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SPRING 2009 Vol. 9 No. 4

PM 40063056

IDIBC Awards of

Excellence D esigner Sharon Martens | Kitchen & Bath


kitchen & bath :::::::

contents

SPRING 2009 Vol. 9 No. 4 www.designquarterly.ca

PUBLISHER Dan Gnocato dang@mediaedge.ca Managing Editor Cheryl Mah Graphic Designers Shannon Swanson, Cory Dawson CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Tracy Block, Marike Boersma, Michael Borynk, Susanna Chu, Fred DeVries, Yves St Hilaire, James Loppie, Mitch Sakumoto, Holly Shearer B.C./ALBERTA SALES Dan Gnocato 604.739.2115 ext. 223

PUBLISHED BY

PRESIDENT Kevin Brown vancouver office

402-1788 W. Broadway Vancouver, BC V6J 1Y1 Tel: 604.739.2115 Fax: 604.739.2117

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06 Designer Profile Sharon Martens

Sharon Martens, principal of Calgary based MartensGroup has been delivering innovative interior design solutions to some of the city’s most prominent businesses for almost 19 years.

10 Special Supplement

Copyright 2009 Canada Post Canadian publications mail sales publication agreement no. 40063056 – ISSN 0834-3357 Return all undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Suite 1000 – 5255 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, M2N 6P4

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IDIBC Awards of Excellence

Features 48 Kitchen & Bath

Clean, Simple and Grey A Concrete Choice Cabinets Go Green Bathroom Sinks Mirror Mirror on the Wall

departments 04 From the Editor Inspiring Design 46 IDA Leveraging Design as a Corporate Asset 41 Architects in BC Heritage Restoration 54 Design Headlines

Design Quarterly is published four times a year by MediaEDGE Communications Inc. Yearly Subscription $26.40 + GST REPRINTS: No part of this magazine may be reproduced in any form — print or electronic — without written permission from the publisher. Requests for permission to reprint any portion of this magazine should be sent to the publisher. For all subscription inquiries or changes of address, please contact circulation@mediaedge.ca

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ON THE COVER: Salari Fine Carpet Collections designed by Splyce Design won IDIBC Best in Show. Photo courtesy of Wendy Niamath.

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. Spring 2009 | DESIGN QUARTERLY 3


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

inspiring design

I

do what I do because I love what I do. That’s what I said in a recent conversation and it made me realize just how true it was. I’ve always had a passion for writing and words, from my first writer’s conference to my first publication and all along the way until now. I couldn’t imagine doing anything else. Being able to choose the right words and to piece them together (much like a puzzle) to tell a story is gratifying. I’ve always admired the power of words. Words can be informative, persuasive and emotionally moving. The right words can be inspiring. Good design is inspiring. All you have to do is look at B.C.’s design community to get an appreciation of that. This issue puts the spotlight on the talented design community in B.C. with our annual coverage of the IDIBC Awards of Excellence. The winners showcase once again the breadth of talent that is shaping our communities today. Gracing our cover is the Best of Show winner: The Salari Fine Carpet Collections showroom. The transformation of a conventional carpet retail store into a stunning unique retail experience earned top

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DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009

honours for Splyce Design inc. Stantec Architecture was also a big winner this year — taking home a total of five awards. Our designer profile Sharon Martens, principal of MartensGroup Licensed, has taken home her fair share of awards herself. Most recently, she was recognized with a 2008 ARIDO award for her outstanding corporate design for Pengrowth Corporation in downtown Calgary. Her award winning firm has been providing innovative and aesthetically strong design for almost two decades. Read about her story starting on page 6. In this issue, we also have our popular kitchen and bath feature. We take a look at countertops, cabinetry, bathroom sinks and lighting and three top kitchen trends as identified by celebrity designer Andrew Pike. Congratulations to all the IDIBC award winners!

Cheryl Mah Managing Editor


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::::::: designer profile :::::::

ConocoPhillips Canada Limited – boardroom

Inspiring collaboration By Cheryl Mah

V

isit one of the downtown Calgary offices of a major oil and gas company and you’re bound to see the creative interior design of MartensGroup Licensed Interior Design Studio. MartensGroup has been delivering innovative interior design solutions to some of the city’s most prominent corporate, institutional and hospitality businesses for almost 19 years. Today the firm is a team of 24 comprised of interior designers, architectural technologists, project managers, facility managers and administrative staff. Having a strong but small team of intermediate to senior designers enables them to offer high calibre consulting and design solutions to clients.

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DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009


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::::::: designer profile :::::::

“The knowledge and experience that we bring and our senior expertise has been what makes us successful...”

Hyatt Regency Calgary — reception lobby

“The knowledge and experience that we bring and our senior expertise has been what makes us successful,” says principal Sharon Martens. That success has earned the firm a reputation for leading edge designs that are functional, flexible, efficient and aesthetically strong. With more than 30 years of experience, Martens has guided the firm’s growth and direction into one of the city’s leading design firms. Did Martens ever imagine she’ll be where she is today? “I really thought when we started our business that we’ll try it for five years,” she laughs. “Now it’s 18 going on 19 years and I’m really quite surprised.” The 53-year-old has certainly come a long way from her small rural farming roots. Born in Gainsborough Saskatchewan and raised in the farming community of Balder Manitoba, Martens had early exposure to the construction business through her father who owned a plumbing and heating business. “I was always around construction, blue prints, dealing with contractors. It was part of the backdrop of my family,” recalls Martens. Attracted to the arts in high school, Martens quickly discovered her love of design during her first year at the University of Manitoba where she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in interior design. “I loved the first day of going through the program,” says Martens. “I thought if this is what school is about in terms of sketching, drawing, drafting…I couldn’t think of a better way to spend my time learning.” 8

DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009

After graduating in 1978 with the thesis prize, Martens worked a variety of jobs to gain experience and to pay off student loans. She moved to Calgary in 1980 to work with City Interiors — at the time an interior design firm owned by Vancouver based Bentall. “I found that what I really wanted to learn and develop in my career was knowledge and experience in developing office environments. And with Bentall specializing in office towers I thought that was a good fit for me,” says Martens. From there, Martens moved on to work the Toronto based firm Rice Brydone in 1983. The firm had opened an office in Calgary to do work for the new Petro-Canada Centre. “I loved working for Peter Rice. He was brilliant, not only with aesthetic design solutions but with building relationships with clients and staff,” says Martens, citing Rice as a mentor. By the time Rice Brydone closed its Calgary office in 1990, Martens had developed a solid client base and she opened her own company with partner Dick Van Watteghem called Martens Van Wattenghem (MVW). “1990 wasn’t exactly the best year to be starting a business because of the economic times,” says Martens. “However by focusing on a high aesthetic and creating collaborative and innovative work environments, we were able to grow the firm.”

While Van Watteghem focused on high aesthetic design solutions, Martens studied evolving workplace practices and open plan environments that was just beginning to emerge as a design concept. “Our timing of our research and the responses to clients seemed to fit. We developed a number of major projects in mid to late ‘90s that were migrating traditional closed office oil and gas users to open office environments,” says Martens, noting one of their first projects was doing a study for Gulf Canada Square. The project that created the biggest opportunity early on for the firm was Crestar Energy in 1995. The 120,000 square foot project successfully showcased a strong aesthetic design solution with a leading edge open plan environment that are still the founding principals of the firm today. Van Watteghem left the business in 1995 and Martens carried on, diversifying the firm into hospitality, multi-family and healthcare projects. Past projects have included ATB Financial, Bear Mountain, Bighorn Mountain Resort, and the Hyatt Regency in Calgary. Being selected to design the new Hyatt Regency Hotel opened the door for the firm to broaden its scope of services.


::::::: designer profile :::::::

Devon Canada Corporation — reception

Martens notes hospitality design elements have also influenced the office environment. “Our exposure to hospitality design has worked its way into the office environment where we’re creating more residential style settings within the office space now. It has been a nice collaboration …a cross pollination of ideas,” she says. The Hyatt Regency Hotel is also one of the firm’s many award winning projects. Most recently the firm won double honours for Pengrowth Corporation at the 2008 ARIDO Awards of Excellence. The 225,000 square foot new office was cited for outstanding corporate interior design as well as an Award of Merit for the custom lighting. “Only six projects received an award of excellence and that our project would be one of those six was pretty special,” says Martens. “And to get recognition for our work beyond Alberta borders is always special.” The firm changed its name to MartensGroup in 2001 and took on two associates: Doug Niwa and Kim Green. The name change coincided with the firm’s move to occupy the entire 10th floor of the Aquitaine Tower where they’ve been located since 1995. “At that time we decided it was an opportunity to rebrand the firm,” says Martens. Martens and the two associates act like a “three prong stool” to provide leadership for the firm. According to Martens, they each bring different strengths to the team. “Doug provides strong aesthetics to our clients and Kim’s strength is in space programming and project management. I work more in the front end with understanding clients’ needs and defining the scope of work, putting together the presentation proposal and then administrating the projects,” says Martens. The firm’s design philosophy is encapsulated in their motto — involve, solve, evolve — which emphasizes its commitment to designs that encourage collaboration and support their client’s strategic goals. “It’s really about our process of being engaged with our clients and involving them in coming up with the solutions,” explains Martens. “Evolve is the new ways of working and thinking of the work environment outside of the box as well as the process a project goes through — its various stages.” Large scale corporate interiors for major oil and gas companies comprise about 50 per cent of the firm’s portfolio. 10

DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009

Current projects include 225,000 square feet for Arc Resources in the new Jamieson Place tower and 400,000 square feet for Penn West Energy Trust. “This year we’ll be expanding and renovating space for Gibson Petroleum and Alliance Pipelines will either be relocating or expanding as well,” says Martens. Long term clients like Devon Canada and ConocoPhilips are also keeping the firm busy. “Until the last six months, we were turning work away in terms of new clients. We always save room in our capacity for existing clients but new projects we were limiting it to the capacity of the firm,” says Martens. While the firm has a number of projects completing into 2010, the current market downturn has had an impact on expected work for this year. “A few of our existing clients have facility programs that they were planning to go ahead with in 2009 and they’ve put them on hold,” remarks Martens. “They may go ahead with them depending on oil prices later in the year. So we’re looking for new work to replace what we were expecting this year.” Environmental considerations are a part of all their projects and environmentally friendly design is introduced where it’s practical and feasible for each client. “Our approach to sustainable design has been unpretentious. It’s mainly there as common place practice,” says Martens. “It’s an undercurrent in all projects but some clients want higher profile on it while others want us to use our common sense.” Martens believes sustainable and LEED certified projects will become more of a standard requirement in the near future. “With the proposed infrastructure projects, I think green and LEED certified projects are going to become more prominent. A lot of future work will come from government and municipal projects and those organizations have LEED certified requirements for their new projects coming forward,” she notes. Other important factors she sees influencing design are space efficiency and budget containment. “We’re seeing the focus for new projects are really around space efficiency and budget containment,” explains Martens. “Ensuring that the quality of the design solution proposed really and truly meets the work or the activities occurring within the facility — that it will respond to the changing work practices today.” DQ


IDIBC Awards of

Excellence


Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

Redefining the Value of Design

A

t a time when much of the world is in economic flux it serves us well to pause and consider the positive attributes of what we do as design professionals. This year marks the 25th anniversary of the Interior Designers of BC Awards of Excellence, and the winning entries highlighted in this issue of Design Quarterly reinforce the value of what our industry brings to the proverbial table. A panel of judges from across Canada collectively deemed this year’s body of work to be of a caliber on par with any other interior design competition program held nationally or internationally. A record number of submissions were received, all demonstrating a high level of design excellence. Our industry has matured tremendously, and clearly embraces a changing technological, social and environmental world. High praise indeed, considering the state of the design profession in past years. But times have changed. The end of the boom cycle and the onslaught of an economic correction mean that our role as designers needs to address the recent shift in order to preserve our own status and value as professionals. By redefining ourselves and acknowledging this new reality, we will be better prepared to address the current situation without introducing unnecessary turmoil within the design community. So how do we reinforce and refresh the value of design? There are some obvious approaches based on historical precedent: when the going gets tough, the tough get innovative. Clearly, the mandate of any creative endeavor is to produce better results through intro  ducing new ideas that also address satisfying unmet needs. This is not the

time to retreat and reverse courses, although there is a tendency to adopt such attitudes when making necessary adjustments in any venture. Although expectations may be lowered on both sides of the fence, we have a responsibility to demonstrate a higher level of resolve in what we do, whatever the situation. Working smarter, adopting collaborative strategies, and maintaining a rigorous focus on problem solving, at all levels of the design process, will set the foundation for any effective outcome. Justifiable thrift is the embodiment of efficient time and financial management, and should also be part of any design language in project output. A fundamental change in attitude that promotes responsibility and adaptability has already begun, and for designers, we should seize the moment and use this as an opportunity to elevate the bar in what we do to build better environments. More than ever, our work will be results driven, and we need to employ the best procedures in our practice of design to underscore our creativity, innovation and substance. Despite the challenges that accompany recessionary times, we must focus on maintaining our value message by working collaboratively with all stakeholders to ensure a stronger and brighter future in design. There is a call for our profession to prove to our audience and to ourselves that we can be a fundamental part of any recovery. By articulating how we plan to contribute, whether in good or not so good times, we guarantee our continued involvement as a profession that will deliver inventive, sustainable and enduring value. Jim Toy B.A. B.Arch. R.I.D. LEED A.P. President, Interior Designers Institute of B.C.

 

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DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009

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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

a work of art

BEST OF SHOW/RETAIL GOLD Salari Fine Carpet Collections — Splyce Design inc. by Cheryl Mah

R

etail design requires an understanding of not only what will work aesthetically but what will create a unique retail experience. Splyce Design achieved that and more with its renovation design for an established high-end carpet retailer in Vancouver’s Kerrisdale neighbourhood. The design firm’s innovative approach earned them top honours at this year’s IDIBC Awards of Excellence. The Salari Fine Carpet Collections showroom won Best in Show as well as a gold award out of a record number of more than 70 entries. “I was definitely surprised and very honoured,” says Nigel Parish, principal of Splyce Design. Salari Fine Carpet Collections is a family-run business, specializing in handknotted carpets for more than 35 years. The owner’s objective was to rebrand the store and reposition themselves in the market by differentiating themselves from other carpet retailers. Another key objective was to find a fresh new way of displaying luxury carpets to retail and trade clients.

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DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009

We n d y Ni am a t h

Client: Sasan Salari Location: Vancouver, BC Design Team: Nigel Parish Square footage: 1,800

“There was no definition of space before,” says Parish. “It was a big warehouse space that wasn’t really conducive to the product they were selling. It wasn’t an inviting setting.” Parish explored different options to redefine the conventional carpet store model: piles of rugs arranged on the floor with narrow circulation pathways between. Organizing the new showroom according to the spatial configuration of a theatre, Parish created an innovative retail strategy that showcases the merchandise as works of art. To create a memorable retail experience for customers, the showroom features a theatre-style gallery of rugs that are hung individually from the ceiling — a concept that breaks dramatically from the conventional carpet store model. “These are high end rugs — beautiful handmade rugs — but you don’t get that feeling when they’re all sitting on the floor,” says Parish. “The whole concept was to make them special products and works of art almost so each rug becomes a unique piece. Now the space is


We n dy Ni a ma th

Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

engaging and it invites you in and there’s a bit of intrigue and theatrics.” A bright white backdrop and three mahogany-coloured benches enhances the gallery style treatment for this 1,800 square foot space. Set against the warm white walls, the colour, quality and unique craftsmanship of each rug are articulated clearly. A 35 foot long raised platform creates the “stage” where individual hanging rugs on a novel sliding track system can be presented to clients. “Clients can sit down and the sales person brings out the rugs so it’s like they’re engaged in a show,” says Parish. The benches also roll aside to make room for on-floor carpet exhibit. Inset into the seating plane of each bench is a digital LCD panel that displays product images and literature, minimizing the dependency on printed materials. Across from the stage the wall is furred out to conceal a projecting column and services, and then carved out to frame a large, floor-toceiling, hanging rug. The space is subtle and modest with clean lines to avoid any visual clutter that would distract from the product itself. The dark black stained hardwood floors play off the white walls. “We infused the space with some warmth through the use of teak veneer,” notes Parish, adding a long narrow teak built-in counter is used as a viewing area for catalogues and samples. Another strong element in the showroom is the millwork for the rug storage cabinet be-

hind the sales counter. The 11 foot high teak unit separates the main formal showroom from the rest of the space, conceptually conceived as “backstage.” Located there are the business office, storage, a lunch room and additional rug inventory and display. The storefront also received new signage as part of the rebranding. “The storefront is a big pane of glass that allows for a lot of transparency and animation — it intrigues the passerby to go in. It’s quite unique on the street and it does captivate an audience,” says Parish. Some unexpected structural issues were encountered during the two month renovation. “With any renovation, the challenges are just dealing with the existing conditions,” says Parish. “You don’t have a clean palette to work with. But with challenges come opportunity.” Parish attributes the success of the project to “good energy” between himself and the owner. “He was really open to my ideas which is really key to achieving a great product in the end,” says Parish. “The owner has commented on the increase in business and foot traffic.” Owner Sasan Salari is thrilled with the showroom’s unique design. “Splyce did an amazing job revamping the Salari gallery into a strikingly contemporary space which completely sets us apart from other fine carpet retailers.” Splyce Design also won two additional awards — a gold and bronze in the residential category. Spring 2009 | DESIGN QUARTERLY

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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

Simplicity in Balance

E d Wh ite

RESIDENTIAL GOLD Private Residence — Mitchell Freedland Design by Susanna Chu

W

hen we caught up with Mitchell Freedland, he was heading out of town yet again. Business is buzzing. “Not that I’m complaining,” he’s quick to note. The heavy workload only makes him appreciate this year’s IDI residential gold award all the more. The winning project, a vacation home overlooking Lake Okanagan, was a designer’s dream. “It’s gratifying to be recognized for a project I love so much,” says Freedland. “We worked on it from the ground up.” Architect Howard Airey did the basic massing and framing, creating the building envelope, while Freedland had full control of all the interior detailing. “We decided where the walls met the ceilings, and where the ceilings met the millwork.” The artistic freedom gave him tremendous satisfaction. “That level of control and discipline as a designer is most gratifying.” Their respect for each other’s work shows. “The strict, simple design results in architecture and interior design that is wonderfully complementary,” noted the IDI judges. The judges were particularly impressed by the breezeway, which Freedland describes as “an integral part of the journey through the house. It linked the main entry gate to the front door as a means of teasing the guest with what lies ahead.” A luxurious pool welcomes a visitor on this journey. Between the breezeway’s ledgestone-clad columns, one catches glimpses of the “Great Room” at the far end of the pool. There, a travertine fireplace and artisan-crafted lounge chairs invite guests to relax. Bold lighting fixtures and a long dining table, meanwhile, add a more formal note. This grand entertainment area opens, in turn, onto the lakeside terrace beyond. The Great Room’s floor-to-ceiling glass frames, perfectly, the spectacular view. This public area gives form to the client’s vision of an entertainment space where guests are free to roam from inside to outside and back again. “The client is incredibly visual,” says Freedland. “There’s nothing better than a client with a strong vision.”

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DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009

That vision included insular private spaces. In contrast to the expansive views of the public areas, the bedrooms feature narrow windows. With the blinds drawn, the space becomes a cocoon. Yet its lines are not soft. Incredibly strong geometry throughout the home — another client directive — lend a certain masculinity to the design. “There’s nothing to blur the lines,” says Freedland. He adds, “The success of this project stems from rigid geometries married to softer forms, colours and textures.” The strict symmetry in the millwork, lighting and furniture could have been cold and institutional, were it not for the rough ledgestone and warm walnut. This limited materials palette not only creates a more organic feel, but also lends cohesiveness to the design. By using the same ledgestone featured on the exterior cladding, Freedland reinforced the continuity between exterior and interior spaces. The warm, inviting colour palette also offsets the hard lines: soft white alternates with rich walnut and dark brown. Textured furnishings and textiles further soften the space. They act as a “reminder that a family lives here. This is a home.” The balance between rigid geometries and softer elements is echoed in the interplay between light and dark throughout the home. The segmented walls and partitions of the master bedroom. A black custom-resin sink atop a pale grey travertine vanity, in turn surrounded by walnut walls, in the powder room. A white marble countertop with stainless-steel inlay set against walnut floors and cabinets in the kitchen. The compositions are striking. This “yin and yang” creates endless layers, each highlighting the other, bringing forms into sharp focus. The result is “clean, classic and contemporary,” says Freedland, who is “incredibly proud of this project.” And rightly so.

Location: Okanagan, BC Design Team: Mitchell Freedland, Gerald Day Square footage: 5,285


Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

UNFLINCHINGLY MODERN RESIDENTIAL GOLD Private Residence — Splyce Design inc. by Cheryl Mah

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DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009

Location: West Vancouver, BC Design Team: Nigel Parish Square footage: 4,800

Mi ch a el B o la n d X 2

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ocated in West Vancouver, this stunning 4,800 square foot custom home was built for a young and active family of five. Splyce design inc provided the architectural and interior design for the two and half spilt level residence described as unflinchingly modern with nicely tailored finishes. “It’s a modern space. When people think modern, they think cold. This is not,” says Splyce principal Nigel Parish. “There’s a lot of play of light and shadow and material mixes — a lot of details that infuse the space with some character and animation.” The house sits on an irregular pie shaped lot which was one of the main forces in shaping the design. To maintain the desired siting of the old house, this project maintained 90 per cent of the original foundation and some of the original framing. “The architecture and interior was ultimately shaped by site conditions,” says Parish. Approaching the house from the street, a 70 foot wide horizontal roof line punctuated with a deep 7 foot overhang dominates the view above the tree flanked property line. Beneath the rich texture and warmth of the cedar soffit, the exterior walls push in and out, creating a varied composition of solid and void in cedar and stucco. The design concept for the five bedroom home was to create open and flexible spaces. According to Parish, undulating walls planes and change in floor and ceiling elevation effectively define smaller intimate spaces within the larger spaces. Large sliding panels used in many areas of the home create flexibility. “The idea was to create open and very free flowing spaces while at the same time allowing for flexibility to create small intimate spaces primarily with the use of large sliding panels,” explains Parish. “The panels can render a space public or private, large or small, depending on their open or closed position.” Parish cites the double height main entryway as a highlight.

“It’s a breezeway that goes from front of the house to the back of the house,” he describes. “There’s a large skylight above and immediately when you enter, you get this feeling of big volume. Then there’s a steel bridge — basically a staircase — that crosses the double height space.” The top landing of the stair opens onto a large, south-west facing, outdoor room and sundeck, complete with a sink and food preparation area. The breezeway also acts like a chimney effect where any heat build up goes up through the skylight. Other environmental considerations in the home include radiant heated, polished concrete floors that act as a passive heating measure; operable skylights; low VOC paint; FSC certified woods; high efficiency appliances and low-flow plumbing fixtures. Almost every space has a related exterior space whether it be a deck or a terrace. For example, from the master bathroom, you can step out onto a private terrace. The home also has a large roof deck. “The client wanted seamless indoor outdoor spaces,” says Parish. “The house is south facing with lots of windows so it’s really light filled. There are big sliding doors in the living room that open wide to a beautiful yard…creating that seamless connection between indoors and out.” The home exudes simple, clean lines with natural materials used throughout to inject a sense of warmth and intimacy. The sunken living room features white oak floors while the rest of the home uses polished concrete floors. The kitchen boasts wenge cabinets mixed with caramel bamboo and caesarstone countertops. “When I’m designing a space like that, it’s a very thoughtful process. It’s about how everything together plays off one another and helps to really define the space,” says Parish.


Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

Clarity with Sophistication Multi-residential gold Millennium Water Presentation Centre McFarlane Green Biggar Architecture and Design Inc. By Susanna Chu

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lthough two of her projects scored gold at the IDI Awards this year, Michelle Biggar, a principal at McFarlane Green Biggar Architecture and Design Inc., couldn’t attend the ceremony. After all, she had just given birth to a baby boy. A month later, however, Michelle Biggar is eager to chat about the complex Millenium Water Presentation Centre (see also Obakki, on page 29). And yes, the centre promotes the False Creek development that will double as the 2010 Athletes’ Village, a development which promises to be Canada’s first LEED gold community. “There was so much information we needed to get across,” she says. “The key message was [the client’s] environmental [commitment]. Then there was all the other information…the surrounding community, how the development would deal with the Olympics,” as well as the details of each of the multiple phases. MGB began by demolishing the mezzanine levels of the original gymnasium and creating new ones. The design took full advantage of the double-height space. “There was a very large bracing right in the middle, so we incorporated a green wall to hide the large structural element,” says Biggar. This double-sided “living wall” is a grand gesture that anchors the space with simplicity and strength. It also clearly states the core design concept: sustainability. “It brings a simple order to all of the various functions of the sales centre and serves as a back drop to the whole experience,” adds Steve McFarlane, also an MGB principal. “It pays tribute to the large scale of the existing space while simultaneously humanizing it.” Using a single plant (Dracaena Janet Craig Compacta) gives the wall a uniform texture and creates a cleaner aesthetic. MGB, however, had to supplement the indirect natural lighting to sustain the 20

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Client: Millennium Group Location: Vancouver, B.C. Design Team: Michelle Biggar, Nick Foster, Melany Masel Square Footage: 11,000 plants. When the presentation centre closes, the wall’s panels can be dismantled and the modules installed throughout the development. At 30 feet wide by 18 feet high by 2 feet deep, this living wall dominates the space and effectively divides it into two. On one side, the closing rooms for finalizing deals and a boardroom overlook a context model of the complete development within its surrounding community. Housed in engineered white oak, the meeting rooms form a two-level “box within a box,” says Biggar. “We wanted to respect the shell of the warehouse. It’s almost like a jewellery box. This wood box is another element that grounds the whole space.” The same parquet-look millwork surrounds the green wall and forms the ceilings, walls and floors of the presentation centre, again emphasizing the sustainability aesthetic. On the other side of the living wall, indirect natural light saturates the design centre. Here, visitors can explore detailed models, doll houses, floor plans and vignettes. “The models were definitely a challenge,” says Biggar. The scale of the models kept increasing, and the design had to adapt. From the design centre, a visitor can enter a full-size display suite. The back of this mock-up has access to the parking area, so the display “can be demolished and a new one constructed for the next phase without interrupting the sales centre’s functioning,” says Biggar. And all that information about the Olympic legacy and community impact? The MGB team worked closely with Letterbox graphic designers to condense it onto oversized graphic panels. Along the back wall, each 16-foot-high lacquered MDF panel highlights a different topic. Panels describing specific project details, meanwhile, are interspersed among the design centre’s exhibits. The overall design, according to IDI judges, is “subtle and sophisticated... It credits the buyer with intelligence, yet the messages are very clear. An intriguing space that functions well.”


Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

SOPHISTICATED SPACE

WORKPLACE PARTIAL GOLD Telus House Atrium — Busby Perkins + Will Architects Co. By Fred DeVries

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Client: TELUS Location: Vancouver, BC Design Team: Peter Busby, M. Bonaventure, J. Huffman, B. Duffell, H. Lai, M. Galloway, V. Gillies, D. Philippot, S. Schou Square footage: 4,500

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hen most people walk into the main level of TELUS House Atrium, they look upward — to the massive 90-foot glass walls which frame both ends of the grand space and flood the area with natural light. When Jim Huffman walks into the same atrium, he looks up too. But he sees the details, the design that made the glass wall possible. “At each end, the two elliptical columns look like masts on a sail boat, and the arms that clamp onto the glass look like out riggers,” says Huffman, the design principal for the project at Busby Perkins + Will. “This is an elegant, simple way to support the weight of the glass.” In fact, at first glance, the design of the atrium appears simple. But what lies beneath and beside the space is what tells the whole story. The atrium replaces an eight-storey structure built in 1917 — which was seismically unsound. “The building was made of hand mixed concrete, which broke into rubble when we tested the concrete,” says Huffman. That posed a considerable problem, since the building housed much of the telephone equipment and switching lines TELUS needs to conduct its business. An earthquake would cause the building’s communications hub to collapse. Huffman and the team designed a seismic upgrade that would shore up the two adjacent TELUS buildings with the atrium in the middle. “All the buildings had considerable internal structure added to them so they would be stable,” he says. The top six floors of the middle building were removed, and the equipment lines and cables were moved into the floors below the atrium. “Communication equipment has become much smaller over the years, and TELUS found it didn’t need all the extra space,” says Huffman. The design created a ‘big breathing space’ between the two TELUS buildings and a perfect spot for an employee communal area. “Before staff worked in cubicles on their floor in a restricted working style,” says Huffman. “Now people can see down into the atrium and get a sense of what’s going on.”

In essence, the atrium has become a second work area for employees. Everything within the space is mobile — from the coffee bar to the planters to the garbage bins. With under-floor wiring and outlets, staff can plug in equipment wherever they want. This flexibility allows TELUS employees to meet in any configuration for a smallgroup meeting or a large presentation. “We designed a sophisticated communal space where people can gather and work,” he adds, “which gives a focal point to the building.” To connect the north and south buildings, the design team created two pedestrian bridges in the atrium, which directly connect at levels six and eight. A folded plate stairway gives access to floors three to six. Looking further up, a series of wood panels with acoustical insulation hang from the ceiling which help curb noise inside the atrium. With their slotted design, the panels also relate to other elements that repeat the same perforated pattern: stainless steel grates, light reflectors on the wall, and metal enclosures for door openers. “We repeated the same perforated idea over and over again to give a sense of connectedness in the whole space,” says Huffman. The team has also included ‘green’ energy in the building. Heat generated from the telecommunications equipment — housed below the atrium — is now captured to create heating. The atrium’s space enhances natural ventilation, by drawing air through adjacent buildings. While a challenging assignment (including the logistics of completing the retrofit while not interrupting the client’s operations), Huffman would do it again. “I love going to the space because it’s light and airy and because I can see how people use the atrium,” he says. “That’s gratifying.”


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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

SPACIOUS ELEGANCE WORKPLACE PARTIAL GOLD Omni World Group — Gittins & Co. by Cheryl Mah

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Client: Omni World Group Location: Vancouver, BC Design Team: Cecilia Gittins Square footage: 2,700

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rojecting the right image to clients is key in any business and even more so in the financial world. Creating an impressive and striking image for an international capital investment firm on a tight budget garnered the design firm Gittins &Co. a gold award at this year’s IDIBC Awards of Excellence. Judges commended the successful solution and how the “elements work beautifully together.” “One feels very honoured when a panel of peers selects your project...perhaps it is the knowledge that a professional’s critical eye has approved the design you’ve created,” says principal Cecilia Gittins. Omni World Group wanted to convert its existing office space located at the Waterfront Centre in Vancouver to convey a spacious elegance. Gittins & Co. successfully did that by executing a design concept that focused on giving the plan symmetry and organization while creating the transparencies necessary to bathe the space in light. “The overall concept was to project a striking image by creating an impressive and spacious elegance while flooding the space with light,” says Gittins, adding daylight access was provided to more than 75 per cent of interior spaces. The office was re-configured so that when viewed from the elevator lobby, the new reception desk sits on an axis to the glass double entry doors. To create further symmetry and a sense of organization twin waiting areas were placed at reception. According to Gittins, the reception area and boardroom are the two highlights that define the space creating that striking image the client was after. Ample flow and circulation was provided around the reception desk and feature glass wall permitting a luxurious sense of openness. Beyond the reception, one finds a series of elegant glass fronted offices. The

boardroom, placed to one side of reception, is encased in glass again achieving the transparency and spaciousness desired by the client. The theme of transparencies grew out of the necessity to make the 2,700 square foot space appear as large as it could. “One area blends into another and the eye perceives layers of forms beckoning the visitor to the next space,” says Gittins. The use of high contrast colours and reflective materials also helped to achieve the desired effect. The flooring is a combination of glossy cream tile and light coloured carpets. The monochromatic scheme continues on the walls creating a foil for vibrant artwork. To contrast the ethereal colours, caffé expresso was chosen for all the wood articulations. Steelcase workstations for the approximately 15 staff are a mixture of glass, aluminium and cream colour textiles. “The workstations are open and airy to facilitate close staff interaction,” describes Gittins. Many of the existing partitions including doors and hardware were reclaimed. Other environmental considerations included energy efficient lighting, HVAC and appliances. All appliances were energy star compliant. “On average the recycled content of materials was 25 per cent,” notes Gittins. Retaining many of the existing partitions also enabled savings on HVAC, lighting and construction. All of this was accomplished on a tight budget, one of the main challenges on this project.


Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

ATTENTION TO DETAIL WORKPLACE TOTAL GOLD Aritzia Studios — BattersbyHowat by Cheryl Mah

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ransforming a heritage factory building into a beautiful and vibrant office space for a leading retail clothing boutique meant demanding attention to detail for design firm BattersbyHowat. Aritizia, a local clothing company that caters to young women, wanted an open plan office interior that would not only consolidate designers and related support staff in one location but also reflect the exuberant design culture of the company. “We really focused on the detailing in this space and tried to present a cohesive image for Aritzia which was appropriate for a company that’s geared towards young women and at the same time sophisticated,” says principal David Battersby. Located near the industrial waterfront in Vancouver, the 25,000 square foot space features offices and large central work spaces to accommodate approximately 120 employees. The highlight of the design is the extensive use of solid western hemlock screens which successfully provide scale transitions, acoustic benefits and connectivity in the space. “It becomes an aesthetic in the space that ties everything together,” explains Battersby. “Because there are these disparate bits of program within the office, you need to somehow coalesce one cohesive image and we did that with the screens.” He adds the hemlock was also chosen for its lightness in colour while “white oak was used for all the millwork because it’s similar in value but different grain quality.” A limited material palette also provides cohesion and aesthetic longevity — white enameled steel, glass, glossy low-VOC epoxy finished concrete floors, tectum acoustic panels and custom designed carpeted tile “area rugs.” White enameled steel was a dominant material used and can be seen in custom desks, the reception desk and bathroom counters. Battersby notes that colours are “subtle and quiet” with splashes of accent colouring (pale blue, green and mauve) in different areas. Digitally reproduced botanical graphics were also used to adorn white walls, reflecting similar ones seen in the Aritzia retail stores. The idea was to have a tranquil space that does not interfere with the creative clothing design process,” says Battersby. Describing the look as “bright and crisp,” he says the design is influenced by a central and northern modern European aesthetic. Trying to achieve what he would call a Canadian Nordic design quality. “It’s so dreary here so it needed to be optimistic. It’s a modest, modern and optimistic space,” says Battersby. This project was also an exciting opportunity for BattersbyHowat to showcase what they can do for corporate interiors. “We primarily do high-end residential work although this is an area of our practice that we’re really interested in developing — more large scale corporate interiors,” notes Battersby. “For us, it was a real opportunity to show what we could do and that we could do it well.” Not only can BattersbyHowat do it well, they can do it very well. Their efforts on this project were recognized with an IDIBC gold award. “We’re really pleased with the quality and feel of the design — it’s exactly what we were hoping it would be like,” says Battersby.

Client: Aritzia Location: Vancouver, BC Design Team: David Battersby, Heather Howat, Scott Lawrie Square footage: 25,000 Spring 2009 | DESIGN QUARTERLY

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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

CREATIVE VISION

E m a P e te r

HEALTHCARE & PERSONAL SERVICES GOLD Noam Gagnon Wellness Centre Beyond Pilates Stantec Architecture By Tracey Block

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t was an exercise in creativity and vision: how to remodel a mundane, uninviting retail facility into Vancouver’s premier Pilates studio. Stantec Architecture principal Noel Best was energized by the demands of the space. “What the job was all about actually, was a complete change to this really raw, low-end 1970s strip-mall kind of building,” says Best. The phoenix-like transformation earned Best and his team, including Paul Luhman of Stantec Consulting and Stantec interior designers Kent Goodwin and Bridget Freeman-Marsh, an IDIBC gold medal. With previous tenant improvements removed, the space was stripped back to an almost bare 2,476 square foot room. Best saw the $328,000 project, which opened in May 2007, as an interior renovation all about colour, material finishes and treatment of light. Entering the facility’s atrium provides a striking contrast to the din of downtown street traffic and noise. An immediate sense of tranquility envelopes the visitor who is met by a grand bouquet of flowers set on a low, stainless steel-topped, wooden table before a dramatic backlit image of a slender figure. High walls enclose the lobby to create a richer entry sequence. According to Best, client Noam Gagnon, who is himself the arched figure featured in the backlit image, chose the foyer’s bouquet. “He wanted to have a dramatic, but very simple entry,” says Best. The second level comprises a reception area, two adjacent studios, change rooms and washrooms, a massage room and private office. Plasterboard panels are suspended to conceal services and simplify the space while maintaining a sense of volume. The studio equipment, significant in both character and colour, is the centerpiece of the design. Best says the client already possessed some of the equipment, so such choices as the red colour and the wood were already made. “We chose to have the equipment in the forefront, making the background relatively neutral,” explains Best. “The dark floor and the white walls allowed the equipment to stand out quite dramatically.”

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Client: Noam Gagnon Location: Vancouver, BC Design Team: Noel Best, Kent Goodwin, Bridget Freeman-Marsh Square footage: 2,476 Height differences between the two adjacent studios called for innovative lighting treatments. Reflected light is achieved by utilizing ceiling panels with two-foot, T8 fluorescent uplights. In the case of the upper studio, they are combined with four-inch downlights to mitigate the effect of its lower, seven-foot ceiling. Window treatments provided another challenge for lighting and for supporting an atmosphere of harmony. To take advantage of the daylight from the side windows while obscuring an uninspired lane view, floor-to-ceiling translucent shades are set within a frame projected off the wall. A six-foot, red filtered fluorescent sits inside the frame at the floor line, providing an ever-shifting balance of natural and artificial light. Reminiscent of a Mark Rothko painting, it turns one of the building’s more prosaic components into one of its most distinctive features. “These sheer blinds actually allow you to get the daylight in, but turns the view into a bit of an abstraction,” says Best. “You can still see exterior shapes and colour, and the daylight, but you don’t see the nitty-gritty of the street.” Mirrors, lighting, and ceiling panels are coupled with each piece of studio equipment to create a sense of privacy in a relatively open space. In the upper studio, a mirror hangs at each workout mat, where equipment is bolted to the walls. Unlike the typical wall-to wall mirrors found in dance studios or public washrooms, Best’s goal was to establish a space for one. “Rather than seeing everyone else who’s working, the idea here is to provide an individual mirror opposite each piece of equipment,” says Best. “You only see yourself, so it actually gives you a bit of a sense of privacy.”


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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

A WELCOMING STORY

EDUCATION/INSTITUTIONAL SPACES GOLD International Terminal Building Expansion Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. by Cheryl Mah

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reating an important landmark that integrates old and new at the Vancouver International Airport (YVR) meant telling another chapter in the story of BC’s land, sea and sky for Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. The successful completion of the international terminal building expansion earned IDIBC gold for the design firm. “The whole idea of land, sea and sky is the essence of the design and to be recognized for it is excellent,” says Kasian lead designer Michael McDonald. The expansion connects and integrates the architecture of the domestic and International terminals as well as the adjacent Passenger Pier C, while creating on a grand scale, a central entry point for passengers to the airport. “The idea was to create an iconic front door so that from both outside and inside there would be recognizable elements that would help passengers in their wayfinding and orientation,” says McDonald, adding the building will also serve as the main entry for passengers from the new Canada Line station. The fully integrated architectural and interior design theme proposed for this project is a continuation of the successful approach adopted for the entire airport: land, sea and sky. The theme is intended to reflect both the natural beauty and the cultural heritage of the province. These expressions are achieved by incorporating local forms, materials and colours into the framework of the existing building and the new expansion. The centerpiece of the five storey high expansion, the Link building, is its unique glass and steel oval shape. The imagery in the oval was to create a sensation of hovering in space. Form and materials are used to reinforce sense of suspension. Materials are reflective, transparent, milky glass with no visible light sources. The space itself feels ethereal and calm, serene. “The highlight is certainly the glass oval,” says McDonald. “It’s the welcoming element. It’s all about being able to connect passengers both inside and outside the terminal to the story of BC. The totem pole is also a key feature and tells a story about the connection between land and sky.” Original Pacific Northwest Coast Native art can be found throughout YVR and in the Link building, two central pieces help to highlight BC’s rich heritage. Celebrating Flight is a 10-metre totem pole and Moon Mask is a striking circular piece that overlooks the building’s central atrium.

And if you look way up high, coloured lights playing on a series of curved glass ceiling panels create the illusion of the aurora borealis. The ceiling is tipped 7 degrees to be visible to the level 3 roadway so that from both inside and outside it becomes an orientation element. “The aura borealis is a lighting element using 3form panels. It’s a main wayfinding element — a unique element in the overall composition of the airport. And the form itself is a recognizable geometry. It’s like exclamation point at the front door,” explains McDonald. “Then of course the totem is another wayfinding element so that passengers can always make reference to the totem and say: I’ll meet you at the totem.” The ‘tree’ column structural bays used in the international terminal are carried through into the new Link building. “We built on that idea in this expansion and we added branches to the trees so that the branches to the trees now form a canopy enhancing the wayfinding —the root — between the terminals,” says McDonald. “It will be a catalyst for future renovations. The ceramic floor tiles also reinforce the theme. “It’s about the transition from water to shore. You see the pixelated tiles on what we call the highway connecting the international terminal with the domestic terminal is a blue tile and as it transitions to the ticketing counters, it moves to the shore so the tiles start to transform to a sandy earth colour,” says McDonald. Detailed project phasing was essential to ensure that all gates remained open and the ongoing operation of the airport remained uncompromised during construction. “One of the challenges was completing the project with ongoing operations. The airport can’t close and there can’t be interruption to service so to be able to complete the project required many phases and the phases were all orchestrated to keep the terminal at full capacity and not to interrupt service,” he says. Collaboration was key to the success of this three year project. “The success was all about collaboration…between the airport team, operations and maintenance as well as the contractor Ledcor and the Kasian team,” says McDonald.

Client: Vancouver Airport Authority Location: Richmond, BC Design Team: Michael McDonald, Deborah Day, Kristalina Dinovsky-Kutev, Dana Graf, Andre Thomson, Chris Young, O.G. Soriano, Steven Wang Square footage: 46,500


Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

Unconventional Solutions

S c ott M or ga n

RETAIL GOLD Obakki — McFarlane Green Biggar Architecture and Design Inc. By Susanna Chu

Client: Treana & Ryan Peake Location: Vancouver, BC Design Team: Michelle Biggar, Michael Green Square Footage: 5,554

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he assignment: convert a Gastown heritage space into a sophisticated fashion boutique — in less than six weeks. Design and construction included. A nightmare? Hardly. Michelle Biggar and Michael Green, principals at McFarlane Green Biggar Architecture and Design Inc., were both keen to tackle the challenge. “We knew it would be fun,” says Green of the Obakki project. “We wanted to do it together.” A tight timeline and even tighter budget led to unconventional solutions. “A lot of the design was done standing in the space talking about issues, not churning out drawings,” says Green. “Everyone was involved and took pride in the project…The contractor’s voice mattered. The client’s voice mattered. Good ideas come from everywhere.” Not only did everyone’s voice matter, so did everyone’s hand. The client sewed off-cuts into curtains to create instant circular dressing rooms, a clever way to maximize space. Since the space remains wide open except when in use, the design avoided sectioning off an entire area for change rooms. The client also sewed the curtains that screen a heritage red brick wall. “On this fabric wall, we included several tracks so that the client can take [the curtains] off completely, or add layers to change the space up,” says Biggar. This layered fabric wall allows the client to adapt the backdrop to suit Obakki’s evolving aesthetic. “We design a space to last a 100 years,” says Green. “In retail, it’s five years. The key is to not follow the style of the day. We can’t predict where the clothing [line] will go…. It’s like building a vase. When you change the flowers, the vase changes. That’s what makes for good retail.” He feels fortunate that in this case, “the raw space was beautifully handled by [architect] Omer Arbel and Scott Hawthorne, the landlord.”

To preserve the integrity of the board-form concrete shear walls and concrete floors, MGB opted for a simple approach. “The challenge was not to do too much,” says Biggar. “We had this beautiful raw space and wanted the clothes to stand out.” The completed space effectively creates a long walkway, which the client frequently uses for fashion shows. Bold custom fixtures add depth to this narrow space. For a central piece called “shattered,” millwork sculptor Brent Comber broke apart and re-glued reclaimed timber. “We had a great collaboration with Brent,” says Biggar, noting that MGB designed Corian elements around Comber’s sculpture to create a dramatic point-of-sale station. The millwork sculpture’s motif is reflected in the light fixtures above it. With no time to seek CSA approval for custom fixtures, the team enclosed $1.25 porcelain light fixtures in painted boxes. “The painted box points light down into floating shards of translucent acrylic,” says Green. Suspended by fishing line, the striking sculpture creates light deep in the narrow space and adds punch to the point of sale. A less dramatic, yet equally intriguing, detail is the knife edges on the drywall, painstakingly crafted by the general contractor, Artech Construction Ltd. “It looks like a zero edge,” says Biggar. Close collaboration with Artech, she adds, was crucial. “They were working around the clock and we had to assess things on site.” “Michelle and I were there every single day during construction,” adds Green. Biggar, an IDIBC associate member, and Green, MAIBC, shared the lead designer role, but did not differentiate between their nominal professions. “I don’t see any distinction between architecture and interior design,” says Green, noting that MGB designs everything from cutlery to landscapes. “It’s all architecture. It’s all interior design… Design is design is design.” Spring 2009 | DESIGN QUARTERLY

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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence RETAIL SILVER Museum of Anthropology Retail Stantec Architecture

Ni c k Me r r i c k

RETAIL SILVER Haworth Calgary showroom & Learning Centre Busby Perkins + Will Architects Co.

“A very successful solution that achieves the client goals.” Client: Haworth Location: Calgary, AB Design Team: Eva Maddox, Peter Busby, Rod Vickroy, Patrick Gryzbek, Simon Trude, Dawn Tuttle, Lynette Klein, Chrystine Doerr, Erinn Dornaus, Robert Kempa, Brian Wakelin, Geoff Miller Square footage: 25,000 30

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ocated in Calgary, Alberta, Haworth’s new state-of the-art showroom and learning centre (named Environmemts) encompasses 25,000 square feet with in the 780,000 square foot facility and includes an updated client reception area and three new learning laboratories. It offers a unique, immersive and educational experience. A renovation of Haworth’s existing two-story office and showroom, the Haworth Sustainability Knowledge Centre updates the existing showroom space and provides new accommodations for education about the company’s sustainable initiatives in design and manufacturing. The design team married adaptable Haworth products with its sustainable building practices to create a one-of-a-kind experience. The showroom focuses on the environmental benefits of wood products and modular interiors, both of which are manufactured in the adjoining factory. A freestanding storey wood wall in the lobby showcases reclaimed white oak as a backdrop for the reception desk. The 5,700 square foot sustainability exhibit on the second floor is built primarily from Haworth modular walls and features four spaces: the Refresh and Wood Salon, an informal gathering space with Douglas Fir furniture by Vancouver designer Brent Comber; the Sustainable Construction Lab, which showcases the advantages of building with modular wall and floor systems; the Modular Planning Lab, which compares the flexibility of modular interiors to conventional construction; and the Multi-Communications Room, a state-of-the-art meeting space with smart boards, teleconferencing and flexible seating, promoting the advantages of Haworth’s sustainable product line. Sensitive landscaping, passive design strategies, low-emitting materials, and the diversion of 95 per cent of construction waste from the landfill are expected to help the building achieve a LEED CI Gold rating.

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he Museum Shop features a fine selection of original Northwest Coast jewellery, masks, carvings, baskets, and limited edition prints. The primary objective of the design of the gift shop was to optimize revenue potential, while maintaining the strong sense of the classic modern building architecture, and to provide focus and sparkle on the merchandise against the daylit background of the forest. Natural materials and colours complement the fine First Nations artwork while enhancing the warmth of the exposed concrete interior architecture. Kasan carved doors removed from the exterior of the museum were reused within the retail space as after hours security while providing an elegant portal during business hours. The final result of the overall design by the Stantec design team has proven to have attained the clients goals of increased sales and earnings making the shop a very vital part of the museum’s overall business plan.

“They have effectively opened up the space to create a very flexible store that is both warm and inviting.”

Location: Vancouver, BC Design Team: Noel Best, Jo Ellen Kelly, Jose Antonio Raymundo, Kent Goodwin, Anthony Ponce Square footage: 1,580


Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence WORKPLACE PARTIAL SILVER Boughton Law Corporation Omicron

Ni c k D i dl i c k

WORKPLACE PARTIAL SILVER Red Bull Lounge Seeton Shinkewski Design Group

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eeton Shinkewski Design Group was commissioned to create a multipurpose space that would be an extension of the client’s existing office. The space features a kitchen, lounge, casual meeting room, entertainment venue, gallery and presentation centre. It was to be versatile with many moods and evolving functions. The focus of the space supports and exudes Red Bull’s culture and lifestyle as opposed to its brand. SSDG’s solution was to deliver a design that is strong and simple in form; crisp and clean with an edge. Light was used as form of artistic expression. For example, horizontal light shelves can stand on their own or can be used to display product or collectables. Circular lights that mimic the bottom of the can while highlighting the DJ booth and turntables. The cutting edge audio visual element of this space is an integral part of this project. Developed in collaboration with an AV consultant, the high quality system is complex yet simple to use. The AV equipment can also be hidden away when not in use. Highlights include two large receivers installed on glides for easy access and to conceal all wires and cords. The DJ booth is designed with built-in record bins and lockable storage for the turntables and mixer. Theatre like surround sound is available for film premieres and TV. The flexible space can with a touch of button go from party mode to meeting mode. The space is changed by controlling the large projection screen, ceiling mounted projector, opaque roller blinds, black out blinds, DVD and TV system, lighting and sound system.

Client: Red Bull Location: Vancouver, BC Design Team: Kenna Manley, Susan Steeves, Deanna Kilt Square footage: 1,100

E d Wh ite X 2

“Terrific representation and reinforcement of the corporate identity.”

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oughton Law Corporation is a full service law firm located in downtown Vancouver. The primary objective of the 14,000 square foot company tenant improvement project was to create flexible, extensive client meeting spaces within the ‘front-of-the-house’ areas. Therefore, the reception space, main conference room and meeting rooms are the ‘dressed’ areas that easily expand and contract. Sliding door systems are specified to further extend the spacious quality of the design. Private offices and workstations are considered to be ‘back-of-the-house’ and are more utilitarian in emphasis.Clean, contemporary detailing with extensive access and connection to natural light throughout the work environment was an overarching requirement for this project. For this reason, doors and sidelights are fabricated of glass door/wall systems and private office walls are fully glazed into the interior workstation areas.

“The common and convertible meeting spaces are very cool.” Client: Boughton Law Corporation Location: Vancouver, BC Design Team: Lori Billson, Patricia Mejia, Devon Lui, Jim Reitz, Jeanette Frost, Kit Mun Chan Square Footage: 14,000 Spring 2009 | DESIGN QUARTERLY

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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence WORKPLACE TOTAL SILVER Slater Vecchio LLP Group 5 Design Associates Ltd.

“Great job of getting natural light to everyone.” Client: Slater Vecchio Location: Vancouver, BC Design Team: Ian Dubienski, Tracy Collins, Rick MacKillop Square footage: 12,000

J oh n S h e r loc k

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later Vecchio is a leading personal injury law firm with offices located in the World Trade Centre at Canada Place in the heart of Vancouver. The 12,000 square foot office accommodates 14 lawyers and 50 staff. The objective was to create a bright, contemporary, distinct law office utilizing clean, crisp, architectural lines with light neutral finishes with state-of-art furniture and technology. The lobby floor features white marble tile with a black granite ‘spine’ pattern. The pierced ‘skylight’ reflects the floor pattern. A feature artglass screen in the divides the space and introduces a blue glass accent. Warm grey wool carpet is used to ground the light ash wood and fabric walls. All furniture is custom designed. In the work areas, for maximum light, offices have full glass sidelights with blue accent glass. Wood wall screen divides the space and reinforces transparency. 54” high workstation panels were used to maximize daylight and views for staff. Carpet tile for the work area complies with Green Label Plus Standards and contains 30-50 per cent recycled content. Flintwood (reconstituted wood veneer) is on office furniture and workstations and is Greenguard certified. Challenges on this project included a small and difficult building floor plate and core configuration. The number of people to be accommodated and the unusual ratio of lawyers to support staff (4:1) required a very efficient plan.

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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence WORKPLACE TOTAL SILVER YVR Authority Consolidated Offices Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd.

Ma r ti n Te ssl e r

E d W h i te

WORKPLACE TOTAL SILVER Sustainable Solutions Int’l Headquarters Penner & Associates

“Definitely somewhere I would like to work.”

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he design by Penner & Associates for the new corporate headquarters for Sustainable Solutions located in Burnaby aims to have the sustainability targets of the space recognized through LEED for Commercial Interiors certification. The goals for this project included establishing a brand identity for the company and creating space to accommodate display of waterefficient plumbing fixtures, faucets and accessories. The space includes a reception/lounge area, five offices, five open area workstations with flexibility for future additions, support areas and a kitchen/bar to support events and evening functions. A retractable screen divides the space and provides one of several surfaces for a variety of projected digital images. The design team chose to convey an aquatic theme throughout the space with the use of a colour palette of blue and green accents combined with transparent and reflective materials. Crisp white field projects an image of cleanliness and acts as a canvas for displays. Adjustable lighting adaptable for changing product displays was used as well as non-PVC blinds to reduce heat gain and control glare from extensive glazing. The office features an open, airy, flexible and healthy working space for staff with access to daylight and views of the Fraser River. Beyond aesthetics and functionality, the design considered reduced environmental impact of construction and operations. Over the term of the lease, these leadership decisions will add up to significant savings for SSi, and may encourage visiting clients and neighbouring tenants to follow suit.

“The aquious effect of the boardroom is especially intriguing.” Client: Sustainable Solutions Location: Burnaby, BC Design Team: Shelley Penner, Robin McIntosh, Carole Root Square footage: 4,118 34

DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009

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his project consolidates most of the office functions for the YVR and is located on the fifth level of the new Link building between the international and domestic terminals. The intention of this project was to develop a unique design response that is consistent with the thematic master plan established for the overall terminal expansion. The design of the corporate offices reinforces the nature and culture of B.C. and the ‘Land, Sea, and Sky’ theme that defines the airport as a unique “global gateway”. The outcome of the visioning session and subsequent design workshops resulted in a “West Coast Sky” thematic concept for the interior space. The offices have three distinct zones expressed in concentric bands between the curved six storey “oval” atrium and the exterior curved glass wall overlooking the tarmac. The public zone includes the reception, a series of meeting rooms and a pre-function area bordering the oval. The communal zone contains the central staff lounge, courtyard and light-well, and the work zone includes offices and open workstation areas. Central to the design concept are circulation pathways that either radiate south to north from the “oval” to the exterior windows, or mirror the shape of the “oval” in concentric curves running east to west. A large, irregular, floor plate, anchored by two light-well/courtyards, and bordered by two curved walls, made planning challenging. Reflecting the shape of the floor through placement of design elements and a series of parallel and radiating corridors turned challenge into opportunity and reinforced the concept of ‘shafts of light’ through trees. Careful use of materials, lighting, and architectural details accommodated YVR’s desire to replicate the high quality design approach prevalent in the terminal building, while respecting budget expectations. The team created a high performance, healthy and environmentally sound project modeled to the LEED rating system. Some of the sustainable features are: fundamental and enhanced commissioning and energy performance, storage /collection of recycling, resource reuse, and recycled content and, construction IAQ management plans, low VOCs, controllability of systems, access to daylight and views.

Client: YVR Location: Vancouver, BC Design Team: Carol Jones, Erica Wickes, Dana Graf Square footage: 15,500


Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence HOSPITALITY SILVER Shang Noodle Restaurant GovanBrownSzeto Construction

E d W h i te

Ni c L e h o u x

HEALTHCARE & PERSONAL SERVICES SILVER Harbour Centre Dental Matthew Soules Architecture Inc.

“A striking and graceful solution”

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he design team sought to reinvent the experience of a dental clinic by creatively assessing the aesthetic context of contemporary dentistry. The result is a stunning interior renovation of this 1,600 square foot storefront space in downtown Vancouver. Understanding that white and whiteness and the question of natural versus artificial are of fundamental importance in the cultural position of dentistry, the design seeks to play with these concepts to create a space that is clean and minimal yet varied and textured. Shades of white are deployed in an environment of minimal construction detailing to create a dominant ambience of light and etherality. Natural texture manifests itself in degrees of artifec in the living organic entry wall, the walnut wood thresholds to the clinical space and the close up photography of the recessed light boxes. In order to enable aesthetic transformation of the space over time the light boxes have been designed to facilitate easy graphic transition and various graphic regimes have been developed.

“Stunningly beautiful.”

Client: Dr. Kary Taylor Location: Vancouver, BC Design Team: Matthew Soules Square footage: 1,600

C

reating a restaurant that offers quick, quality ingredients in a casual and inviting atmosphere was the premise behind the Shang Noodle House. Located at the Starlight Casino in New Westminster next to the Kirin Restaurant, this 2,890 square foot space was the perfect location to offer an alternative menu selection. Right from the start the client told GovanBrownSzeto’s design team that they wanted this restaurant to be geared towards a younger age group. They wanted it to have a light airy feel reminiscent of a bistro café and in contrast to the rich décor of the Kirin, a soft palette of tranquil pastel colours was chosen. Although the space has seating for 76, the main focus is the dim sum counter with overhead plasmas for patron viewing. Because the client wanted to install a conveyor belt into the counter to allow for a continuous stream of fresh menu offerings, the challenge was to design it in such a way that would allow for this unique equipment installment. The strength of the colour scheme relies on a layering of textures to create its warm effect: zebra laminate on the entry wall with bent willow branches in the opening to create a whimsical screen; pom-pom like light fixtures; and a rich resilient floor of golden minerals and stone illuminates throughout the space. Lastly, to ensure its casual feel, small bistro tables and fun contemporary café chairs were chosen to complete the look.

“The detailing is great, and relates well to the whole theme of the restaurant.” Client: Shang Noodle Restaurant Location: New Westminster, BC Design Team: Cornelia Lepage, Louis De Araujo, Dav Szeto, Douglas Yee Square footage: 2,890 Spring 2009 | DESIGN QUARTERLY

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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence HOSPITALITY SILVER Deuce Restaurant M Studio Design Consultants Inc.

A l e x P i ro

L a r r y G o l dste i n

HOSPITALITY SILVER LURE Salon Box Interior Design Inc.

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he design objective of the new Lure salon was to create an evocative, memorable and functional salon for first time owners, Dan Nguyen & Linda Refosco on an entry level budget. By taking advantage of the storefront glazing, the design showcases the clients’ point of brand differentiation (excellent technical services), provides natural light for best colour rendering, and allows staff and clients to see and be seen in an urban setting with a regency flair. By using strong hits of colour, (as in the entry reception and shampoo station) the space transcends the typical “white on white” salon aesthetic to a brand strengthening recognition. The existing two level space defines the layout of zones. Reception, retail and changing rooms are on the lower entry level while the cutting stations and shampoo are on the upper level. Patterned wallcovering, a reception desk clad in faux white ostrich leather and mirrors behind establish the glam factor upon arrival. Retail is an important source of revenue in a salon, so the display shelving anchors the end wall of the reception and strengthens its impact. A circular patterned screen defines the two levels as separate but still allows visual access to both areas. The salon industry by its nature is one of glamour and beauty, so this visual connectiveness of all areas, reinforces this see and be seen concept. The design team successfully created an elegant, exciting salon that has since opening, attracted a dedicated and loyal following.

“A design that transcends trendy.”

Client: Dan Nguyen & Linda Refosco Location: Vancouver, BC Design Team: Jay Brooks, Cynthia Penner, Tara Lingle Square footage: 2,000

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DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009

“Unique lighting and great wood details make this a terrific room.”

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esigned by the team at M Studio Design, Deuce Restaurant brings a sophisticated downtown style lounge dining experience to Central Lonsdale on the Northshore. The restaurant features an inventive tapas style menu along with an imaginative cocktail list. The design team was challenged with creating a casual, contemporary environment that would appeal to all ages where guests can relax, socialize and enjoy the local flavours. The restaurant features large windows and high ceilings with a front room, bar and back room with an open-concept kitchen. From the stunning lounge area featuring a solid stone topped bar and a contemporary chrome chandelier to the clean white tables and bench seating in the dining area, the 1,800 square foot restaurant succeeds in exuding a cozy atmosphere. Light, natural, West Coast materials such as ash wood paneling and slate ledgestone were used. Millwork and furniture were selected to create simple and clean lines. Lighting is simple, giving the space an overall glow. Backlit bench seating in the lounge and dining area is accented by a palette of natural colours, textures and rich brown fabric and leather upholstery. The central bar anchors and bisects the space. The separation is highlighted with linear back bar detail that wraps to the ceiling and connects to a wine display on the opposite wall.

Client: Robert Gietl Location: North Vancouver, BC Design Team: Marilou Rudakewich, May Cheng Square footage: 1,800


Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence HOSPITALITY SILVER Abbotsford Regional Hospital MCM Interiors Ltd.

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he client’s objective was to create a clubhouse that would present them as a leader in the Okanagan Valley and “raise the bar” to create an appeal beyond the golfing community. The land and colours of the semi arid area where the clubhouse is located inspired the design. Commissioned in January 2008, the design team was challenged to deliver the renovated golf clubhouse on a fast track schedule for the season opening date of mid April. The design called for 90 per cent of the building interior to be stripped back to the drywall and in some cases to the bare studs. It was decided early on not to touch the kitchen or move the restroom. SSDG used ‘rapid results’ for all design decisions. Time limits were set on key items such as concept ideas, space plans, finishes, furnishing, materials and key millwork details. Drop-dead dates were also set for all items to be ordered. To eliminate the tendency to work linearly on this project project teams were setup to accomplish specific tasks based on the agreed design concept. This challenged the team to source local products, materials and fabricators. One of the major choices was to build the concept and scheme around the carpet pattern and colours. The carpet was also the first item to be ordered. All products had to be available within 30 days from the end of January.

“They have created a dramatic space with a great resort atmosphere.” Client: Wesbild Holdings Ltd Location: Vernon, BC Design Team: Gerry Shinkewski, Shauna Root, Sandra Ho

E d Wh ite

Ge r r y S h ink e w sk i

HOSPITALITY SILVER Predator Ridge Golf Resort Clubhouse Seeton Shinkewski Design Group

“The nicest hospital cafeteria I have ever seen.”

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pened in 2008, the Abbotsford Regional Hospital and Cancer Centre is the first P3 hospital in Canada and the first new regional hospital to be built in more than 20 years. The team at MCM Interiors was given the task of creating a dining facility in the hospital that would provide a nonhospital atmosphere for patients, visitors and staff enjoyment. The design concept was derived from graphics of fruits and berries capitalizing on appetite stimulating colours while retaining a warm and relaxing environment. Planning allowed for 24 hour use of the dining area while securing the servery space. There is access to the outdoors and natural light. Environmental considerations included materials researched for sustainability, reuse and recycled content to meet the LEED Gold criteria. Lighting and environment controls were selected to meet low energy requirements but still create a high impact space. This project was the first P3 hospital project in BC as well as a LEED NC Gold. Cost control was critical throughout the process to meet the P3 requirement which sometimes was at odds with the guidelines for LEED, sustainability and a healthy environment.

Location: Abbotsford, BC Design Team: Edith Wormsbecker, Alexis Palenstein, John Parkinson Square footage: 4,800

Spring 2009 | DESIGN QUARTERLY

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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

RESIDENTIAL BRONZE Private Residence Splyce Design inc. Design Team: Nigel Parish

RESIDENTIAL BRONZE Argyle Penthouse Mitchell Freeland Design Design Team: Mitchell Freedland, Olivia Sze

MULTI-RESIDENTIAL BRONZE Tapestry Residence BBA Design Consultants Design Team: Sharon Bortolotto, Jennifer Brown, Scott Trepp, Sally Han

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DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009


Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

WORKPLACE TOTAL BRONZE Design Office False Creek Design Group Design Team: Jim Toy, Eliza Najo, Dale Buote

EDUCATION/INSTITUTIONAL SPACES BRONZE YVR West Chevron Expansion Stantec Architecture Ltd. Design Team: Tom Schaeferle, Janice Hicks, Kent Goodwin, Susan Smallenberg, Clive Grout Bridget Freeman-Marsh, Dave Jaster

RETAIL SILVER Harley-Davidson of Edmonton Stantec Architecture Ltd. Design Team: Mark Travis, Darren Burns, Ivan Velikov, Charles Reynolds

Spring 2009 | DESIGN QUARTERLY

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Special Supplement IDIBC Awards of Excellence

HOSPITALITY BRONZE Aura Restaurant Ledingham Design Design Team: Robert Ledingham, Denise Ashmore, Gordon Heppner, Michael Ngui

HOSPITALITY BRONZE Nita Lake Lodge BBA Design Consultants Design Team: Sharon Bortolotto, Madeline Eng, Sally Han, Monika Kruzel, Suzie Fong

HOSPITALITY BRONZE Arbutus Club Spa Stantec Architecture Design Team: Jo Ellen Kelly, Erika Kasuga, David Christian

HOSPITALITY BRONZE Kirin Restaurants GovanBrownSzeto Construction Design Team: Cornelia Lepage, Louis DeArajo, Dav Szeto, Douglas Yee

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DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009


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heritage restoration by Mitch Sakumoto

T

he Pennsylvania Hotel was designed in 1906 by William Tuff Whiteway, one of Vancouver’s leading and prolific architects of the period and possibly best remembered for his design of the Vancouver World Building aka the Sun Tower in 1912. Originally named the Woods Hotel and built for JS and Eliza Woods, the Pennsylvania was located along the vibrant commercial strip of Hastings Street in Vancouver’s downtown. Significant value of the Woods Hotel was largely due to the historic relationship between this downtown area and the economy of early Vancouver, specifically in its association with Gastown’s history as a mixed-use district and the centre for Vancouver’s trade and manufacturing Over the intervening century, the building significantly deteriorated along with the once vibrant neighbourhood in which it is located. In 1999, The Portland Hotel Society purchased the vacant and derelict building from the City of Vancouver with an agreement in place to provide much needed SRO units (Single Room Occupancy) to house some of Vancouver’s homeless people. The building, in its abandoned and deteriorated state, served as a bleak reminder for a number of years of the need for effective social housing. Sufficient funds were ultimately raised through a partnership of multiple public and private sources and restoration of the building re-established a living environment that tenants may once more take pride in, while recalling in perpetuity the former significance and value of the building within the community. In 2005, we were commissioned to seismically upgrade and rehabilitate the five storey plus basement level, Class ‘B’ heritage structure to create a supervised housing facility comprised of 44 fully self-contained SRO studio-type units complete with a living room, kitchenette, and private bathrooms that include a shower. Twelve (12) of the 44 units have been designed with enhanced accessibility for handicapped or physically challenged occupants. Each of the four (4) upper level tenant floors include common laundry facilities and a lounge / elevator lobby space. The ground level entry offers a main lobby, a reception / office area and a separate TV lounge space. Commercial spaces have also been reinstated on the ground level for retail or restaurant opportunities which include new glazed storefront windows with transom windows above. The existing and original areaway below the sidewalk along Carrall Street has been refurbished with new glass block light prisms, designed as originally intended to let natural light penetrate from street level through to the basement level. A striking new neon sign has also been designed and built to replicate the sign on the building as seen in photographs dating from the 1920s. The original building consisted of heavy timber construction complete with load bearing wood wall partitions requiring seismic upgrading to conform to current building codes. Two cast-in-place concrete stair cores were added to help stiffen the structure plus provide proper exiting from each floor level as per current building code requirements. Additional steel structure was added to reinforce existing wood beams and columns, along with the addition of new wood members to aid in the new seismic design. To comply with current code standards, the challenge is to integrate Structural, Mechanical, Electrical, Envelope and Architectural components in the least obtrusive manner possible. New sprinklers, ducts, lighting, conduit etc. must be added and coordinated with both new and existing construc-

tion conditions, adding to the challenge of blending the old and new. At the outset of the project, five storey combustible construction was not permitted by code. However, to save significant heritage buildings from demolition, each project must be reviewed individually to determine how best practices can be creatively applied to upgrade the building in a respectful way while properly protecting both the occupants and building in response to fire and life safety issues. Many of the existing heritage elements salvaged and reused internally and externally included:

exterior: • Restoration of missing exterior elements such as decorative sheet metal cornices at each floor level • Preservation of corner octagonal bay window complete with restoration of turret roof and spire above bay. • Replication of the second historic ‘Pennsylvania’ neon sign on Hastings St. (1927 vintage)

interior: • Preservation and refurbishment of the interior wood trim and baseboards where possible at existing wood windows. • Reuse of existing wood coffered ceilings on Ground Level Entry lobby ceiling. • Re-creation of original tiled flooring pattern in main entry lobby of Ground Level. With the support and collaboration of governmental and community partners, construction of the Carrall Street Greenway initiative by the City of Vancouver and the rehabilitation of many heritage buildings along Carrall Street, the revitalization of the Downtown Eastside is gaining momentum. The rehabilitation of the Pennsylvania Hotel allows this heritage building to begin a new life, providing a home to many homeless people while reinstating an “icon” in the community. DQ Mitch Sakumoto is a principal at Merrick Architecture — Borowski Lintott Sakumoto Fligg Ltd. Spring 2009 | DESIGN QUARTERLY

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S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E | B C W o o d W O R K S ! 2 0 0 9 W o o d D esign Awards

Winners Demonstrate Wood Versatility and Beauty

T

he fifth annual design competition hosted by BC Wood WORKS! saw a record 110 nominations coming from across the province as well as from outside Canada. The awards honour excellence in wood-based projects, and to recognize the people and organizations that are pioneering and presenting the use of wood in B.C. The results of the wood design awards competition show how wood can deliver everything from warmth and beauty to leading-edge technological solutions — meeting the needs of any project, large or small. The 2009 BC Wood Design Awards Gala was held March 9 at the Fairmont Waterfront Hotel in downtown Vancouver.

Architect Award, Shelley Craig, Urban Arts Architecture Shelley Craig with Bill Downing, CEO of Structurlam Products Ltd., sponsor of the Architect Award.


S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E | B C W o o d W O R K S ! 2 0 0 9 W o o d D esign Awards

Interior Beauty of Wood — Residential Elma Bay Residence Helliwell+Smith-Blue Sky Architecture Inc.

Residential Wood Design Gulf Island House, Mayne Island Matthew Woodruff Architecture Inc.

Interior Beauty of Wood — Commercial Vancouver Conference Centre Expansion Project, Vancouver Island Precision Manufacturing Ltd.

Multi-Unit Residential Wood Design Canvas, Kitsilano Vancouver B Squared Architecture Inc.

Wood Champion Locke MacKinnon Domingo Gibson & Associates Ltd.

Industry Leader Award Gary Crooks of Kelowna Former vice president, southern operations of the Council of Forest Industries


S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E | B C W o o d W O R K S ! 2 0 0 9 W o o d D esign Awards

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S P E C I A L A D V E R T I S I N G F E AT U R E | B C W o o d W O R K S ! 2 0 0 9 W o o d D esign Awards

Commercial Wood Design Tobiano Golf Clubhouse and Maintenance Building, Kamloops a k a Architecture + Design

Institutional Design Richmond Olympic Oval, Richmond Cannon Design and Fast+Epp Structural Engineers

Western Red Cedar Award — Residential Richmond Gate, Victoria D’Ambrosio Architecture and Urbanism

Western Red Cedar — Non-Residential Squamish Lil’wat Cultural Centre, Whistler Alfred Waugh Architect

Engineer Award Art Gallery of Ontario — Expansion and Renovation Equilibrium Consulting Inc

Green Building Award Okanagan Mountain Fire Pavilion Renaissance Architecture Planning Inc Allen and Maurer Architects Ltd.


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leveraging design as a corporate asset By Holly Shearer

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n unsettled economic times, many office tenants are lacking the confidence to move or renovate due to seemingly unmanageable construction costs. Understandable, considering that in the past five years, commercial interior construction costs have increased by at least 50 per cent. Add to that the cost of the physical move, various new furniture items, and the disruption of staff and operations, and no wonder it’s an undesirable proposition for some company leaders. Through a thorough analysis and smart choices made during leasing, budgeting and design development stages, designers can help clients in their projects even in challenging economic times. Construction cost savings, space plan efficiencies, and increased productivity are all likely to occur with a new set of plans. Interior commercial construction costs are now on the decrease. Although the raw cost of steel, drywall, cabling, and other basic materials have not decreased, labour and supervision costs have decreased. The trades doing the work are becoming more competitive. Specific trades that have previously been severely inflated based on demand, such as millwork and electrical, now bring substantial savings to the new economy. As well, allowing the time for competitive bids will definitely create savings, unlike in 2008 and earlier. 46

Designers can assist clients to understand that an office relocation or renovation project can save on bottom-line costs by creating efficiencies and increasing productivity. A competitive lease rate combined with creative know-how in space planning can decrease the square foot cost per person. Multi-purpose rooms, moveable walls, and flexible furniture systems allow simple reconfigurations, ensuring every square foot of space is continually utilized. Creative planning and resourcefulness can allow much needed technology, particularly in boardrooms and copy centres, to enter the workplace. An efficient workplace that is well branded with the company’s image and values is proven to strengthen morale among employees. It’s an opportunity to showcase how design can be leveraged as a corporate asset by using the office facility as a strategic tool for recognition and position in the market. Upfront planning and budgeting is critical to any relocation or renovation project. Once a few prospective buildings have been identified, a professional workplace designer can provide a feasibility study comparing space required and construction costs in different buildings. The most important ally is time. Tenants should start exploring new space and options to renovate or move one to two years in advance of their lease expiry. An accurate

Designers can assist clients to understand that an office relocation or renovation project can save on bottom-line costs...

DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009


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Only at

feasibility study, once analyzed, will determine whether the best action is to relocate or stay put. By conducting reviews of the lease offer, the designer will advise on the landlord portion of the work. Knowing how the landlord will hand over new space to the tenant is imperative for accurate costing. As designers, we are capable of interpreting the construction terminology, ensuring the tenant is not paying for items considered as base building. This review should be early on in the process, to allow time for negotiation. Along with office space lease costs, the design development stage of the project presents a large potential for cost savings. The selection of materials such as carpet and wood species can have a slight impact. But greater savings come from decisions to cut back on millwork items, specialty ceilings and stone or tile floors. Lighting and plumbing selections, as well as appliances all have a large variance in pricing. Audio-visual equipment and installation costs have proven to vary greatly depending on supplier. Electrical and mechanical costs typically make up 30 per cent of the overall construction amount. It is imperative that the designer has knowledge, from prior review of the lease, of the building’s electrical and mechanical systems, engineers and contractors, to determine where savings can be recognized. Creative design and experience comes into play here, to ensure the design intent and image of the corporation is still strongly realized. With this methodology, designers can provide high impact interior design while maintaining cost sensibilities for corporate clients. The recent mindset of the corporate client to be financially responsible is not a new concept. Although Calgary has just experienced a few years of luxury, of seemingly openended spending on high budget projects, we realize it is time get back to basics in order to help clients reach their financial and operational goals. DQ Holly Shearer is a licensed interior designer with the Alberta Association of Architects. She acts as a resource, providing information on design trends and construction costs to leasing brokers and office tenants. The firm’s current work includes large oil and gas clients, engineering firms, high-tech corporations, legal firms and medical facilities.

Designer: Rene Picard Design Custom Window Coverings, Window Seat, Headboard and Bedding: Windowworks

Designer Custom Advantages Let us introduce you to a world of inspiration. With over 22 years of experience and 26 master craftsmen, we are Western Canada’s largest custom drapery workroom able to replicate any window treatment or upholstered furniture you desire. From dressing a single window to major renovation projects spanning several rooms, your design ideas will see the light at Windowworks. Our services include: • Updated showroom showcasing many innovations and inspirations in window coverings • Hunter Douglas Gallery and an Exclusive Gold 20/20 Product Satisfaction Guarantee • Large fabric library featuring Maxwell, Joanne, Robert Allen, Kravet, Jab, Ennis, Tritex, Aftex and drapery hardware • Shutters in wood, polyresins and aluminum • Motorization • Installation services

Where will your inspiration take you? For all the possibilities visit our showroom at 10-13331 Vulcan Way Richmond 604-231-1433 www.windowworks.ca

Spring 2009 | DESIGN QUARTERLY

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clean, simple and grey Grey is the colour this year. Cabinetry, tiles, sinks, faucets and more are all trending towards this versatile and sophisticated colour.

by Cheryl Mah Photos courtesy of Ames Tile & Stone and Blanco Canada

Inspired by the fusion of performance and aesthetics, D-sign features a soft undulated surface and semi matte finish.

G

rey is the new neutral. That’s what a packed room heard at the annual Buildex Vancouver tradeshow where designer Andrew Pike delivered an entertaining and insightful presentation on European influences in the kitchen. Pike, a Toronto based designer and HGTV host, made his first trip to Vancouver in February to discuss the new aesthetic directions in kitchen design. Calling European design “inspiring,” he discussed the three big kitchen design trends heading to Canada from Europe in 2009: bleached, contemporary industrial and the new jewel tone. “We’re seeing a lot of products and materials now that are taking the colour out,” he said of the bleached trend. “Grey is becoming the new neutral. You’re seeing it coming in all kinds of products in all

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DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009

kinds of ranges. Clients are really drawn to it because it’s still calm, it’s still workable with just about everything they have and you still can pop it with colour if you want to — throw in some pink, turquoise or green and you can bring it to life.” He noted the browns, caramels and lattes are into a 10 year cycle and are starting to be on their way out. “You’re looking at kitchens that are clean, simple, grey, tone on tone in those colours,” said Pike, who illustrated his presentation with slides of projects as well as product samples. He highlighted examples of new cabinetry available such as a wood veneer in a washed grey with edged detailing to it and an Italian laminate in grey with warm undertones. Tiles and stones are also coming out in the natural grey tones along with furnishings and soft goods.


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“They’re all coming out in these grey colours with that hint of metallic,” he said. “It’s just beautiful because you can still work with them in just about any environment and pop them with colour.” Two trends for countertops that he commended were flamed surfaces and thinner countertops. He cited that SieMatic, a world-renowned German manufacturer of high-end kitchens, is doing flamed surfaces as countertops and backsplashes. It’s not polished or honed, leaving a natural roughness to the stone, explained Pike, describing it as “spectacular.” “Another trend is we started with 2 cm material as countertop material, then we bumped it up to 3 cm…and now they’ve gone to 1 cm which is absolutely fantastic,” said Pike. “It’s a really contemporary look, it’s cost effective and it’s also probably quite eco-friendly because we’re using less product.” What is also popular in countertops is quartz composite. “People like the beauty and the durability of natural quartz and granite…it’s more durable, stain and scratch resistant. And they come in beautiful greys that work with all of the other things that are happening — the sinks, faucets, appliances and cabinetry,” noted Pike. Wallpaper is making a comeback too. “Another thing that’s really hot right now is wallpaper,” stated Pike. “It’s really big now and especially in small spaces. I love the fact that wallpaper is coming back. There are all these big graphic patterns in grey. Used in whole rooms or feature walls… great great opportunity.” The second trend is contemporary industrial, which Pike described as “an absolutely beautiful look.” “We’re definitely trending towards things that have a more natural feel, a more handcrafted feel…things that are architecturally inspired are very successful and really hot right now,” he explained. Pike believes the current economic market is reflected in the desire for an industrial look. “In economies like these where everything’s slowing down, people are being more careful,” he said. “People are paying more attention to what they’re buying. It’s not as frivolous. They’re really starting to look at — am I getting value for my money.” A product Pike was excited about is BLANCO’s new MicroEdge sinks. Designed and manufactured in Germany, they are now being introduced into the Canadian market. “One of the reasons I’m so excited about this product is because for the first time in 10 years, something new is happening in stainless steel,” said Pike. The sink’s flat-rim design creates a sleek and flawless flush-tocounter look, essentially creating the illusion of a flushmount sink. “Flushmounting has never really caught on in Canada because we cannot do it. There’s a huge problem being able to create the recess in stone, quartz or granite that is needed — that 1 mm to 11/2 mm

Above: Glam showcases a slight diagonal texture that shimmers with every touch of light. Left: Innovative new Blanco MicroEdge sinks create the illusion of a flushmount sink without the risks of a messy edge or the costs associated with expensive flushmount installation.

to flushmount the sink,” said Pike. “When I lived in Germany, it was really hot because they have the ability with their fabricators to make that happen. We generally do not although it’s improving all the time and we’re working on it.” He added the sink is also great for renovations because it can replace an existing one without having to replace the entire countertop. “If you have clients who want to update the kitchen but don’t want to do the countertops….you can have it re-cut and dropped in,” said Pike. Of course, eco-friendly products are popular. Pike discussed a number of products that are available such as bamboo and slate veneers. Many products now use a water-based lacquer finish so there’s no off gassing. Another way to achieve that industrial feel is through a mix of materials. Pike demonstrated that with hardware samples that combined wood and metal on handles. The industrial feel can carry into tiles as well with numerous stainless steel options available. “Stainless steel tiles immediately say industrial feel,” he said. The final trend according to Pike is the new jewel tone. Colour is still popular but it’s changing. “We’re seeing the acidity taken out of the colour…seeing the saturation taken out of the colour…they’re not as hot,” explained Pike. “The colour is still out there — pink, green, blue, orange but it’s just a little bit more understated. People I think feel safer going this way than with the really vibrant colours they were using a couple of years ago.” Sinks, faucets and appliances are all available in a variety of colours to help clients achieve the look they want. Pike said the array of colours in products now give clients the option to do “something different”. If clients want to pop the space with just a little bit of colour, they can make the sink a feature colour, for example. “Faucet manufacturers are now producing things in stainless steel, brushed stainless steel…taking them into the greys away from polished nickel and chrome which have been popular for so long,” said Pike. He added European designers are moving away from stainless steel appliances into colour. “Appliances were only available in black, white and stainless. Now we’re seeing appliances in gun metal, oil bronzed and integrated appliances are big,” he said. He acknowledged, however, that a red or lime green kitchen is definitely a “harder sell” to clients but the colour options are available. DQ Spring 2009 | DESIGN QUARTERLY

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a concrete choice by Yves St Hilaire

T

oday we have more choices then ever when it comes to picking the right material for our kitchen countertops. Do you go with the traditional look of granite or opt for a more “organic” look with concrete? Yes concrete. We see it everyday and most of us can’t help but walk or drive on it. It is second only to water in substance use in the world. It is a unique material that allows clients to customize the shape, size, colour of their concrete. A fusion of materials with concrete, like wood, stainless steel or granite can bring new life and style to one’s kitchen. There are many other uses for concrete in and around one’s home, besides countertops — bathrooms (with integral sink), fireplace surrounds, outdoor kitchen tops and landscape features are just a few options. You just have to find an artisan that is willing to mix and pour you beautiful creations. Let us be the first to admit that concrete countertops are not perfect. It doesn’t look or behave like other solid surfaces such as granite, marble or other synthetic materials. Concrete countertops will develop its own characteristics and age with time as hardwood floors do. And that is part of the charm that concrete creates. A challenge concrete countertops has had in the past is the ability to withstand staining. Today there are various choices to protect the surface while retaining a natural look and feel. With so many choices, you should discuss these options with your concrete countertop manufacturer. We are using a food safe, no VOC sealer that is stain resistant, natural looking and easily applied by the homeowner themselves. (re-application in heavy use areas once a year — less then 10 minutes to apply). Again your supplier will have directions on the maintenance and sealing options for your concrete. Other advantage that concrete countertops have over other solid surfaces is the ability to repair any damages that can occur if chipped. (eg. damage from a cast iron pan). Instead of having to live with a chip, you can have the concrete manufacturer do a site visit for an economical and easy repair. Good for the wallet and mother earth. Do you want curves, slanted edges, drainboards or hot plates as part of the counter? Concrete allows for these types of options. You can also embed personalized items such as ammonite fossils, rocks or recycled glass. Colour choices vary from natural (no pigment added) to popular charcoal tones and earth tones to bright vivid colours (achieved by adding pigments to the concrete during mixing.) 50

DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009

An artisan can customize your piece with polishing and grinding techniques that will expose the elements inside the mix (rock or glass). Concrete with a polished look can sometimes be mistaken for other solid surfaces such as granite. But concrete is much more versatile and economical. For example, it is possible in bathrooms to cast sinks and other fixtures directly into the concrete counters, making it seamless. Concrete countertop thickness ranges from 1.5” to 6” or more if desired. When it comes to weight, concrete is comparable to other solid surfaces at 22lbs per square foot at 1.5” thick. Costs will vary depending on factors, such as sizing, thickness, type of edge, or exposing rocks (by grinding). On average a reputable company will charge anywhere from $80 to $110 per square foot. An important issue that should be on all of our minds when it comes to choosing a material is the environment. Concrete is readily available by local suppliers and doesn’t incur a large carbon footprint in transporting like granite does. A portion of our mix is fly-ash which is a by product of coal burning. Sand and aggregate make up the rest of the mixture and are a much greener options than found in many synthetic surfaces. Manufacturers are striving to incorporate sustainable practices to minimize impacts to the environment. Other factors that designers should know that affect the desired look when it comes to concrete countertops is the way that they are manufactured. There are two methods 1) cast in place, which is poured in the home or 2) pre-cast (most popular among manufacturers) which is done in a shop. The advantages of pre-cast are we can control the elements while getting a perfect pour every time. A cast in place can never be as flat and smooth as a pre-cast made surface. If you have a client looking for something that is unique, functional and stunning, concrete can be that medium for their kitchens or other rooms. Countertops are an intimate material that can help achieve that special aesthetic for the kitchen where homeowners often entertain and plan their holidays with family. Most of us would agree that a kitchen is the heart of the home and should be crafted to become just that. DQ Yves St Hilaire is owner of Countercast Concrete Designs Inc. Visit the website at www.countercast.com or call 604.542.1322.


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cabinets go green By James Loppie

T

he new trend in design is to create ideas and solutions using organic materials in natural ways. The greenminded interior design client now demands furniture pieces, products and furnishings that are ecological, reliable and sustainable, while keeping up with current and upcoming trends. Demand for green options in kitchen cabinetry is growing, reflecting today’s desire to employ eco-friendly materials and to minimize the environmental footprint. Many of the options available are made from rapidly renewable resources and salvaged materials. As part of a new ‘form meets function’ design sensibility, materials can be presented in their raw state, with clean, linear lines, and subtle curvatures, emphasizing a return to the natural way of living. For example, environmentally friendly glass can be incorporated as floating shelves inside cabinets helping to create that overall fresh look for the kitchen. Mixing traditional components, such as recycled glass and aluminum, with innovative materials, like bamboo, palm and coconut bark is a unique way of introducing eco-friendly materials to the modern kitchen. For years, wood has been the traditional material of choice for cabinets. Wood-finished cabinets are still the style of choice. An alternative and popular wood material that is a renewable resource used for cabinets is bamboo. Bamboo is aesthetically attractive, durable and LEED certified. Bamboo-ply can be used to create beautiful cabinet doors and drawers. Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) and hardwoods-plywood sustain these structures by providing the base materials for drawer and cabinet backings and bottoms. LEED and FSC certified bamboo possesses a similar density to domestic hardwoods that can also be used for cutting boards and utensils. A quickly renewing material, bamboo is also the fastest growing

plant on the planet and consumes more carbon dioxide than other trees. Bamboo’s natural composition allows for its usage in its natural state, thus minimizing the use of harsh chemicals from the production process, such as urea formaldehyde or chemical adhesives. MDF is 100 per cent recycled wood fiber that also contains no added urea formaldehyde. The material meets FSC certification, while scoring a 4.4 LEED credit for its low emissions. Products carrying the FSC label are individually approved to assure they come from well managed forests that meet the ecological, economic and social needs of present and future generations. Many traditional cabinets are made with materials that are put together with harmful chemical adhesives and other treatments. Modern green cabinetry not only uses sustainable materials to offer clients a unique aesthetic appearance, they are also assembled using low and zero VOC based adhesives stain and clear coats. When it comes to cabinet finishes, manufacturers are also looking at low VOC paints and stains. To compliment the cabinets in the kitchen, quartz is a perfect choice for countertops. It is one of nature’s hardest minerals. Quartz countertop material is manufactured with up to 93 per cent quartz and is mixed with high-quality polymer resins that are certified low-emitting. Quartz is also easy to clean and difficult to scratch, thus making the material an excellent clean and healthy choice for the kitchen. In search of the most effective, environmentally-sound way to design kitchens, designers now have an abundance of options to satisfy the eco-conscious client, while staying true to environmentallyconscious values. DQ James Loppie is the design manager and creative director of Umbrella Cabinetry, which is a custom cabinetry manufacturer, with forward thinking ideas and strong environmental roots. Spring 2009 | DESIGN QUARTERLY

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bathroom sinks

Reflecting Personalities By Marike Boersma

C

urrent sink trends in the residential market is a real challenge to nail down because there are so many trends, so many choices, not to mention the new designs hitting the international plumbing fairs almost on a monthly basis. Easier would be to mention the “been there, done that’s.” There is a real trend for each bathroom in the house to have a unique individual look. Because each bathroom speaks to the individual that uses it the most (and the old adage “form follows function” still holds true) the type of sink used tends to change from bathroom to bathroom. The function of the bathroom needs to be discussed foremost with clients to correctly reflect their personalities.

power room A favourite place to start is the powder room, because it truly is and should be the most glamorous, sexy, stylish bathroom of them all. It is the bathroom that wants to impress, show-off. It is the alter-ego of all the other bathrooms. Soft, curved pedestals such as Gessi’s “MIMI”, or Vitraform’s Arabesque that have a sculptural feel, Stone Forest’s shallow stone slabs with hidden drains, Wawirka’s bronze asymmetrical vessels that are autographed by the artist are just a smidge of what is hot. Organic shapes, oversized bowls, materials such as bamboo, concrete, honey onyx, are all on the scene and being scooped up for the Big Show.

master ensuite The master ensuite also ranks high in the luxury department being that this space has become somewhat of a sanctuary and much of the homeowner’s personal time is spent here. It needs to feel comfortable. The sink here tends to be larger, mostly undermount on the traditional side and semi-recessed or vessel like in the more contemporary. Shapes are kept simple, typically oval or rectangular with a classic, clean feel. For instance, a 15” x 19” oval undermount is a staple and has been for decades; what is changing, however, is the shape of the well. Kallista’s Barbara Barry has her signature cross carved into the mould, and has cut the ends off the oval making it more rectilinear on two sides. To add interest, Villeroy and Boch have created an almond shaped oval bowl with more depth, available in three sizes, with their “Loop & Friends” series.

Warwika Wave

Oversized vessels, almost trough-like, are a sleek look for the master ensuite. These can double as space savers accommodating two faucets on one large sink. White and off whites such as linen, pergamon or biscuit still lead in the porcelains. Some under lit glass or hammered silver nickel are popular here too.

secondary bathrooms Secondary bathroom sinks are kept simple and typical throughout the house. They tend to be more relaxed, maybe a 15” x 15” square Wetmar ™ undermount with a flat bottom such as the one produced by our own Canadian company Wetstyle or the 16 ½” semi-recessed Twin Set by Flaminia Ceramica.

kitchen When it comes to sinks, a substantial shift is occurring in the kitchen. Heavy-duty 16-gauge stainless steel, one big bowl (“as big as my cabinet will allow”), extra deep, and professional looking are what are on the specification sheet over and over again. Every platter, stockpot, cookie sheet will no doubt fit for easy clean up. Gone are the days of washing up in the tub.

accessories With these sinks, there are accessories too. Cutting boards that fit right on top for easy disposal of vegetable scraps, if you are not on the composting programme. Colanders, drying racks, and bottom grids are all being used to protecting the bottom of the sink from those inevitable stainless steel scratches. DQ Marike Boersma is an architectural representative at Cantu Bathrooms and Hardware Ltd.

Stone Forest Vessel

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DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009


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mirror mirror on the wall by Michael Bornyk

B

athroom lighting is a subject that people are highly critical of because it affects their own appearance. Bathroom lighting around the vanity or mirror needs to be bright but not glaring, accurate yet flattering, and for public/commercial spaces low maintenance and low power. Colour is also a consideration. Currently the most popular colours in bathroom lighting are rich fairly dark organic colours as well as the darker brushed silvers. Besides colour, here are some other considerations for lighting.

Placement The best mirror lighting surrounds the face with light. This provides light from all sides that minimizes shadows under the chin, eyes, cheeks, and forehead. This does not mean that you have to use ‘Hollywood’ style lights (those strips that use the round light bulbs). A wall sconce on either side of the mirror can work nicely. Normally you want the centre of the fixture at about 66” above the finished floor and at least 30” apart (these specs will vary according to the particulars of the room and fixture). If the room has a whole wall mirror you can mount the fixtures right on the mirror. Mounting the fixtures on the mirror requires extra planning and coordination with the electrical contractor and the glass supplier. Also be aware that some types of fixtures will look better on a mirror than other types (because of the reflections). Avoid using ceiling mounted fixtures as the sole source unless the room is very small with light coloured walls. Large bathrooms often need additional lighting besides the mirror lighting. Definitely don’t rely on recessed cans for mirror lighting, the shadows can be horrendous. If a recessed type must be used, consider constructing a luminous soffit with two 4’ fluorescent tubes. The most common placement for mirror lighting is on the wall above the mirror. Though this is not ideal it avoids most conflicts with mirror size, medicine cabinet doors, and room dimensions. However the fixture needs to be long enough to light the sides of the face.

Lamp type Colour qualities, light distribution, and maintenance costs are all heavily dependent on the type of lamp the fixture uses. It is very important to first choose the lamp you want to use and then find a fixture that will hold it properly. With fluorescent lamps you have choices when it comes to the colour properties of the lamp. The two main colour properties the specifier should know about are colour temperature and colour rendering. Colour rendering (expressed as CRI) is another key colour quality. CRI is a scale from 0 to 100, the higher the CRI the better. Daylight is considered to be 100 Old style fluorescent; “cool white” and “warm white” are 62 and 52 respectively The newer fluorescent tubes (T-5) and compact fluorescents are about 80. We strongly suggest that you keep your colour temperature between 2700 and 3500k in a bathroom to give the light some softness and avoid the pale washed out look higher colour temperatures can give you (4500-6000k).

Light distribution is a key element in effective mirror lighting. Even, shadowless light is easiest on the eyes, and fluorescent sources are well suited to this task. Spotlights, clear bulbs or small halogens require lots of shielding or diffusion from the fixture for

glare control. This will tend to reduce the light level necessitating the use of higher wattages.

Fixture Style When selecting a fixture style choose one that has a translucent lens. If the lens is clear the fixture may be glaring. If it is opaque (metal, ceramic, etc.) it will not pass enough light directly to the face. Be sure that the lens will not change the colour of the light (some glass is rather green). Check that the fixture meets your maintenance requirements for relamping, cleaning, and spare parts. Most ‘vanity’ fixtures are linear and many of them can be mounted horizontally above, or vertically on the sides, of the mirror. If you choose to use wall sconces in small rooms select ones that are narrow as these will fit best. Spa themes and Crystal are a very popular choice right now. Also becoming very popular is Energy Star approved fixtures for their long life and energy saving attributes www.greenlightingcanada.com DQ Michael Bornyk has spent more than 20 years in the lighting industry across Western Canada. He presently manages several lighting manufacturing facilities as well as North American distribution of several product Lines including Energy Star approved lighting fixtures under the Green Lighting Eco products brand name. Spring 2009 | DESIGN QUARTERLY

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::::::: headlines :::::::

ADVERTISING INDEX

INDUSTRY MEET AT BUILDEX More than 10,000 professionals gathered at this year’s annual Buildex Vancouver tradeshow in the city’s downtown Vancouver Convention & Exhibition Centre. This annual trade show and conference for the design, building and real estate management industries was united under the brand name of Buildex for 2009, amalgamating four separate trades shows into one. The two day trade event featured more than 500 exhibitors and 100 industry professional speakers at 50 seminars discussing trends and key issues facing the industry. The two international design roundtables were again highlights at the event. The interior design panel discussed “Design for Change” and how design is responding to new economic, technological and social realities while the architect panel debated the difficulties of creating “complete communities.” The speakers on the architectural panel were eloquent in their discussion about community development. Granville Island, Woodward’s project and the proposed San Francisco Treasure Island were all highlighted as good examples of a complete community. Sustainabiilty as noted is now a framework of urban design. The Downtown Eastside also inspired a lot of discussion. Considering the current economic downturn, attendance was still up and commitment for next year is strong. “Sixty percent of exhibit space at next year’s show has already been secured, just two weeks after Buildex 2009,” said Dave Tyldesley, show director.   Buildex 2010 will be held at the new Vancouver Convention Centre West April 21 & 22.

2nd Century Rugs

IBC

Bartle & Gibson

4

BC Hydro

9

Coast Wholesale Appliances

7

Commercial Electronics

17

Delta Glass

32

Hari Stones

13

Kohler

23

Light Resource

15

Northwest Stoves

12

Odyssey Wall Coverings OBC Priority Projects

32

Robinson Lighting and Bath Centre

IFC

Satin Finish

5

Sound-Rite Acoustics

19

Van Gogh

21

Wide Plank Hardwood/Baer

27

Windowworks

47

PUTTING OUT THE RITZ

RAIC GOLD

CRYSTALS FOR NEW RESORT

Vancouver’s downtown Ritz-Carlton project has been officially cancelled. The proposed 60 storey iconic tower designed by Arthur Erickson has become the latest victim of the global recession. Construction on the half a billion dollar project was halted last fall. About 50 per cent of the excavation for the foundation had already been completed. The design called for a 127-room luxury Ritz-Carlton hotel to occupy the first 20 floors of the tower, with condos taking up the top 40 floors. It would have been only the third Ritz-Carlton-branded hotel in Canada and the second tallest building in the city if it had opened in 2011 as planned. With only 50 per cent of the condominium units pre-sold, developer Holborn Group moved ahead with the cancellation.

Vancouver architects John Patkau and Patricia Patkau were recognized for their significant contribution to Canadian architecture with the highest honour in the profession of architecture. They were recipients of this year’s Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Gold Medal.Both architects are graduates of the University of Manitoba. They founded Patkau Architects in Edmonton in 1979, relocating to Vancouver in 1984. The firm has received significant national and international awards over the years.

Sparkling Hill Resort and Wellness Hotel located in Vernon overlooking Okanagan Lake, will be the first hotel project in North America incorporating Swarovski Crystal elements into every aspect of its design. Andy Altmayer, head of Circle of Innovation, at Swarovski, Austria, is overseeing the project design. Light and crystals will play a pivotal role in the overall structure as well as throughout the unique interior of the 240,000 square foot resort. The $50 million dollar, 150 room hotel project is on schedule to open in spring 2010.

CHARITY WORK B.A. Robinson Co. Ltd. staff on its annual Partners Plus Program trip in March 2009 participated in one of two build days held in conjunction with Habitat for Humanity Costa Rica. They were the only Canadian company to assist Habitat in this region where over the course of two days, the frame of a new home was erected. Working in intense heat, the group mixed concrete from scratch to pour the floor and the foundation. To add a truly Canadian flavour to the project, a ‘toonie’ was inserted into the foundation for luck. The group also purchased a gift certificate for groceries for the family that will move into the home. The home will be turned over to a deserving local family by Habitat for Humanity Costa Rica. 54

DESIGN QUARTERLY | Spring 2009

ZEIDLER DESIGN SELECTED Zeidler Partnership Architects has been selected to design the University of Alberta’s Performing Arts Centre at the Augustana campus in Camrose. The facility, to cost an estimated $22 million, will provide performing space for local arts groups, schools and touring groups, as well as for the University. It is slated for completion in late 2010. At almost 40,000 square feet, the Camrose Performing Arts Centre will be constructed in two phases. Phase One will feature a 550-seat main theatre and audience chamber. Phase Two will add a black box theatre, drama studio and additional support spaces for performances. On completion, the centre will offer a top-quality flexible performance and arts space. The facility will also conform to LEED Silver standards of sustainability.

VANC. AUTODESK INITIATIVE Vancouver will be the third pilot city for Autodesk’s Digitial Cities Initiative. A Digital City provides a way for the public, city government, construction and business communities to combine mapping, building, civil engineering, and utility information into an accurate city model that can be used to simulate the future impact of decisions at a city-wide scale. The two other pilot cities are: Salzburg, Austria and Incheon, Korea. The goal of this pilot program is for Vancouver to be able to bring together 3D models of above and below ground features in an open platform that supports secure and robust integration of CAD, building information modeling (BIM), geospatial and civil engineering.


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Design Quarterly Spring 2009  

Design Quarterly Spring 2009

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