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Showcasing BC & Alberta’s architects and interior designers









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FALL 2011 Vol. 12 No.2

idibc awards of excellence architect gene dub | kitchen & Bath

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FALL 2011 Vol. 12 No.2 PUBLISHER Dan Gnocato Managing Editor Cheryl Mah Graphic Design Tang Creative Inc. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Avi Able, Christine Austin Anita Griffin, Richard Iredale Trinh Nguyen, Julie Okamura B.C./ALBERTA SALES Dan Gnocato 604.739.2115 ext. 223 ADVERTISING SALES REP Naomi Koit 604.739.2115 ext. 224



06 Designer Profile Gene Dub

Gene Dub, a well known and respected architect in Edmonton, has helped to shape much of the city for more than four decades.

09 Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

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Features 28 Kitchen & Bath

Honed Stone and Creative Countertops Fall “Touches” for the Kitchen & Bath The Modern Kitchen The Ensuite takes Centre Stage Enriching the Guest Experience

departments 04 From the Editor 35 IDA Modern Efficiency Through Technology 36 Architects in BC 5 Percent for the Planet 38 Design Headlines

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February 8 & 9, 2012

March 20 & 21, 2012

On the cover: Xthum designed by Public Architecture and Communication Design won IDIBC Best in Show. Nic Lehoux Photography.

November 6 & 7, 2012 The purpose of Design Quarterly is to reflect and represent practitioners and professionals in the architectural, interior design and design resource communities throughout British Columbia and Alberta. Fall 2011 | DESIGN QUARTERLY 3

::::::: from the editor :::::::

creative solutions


inding creative solutions is a big part of what architects and designers do every day. More often than not, practitioners and firms are asked to find innovative ways to do more with less. Case in point is this year’s Best in Show winner at the Interior Design Institute of B.C.’s (IDIBC) Awards of Excellence. Public Architecture + Communication Design was able to transform a small classroom into an inviting and engaging gathering place for aboriginal students at Kwantlen Polytechnic University. Gracing our cover, Xthum succeeds on many levels and delivers to the client group the flexible space originally desired. The incredible transformation illustrates smart cutting edge design is attainable within a restrictive space and budget. Xthum is one of six gold winners honoured by IDIBC this September. Another 29 projects were recognized with silver and bronze. The gala was moved to the fall (from its traditional spring date) to coincide with the IDSWest show and by all accounts, it was a great success. All the gold winners are highlighted in the following pages of this issue. A complete list of winners can be found on our website at



For our profile, we speak with Edmonton architect Gene Dub. Best known for his design of the city’s iconic city hall, he has dedicated much of his time and talent to shaping and revitalizing the downtown core. His efforts at both making and preserving history for the city were recognized with his induction into the Edmonton Hall of Fame earlier this year. This issue also contains our popular kitchen and bath feature. We asked two designers to take a look at residential and hospitality bath trends. In the kitchen, we highlight countertops, cabinetry and technology. Finally, read about what architect Richard Iredale’s firm is doing to make a difference for the future. As climate change and greenhouse gas emissions worsen, the building community can do its part by committing to renewable energy and water conservation strategies.

Cheryl Mah Managing Editor

We s t e r n C a n a d a ’ s L a r g e s t S u p p l i e r o f H o m e A p p l i a n c e s

















w w w . c o a s t a p p l i a n c e s . c o m

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distinctive architecture By Cheryl Mah



enowned architect Gene Dub, 67, has earned a reputation for unique designs and a vision for Edmonton that has helped to shape much of the city for more than four decades. His contributions to the city, particularly in the downtown core, have resulted in numerous local, national and international awards. The most recent accolade is a 2011 International Architecture Awards for the Jasper Place Branch Library (with associate architects HCMA in Vancouver). “We are interested in creating distinctive architecture,” says Dub about his firm’s work. “Architecture should have some pride involved and distinctive architecture is quite important in developing a sense of pride.” Established in 1975, Dub Architects is a full service firm with extensive experience in commercial, residential and institutional projects. The firm’s team of 10 experienced professionals emphasize design excellence that reflects the specific needs of each client. “To be a good architect, I think you’ve got to be able to get into other people’s skin so you can see things from their point of view. It’s almost like being an actor,” explains Dub. “It’s important to remember architecture, unlike art, is not formed for the sake of form. It’s really the idea of solving a problem for use by other people. So my philosophy is always to try to understand who the other people are and design both with them and for them.”



City Hall

A significant portion of the firm’s portfolio consist of residential (condo conversions) and historic restoration and adaptive re-use of heritage buildings. The firm is best known for its work on some of Alberta’s most prominent buildings including the iconic Edmonton City Hall. Others include Capital Health Centre, Seventh Street Lofts and the McLeod Building. Dub’s revival of the historic Alberta Hotel on Jasper Avenue is his latest endeavour to reclaim local heritage. The once stately building, torn down in 1984 to make way for Canada Place, is being rebuilt as a four-storey landmark near its original location in the downtown core. “We are using all of the original stones, bricks and cornices that were stored away and forgotten until about five years ago,” says Dub. “It’s creating a lot of excitement and the most positive feedback I’ve ever received on a building.” Other current projects include a pavilion (made out of scaffolding) for Metropolis, the city’s new winter festival in Churchill Square; and the conversion of a historic former brewery into a boutique hotel in the river valley. “In Edmonton, unlike Vancouver, the river’s edge has not been well designed for use by the public. We’re hoping to do that with this project,” says Dub. “We want to convert the brewery into a hotel and add a couple of hundred housing units with shops at ground level. Right now if you want to buy a drink or ice cream, you have to go all the way to the top of the river valley.”

The firm also recently won a national design competition for a city park pavilion. It was one of five winning firms with its concept for a Net Zero pavilion at Mill Woods Sports Park. The unusual design features a tree like sculpture consisting of solar collectors. “We’ve been pretty successful at competitions. I think competitions are important to a practice to keep enthusiasm about design high,” says Dub. Projects are predominantly located in Edmonton but the firm has done projects as far as Saskatoon. A condo conversion there called the 2nd Avenue Lofts is another award winning project. The firm purchased an abandoned Hudson Bay store there and transformed it into 130 two storey lofts with commercial use at grade. Almost the entire 1960 building was retained. It’s a good example of the firm’s commitment for adaptive reuse of historic buildings. “We don’t look to build just condominiums. We look for an opportunity to use an older building. So almost of all of our projects involve an older building,” says Dub. “When we do any heritage architecture we try to be faithful to the building’s original design. But if we add anything to it, we do it with a modernist style so you can easily see what is authentically old and what is new.” Born and raised in Edmonton, it’s not surprising that Dub has such a deep affinity with the city and has dedicated so much of his time to its development. But architecture wasn’t his first career choice.

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“I actually didn’t entertain the idea of architecture until I was in university,” recalls Dub, who initially studied psychology/sociology at the University of Alberta. “Somebody suggested I go into architecture because math and physics were my best subjects and I kind of had an interest in art. So I took a couple of art courses and fell in love with it. The combination of those three influences — psychology, math and art ended up being a really good background for architecture.” After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in 1965, he attended the School of Architecture at UBC. An important influence in his early career was working one summer for Arthur Erickson where he studied under Bruno Freschi. He would then return to Edmonton and while working for Jim Wensley Architects, he entered his first design competition for the Alberta Government Centre. His third prize win ($5,000) for the competition in 1975 was enough for him to strike out on his own. “At that time I was already quite interested in city planning as well as architecture. Almost on a dare, I ran for alderman and got elected,” says Dub, who served on council from 1977-1980. “But I found running a practice — at that time 20 people — and being an alderman at the same time was pretty taxing.” While politics wasn’t for Dub, his time sitting as a director of the Old Strathcona Foundation would spark his interest in preserving and restoring old buildings. 8


Winning his second national competition for the Edmonton City Hall was key to establishing the firm. Completed in 1992, the steel and glass pyramid building has proven to be an urban design success, particularly because of the innovative city room and flexible outdoor plaza. “The city room wasn’t in the original budget but we put forth the idea and it has turned out to be very successful,” says Dub. “I’m probably most proud of that building because of the effectiveness of the city room in promoting the cultural and political life of the city.” Since then, the firm has grown and excelled. The majority of their projects are for other clients, but Dub estimates they spend about 40 per cent of their time developing their own projects. The firm has developed about 20 buildings to date. Most are small scale residential projects, under $20 million, involving renovations and additions to existing or historic buildings. Being able to develop your own project, according to Dub, offers “more design freedom” and an opportunity to take on interesting projects that traditional developers might not. “When you buy a building, you don’t have to compromise your own ideas of what should happen with it. If you’re working for someone else, they’re usually very motivated by profit. If we break even and end up with an interesting project, we’re happy,” he says. Development projects have also helped to the keep the firm busy over the years. “If we’re ever slow, then we do a building for ourselves. I think that has kept our juices flowing, excited us about architecture and kept us profitable,” says Dub, noting as a rule the firm sells its condo buildings. Dub’s business acumen also extends to owning a brewery with last year’s opening of Yellowhead Brewing. Located in the historic 1913 Shaw Building, the building was originally a cigar factory which the firm renovated in 2005. Dub currently owns several sites downtown and hopes to contribute to the urban renewal needed in the area. “I think downtown Edmonton has been neglected and it needs as much as help as it can get. Providing that we can continue to get growth here, Edmonton is in a position to turn around in a large way and we hope to be a part of that,” says Dub. Downtown Edmonton requires infill development to create a sustainable and vibrant city and Dub sees that beginning to happen. “There are also some large important

projects that are going to happen — the airport in downtown will be converted into a new sustainable community, the Royal Alberta Museum looks like it is going ahead and perhaps we’ll get a new hockey arena.” Dub would also like to see a school of architecture in Edmonton. It’s the largest city in Canada without one. “We need a school so there’s a constant dialogue with the public about good local architecture. Without a school, you don’t seem to get that dialogue,” he says. “If we had a school here we would be able to satisfy our architectural needs better than by sending local students away, including my own kids.” Two of his three children are architects. His son Michael, now with the firm, is a graduate of New York City’s Cooper Union School of Architecture. His daughter Claire recently graduated from the Columbia School of Architecture. “I’m hoping to persuade her to come back to Edmonton,” says Dub. His wife Eva Bartel was also an architect, who at one time was a partner in the firm. “We used to have some pretty interesting discussions about colour. But she left the profession in 1995 to become a painter and she’s much happier as a painter than an architect… partly because I can’t tell her what to do anymore,” laughs Dub. Earlier this year, his efforts at both making and preserving history for the city were recognized with his induction into the Edmonton Hall of Fame. “It was gratifying because you do this work and you’re not sure if anyone’s appreciating it,” says Dub. After more than 40 years, he remains hands on with projects and enjoys the design aspect of architecture and working directly with a client towards creating a concept. “I still enjoy drawing by hand rather than by computer. If I haven’t sketched a building for a week, I have to go sketch something else,” he says with a chuckle. When Dub is not at work, he travels with his wife on painting adventures around North America. “She gutted an RV, redesigned it and rebuilt it as an artist studio so every year we take off for several weeks and go paint some part of North America,” says Dub. “Every second weekend, we go to the Rockies and paint. It’s become a major part of our lives. I’m not a professional painter but I love it.” As for the future, his plans are to stay active in the business. “I would like to practice for another 10 years but if I see myself not performing to the same level as in the past, then I think I’ll let someone else take over,” he says. DQ

IDIBC Awards of

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positive change


hange can be positive and change can create anxious moments. And so it was with this year’s IDIBC Awards of Excellence Gala. The board’s decision to move the gala from its annual spring occurrence to a fall date in conjunction with IDSWest was not one made without doubts. ‘Spring fling’ has a certain resonance — ‘fall fling’ not so much. Would we be able to maintain the gala energy that has been building over the previous years? With 66 entries, the lively music of Mimosa in the lounge and renowned Canadian comedian Erica Sigurdson as our snappy MC, we surpassed all expectations. Congratulations to all gold, silver and bronze award winners. The IDSWest show floor extended the celebration of great design present at the Awards Gala by offering IDI’s Awards committee an opportunity to stage the inaugural Peoples Choice Awards. Presentation boards of all gold award winners were displayed on the IDSWest show floor and the public was invited to vote for their favourite project. After several recounts, a three-way tie was declared. Congratulations to the People’s Choice winners: Goldcorp Centre for the Arts by Proscenium Architecture and Interiors Inc./CEI Architecture; ORU Restaurant and Fairmont Florist both by Mcfarlane Green Biggar Architecture + Design Inc. The Awards Gala celebrates excellence in interior design in B.C. I personally, however, was celebrating something more.

From my perch on the stage I looked out on the crowd and saw not just IDIBC award entrants and recipients, design members and ever-supportive industry members, but members of a strengthening united national interior design community. It has been more than a year since, under the careful watch of then president Sally Mills, IDIBC along with the other provincial member organizations of IDC embarked upon organizational restructuring with IDC becoming the design community’s national voice of advocacy. A week prior to IDIBC’s awards ceremony, I was in Toronto attending IIDEX and meeting with the seven other provincial design association presidents and directors at IDC. There was determination in the air, consensus and optimism. We are moving forward, there is change afoot, and the future for the professional interior design community in Canada is shining as brightly as this year’s awards gala. Enough thank you’s cannot be said when an event this grand is planned solely by volunteers. Thank you to all who contributed to the success of this year’s awards. The ink has barely dried on this year’s awards certificates and already the awards committee has called a meeting to discuss next year’s gala event. 2012 — we are ready for you and whatever changes and challenges you bring our way. Alyssa Myshok President, Interior Designers Institute of B.C.

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a sense of place

BEST OF SHOW XTHUM, Kwantlen Polytechnic University – Public Architecture + Communication Design by Cheryl Mah | Photos Nic Lehoux

Public Architecture + Communication Design transformed a small classroom into a flexible multipurpose space that successfully fosters a sense of place and identity for Aboriginal students on campus.


ocated at Kwantlen Polytechnic University’s Surrey campus, the goal of this new Aboriginal Gathering Place was to create a warm and inviting environment tailored to Aboriginal students for gathering, celebrating, storytelling, studying and relaxing. Working with local representatives of Kwantlen, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen and Katzie Nations, Public Architecture + Communication Design transformed a small classroom into a flexible multipurpose space that successfully fosters a sense of place and identity for Aboriginal students on campus. “Historically there have been recruitment and retention challenges with First Nations students so this was a strategic initiative on the part of the provincial government and the university. There are other ones being built at other universities,” says Brian Wakelin, a principal at the firm. In the search for solutions to the constraints of the small space, the design team found inspiration and a design concept revolving around the use of a basket like weave pattern for wall-scapes and ceiling elements. It’s used effectively to conceal the original room while referencing native tradition, delivering much more than the longhouse originally envisioned by the client group. 12


The 25 ft x 30 ft classroom is in a concrete block building with a standard t-bar ceiling with no ceiling height and no ability to excavate down, recalls Wakelin, so it became a “logical idea that we would obscure any references to the conventional restraints of the room.” “The building is so wonderfully banal that it’s a perfect foil to this tiny jewel,” he adds. The woven cedar ceiling-scape not only helps to define the various zones but undulates around the room, creating highs and lows to add drama in the space. The woodwork uses small dimension lumber and was fabricated off site. The use of a contemporary construction and fabrication methodology to create the cedar wood elements is a fitting expression of First Nations culture and contemporary architecture. It also resonates with the modern post-secondary institution setting. Using a digitally driven “building without drawings approach,” a succession of computer-numerically-controlled (CNC) produced prototypes were eventually used to create the intricate weave form that defines the space. “We took our computer files and gave them directly to a wood fabricator who translated all of the files into plywood templates — each one was numbered and quite specifically located within the room,” explains Wakelin. Once brought onto the site, templates were laid directly on the floor and carefully mapped out prior to installation. The inner cedar lathe was hand applied on site which allowed for coordination with mechanical and electrical services. “The lath is vertical in orientation when it comes down the skylight and it’s meant to allude to rain, landscape and water — all which resonate with the four nations,” says Wakelin. A new skylight and exterior entry was incorporated into the room to evoke connections to the sky and forest. “The room is at the end of a long double loaded corridor so we broke through the end of the corridor with a little new vestibule to build a connection to an existing stand of trees beyond,” says Wakelin, adding the skylight draws natural daylight down into the space. In addition, a wall connecting the classroom to the corridor was removed in order to create connectivity to the campus as a whole.

Location: Surrey, B.C. Design Team: Brian Wakelin, John Wall, Matty Scolozzi, Chris Forrest, David Zeibin Square footage: 1,000

Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence GOLD

Other renovations included lighting and window upgrades, new finishes and furnishings. Because fire is important to the First Nations group for social, historical and cultural reasons, a fireplace acts as the key anchor for the modest space. The multipurpose room includes computer stations, digital projection for group activities, tables for studying or feasts and a simple kitchen. Soft seating allows for students to have informal discussions as well as for elders to continue the strong oral tradition of storytelling. Completed in October 2009 and officially opened in May 2010, Xthum (meaning basket and drum) has been well received by the client group and the students. The design team was able to execute smart space planning to overcome a desired program far too big for the space. “We love projects like that — paring it back to what’s essential and what’s the absolute minimum programmatically that will do the most,” says Wakelin. “We found a scheme where it did really get pared back to the absolute minimum but when you look at, it doesn’t look it at all.” Although the design team anticipated challenges with the innovative ceiling/wall design, it was executed as planned. “As it turned out, it was the conventional building construction details that for whatever reason went slightly sideways or had its peculiarities,” says Wakelin with a laugh. The innovative project has earned the firm several awards to date, the most recent being awarded Best in Show and a gold award at this year’s IDIBC Award of Excellence. Not bad for the firm’s first commission. “We feel really lucky and were very surprised at winning, especially for Best in Show,” says Wakelin.


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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence GOLD RESIDENTIAL Private Residence Kingston John Henshaw Architecture Inc.


he project is an approximately 10,500 square foot holiday home for the client. The design goal for the private single family home was to create a resort hotel like environment including indoor pool, sauna, hot tub, exercise and lounging room. The house explores a contemporary West Coast style with extensive use of wood and natural stone to integrate with the landscape. The firm was involved with both the architectural and interior designs. The team oversaw many aspects including the programming, spacing planning, millwork as well as other areas such as art work, countertops and windows. Energy efficiency was achieved through spray foam insulation, high performance windows, high efficiency gas boiler, hydronic heating in concrete floor topping. Other features included heat recovery ventilation, indoor pool cover to prevent moisture evaporation. Large windows allowed for an abundant amount of natural light. During the design approval phase, the project changed ownership. The changes requested by the new owner posed some creative challenges to minimize delays with the permits. The firm however successfully delivered the project through some guesswork (since the client was often out of contact due to their busy schedule) and last minute changes.

Judges comments: “Arrival experience achieved, hotel like, it established a vocabulary and used it well. An “ah-ha” experience, something new.” Location: Vancouver, B.C. Design Team: John Henshaw, Joy Chao, Kathy Cheng Square footage: 10,500 Photo: Janice Nicolay 14


RESIDENTIAL Private Residence — BYU Design


complete renovation and addition (only structure and partial shell was retained) was done on this approximately 3,200 square foot private residence in North Vancouver. The home represents the personality of the family who lives there — bright, cheerful, and open for play and entertainment, blending mid century modern with a west coast aesthetic. The objective was to have an open plan that flowed, while creating privacy and quiet zones, all the while respecting and appreciating the amazing view. Stuart Howard Architects was the architectural firm on this project, which completed in September 2009. Two major challenges affected the outcome of the project. The first was creating a bright plan while retaining and creating new structure. By opening the south wall and adding structural beams (that appear like coffers), the ceiling could be raised and a window wall could be added to the brighter south side of the home. Secondly, halfway during construction a new bedroom needed to be planned.

Judges Comments: “Love the cubby wall, great feature — gives dimension and storage. It works as a whole... great balance.”

Location: Upper Lonsdale, B.C. Design Team: Cheryl Broadhead, Ada Bonini Square footage: 3,200 Photographer: Ema Peter

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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence GOLD MULTI-RESIDENTIAL Quintet Marketing Centre — BBA Design Consultants


he client’s objective was to create a marketing centre with a commanding cultural presence indicative of the Asian community. The design concept references Chinese cultural elements throughout including the five elements, floral inspired logo and fretwork lattice design. The centre featured one and two bedroom display suites, viewing gallery, building models, landscaped gardens, water features, closing rooms and a private dining room. The design incorporates accessible washrooms and the main gallery floor has two glass-closing pavilions, one with stairs and one without in a creative layout that doesn’t compromise the design and accessibility. The logo design was incorporated into custom furniture and lighting pendants that float over the glass pavilions. One of the main challenges was to get the building up to construction and occupancy standards as it had been neglected for several years. The roof had holes in it and mould and water had accumulated throughout. The co-ordination and management of several creative consultants also proved to be challenging. Environmental considerations included reusing the existing building as a presentation centre for phases I, II, III. FSC engineered wood veneer, hardwood flooring and LED lighting were used under curved graphic walls. Existing ceiling tiles and the majority of existing windows were retained.

Judges Comments: “Cultural references are interpreted in a way that is subtle. Very successful in meeting the client’s goal.”

Location: Richmond, B.C. Design Team: Sharon Bortolotto, Madeline Eng, Brigido Lidbut, Jennifer Brown, Tyra Moorcroft Square footage: 7,684 Photo: Ema Peter 16


WORKPLACE TOTAL Rennie Art Gallery + Offices Mcfarlane Green Biggar Architecture + Design


he Rennie Art Gallery and Offices is a very successful adaptive re-use project of two of Vancouver’s oldest buildings. The strength of the interior spaces is in their ability to honestly express the building’s structure and history while framing a contemporary language of details and material. The conservation and restoration project encompasses both an original six-storey laneway brick building and its adjacent threestory street-front structure in Chinatown. The program combined a private gallery with an office. The essence of the design approach was simplicity where the architecture respectfully allows the collection to shine. This project is an example of the firm’s environmental mandate for adaptive reuse over new build: to build only when and what is necessary. In addition, wood from the building was reclaimed and repurposed throughout the project into doors, washroom partitions, meeting tables and reception millwork. The team was challenged to marry two very distinct and separate programs that were not to overlap within an existing shell. In addition, revitalizing two of Vancouver’s oldest buildings posed many challenges where the design had to adapt and evolve to suit complex site conditions. With its seamless blending of old and new, it sets a new standard in adaptive re-use.

Judges Comments: “Contemporary and elegant space. Technically savvy details. Good reuse, they know what they’ve got. I’m impressed because it’s hard to create interiors.”

Location: Vancouver, B.C. Design Team: Michelle Biggar, Michael Green, Susan Scott, Tracey Mactavish, Hozumi Nakai Square footage: 16,653 Photo: Nic Lehoux

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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence GOLD MULTI-RESIDENTIAL Caban — Insight Design Group


he Caban presentation centre, built by Cressey Developments, is located in the heart of Kelowna across from one of the city’s best beaches. The Insight Design Group team was involved with the interior as well as the exterior design of the building.  The clean, contemporary lines of the interior details and finishes reflect the minimalist design of the future mid rise building and set the project apart from other developments in the area. The design was driven by the casual, resort like feel to the neighborhood and the marketing direction of the project. The combination of textured sandstone floors, clean white walls and warm wood veneers used on the interior as well as the exterior were inspired by the colours and textures found in its beach setting. The two storey presentation area features clerestory lighting allowing a flood of natural light into the space and a full height slatted wood feature wall creates a private area for the two closing offices in the back of the space.  The closing office furnishings and drywall “canopies” above each table were detailed to appear like beachside cabanas to further reference the lake and poolside living being marketed.

Judges Comments: “The design is knitted together well. Very clean lines. Successful in carrying the design throughout.”

Location: Vancouver, B.C. Design Team: Allisa Karvonen, Kari Henshaw Square footage: 1,800 18


HOSPITALITY Earls Restaurant, Bellevue E + Design and Construction


ocated at Lincoln Square in downtown Bellevue, this new 9,000 square foot restaurant marks the debut of Canadian based Earls in Washington. As the first Earls to open in Bellevue, the design team took the opportunity to introduce a West Coast style. The expansive open plan space features a clean, contemporary design by E + Design and Construction. Warmth is created in the well appointed interior by mixing large visual features with intimate dining pockets and exposing the kitchen to express their ‘kitchen is soul’ motto. Sliding windows were installed to maximize daylight and ventilation. LED lights were used as general lighting and a Lutron dimming panel was installed to control light levels. Washrooms feature low consumption toilets/urinals and automatic hand dryers. Carpet and floor tile throughout contain recycled content. Kitchen equipment is Energy Star where possible. The biggest challenge was making the enormous space with 28 foot high ceilings feel warm and inviting. Ceiling heights also posed a challenge with lighting especially with Bellevue’s tight wattage restrictions. LED lights were used wherever possible to reduce wattage amounts. The design team successfully delivers a contemporary West Coast style restaurant that is comfortable and upscale. The project was completed in October 2009.

Judges Comments: “The light is art and it works. Love the onyx stripes repeating and washroom hallway. Took a high volume space made it feel warm. Well executed and exciting.” Location: Bellevue, Washington Design Team: Marlis Joller, Elly Chronakis, Tara Robertson Square footage: 9,000 Photo: Ed White Photography

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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence GOLD HOSPITALITY Quantum Deli Bistro — Stem Interior Design


ocated in New Westminster, the client’s vision was for an urban cafe combining a fresh nature inspired feel with a sophisticated edge. To achieve this, bright greens pop were used against a palette of silver, black and zebrawood. Innovative materials such as a black lacquer stretched ceiling, ribbon glass counters and a wave slate wall were also incorporated. The exterior features a beautifully back–lit sign, brick wall graphics, and frosted window vinyl impact. Fitting the program requirements into 967 square feet was a challenge for the design team. Despite the constraint every square inch was thought out and has a purpose. Playing with ceiling planes helped define areas and create a feeling of spaciousness.

Judges Comments: “Every detail was well thought out. It’s got a lot going on without being too busy. It pops! They’ve done innovative things we haven’t seen.”

HOSPITALITY ORU Restaurant — Mcfarlane Green Biggar Architecture and Design


ocated in the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in downtown Vancouver, Oru is an upscale restaurant on the second floor of the hotel featuring an open kitchen, a private dining room and a wine tasting area with the largest sake cellar in the city. The design firm developed a cohesive solution for Oru from interiors through to branding, bespoke furniture and tableware. The 6,600 square foot space features a spectacular 180 foot long by 5 foot wide origami paper sculpture to provide a strong beacon visible from the street and lobby below. The sculpture also plays an important role in creating a suitable character during the morning and lunch sittings and uniquely evening experience at night. The origami sculpture contributed to the solution of both these challenges in different ways. Oru’s design illustrates a holistic approach to design. The designers developed the design concept congruently with the branding and graphics. The name Oru has no direct translation but is derived from the Japanese meaning ‘to fold’. Subsequently, folding materials and forms evolved as one of the key interior design forms. The design strives to embody the true spirit of sustainability — providing great spaces with less, with more durable, lasting materials and a timeless design. This project was also the winner of the inaugural Peoples Choice Awards.

Judges Comments: “A smart design that does not rely on origami cliché. Very understated, doesn’t shout. Concept is so effective.”

Location: New Westminster, B.C. Design Team: Tamara Naleway Square footage: 967 Photo: Ema Peter 20


Location: Vancouver, B.C. Design Team: Michelle Biggar, Steve McFarlane, Seng Tsoi Square footage: 6,600 Photo: Arnaldo Rodriguez

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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence GOLD WORKPLACE TOTAL Telus House Toronto — Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning/Figure3 Interior Design


asian was commissioned by Telus to design the interior space of their new downtown Toronto office space. Occupying 13 floors at the Telus House, the new office was designed to consolidate 15 Greater Toronto Area locations and 2,000 Telus employees. The client wanted to demonstrate their commitment to Toronto’s business community in a sustainable, technology rich, brand sensitive environment. The design is a prototype of Telus’ performance oriented “Future Friendly Workplace”. The facility includes a spacious open gallery reception area, boardrooms, conference rooms, training rooms, and a large data centre. A fitness and wellness centre, lunchrooms, lounges and a gourmet kitchen with a large outdoor patio complete this attractive workplace. The project was designed with sustainability integrated from the base building into the interior space and features access to natural light, responsible finishes and product choice, and power saving strategies such as moment sensor lighting, and personal airflow strategies. Integration of acoustic design solutions in a building with an open plan and on a raised floor system required careful consideration in order to mitigate program requirements encompassing privacy and confidentiality. Additionally, the design team was required to work very closely with the base buildings team since both designs were happening simultaneously.

Judges Comments: “The whole space is a composition. Creative space planning. Use of graphics is interesting. Nice coordination and fun use of materials. Love that ceiling.” Location: Toronto Design Team: Crystal Graham, Dean Matsumoto, Janine Grossmann, Ralph Dopping, Liana Butt, Jenny Hobin, Caroline Hughes, & Jennifer Tinson Of Figure 3 Square footage: 440,000 22


WORKPLACE TOTAL iQmetrix — SSDG Interiors Inc.


SDG Interiors delivers an office for iQmetrix that is modern in form and colour with a combination of natural and hi-tech materials providing interest and excitement throughout the space. The interior of this office was designed to foster collaboration and to showcase the client’s innovative technology. The space was separated into two areas: the executive offices and the software design open workstation area. The manner in which the executive and software designers function is quite different, but the design creates an integrated team environment. Bridging these two areas is a central social space comprised of a cafe and lounge. It is a place for the entire team to collaborate, communicate, socialize, and relax. The entry and the reception to the office is a blue stained pine (pine beetle wood) surround. Strips of blue stained pine frame reception and seating areas that continues curving up the wall and onto the ceiling, creating texture and contrast. Planning the reception slat ceiling so pattern was uninterrupted by HVAC and lighting was a challenge as well as designing connections to LCD’s throughout the lounge inconspicuously. The executive office area is faced with a glass and aluminum wall system and sliding doors creating an open and approachable environment. Low panel workstations with customizable graphic panels offer clear waterfront views.

Judges Comments: “Very smart glowing cubes, touch screens are well thought out, and finishes are applied carefully. Love the definition of space by change of flooring.”

Location: Vancouver, B.C. Design Team: Julie Campbell, Keath Seeton, Kenna Manley, Lynn Hughes Square footage: 5,900 Photo: Ema Peter

Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence GOLD WORKPLACE PARTIAL Camp Fiorante Matthews Lawyers False Creek Design Group Ltd.

Celebrate in style.


alse Creek Design was commissioned to undertake the tenant improvements for this law firm specializing in aviation litigation. The client did not want a stodgy, static traditional aesthetic but a space that was contemporary, symbolic and multi-functional for clients and staff. The front area of the space houses reception, waiting, touch down, rolling bar and a divisible central boardroom. The design team had to carefully balance an aesthetic that reflected the law firm’s specialization in aviation litigation without being too literal. The solution was subtle references to aeronautics and aviation through use of materials and detailing. Metal, rubber, wood, plastics and stainless steel (all used for building aircrafts) were chosen for this reason. The angled front desk apron and the side walls for the main meeting room echo wing shapes. Layered acrylic panel ‘towers’ clad the columns to frame the front area, as does the pivoting wind screen feature behind the desk. In addition, the shape of the board room table and rubber inlay mimics a 1922 jet engine patent design by Albert Fono. Custom designed waiting area seating is upholstered in ‘airline grey’, along with an oak and glass winged coffee table.

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Judges Comments: “Definitely a fun use of ceiling material. Nailed the aeronautic influence. Creativity level is very high.”

Location: Vancouver, B.C. Design Team: Jim Toy, Dale Buote, Will Chan, Jenna Mcbride Square footage: 9,000 Fall 2011 | DESIGN QUARTERLY


Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence GOLD RETAIL OR KIOSK Fairmont Florist Mcfarlane Green Biggar Architecture + Design

PUBLIC SPACE/INSTITUTIONAL Goldcorp Centre for the Arts Proscenium Architecture + Interiors and CEI Architecture


he Fairmont Florist is a petite flower boutique located in the Fairmont Pacific Rim Hotel in downtown Vancouver. The design pivots on a single simple elegant element that provides the flexibility for varied display opportunities. This central plinth comprises of large jigsaw pieces that combine in numerous configurations to transform the space. The project, though tiny in size had an even leaner budget, which is always a challenge. The firm was also the designers for both the base building portion and the retail space requiring the team to wear two hats to ensure both end uses were successful. The essence of the design was simplicity – to build only what was necessary in keeping with the firm’s environmental approach. The design illustrates that creativity can provide even the smallest of spaces with an efficient, flexible yet elegant solution. The client’s vision to have a space to support their concept of a rotating gallery display has been immensely successful. This project not only stood out for the judges but also the public. It was a winner of this year’s inaugural Peoples Choice Awards.

Judges Comments: “Small space but I’m drawn to it. So creatively done, so adaptable, and so clean. It let’s the product shine.” Location: Vancouver, B.C. Design Team: Michelle Biggar, Seng Tsoi Square footage: 215 24


pened in September 2010, the Goldcorp Centre for the Arts is a five storey building located on the southwest corner of the redeveloped Woodward’s site in downtown Vancouver. It serves as a unique multi-disciplinary performing and visual arts facility that includes theatre, dance, film and visual art studies. The school is intended as an interdisciplinary facility flexible in its design to allow the various faculties to collaborate between themselves and with the local professional arts community. It includes public space, performance venues, teaching studios, a 350-seat theatre, and a multimedia lounge and lab for new media. Whenever possible, the design team selected suppliers that could demonstrate good sustainable practice through their product line, as well as recycling and support programs. In addition, finishes were minimized wherever possible to allow the many structural materials to be a part of the finished palette. Displacement and natural ventilation were used to provide fresh air. The most unique challenge was the base building needed to be enhanced and modified to meet the programmatic needs of the school. This was possible due to the fact that the base building and TI designs were done simultaneously. The comprehensive consulting team had to work cooperatively.

Judges Comments: “Achieved goal in a very original manner. Nice job in lighting and bringing the ceiling down to a more human scale. Good architectural and interior design collaboration.”

Location: Vancouver, B.C. Design Team: Kori Chan, Thom Weeks, John Scott, Michael McNaughton, Dori Chan, Saeed Akhavan, Pablo Yuste, Kimberly Dodge, Izabela Budlak, Andrew Brangwin, Ryan Yapyuco, Tom Abele, Glen Maddock Square footage: 125,000 Photo: Ed White


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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence GOLD PUBLIC SPACE/INSTITUTIONAL 221 West Esplanade — MCM Interiors Ltd.


CM Interiors successfully delivered a much needed upgrade to the former BC Rail Centre in North Vancouver. 221 West Esplanade is a landmark six storey office building strategically located near the Seabus terminus in North Vancouver. The objective for MCM Interiors was to provide an upgrade to the existing ground floor exterior retail entrance and interior building two storey lobby. The design team successfully 26


did that by creating animation and activity to the main level of the building and providing a stronger connection between the exterior and lobby through lighting and material patterns. Environmental considerations for this project included specifying low-impact materials and replanting exterior plants and trees. The office building was modernized with a new contemporary exterior and new landscaping. The project was completed in December 2010.

Judges Comments: “A lot of style, very interesting. Beautiful and iconic.The detailing is great and relates well to the whole project.” Location: North Vancouver, B.C. Design Team: Edith Wormsbecker, Manuel Dias Square footage: 7,879 Photo: Ema Peter

Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence GOLD SPECIALTY DESIGN Breeder Bar — False Creek Design Group


CDG was tasked to design a creative and functional 2,000 square foot pop up bar feature for a design and construction tradeshow using lost cost, lightweight and easy to assemble materials. The resulting design features two inch blue rigid insulation panels, fibre optic lighting, low VOC poly coated ply floor panels and folding banquet tables. The fibre optic lighting also served to create mood, light sculpture and wayfinding. Cut out patterns and graphics were generated using a 5 axis CNC machine to produce interlocking perforated back lit walls, signage and bar front aprons. Colour changing lighting form a continuous loop of ½ inch acrylic rod attached to a main driver forms the ‘bunny ears’ popping up behind the front bar, as well as the back lighting within the self supporting interlocking wall panels. As one of the sponsors for the bar feature, the design firm focused on showcasing local millwork and lighting technology while taking a tonguein-cheek approach in branding the bar. The assembly of the entire bar used no glues, fasteners or framing in its assembly. Challenges included prefabrication off site and assembly time of eight hours or less on site.

Location: Vancouver, B.C. Design Team: Jim Toy, Adam Wingelaar Square footage: 400

Judges Comments: “Cute. Smart, clever and fun. Great thought went into use of materials and lighting.”

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honed stone and creative countertops

Using an incredible piece of stone can dress up a kitchen that is only one colour.


t’s hard to beat the beauty of natural stone, and it shows. Granite countertops consistently top the “most wanted” list, due in part to their durability and rich composition. But it’s certainly not the only stone on the block. Other natural stones commonly used for kitchen counters include marble, limestone and soapstone. “Traditionally, stonework, especially bathroom stonework on vanities and tub surrounds has been created for aesthetics and not necessarily functionality,” says Chad Seiders, executive director, Artisan Group. “The stone industry is now seeing a shift of homeowners giving a back seat to functionality and using these more exotic such as White Carrara and Calacutta Gold Marble in the kitchen. There also is much more of a trend toward using matte and honed finishes.” Using these types of softer stones in high traffic areas creates a chance for scratching and etching with citrus, sharp objects etc.; but with sealers such as Artisan Group’s Firstline Sealer on the market, it is still possible to enjoy these gorgeous stones in the kitchen. Firstline is a V.O.C. compliant and protects against stains. 28


“Owners of upper echelon of homes, especially those in excess of $1 million, really want a stone style that is unique such as rare marble or soapstone,” says Seiders. Perhaps more than any other stone, marble evokes images of sophisticated extravagance. Once found only in the homes of the very wealthy, marble is now a much more accessible luxury due to improved technology and availability. Marble that is honed has a matte or satin finish, rather than a high reflective polish. This is achieved at the factory by stopping just short of the last stage of polishing. One feature of honed marble is that it does not show etching as readily, making it a better choice for marble countertops. “We are adding marbles to the Artisan Stone Collection that was launched with lifetime warranty granite,” adds Seiders. Colours include: Calacatta Gold, White Carrara, Breccia Sarda, Dark Emperador and Crema Marfil. Soapstone is often referred to as “the original stone countertop. Very prevalent in the northeast used as a traditional look, Soapstone is now being used with a flat edge for clean,

contemporary rooms. Because homeowners now realize that soapstone can have so many looks and is low maintenance, it is becoming more popular. Artisan Group is launching its own line of soapstone — Saratoga Soapstone — to meet some of this demand. Velvety soft and smooth with minimal surface variations, limestone conveys a feeling of calm and serenity. This stone is often perceived as modern or contemporary in mood, making it perfect for a minimalist setting. Formed by the sedimentary process underground and in riverbeds, you will often find characteristic seashells and fossils embedded in the surface. While it shares a colour range similar to that of travertine, it is, for the most part, devoid of holes and depressions. Cream, ivory, gold, sand, and smoky blue-gray are the predominant shades found within this stone’s colour palette. Natural stone is one of the most beautiful and lasting choices for countertops and now there are more choices than ever to get the look you want: honed or polished, granite or marble, contemporary or traditional. DQ

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fall “touches” for the kitchen & bath By Anita Griffin


all is all about change — and the home is no exception. Traditionally a season of home renovations, this is the time of year when homeowners trade poolside days for DIY projects. It’s the time to ensure the home is in tip-top shape — just in time to welcome visitors and guests during the busy holiday season. This year, meaningful integration of technology will continue to be a focus in home design. Designers and homeowners alike are seeking out the latest innovations to enhance daily activities in the home. From centralized entertainment systems to smart grid-enabled appliances to wireless network technology used in home security.

technology in the bath Ideally, technology should complement people’s lifestyle ­— not complicate them. Instead of flashy displays — think simple, smart innovations with intuitive design to enhance the end-user experience with everyday objects. For example, hands-free electronics typically found in public restrooms can now be experienced in the home bathroom. Imagine water turning on and off automatically while you go through your morning bathroom routine. With technological advances in the bath like this, consumers can be eco-conscious without having to sacrifice comfort. Case in point: according to a recent Angus Reid survey, a surprising one in three Canadians admits to leaving the water running when

brushing their teeth. By installing an innovative hands-free faucet in the bathroom, homeowners can effortlessly use a smart technology to help save water on a daily basis. Neutral bathroom colours, natural materials and decorative accents that make a statement are key components in modern bathroom design. A mix of wood, glass, stone and chrome can help pull this look together. Using ecofriendly materials is also a popular trend that adds texture and sophistication to the design — think linen, bamboo cloth, and even felt.

technology in the kitchen Every home seems to have a budding chef happily preparing feasts for friends and family rather than dining out. With this continuing trend, homeowners are asking for ever more functional kitchens with ample work spaces to allow guests and family to cook together. Rather than just an area to prepare food, homeowners also want a space where the whole family can comfortably gather. Design details like dark wood, warm metal finishes and rich earth tones bring a rustic feel to contemporary kitchens. With homes becoming smaller, these welcoming details can transform kitchens into a place for a home-cooked meal, family game night or late-night chats. Functionality in the kitchen is closely followed by the integration of smart technologies. Homeowners who have made the jump to a kitchen faucet with touch technology often remark how they can’t remember how they ever lived without it! These faucets allow the user to turn the flow of water on and off with just a simple tap of the wrist or forearm. It makes preparing food and cleaning up

afterward a breeze. Fewer hands on the faucet mean fewer sticky messes and less time scrubbing down the faucet.

finishing touches Adding warmth to the kitchen and bathroom can also be achieved with luxurious finishes. Look for bronze and gold tones in a contemporary-styled faucet for a soft, brushed gold effect. For a rich, heritage feel, look for oil rubbed bronze finishes. Heritage style products with a used-over-time look add charm and a crafty feel to even the most modern kitchen or powder room. Add intrigue to a contemporary bathroom with a multi-texture or multi-finish fixture. The season’s newest fixtures combine lacquered white finishes with high-gloss chrome to create a unique focal point. Other new fixtures contrast soft, graceful arcs with bold, modern lines. While stylish accessories and finishes are important to the overall appearance of a home, spaces must also be designed to be comfortable, functional — and most importantly — livable. A perfect balance of technology, style and practicality can be struck, creating the ideal home environment for festivities all year round. DQ Anita Griffin is the marketing brand manager for Masco Canada and can be reached at Masco Canada Ltd., the Canadian plumbing division of Masco Corporation, represents numerous brands including: Delta, BrassCraft, Brizo, Delta Commercial, Hansgrohe, Motiv, Alsons, Master Plumber, PlumbShop and Waltec. For more information, visit Fall 2011 | DESIGN QUARTERLY


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the modern kitchen By Christine Austin


ow more than ever, the walls have come down and the kitchen has become part of the living space. There is something about gathering in the kitchen with food and drink that makes for a most joyous time. The open kitchen is now status quo.

Here are five top kitchen trends 1. The large island. As simple as a harvest table or as intricate as a chef station complete with gas burners, refrigerator drawers, prep sink, and a pot rack. It can break up the monotony of wall to wall cabinets by using a contrasting finish such as a fabulous stone top or a more intricate door style. This is where you can create drama without committing to a whole room of a powerful colour, busy wood grain or expensive finish. The large island multi-functions as a worktop, snack bar, buffet table, conversation piece and hangout. 2. The Furniture Aesthetic and Built-in Appliances. Panelled to match the cabinetry it is difficult to see the fridge at all. With fewer walls, clients wish to hide the appliances wherever possible and have the kitchen look more like furniture than its utilitarian predecessor. Drawing inspiration from the adjacent space to create the furniture aesthetic, I have matched an entire kitchen to a B&B Italia dining suite or used an existing wall of cabinetry to determine the accent finish. Double duty appliances, like 30


micro/convection or convection/steamer ovens create space on counters. Refrigerator drawers keep veggies handy at the prep area. The wine captain is now on the must have list of appliances. The custom hood canopy is not just a staple in traditional kitchens, Canopies created out of metal can be used to update this ‘home hearth” design element for contemporary kitchens. Gray is the new neutral especially on a heavy grained wood like white oak. Engineered veneers and caramelized bamboo are the go to finishes for the green crowd. Accents in chartreuse and orange are especially hot this year. 3. Clever storage. Interior fittings in such a wide range of sizes, functions and finishes it makes your head spin and we want as many as we can fit. Maximizing storage is a must, especially with the condo crowd. Pantry pull-outs that also rotate for easy access and cabinets designed just for waste management top the list. Narrow base cabinets are not just for trays anymore. Pull-out racks turn them into a pantry at your fingertips. The Magic Corner replaces the lazy susan as the go to accessory for base corners. Doors don’t just swing open. Now they scissor up or swing away and soft close is a standard request for doors and drawers. 4. The Butler’s Pantry or Dirty Kitchen. Having a space where the mess can be contained behind closed doors is desired wherever space allows. Usually it has a similar feel

to the “show” kitchen, only with low maintenance finishes. Where a separate room isn’t possible, the Dirty Kitchen can be housed in as little space as a two door pantry with swing-away doors. 5. Kitchen Jewellery. For some it is a row of aluminum and glass scissor doors. For others, heavily carved posts and appliques. Still others a crystal fixture over the island, creative cabinet pulls, or an exciting finish on the splash. Like pairing a great pair of shoes with your little black dress, finding the right accents will make the look uniquely yours. For the bathroom, the vanity is not merely a place to hide the toilet paper and hold up the sink and faucet. Whether it is contemporary or traditional, the vanity will be a piece of art on its own, especially in the powder room where the client can really stretch their boundaries and make a bold statement. In the master ensuite, large showers with body sprays, ceiling mounted shower heads and bench seats are replacing jetted soaker tubs as the go to luxury items. From living space to cleansing space, the furniture aesthetic creates a visual flow that keeps the space tailored and uncluttered. DQ Christine Austin, B.I.D, is an award winning, NCIDQ certified designer specializing in kitchen, bath and “hard furnishings” design. Contact:

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the ensuite takes centre stage

S yn th e sis De sign

By Trinh Nguyen


s design focused websites, blogs and publications continue to gain popularity with both designers and homeowners, innovative designs being produced around the world are increasingly available at the click of a mouse. Clients are becoming informed and are well equipped with images and concepts now more than ever before. As consumers are inundated with advertising and new products quickly emerge on the market, clients are more willing to be creative and take risks with new ideas and designs. With the kitchen having emerged as the central hub of a home, ensuites are quickly gaining importance as another room in which clients are seeing the value in splurging. The ensuite is now an integral part of the master suite and to have a fully loaded ensuite is no longer considered a luxury feature. Whether the client is looking to turn their ensuite into a relaxing spa-like sanctuary or a technology filled playground, there are many new products that will show off the ensuite and take it to centre stage in a home. Architecturally, a unique and daring way to showcase an ensuite is to incorporate an “open-air” concept and have it open to the outdoors. This concept can be found most frequently in warmer climates which allows for a comfortable experience while showering or bathing outdoors. Of course

with our unpredictable Canadian temperatures to contend with, this level of exhibitionism is not often possible leaving most clients to opt for enclosing their ensuites behind oversized glazing which maximizes natural lighting and highlights views of the outside surroundings. In most situations where designing an open-air bathroom is not possible, an easy alternative is to incorporate a functional oversized glass shower. Where space is a restrictive factor, many clients are choosing to eschew the bathtub all together and are instead installing only a functional glass shower. Most feature luxurious rainshower heads, body jets and hand showers as well as functional benches and built-in shampoo niches. There are so many unique finishes and tiles becoming available and having a shower clad in natural stone or a unique mosaic tile is becoming increasingly accessible to clients. With demand rising for affordable product, factories in Europe and Asia are competing for North American distribution and therefore providing designers and their clients with more affordable options than ever before. Plumbing fixtures are another area of the bathroom that clients are starting to see the value in, especially when considering resale of their home. Bathtubs can be an impressive feature and are now available in

multiple finishes such as glass and wood. Some designs incorporate sliding doors and drawers as a storage solution, especially valuable in smaller bathrooms. Becoming increasingly popular is the hands-free approach, with toilets and faucets operated by motion-sensors providing germ-free peace of mind to consumers. Taking the lead from commercial design, residential toilets are now being wall-mounted for a cleaner and more contemporary approach, many featuring state-of-the-art multi-functional capabilities. A manufacturer from Japan has even taken toilet technology one step further and has created an “Intelligence Toilet” which can measure your body fat, weight and sugar levels in your system and can test your blood pressure, then make recommendations for diet and weight. More options for the technology enthusiast are now available with a multitude of new and innovative products hitting the shelves and incorporating some fun into the ensuite. For the environmentally conscious there is now a sink drain available that is designed to digitally measure water usage enabling the client to keep track of the household water consumption. If mood music is important, another Japanese export is an Ipod toilet paper dock that is moisture resistant and holds a roll of paper, plays music, charges the Ipod and even has an integrated USB port. Televisions have been a common technology found in bathrooms, and there is now a wall mirror available that functions as an all-in-one mirror, television and PC all embedded behind mirrored glass. For a more conservative approach where budget is a factor, there are also many simple, inventive and affordable products such as heated towel racks or automatic toothpaste dispensers that are designed for the everyday homeowner in mind. As travel becomes more accessible every year, designers and homeowners are circling the globe and returning home with mental snapshots of unique design ideas. For designers, as creativity is being fueled by information being passed around the world at light speed, the sky really is the limit. DQ Trinh Nguyen, Cert.I.D., is currently a senior designer with Synthesis Design specializing in residential design and also senior designer with WHG Design specializing in commercial design. She is also the founder and principal of Stylelab Design. Contact her at or visit www. Fall 2011 | DESIGN QUARTERLY






Act now for BUILDEX Vancouver Join over 13,000 industry professionals at Western Canada’s largest tradeshow and conference for Construction, Design and Real Estate. With over 600 exhibits, 50 seminars and 120,000 square feet of networking opportunities, you cannot miss this show! Supplier or Exhibitor? Book your booth for best locations. Act today! Less than 10% of booths remain available.


For more info and to reserve your exhibit space at BUILDEX Vancouver, please contact: Mike Pelsoci o. 604.730.2034

Ben Carson o. 604.730.2032

FEBRUARY 8 & 9, 2012


Don’t miss BUILDEX Edmonton The largest event of its kind in Edmonton, BUILDEX has become a must-attend trade show and conference for the Design, Construction and Property Management Industries. BUILDEX Edmonton is your gateway to the Northern Alberta market. Supplier or Exhibitor? Secure your position at the 2012 show today! Limited number of high-profile locations still available. For more info and to book your exhibit space at BUILDEX Edmonton, please contact: Wolfgang Ortner o. 403.241.1088


Ben Carson o. 604.730.2032


Plan ahead for BUILDEX Calgary With over 4000 industry attendees and 250+ exhibits, this is Alberta’s largest industry event to NETWORK, EDUCATE and DISCOVER. Supplier or Exhibitor? Start your planning early and secure the best booth locations. For more info and to book your exhibit space at BUILDEX Calgary, please contact: Wolfgang Ortner o. 403.241.1088

Mike Pelsoci o. 604.730.2034


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More than 20,000 attendees annually • 800+ companies exhibit each year

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enriching the guest experience Hotel Bath Trends By Avi Abel

Watermark Designs has a full range of faucets, grab bars and grid drains that complement any contemporary or traditional bath environment.

conserving water and energy through a water usage program.


t a time when innovative and design-forward bath fixtures and accessories often define the hotel guest experience, designers have a wide variety of resources at their command. When designing bath interiors, in particular, the whole of the bath environment must be something greater than the sum of its parts. Branding is also key, in order to provide guests with a specific feeling about the bath environment; one that they will remember and that will encourage them to return. As 2011 comes to a close, it’s an opportune time to look at several current bath design trends that will help designers deliver a superior guest experience in 2012. Sleek & Streamlined. This is a key aesthetic trend that continues to be prominent in the hotel bath. It’s not only easy on the eyes, but also goes a long way towards creating a pleasant feeling for guests. The sleek and streamlined aesthetic is expressed in products such as grid drains with no visible screws and rare earth magnets, which could almost function as modern metal art. Monoblock faucets with a smooth sleeve and small lever that blends flawlessly into the fixture, continue to be in high demand, as well as temperature and volume controls that are activated in one motion by a hydro-progressive sleeve. Water Conservation. Fixtures for the bath that conserve water are not only more popular, but are becoming a necessity as cities and states are passing more stringent green 34


building codes. As a result, more hoteliers are opting for ecologically friendly, low-flow, high-efficiency toilets that have dual-flush functionality. In showers and faucets, pressure balance valves are being replaced with thermostatic valves that have built-in volume control and diverter in one, eliminating varied volume control and reduce flow rates. Timeless Design. In the hotel world, you are usually only as good as your last remodel. However, with the diminished capital for both renovation and new development, an antitrend is beginning to emerge: a return to timelessly designed bath products that have market longevity. Bath fixtures and accessories that have classic finishes, such as aged brass, copper and velvet chrome, are increasingly becoming popular as hospitality budgets have tightened. Likewise, products that feature familiar feminine lines, such as curvy spouts and round, multi-faceted levers have also made a comeback as hoteliers have sought bath products that won’t go out of style any time soon. The Digital Bath. There is no denying it: digital technology is revolutionizing the hotel bath space. From high-end toilets that play music to steam shower temperature controls and state-of-the-art shower systems with water conservation settings, recent digital advancements are giving hotels opportunities to provide their guests with a more personalized experience. Digital shower systems, specifically, are one place where guests can be given a dose of high-tech while

Decorative & Universal. Hoteliers are always looking for bath products that offer both decorative and universal design elements. Luckily, many ADA-compliant bath products on the market today prove that hospitality designers do not need to sacrifice style in the name of universal design. Modern decorative grab bars put the days of institutional-style grab bars behind, setting new standards for seamlessly blending design and function. In fact, decorative grab bars are now very sexy and not a sore point for architects when specifying ADA-compliant guest suites. They offer the hospitality trifecta: low maintenance, style and accessibility for elderly and disabled hotel guests. Finish Line. When it comes to finishes, the hospitality industry has moved in two interesting directions. We are seeing many hotel clients gravitate towards the “vintage” chic look and are subsequently requesting more raw brass fixtures. Weathered brass is not necessarily an easy look to achieve at the mass hotel level; in fact, there are only a few bath manufacturers today who are skilled in the “oven curing” process necessary to arrive at the right colour of brass. On the opposite side of spectrum, matte black finishes are gaining popularity in contemporary hotel bath environments. Designers who choose matte black faucets say they are doing so because it is the new “neutral,” complementing almost any vanity or countertop colour, whether dark or light. It also gives the bath a dramatic and contemporary look, not to mention it’s fingerprint-resistant. If there is one unifying theme to be found among these trends, it’s that hoteliers are always looking for new ways to enhance the bath experience and make it truly unique for their guests. As the hospitality industry moves beyond the recession in 2012, we will undoubtedly see more emphasis on the hotel bath experience — one of the greatest joys of a hotel stay. DQ Avi Abel is the president of Watermark ID, the custom division of Brooklyn-based Watermark Designs, which has been producing custom decorative plumbing fixtures for the luxury hospitality industry for more than 30 years.

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modern efficiency through technology By Julie Okamura


he library. We all have one, whether it is small or large. It is the necessary evil in the design and architectural field that needs constant attention. Over the past 20 years, I’ve struggled with the size of my library. I love having my samples and catalogues at my fingertips, especially when we have those projects that come in with impossible deadlines. Having the actual samples right when you need them seems to make the selection and design process faster without having to wait for the reps to get them to your office. The problem of course, is these samples and catalogues take up too much precious office space and can easily date and get discontinued if you don’t have a diligent representative update your library on a regular basis. Within the past decade, most companies rely on you going to their website for their products and information – which at the time seemed great until their website goes down and it will take 3-5 days to get the products sent to your office. Also, it doesn’t matter how great the pictures are on that website, the colour, finish, or texture never seems quite right once you actually get it and then another week goes by

to get more samples in. Yes, technology and access to the information at our fingertips is supposed to help, but somehow I still can’t get rid of my actual library. They “say” technology is supposed to make us all more efficient. I’m from the world when I started interior design that the only people that had cell phones were the very wealthy. We didn’t have internet or email, and fax machines still relied on that paper on a roll. When I took AutoCAD in school, we worked on a tablet and the electric eraser was a much coveted tool. Twenty years later, manual drafting is now archaic and computer software is continually advancing at such an incredible pace, that as soon as you purchase anything it is virtually outdated. Technology in the office today is a constant expense which seems to get even more expensive every year. Our computers never seem fast enough to handle the work load that appears to get bigger every day. Our iPhones, iPads and laptops, when lost or broken is an absolute disaster to all of us and we cannot function without them. Gone are the days of huge files of paper but when something breaks down or the server or internet is down, we are completely incapacitated.

Technology has made us become way too available. Clients and reps can get a hold of us any time of the day or night. Emails never stop and now texting seems to be a common way of communicating from my clients and contractors. The convenience of technology has helped in many ways to make us more efficient in the work day, as an 8 hour work day 20 years ago, is nothing compared to an 8 hour work day today. We can work even faster than before and produce more than we ever could but is this really a good thing? Our demands from clients seem to be even greater as technology has created even bigger expectations than before. However, without technology, we couldn’t have clients and projects in other cities and countries as easily as we do today. Our mobility would be virtually impossible without the use of internet, email, Skype and conference calling, to name a few. As business owners, it is easier for us to get away and travel the world whether it is for work or pleasure and to know that we can always be contacted or be available for meetings or emergencies any time that is needed. With the use of the internet we can “see” virtually anything around the world, even if we cannot physically be there. Our knowledge continues to grow daily and it is the power of technology that makes this possible. Even though technology in today’s modern office can be daunting and frustrating when something “goes down”, at least we no longer have to pick up that electric eraser when our clients make changes! DQ Julie Okamura, ASID, is owner and principal of Pop Design Group inc. in Calgary. Fall 2011 | DESIGN QUARTERLY


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5 percent for the planet By Richard Iredale

Robinson residential


nyone who follows the environmental press knows that the climate change situation is getting worse fast. Last year the density of greenhouse gas in our atmosphere increased by 2.3 parts per million to 398 ppm, well over the 350 cut off that climate scientists have long warned would mark a tipping point. And there’s no end in sight. Despite our anxiety about the future, we continue to drive the cars, fly the planes and live in the buildings we’ve constructed. The CO2 levels in the atmosphere continue to ratchet upwards, and at an increasing rate. If unchecked, the planet will soon become hotter than it has been at any time during the past 40 million years. We aren’t sure what the future holds. But climatologists are able to construct models of the possible outcomes of our current crisis. Here is the worst case scenario for our planet: frozen methane deposits under the warming ocean and in the melting arctic tundras will thaw and bubble up, releasing extraordinary amounts of greenhouse gas. The earth’s climate will heat up year by year, escalating exponentially until it reaches Venus-like conditions. All life on the planet will end. 36


home, Mayne Island.

The best case we can hope for, according to all the models currently available — and one that is only possible if we act quickly — is this: glaciers and polar ice caps will become a thing of the past. Drought, extraordinary sea level rise (eventually reaching 75 to 100 meters) famine, floods and loss of arable land will make life very hard for billions of people. Our grandchildren will contend with problems we cannot even begin to imagine. They may survive, but only by the skin of their teeth. It is too late to avert climate change. But what can the construction community do to help keep the worst case scenario from occurring? What can we do right away to give earth’s future children a chance at survival? For starters, buildings have to take at least a third of the blame for our current predicament. The heating, lighting and appliances used in buildings make up approximately 35 per cent of global energy use and contribute about 35 per cent of the total greenhouse gas emissions released into the atmosphere by human activity. If you take into account all the other equipment used inside buildings, such as computers and copiers, this number jumps to 48 per cent. But apart from adhering to basic insulation requirements builders currently make very

little effort to cut energy use. Our LEED certification system, for example, is not nearly as effective as it should be. Less than a third of LEED certification points address energy use directly and there is little or no effort to evaluate actual building performance as opposed to computer estimates based on design drawings. Many LEED buildings, though they seemed good on paper, actually use a lot of energy. The manufacturing industry is fairing better. Over the past 20 years, the US and Canadian manufacturing sector has reduced the per-capita energy it uses by an extraordinary 22 per cent, largely because it pays its own monthly energy bills. The buildings and auto sectors, in contrast, have only cut per-capita energy use by 6.5 per cent. This is because builders and automakers sell buildings and cars on to consumers who then foot the utility bills. No one does the math. Low up-front costs translate into high operating costs. At Iredale Group Architecture we’ve started a campaign called “5 Percent for the Planet.” We have found that 5 per cent of total building costs is approximately the amount needed to add renewable energy to a project. When designing a building for our client, we pitch the option to them: spend an extra 5 per

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The new 30 storey Credit Suisse project in Vancouver is targeting to achieve a LEED Platinum.

cent on green energy systems and feel proud to be investing in the long term survival of life on earth. We point out that although building green may not yield an immediate short term financial benefit, the extra cost is worth it: Renewable energy pays a 5 per cent dividend (on average) and it’s an investment in our children’s future and in the future of the earth we all call home. The green investments we recommend include solar thermal hot water panels mounted on roofs, geo-exchange wells beside or below buildings, sewage and waste digesters (that reuse sewage and kitchen waste to produce biogas), tiny, dry-waste gasification burners that produce electricity, as well as solar photovoltaic panels that produce electricity. We recently designed a small home on Mayne Island (near Victoria) for Peter Robinson, CEO of the Suzuki Foundation. Peter wanted to “go green” and was willing to pay for it. We installed 30 solar hot water vaccuum tubes on his roof that collect radiant energy from the sun. The hot water

is used for laundry, washing and bathing. It also heats the house through tiny plastic hot water tubes cast into the concrete floor topping. On cold and cloudy winter days we have to provide backup electrical heat. Averaged over a year, the solar panels will provide 75 per cent of the home’s heating and hot water needs.

Renewable energy pays a 5 per cent dividend (on average) and it’s an investment in our children’s future… We’re now using the system on two other homes being built near Victoria, whose owners are willing to spend “5 Percent for the Planet.” This time we are installing heat exchangers on the back of airtight wood burning fireplaces that will connect to the solar system, providing extra heat on cold days. This will completely eliminate the need to rely on electricity for heat and hot water. A

small anaerobic digester that converts kitchen waste and sewage into biogas using specially engineered microorganisms will provide gas for cooking. (These bugs can even eat paper and woody waste like corn husks and squash peels from the garden). We expect to generate about 3Kw-hr per day of gas energy from the waste produced by a family of four — enough to cook with. Our designs reduce ground-water depletion by collecting roof rainwater and using it for toilets and laundry. We also collect and treat grey water on site, reusing it for toilet flushing and gardening. This water conservation provides much needed insurance against increasingly dry summers in our part of the world. The need for electricity drops dramatically when a house uses solar hot water and anaerobic digesters for heating and cooking. Electrical power for lights and computers is easily produced by 25 solar electric panels mounted on the roof. These solar panels help balance the daily supply and demand for electricity by connecting to the electricity grid of the surrounding community. When the sun is shining and the solar panels are producing a surplus of electricity, the house feeds energy into the grid. At night when the solar panels are dormant, the house draws electricity out again. We are now applying the same ideas to larger buildings. We are currently designing a 30-story office tower for downtown Vancouver financed by ultra-green Credit-Suisse. This high-rise will be 60 per cent self sufficient for energy and water. We will achieve this goal by using solar panels, anaerobic digesters, an innovative system of radiant heating, natural ventilation, and rainwater collection. Another current project, the new Art Gallery at Royal Roads university in Victoria (The Robert Bateman Center) will achieve 80 per cent energy self sufficiency by adding geo-exchange wells as further heat sources. How much does it all cost? According to our experience, these “green” innovations add about 5 per cent to the total cost of any given project. When we sit down with a new client, we ask them to think hard about the future of planet earth. We ask them to consider investing $5 of every $100 of construction in green devices and technologies. Five per cent for the planet does not seem too much to ask. Richard Iredale is a partner at Iredale Group Architecture. His primary focus is the sustainable design of civic, cultural, residential, and education facilities. Fall 2011 | DESIGN QUARTERLY


::::::: design headlines ::::::: ADVERTISING INDEX

Tofino Redined A new 7,200 square foot marina and pier is set to open in May 2012 on Tofino’s downtown waterfront. Dredging is scheduled to start this winter. The marina and pier are part of The Shore, a 27 unit luxury mixed-use development. Designed by Calgary based McKinley Dang Burkart, the waterfront property reflects the beauty of its natural surroundings with fir ceilings and cedar beams in the penthouses and loft suites. As the first concrete and steel residential condo building in Tofino, it sets a new benchmark for development in the area. The new marina will feature a restaurant and other amenity spaces along with storage for surfboards and kayaks. It will also have a green roof. An old B.C. Packers plant sat on the site for 15 years before Moss Developments decided to redevelop it.

Hotel Design Awards

VanDusen Opens

Air Canada’s enRoute, together with the Interior Designers of Canada and IIDEX/NeoCon Canada, invited Canadian architects and interior designers to submit new and extensively renovated hotels completed between January 1, 2008, and December 31, 2010. Winners of the first-ever enRoute Hotel Design Awards were:

VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre, Canada’s first anticipated Living Building, open its doors in October. Designed by Busby Perkins + Will, the shape of the building was designed to replicate the leaves of an orchid with a stem located in the main atrium where visitors can take note of as they enter the lobby. The stunning centre features a café, western Canada’s largest horticultural library, classrooms, exhibit space, the VanDusen Garden Shop and more — and provide a living example of truly sustainable architecture. Sirewall, a locally developed green alternative to wood was incorporated throughout the building’s interior and exterior.

Best Overall Architecture The Keefer, Vancouver Gair Williamson and Chris Woodford; Gair Williamson Architects Best Standard Room, <150 Rooms Hôtel le Germain Calgary, Calgary Viateur Michaud, Pierre Mierski and Lucie Vaillancourt; LemayMichaud Architecture Design Best Suite, 150+ Rooms Fairmont Pacific Rim, Vancouver James Cheng (James K.M. Cheng Architects Inc.) Best Spa or Pool, <150 Rooms Shangri-La Hotel, Vancouver N.Y. Chu; B+H Chil Design Best Spa or Pool, 150+ Rooms Sparkling Hill Resort, Vernon, B.C. Jennifer Kurtz, Shauna Root, Gerry Shinkewski and Susan Steeves; SSDG Interiors Inc. 38


New Showroom Montauk Sofa has officially opened the doors to their new showroom in the city’s design district of Gastown. Under construction for the last two years, the revitalized 6,000 square foot heritage space parallels the rich design that the boutique family owned and operated eco-savvy brand is known for. With vision from chief Montauk furniture Designer Danny Chartier and Mallen Architecture, Montauk Sofa’s glass storefront opens into a chic, two floored and open concept space with skylights breathing natural light into the minimally designed showroom. Operated by interior designer Ivan Quintana, the Vancouver showroom features pieces from Montauk’s signature line of seating designed for urban, sophisticated and fashionable appeal.

2nd Century Rug Co.           IBC Ampco Grafix   4 BC Hydro     21 Bradford Decorative Hardware     27 Buildex   32 & 33 Coast Wholesale Appliances     5 Colin Campbell     7 Final Touch Window Coverings 13 Frances Andrew/Kate Holland    19 Inform  17 Kohler 11 Masonite/Moulding & Millwork   15 Odyssey Wall Coverings           OBC Robinson Lighting and Bath Centre     IFC Shaw Contract Group 25 Windoworks 23

Seeton Retires Keath Seeton, principal and partner of SSDG Interiors, has announced his retirement. Veteran associate Julie Campbell will be his successor, buying out his share of the partnership. Campbell joined the firm in 2000 and during that time has emerged as a leader in business, design and marketing. She will join Gerry Shinkewski and Susan Steeves on the leadership team. SSDG Interiors is one of Vancouver’s top interior design firms specializing in corporate, retail and hospitality spaces. It was founded in 1980 by Seeton and Shinkewski.

Celebrating 50 Interior Designers of Alberta celebrated its 50th Anniversary at VIVID Concepts Lighting + Design in Edmonton this September. Designers, suppliers and others from the design community gathered for an evening celebrating this milestone.

IDA Design Winners Alberta interior design excellence was celebrated recently by IDA. Gold, silver and bronze awards for handed out in several categories. Gold winners were DIALOG for AIMCO Offices; B+H for Heenan Blaikie LLP; Thom Design for Taste Restaurant; and Walker Lawson Interior Design for Newalta Employee Child Centre.

Poggenpohl Relocates German kitchen designer Poggenpohl has relocated their Calgary kitchen design centre to the heart of Victoria Park in the central core. Serving Calgary for four years, the move will ensure a centrally located design centre for clients. The new Poggenpohl kitchen design centre is now conveniently centrally located at 1302 - 1 St SW, five blocks south of the Hudson’s Bay Company.

Profile for MediaEdge

Design Quarterly - Fall 2011  

Design Quarterly - Fall 2011

Design Quarterly - Fall 2011  

Design Quarterly - Fall 2011