly-over of the city, and a set of brilliantly analytical demographic maps by Andy Yan of Bing Thom Architects. And all of this is just the introductory gallery. The main hall features 23 discrete contributions, mostly in the form of models from Vancouver’s most prominent architectural firms. Some highlights include a tongue-in-cheek condominium tower being carted by a pair of oxen (Henriquez Partners), a tall wood-and-mirror clad box titled Can You Afford to Be Here? from which one can hear recorded discussions in various languages about local housing issues (DIALOG), and a sleekly crafted dock and wading pool proposed for the Coal Harbour waterfront (HCMA). There’s also a Tetris-like

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HENRIQUEZ PARTNERS ARCHITECTS

HCMA ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN

ERICK VILLAGOMEZ

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INSITES

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bundle of wooden blocks showing the disconnect between the actual city skyline and the current need for rental units (Stantec), and a prefab housing solution to occupy the land where City Council has voted to demolish an expressway (LWPAC). Further displays highlight what urban designer Scot Hein calls “the region’s great eight advocacy moments”—pivotal decisions that profoundly impacted the future of the City. These include the decision against building the massive Project 200 freeway through downtown in the 1960s, and the decision to turn a landfill island and industrial site in False Creek into Granville Island (now one of the City’s cultural hotspots) in the 1970s. Here, as well, is the more recent opening of the Woodward’s Redevelopment, which is transforming what was once known as the poorest postal code in Canada into a vibrant new mixed-use district. Accompanying the exhibit and debates, walking tours and lectures add fodder to the lively discussion about how Metro Vancouver will be able to support a projected one million additional new residents by 2040.

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A poll some months prior to the opening of the show demonstrated, unsurprisingly, that nine out of ten Vancouverites did not want any further densification of the city. Clearly, we are moving into territory well beyond the realm of NIMBY ism. There were already hints of this a few years back, when Vancouver City Council, following up on the findings of their Affordable Housing Task Force, suggested that one way to provide for density in the city’s predominantly single-family neighbourhoods could be to “thin” the streets. The backlash from homeowners stopped that conversation in its tracks. The rhetoric was, effectively: “Not in my backyard—and not in my front yard, either!” Accordingly, the first of the museum’s city-building debates asked: where should density happen? Should it be evenly distributed throughout the city or only in strategic locations? The former director of planning, Brent Toderian, pointed out that Vancouver currently has over 2,100 building permit applications in the works for laneway housing, which is hoped will help to cool Vancouver’s red-hot housing market.

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Reminiscent of Rem Koolhaas’ vision for New York, a monolithic building by Erick Villagomez imagines a return to a non-hierarchical model of city development; the 760-metre-tall Vertical City by Henriquez Partners Architects takes locals’ love for views to the extreme; HCMA Architecture + Design’s Harbour Deck presents a dynamic strategy for reconnecting Vancouverites with the water. ABOVE Visitors peruse a broad variety of proposals for the city—some serious, others fanciful—in the form of models by prominent local architects and urbanists.

OPPOSITE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT

Former Vancouver mayor and eco-density champion Sam Sullivan added that densification needs to happen around transit nodes, where it makes the most sense. Significantly, this has not yet been allowed at one of the region’s busiest Skytrain stations at Commercial and Broadway, which is currently surrounded by one- and two-storey structures. At the kick-off to the debates, Leslie Van Duzer quoted George Bernard Shaw, telling those assembled that “those that can’t change their minds can’t change anything.” Accordingly, the winner of each debate is determined by before-and-after audience polls, to determine how many people changed their opinion after the discussion. The second debate, on the topic of whether to build fewer towers, pitted urban planner Dave Ramslie and Christopher Vollan, vice-president of development at Rize, against planner Lance Berelowitz and architect Oliver Lang of LWPAC, the latter arguing for more intelligent kinds of middle density over the obvious tower forms. Ramslie and Vollan were able to sway more of the room, albeit by a narrow margin.

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The next debate is set for March—it sold out in ten minutes—and will look at whether affordable housing should be legislated. Among others, it will feature David Eby, NDP MLA for Point Grey, who has been outspoken on the situation of gross inequality that Metro Vancouver currently finds itself in. Four years in the making, this inaugural masterstroke by Urbanarium can already be heralded a success, judging by the waves it has sent rolling through the local design community. And as we continue to debate and discuss these important subjects, it falls on all participants to ensure the conversation doesn’t die out once the exhibition has ended, lest we forget the next million residents intent on coming to the Lower Mainland. Sean Ruthen, FRAIC, is a Vancouver-based architect and writer.

Your Future Home: Creating the New Vancouver is on display at the Museum of Vancouver until May 15, 2016.

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REVIEW

ARCHITECTS OF THE QUIET REVOLUTION TEXT

Odile Hénault Michel Brunelle unless otherwise noted

PHOTOS

AN EXHIBITION AT UQAM’S CENTRE DE DESIGN TRACES THE GROUND-BREAKING WORK OF QUEBEC FIRM PAPINEAU GÉRIN-LAJOIE LE BLANC.

Modest in size and with anaemic funding, UQAM ’s Centre de design in Montreal has managed to maintain an elegance and steadfastness that can only be described as extraordinary. Host of one interesting show after another, year after year, the Centre focuses on contemporary trends related to the three disciplines taught at UQAM’s École de design: graphic arts, object design and architecture. This time around, the Centre looked to the recent past to trace the trajectory of an architectural firm that had a huge impact on Montreal and on the development of the architectural profession in Quebec. The firm— still remembered fondly and with great respect—is Papineau Gérin-Lajoie Le Blanc (PGL). Its influence was especially felt during the Quiet Revolution as well as throughout Pierre Trudeau’s tenure in Ottawa. Initiated by the Centre’s current director, Professor Börkur Bergmann, and put together by co-curators Réjean Legault, Carlo Carbone and Louis Martin and their students, the show is aptly titled Une architecture du Québec moderne, 1958-1974 (An Architecture for Modern Quebec, 1958-1974). It explores an optimistic period during which Montreal leapt into the future, catching up after decades of domination by the Catholic Church and a Conservative government, deeply entrenched in tradition. Under Premier Jean Lesage, elected in 1960 along with his formidable team— they were known as l’Équipe du tonnerre (the thunder team)—Quebec opted for radical change. Health and education were taken away from

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ABOVE The slickly modern Mirabel airport was one of PGL’s landmark projects. OPPOSITE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT Exterior and interior views of the Quebec Pavilion at Expo 67; rendering of prototype modular plastic houses for Northern Canada; view of women’s residence tower at the Université de Montréal; interior of Peel subway station just before opening in 1966; insulated modular panels are installed on the Gordon Robertson Secondary School in Frobisher Bay.

ecclesiastical powers and placed under government jurisdiction. Architects were rushed into innumerable school and hospital projects throughout the province. Additionally, under Mayor Jean Drapeau, Montreal was designated to host the 1967 World’s Fair (when Moscow unexpectedly backed out) and started to build its first subway lines. As the Liberals started to shake things up in Quebec, the firm Papineau Gérin-Lajoie Le Blanc, launched in 1958 by three young McGill graduates, was on the front lines and ready to go. The first project shown in the chronologically arranged exhibition is the École MarieFavery, which clearly demonstrates the architects’ tremendous desire to explore unexpected forms and geometries. Eight of the nine projects showcased—almost all of them built—are located in Montreal’s metropolitan area. They vary widely as far as building types and influences go, from Papineau’s own home, inspired by Philip Johnson’s Glass House, to a triangular concrete tower on the Université de Montréal’s campus, reminiscent of Paul Rudolph’s work, and the unusual design for Peel subway station, evocative of Pier Luigi Nervi. The exhibition’s ninth section deals mostly with the Fort Chimo (now Kuujjuaq) airport. It also includes several Northern projects, the result of an intense investigative process to develop lightweight modular materials that could withstand the rigours of the climate and the challenges of short construction timelines.

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GUY DUBOIS (COLLECTION OF JACQUES-GILLES CARON)

ARCHIVES DE MONTRÉAL

CCA, MONTRÉAL

CCA, MONTRÉAL

NOËL THOMAS J.R. (COLLECTION OF GEORGES ADAMCZYK)

BANQ

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PUBLIC WORKS AND GOVERNMENT SERVICES CANADA

HANS SAMULEWITZ (COLLECTION OF JACQUES-GILLES CARON)

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ABOVE, CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT An interior view of the Papineau residence in Laval, Quebec; the soaring atrium of Mirabel airport under construction; two views of the wood study models created for the exhibition by UQAM students.

Two projects stand out—the Quebec Pavilion built for Expo 67 (in collaboration with architect Luc Durand) and Mirabel Airport (in collaboration with architects Gordon Edwards and André Blouin). The latter evolved from a careful analysis of the most up-to-date airport facilities around the world. Regrettably, Mirabel was always better known for the controversy raised by the massive farmland expropriations that preceded its construction, rather than for its design qualities. This remains a touchy subject in Quebec, particularly in the years since 2004, when the airport was shut down to passenger traffic. Throughout the exhibition are basswood models that explore a particular aspect of each of the projects, made by co-curator Carlo Carbone’s students. The original models of the Quebec Pavilion and that of Mirabel Airport are also displayed. Fortunately, the show’s curators were able to consult with Louis-Joseph Papineau, one of PGL’s founding members, who more than welcomed this unique opportunity to have some of his early works brought back to life. During a study day organized by the École de design, Université de Montréal professor (and former Centre de design director) Georges Adamczyk delivered a particularly touching testimony as he remembered his time working at PGL during the sixties. He reminisced about the exhilarating atmosphere of the office—a feeling that reflected the spirit of Quebec’s Quiet Revolution. What is PGL’s legacy? Even though technology has considerably

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modified the way architecture is being produced today, the level of research, experimentation and passion demonstrated by PGL in the sixties remains rather unique—as was the office’s inclusive attitude towards other disciplines. As Adamczyk recalls, there was a “resident philosopher” in the office, and painter Jean-Paul Mousseau (an artist in the Peel Station project) was considered a full-time team member. Adamczyk also remembered the importance the partners attached to contemporary music: “If Stockhausen was performing one evening in the city, absolutely everyone in the office was expected to go, without exception.” Thanks to UQAM’s Georges Labrecque, who has been performing marvels at the Centre since its opening, the design of the show is thoughtful and sober. Although the exhibited documents—mostly photographs of archived sketches and drawings—appear as if they have been effortlessly gathered, the curators and researchers were faced with an unusual level of difficulty as they tried to access PGL’s archives, still awaiting processing, years after being entrusted to the CCA. The final hurdle was an untimely strike, launched by UQAM’s student staff, which effectively shut the exhibition down only three weeks after its opening. Hopefully, after the exhibition finishes its run in Montreal, another venue will host this rich incursion into the brave sixties, lest we forget the heroic architects of our recent past. Odile Hénault is an architecture critic, curator and professional advisor.

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Design Matters: A Pre-Post Occupancy Evaluation of Bridgepoint Active Health To May 15, 2016

This exhibition at Ryerson University studies the sociological and health impacts of design on the same patient and staff cohort as they moved from the old Bridgepoint building to the new one, on virtually the same site. www.arch.ryerson.ca

A New Archaeology for the Leslie Street Spit To March 13, 2016

Toronto’s largest constructed breakwater is literally built of rubble from the demolished walls of its lost architectural heritage, as explored in this exhibition. www.myseumoftoronto.com

Joe Baker tribute March 7, 2016

McGill’s School of Architecture pays tribute to fondly remembered teacher, community activist and polemicist Joe Baker (1929-2015). www.mcgill.ca

Yusuke Obuchi lecture

Paulo Tavares lecture

March 21, 2016

March 28, 2016

A partner at London-based Foresites Architecture, Yusuke Obuchi gives a talk about computational design techniques and fabrication processes, at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver. www.sala.ubc.ca

The Quito- and London-based architect and urbanist Paulo Tavares delivers the Charles Gordan lecture at Carleton University. His talk focuses on the spatial politics of climate change in the Amazon. www.carleton.ca/architecture/

Jack Nasar lecture

AAPQ conference

March 22, 2016

April 1-2, 2016

Urbanist and architectural critic Jack Nasar, an expert on meaning, cognition, fear, crime, and spatial behavior in relation to the environment, lectures at the Unviersity of Manitoba in Winnipeg.

This French-language conference at Montreal’s Marché Bonsecours examines issues at the boundaries of the landscape architecture profession. www.aapq.org

Architecture+Design Film Festival April 13-17, 2016

Now in its fifth year, this Winnipeg festival presents critically acclaimed films focusing on the importance of architecture and design in everyday life.

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www.adff.ca

Alberta Sustainable Building Symposium May 10, 2016

A one-day opportunity at the Calgary BMO Centre to network with clients, gain insight into future trends and celebrate local successes. www.asbs2016.ca

www.umanitoba.ca

Manon Asselin lecture

MAQ Young Critic Awards evening

March 22, 2016

April 5, 2016

www.daniels.utoronto.ca

www.maisondelarchitecture.ca

As part of the Bulthaup lecture series at the University of Toronto’s Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design, the co-founder of Montreal-based Atelier TAG discusses the notion of space as substance.

Banff Session May 13-14, 2016

Held in Montreal, the awards ceremony for the Maison de l’architecture du Québec’s Young Critic writing competition will include talks by Emmanuel Caille from D’Architecture and American critic Paul Goldberger.

The biennial conference hosted by the Alberta Association of Architects marks its 60th anniversary with the theme of Convergence. Keynote speakers include Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe, FRAIC, and Angela Ferguson of Australian firm futurespace. www.banffsession.ca

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BACKPAGE

LANDING PAD TEXT

Stuart McLean Robert Burley

PHOTOS

A TWO-STOREY LANEWAY HOUSE, DESIGNED BY THE LATE ARCHITECT AND EDUCATOR JEFFERY STINSON, CONTINUES TO OFFER A PLACE OF CALM WITHIN TORONTO’S BUSTLE.

You enter through what feels like a side door, for when you come in, you land in the kitchen. This gives an immediate sense of comfort to your arrival; an informal and friendly feeling. A friend visiting the house for the first time said that seeing it was “the most invigorating and utterly comfortable experience I have had in years.” When I first moved in I wondered if it would change me—if all the glass and all the openness, the double doors and soaring ceilings would alter the way I lived. Could design overcome habits? Could a space change behaviour? It did. All that glass, that draws you out and connects you to the outside, drew me in. At that point in my life I used to take my dinner in restaurants as often as five nights a week. I was a regular at a little café an easy walk away. I enjoyed the nightly routine—the walk to and fro, and the welcome I received when I got there. A day or two after I had settled in Jeff ’s house I headed off for dinner, as was my habit. I only got a block or two before I pulled up short. I was overcome with a feeling that I didn’t want to go—I didn’t want to leave the house. I turned around, went to the market, bought groceries and

cooked my own supper. The house had called me back. I discovered that working in the kitchen, looking over the dining room to the fireplace and out onto the terrace, is a joyful thing. There is a comfort to it. It feels right. When you are cooking in Jeff ’s kitchen, or when I am anyway, I feel like I am where I am supposed to be. The galley kitchen lends a grace to movement, a grace that I don’t often have. It makes me feel graceful. The view from the kitchen of both the house and terrace makes me feel at home. Sometimes I feel like I am living on a ship. Or more accurately beneath an overturned schooner. The vaulted plywood upper ceiling brings to mind the interior hull of a moulded plywood sailboat. Or perhaps the fuselage of a downed aircraft, or the belly of a submarine. Alone, at night, you feel like you have taken shelter in a safe and secret place—the way one, caught by a summer storm, might crawl under an upturned dory on some windy beach. You are safe. This is all the more so in stormy weather. For the house is a weather amplifier. When rain hits the steel roof it always sounds more dramatic than it is. And that makes the inside all the more comforting. I love that it is on a dirt lane. A dirt lane in the

ABOVE Two views of Toronto’s first laneway house, which the author—and Vinyl Café host—calls home.

heart of the city. It gives it the feel of a cottage. Of being in the country. Yet for all its cottagey comfort it is a theatrical place. Sometimes as I walk around I feel like I am on a stage. Standing on the upstairs walkway, looking down over the main floor, I could be overlooking a market from the second floor of a small Italian hotel. I feel like I should call out. Above everything, it gives a sense of comfort—a sense of being at home. That has been my overwhelming feeling from the moment I saw it. A sense of belonging. It may well be modern and adventuresome— all catwalks, single-lane stairways, passageways, guy-wires, block risers to the very upper story—but it is above all humanist. It is, first and foremost, a home. Stuart McLean is a writer, broadcaster, and host of the CBC Radio program The Vinyl Café. He lives at 5 Leonard Place in Toronto, a laneway house that was designed by Jeffery Stinson as his own home. The book Jeffery Stinson Architect , edited by David Sisam, FRAIC , can be purchased at www.lulu.com/shop/ david-sisam/jeffery-stinson-architect-building-drawingteaching-writing/paperback/product-22438599.html

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Canadian Architect March 2016