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Showcasing BC & Alberta’s architects and interior designers









PM 40063056


SPRING 2011 Vol. 11 No.4

Architect Stuart Howard Okanagan College Centre of Excellence Kitchen & Bath | Furniture | Flooring | Vancouver 2285 Cambie St 604-879-2494

Coquitlam 1338 United Blvd 604-523-6555

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Robinson Bath Centre Saskatoon 829-46th St E 306-664-2389

Robinson Bath Centre Winnipeg 1760 Ellice Ave 204-784-0111

kitchen & bath :::::::











SPRING 2011 Vol. 11 No.4

PUBLISHER Dan Gnocato Managing Editor Cheryl Mah Graphic Design Tang Creative Inc. CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Wojciech Brus, Ron Cromie, James Davis Fedra Day, Jackie Dettmar, John Etcher Adrienne Gavard, Jeanne Milne Dean Thompson, Tara Wells Kailey Wilson B.C./ALBERTA SALES Dan Gnocato 604.739.2115 ext. 223



06 Designer Profile

vancouver office

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

12 Project Profile

Toronto office

1000-5255 Yonge St. Toronto, ON M2N 6P4 Tel: 416.512.8186 Fax: 416.512.8344


Copyright 2011 Canada Post Canadian publications mail sales publication agreement no. 40063056 – ISSN 0834-3357

Stuart Howard, principal of Stuart Howard Architects, has been an active advocate for the profession throughout his career.

The Okanagan Centre of Excellence will set new benchmarks for sustainable design and be a teaching tool for future generations.

16 Kitchen & Bath

Emerging Kitchen & Bath Trends Modern Wine Storage Solutions Haute and Healthy Creating a Spa Bath

25 F urniture

Studio Furniture Growth Mastering Multi-Functional Creating Personality Wood: The Green Choice

32 F looring

Resilient Flooring Has it All Designed to Inspire Top Flooring Trends

departments 04 From the Editor 36 Architects in BC Philosophies in Hospital Design 37 IDIBC Bringing Space to Life 38 Design Headlines On the cover: The Savoy tub by MTI Whirlpools was a platinum 2011 ADEX award winner. Photo courtesy of MTI Whirlpools.

Return all undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Suite 1000 – 5255 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario, M2N 6P4


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February 8 & 9, 2012

March 20 & 21, 2012

November 8 & 9, 2011 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 2011 | DESIGN QUARTERLY 3

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

pushing the envelope


Design Quarterly 2010

rchitects in B.C. have earned an international reputation for design innovation and excellence and that unique West coast creativity will be highlighted during the upcoming 2011 Festival of Architecture. Taking place in Vancouver May 24-27, the annual event will explore best practices, new challenges, and innovative ways in which architects are leaving their indelible mark on the built and natural environments. The festival will also showcase the many ways in which the profession continues to push the envelope. One of B.C.’s best and renowned architects Bing Thom will be a keynote speaker. He was this year’s RAIC Gold Medal winner. Another distinguished architect who has shaped much of Vancouver’s built environment is Stuart Howard. We speak to the current RAIC president about his own career and what issues are impacting the profession today and tomorrow. Our project profile, Okanagan College Centre of Excellence, is a perfect example of how B.C. architects are pushing the envelope. With its numerous 27/10/2010 11:52:57 AM unique design elements, the Centre will set new

benchmarks for sustainable design and be a teaching tool for future generations. The multi-million dollar facility is the largest of its type in the world to seek the Living Building Challenge certification. In this issue you will also find articles focusing on furniture, flooring and kitchen & bath. According to the annual NKBA survey, shaker style cabinets, darker finishes and wine storage are just some the trends expected for this year in kitchens. Learn more about modern wine storage solutions from Blue Grouse Wine Cellars as well as restroom trends and details that will help create that great spa bath starting on page 16. In our flooring section, we take a look at carpet, resilient flooring and some cool trends for 2011. Finally, make sure to check out our annual coverage of all the 2011 AIBC Architectural Award winners in our next issue.

Cheryl Mah Managing Editor



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

passionate advocate By Cheryl Mah

Clockwise from top left: The Block; Cossette Building at 1085 Homer Street Vancouver; Qualicom Manor in Qualicom; Metropolis, Vancouver.


rchitecture Canada/RAIC president and Vancouver architect Stuart Howard has been an active advocate for the profession provincially, nationally and internationally. His passion and dedication to the profession and industry at large has resulted in influential leadership roles throughout his career. “Architecture has been good to me. I like being an architect. And I originally got involved on boards and various committees to try to give something back,” says Howard about his motivation. “As I got more interested in various topics and issues, I stayed on to see them through and see if I could make a difference.” 6


For example, he helped introduce mandatory continuing education in B.C. and recognition of foreign trained professionals. He was also actively involved in the tri-national agreement between the U.S, Canada and Mexico on architectural services. The principal of Stuart Howard Architects Inc. has served on the AIBC council as vice president and president (two terms). He has been a member of several AIBC committees and task forces including its professional development board. “In the few years I’ve been on the board, the RAIC has come a long way,” reflects Howard, a long time RAIC member. “Over the last 10 years or so we’ve made ourselves much more relevant to the practice of architecture

and architects. Our membership has doubled in the last few years.” Among his goals for his term as RAIC president is to expand the organization’s role in professional development/continuing education and to keep the momentum going for the 2030 Challenge. “Buildings are the biggest users of energy in the industrialized age so it’s not only important but imperative that we as a profession find a way to reduce our carbon footprint,” says Howard. “Net zero buildings by 2030 is very much a realistic goal and we need to make sure we get there.” Recently the Alberta government approved a Post-Baccalaureate Diploma in Architecture to be offered through the RAIC Centre for Architecture at the Athabasca University. It offers Canada’s first university-level architectural program that combines the flexibility of distance learning with a working environment. “It will soon provide students across Canada with a path into the profession of architecture based on a unique work-study program that includes employment experience in the office of an architect,” says Howard. Initiatives like these, along with immigration, are key to addressing future skills shortage in the architectural profession. “We’re not graduating enough architects out of university and they’re not becoming architects at a big enough rate that we can replace everybody,” says Howard, adding the deficit will be exacerbated by increasing retirements. “The danger to the profession is if there are not enough of us to do the work, they’ll find somebody else to do the work.” At 61-years-old, Howard is the average age of most practitioners in Vancouver. With about 800 firms in B.C., the impact of principals retiring in the coming years could be significant. For Howard, retirement is still in the future but he recognizes the importance of a succession plan. “I guess I have to come to grips with my age at some point,” he laughs. “I’m hoping I can bring some of the younger firm members up to continue the practice into the future.”

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::::::: designer profile ::::::: Since graduating with honours from California Polytechnic State University in 1973, the Edmonton born Howard has spent his entire career working as an architect in Vancouver. Growing up in California, Howard worked summers during high school for his father, who owned a company specializing in drafting equipment and blue prints. “I was exposed to architecture and construction early on and when I went to university, it was what I knew and had an interest in,” he says, citing Louis Kahn as an early design influence. After graduating, he moved to Vancouver and worked with a couple of firms before eventually opening his own practice in 1977. It has since grown to a studio of 11, many of whom are long term employees. “It was pretty quiet in the late 70s and the early 80s was really bad but we managed to survive through that,” recalls Howard. Winning the New Vancouver Special House competition in 1984 was key to establishing the firm’s design reputation and growth. “Winning that design competition had a huge impact on us,” he says. “All of a sudden my work changed dramatically. Prior to that, I did a lot of restaurants and tenant improvement. After that I did a lot of houses and then that expanded in later years to other sectors.” Most architects eventually move away from small residential work, but Howard says the firm still does about 10 houses a year. “Not many architects do houses anymore because they’re complicated and very time consuming,” notes Howard. “You have to very efficient at doing them.” Winners of multiple design and heritage awards, the firm has experience in a wide variety of project types and sizes including residential, commercial and heritage restorations. Today, it specializes in the design of townhouses and extended care facilities. “For a long time we did heritage restoration work but that’s changed over the last few years just because there’s not as much of that work around and more people are specializing in that,” says Howard. The firm is committed to developing high quality, cost-effective, innovative design solutions for its clients. The Block, which the firm did for ParkLane Homes, was recently named best ground oriented multi-family development in the 2010 UDI Awards. “We’re program driven designers here. We’re very good at solving complicated problems for our clients,” says Howard. Current projects include townhouse projects in Coquitlam and Saskatoon, a large care facility, a Rolls Royce dealership and houses in various stages. “We probably have about 25 active projects right now, which are more than normal. It’s 10


putting a bit of added strain on everybody. But busy is good,” says Howard, who is hands on with every project. Projects are primarily located in Vancouver with the occasional project outside of B.C. Howard has been the designer and principal-in-charge of more than 500 buildings. He estimates 300 of them are in Vancouver.

The recent recession had a huge impact on everyone, but Howard says architects in Canada “dodged a bullet”. “I can’t go too far without running into something we worked on,” he says with a chuckle. “I’m proud of the projects I’ve worked on and I like seeing them.” One of his favourite projects is Metropolis in downtown Vancouver, a combination heritage restoration and new residential tower project built in 1998. The historical Canadian Linen Building on the site was restored and converted into a grocery store. “The tower, while big, still relates well to the low art deco building and the heritage restoration was quite successful. One of the highlights in my career,” says Howard. Looking back at his 38 years in the profession, Howard says many things have changed — from the business of architecture to the role of an architect.

“Architecture has changed a great deal — there’s no question about that,” reflects Howard. “And architects have become more important in the process. We as a profession have been underselling ourselves in that position. We have a skill set that is very hard if not impossible to replace in the evolution of a project and unfortunately we haven’t taken advantage of that position.” Procuring buildings has also become more complicated with layers of regulation and bureaucracy to deal with. “The rules, codes and the hoops that projects have to jump through are a lot different than 35 years ago. That impacts how we operate and the knowledge skill set that everyone has to have,” he says. The recent recession had a huge impact on everyone, but Howard says architects in Canada “dodged a bullet.” “I have lots of meetings in the U.S. and with my American colleagues and that profession has been decimated in the U.S.,” he comments. “Relatively big name firms are doing a lot smaller projects and firms that did smaller projects are doing nothing because there’s a real reluctance down there to build anything.” While Canada may not have been affected as severely as other countries, the recession has resulted in changes in how projects proceed and what’s expected of the profession. Projects are now subject to more financial prudence and undertaken with much more caution, notes Howard. But what hasn’t changed is the need to continue to promote and recognize design excellence and its impact on the quality of life. Architecture will be celebrated at the national RAIC Festival of Architecture, taking place in Vancouver May 24-27 in conjunction with the 2011 AIBC annual conference. About 800 architects and allied professionals from around the province and across the country are expected to attend. Themed “Architecture on the Edge”, the festival will highlight the many ways in which the profession continues to push envelopes. Front and centre will be the innovation that distinguishes B.C. architects and architecture. “The quality of design here is good. We have some of the best buildings in the world and certainly in Canada,” says Howard. “The architects we have in B.C. are excellent.” Moving forward, the issue of densification will become more prevalent in Vancouver. “We’re getting built out here at the present levels of density,” says Howard. “I see more and more efforts to densify more areas of Vancouver and that will be good for architects. It’s an opportunity to show our skills in creating a livable higher density city.” DQ

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::::::: project profile :::::::

sustainable education


new landmark facility in South Okanagan is being designed as one of the most innovative and sustainable post-secondary facilities in the world. The Okanagan College Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Building promises to be a state-of-the-art “living classroom” of leading edge technology and construction practices. Built and designed to meet the rigorous standards of the Living Building Challenge (LBC), it will not only set new benchmarks in sustainability but also strives to create a paradigm shift in the building industry. “It’s an example of what we can achieve and that it is achievable without costing a premium,” says Tim McLennan, partner at CEI Architecture Planning Interiors in Kelowna. The Cascadia Green Building Council launched LBC in 2006 and the first projects were certified in 2010. To be a living building, a project must meet a range of prerequisites including generating all of its own energy through clean, renewable 12


www.alivin gc la ssroom .c om

By Cheryl Mah

resources; capturing and treating its own water; and incorporating only nontoxic, appropriately sourced materials. LBC projects demonstrate where the new era in sustainable design is going, pushing beyond current best practices and LEED’s highest level of platinum certification. At 76,000 square feet, the centre is the largest of its type in the world to be seeking LBC certification. “The Living Building Challenge is meant to be more altruistic than LEED and it’s an all or nothing type of system — at least when it was originated — so you had to meet all the requirements or you didn’t qualify,” says McLennan, adding the project is also pursuing LEED platinum. CEI initiated design work with an integrated design charrette over three days in June 2009. PCL Constructors Westcoast broke ground in November 2009. The project, being built with federal and provincial funding as part of the Knowledge Infrastructure Program, is on time and on budget.

“The idea to do something unique and sustainable was right there from the outset of the project and it was really driven by the college as to where they’re headed in the future for education,” says McLennan. When complete in April, the $28 million Centre of Excellence will more than double the size of the existing campus and offer innovative programming in sustainable building and renewable energy technologies. The two storey, multi-purpose facility features classrooms, workshops, offices, student spaces and a gymnasium. “Classroom spaces are multi-functional and designed to be also used as faculty office spaces. So we have an open plan for six offices which is the same size as a single classroom,” says McLennan. Several factors including LBC requirements, height and site restrictions dictated a very drawn out low rise floorplate and configuration for the building and the massing. “It’s right next to an airport navigation beacon so that restricted the height. Then the site



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::::::: project profile :::::::

itself has two existing buildings on the campus so we were limited that way as well,” says McLennan about the site’s narrow footprint. “It has what we call a butterfly roof — the roof has two opposite roof pitches which unify the structure in a long drawn out plan.” The site restricted an east-west orientation so instead the building is oriented north-south with several wings that project east-west to take advantage of proper solar orientation. Exterior features include high performance glazing, brick masonry and cadmium free metal siding. The structure is built entirely using woodframe construction — a combination of pinebeetle kill wood and some FSC-certified lumber. The predominance of wood is partly in response to the province’s Wood First Act for public buildings. 14


“Because of the Wood First Act, we really wanted to make wood an important element in the building and not just a token gesture,” says McLennan. The centre is the province’s first to use pine-beetle kill wood as a substitute for FSC certified lumber. McLennan says pine-beetle kill wood is the same high quality as other B.C. lumber if it is harvested within a few years of being attacked and there’s also a “social economic impact” to the region. But CEI had to negotiate with the International Living Building Institute to get it to recognize the beetle-kill lumber as an alternative to the FSC wood, which is normally the only acceptable type of wood used in green building projects. This will hopefully promote more use of beetle wood in other projects, says McLennan.

The use of wood was also important because it meant an overall lighter building structure, which helped address poor soil conditions. Sites typically require preloading in the Okanagan Valley but to preload this site adequately would’ve required six months — time that the project could not afford due to the fast track schedule. “Instead we off-loaded and blended the grade in around the site,” describes McLennan. “That enabled us to reduce the amount of piling to the perimeter of the foundation.” Another first is the unique composite concrete and wood wall panel system used in the gymnasium. A radiant floor heating system is used throughout the building, but could not be used in the gym because of its sprung wood floor.

::::::: project profile ::::::: This required structural engineers Fast + Epp to come up with an innovative solution of panels containing the radiant piping inside. “It’s never been done, especially at that scale in North America,” says McLennan, adding the panels were prefabricated offsite. To achieve net zero energy use, the facility utilizes geothermal wells and solar panels. Boasting a photovoltaic solar array of 258 kW, this installation will be the largest in Western Canada and the largest non-utility array in the country. It will provide approximately two thirds of the building’s energy needs. The building is expected to use only 65 kW per square metre per year. A similar size conventional building would use approximately 250 kW per square metre per year. “The three principles behind the building are conserve, capture and create,” says McLennan. “Energy is supplied by PV panels and is intended to be net zero on an annual basis.” The building will also feature several living roof areas, solar chimneys for natural cross ventilation and heat and methane recovery from waste water. “Typically wastewater would need to be treated on site in a LBC project. In this case right across the street is the municipal treatment plant,” says McLennan. The plant recently converted to a chemical free process meeting LBC requirements, which allowed for a net zero black water/grey water exchange with waste heat recovered for use in the building. The building itself will be a learning tool and part of the school curriculum with mechanical and electrical systems visible for viewing and access to real time building performance data.

Adhering to LBC requirements presented a number of challenges, notably the choice of materials. “Not only is it about doing the right thing from a sustainable perspective, it’s about explaining the process,” says McLennan, noting student enrolment at the campus has already increased. “The building itself will openly display all of the different systems and construction types that it’s made out of. It also has plug and play aspects for future requirements.” Adhering to LBC requirements presented a number of challenges, notably the choice of materials. “With Living Building Challenge, it has a very restrictive materials red list — materials you cannot use. Finding those materials was a bit of a challenge,” says McLennan, citing as an example the use of fibreglass reinforced conduit instead of PVC and steel pilings instead of creosote pilings. “Vetting of what materials meet the criteria and what don’t and trying to monitor that was a challenge.” Construction waste management and carbon footprint of the construction process are also subject to stringent standards. The fast track nature of the project was another challenge. Federal stimulus funding had originally imposed a March 31, 2011 completion date. “The amount of design iterations to solve issues was certainly challenging,” says McLennan. Critical to the project’s success was a collaborative team approach throughout the entire design process and construction. “I think it’s a testament to what commitment and teamwork at all levels in a project can really achieve. It’s been a learning experience because projects like these teach us how to do it better in the future,” says McLennan. “It’s been an incredible project — an incredible experience.” With its many unique design aspects, the Centre of Excellence is generating not only local but international attention. The building was featured in the Sustainable Building Conference 2010 in Seoul, Korea, and has been invited to SB 11 in Helsinki, Finland this October. DQ

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::::::: kitchen & bath :::::::

emerging kitchen & bath trends

According to kitchen and bath designers who are members of the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), there will be style changes in the marketplace this year. Here are 11 trends poised to take hold in 2011:


1 shake it up

3 a place for wine

5 induction cooktops

The Shaker style began a rise in popularity in 2009 and gained momentum in 2010. By the end of the year, shaker has supplanted contemporary as the second most popular style. While traditional remains the most popular style, having been used by 76 per cent of designers surveyed, that’s a slight drop from the previous year. Meanwhile, the percent of respondents who designed contemporary kitchens fell to 48 per cent, while shaker rose to 55 per cent. Cottage style garnered 21 per cent market share.

While the incorporation of wine refrigerators seems to be on the decline, unchilled wine storage is growing in popularity. While only 39 per cent of surveyed designers incorporated wine storage areas into their kitchens at the end of 2009, just over half — 51 per cent — did so as 2010 came to a close. While other types of cabinetry options remain more common, most are on the decline, including tall pantries, lazy Susans, pull-out racks and appliance garages.

Induction cooktops haven’t overtaken gas and electric models, but they’re closing the gap. As we entered 2010, gas cooktops had been recently specified by 76% of NKBA designers, compared to 38% for electric and 26% for induction. However, while the incorporation of gas cooktops has fallen to 70%, electric cooktops has risen slightly to 41%, while induction cooktops are up to 34%. Meanwhile, single wall ovens are down from 46% to 42%, although double wall ovens are up from 68% to 74%. In addition, warming drawers are down from 49% to 42%, and ranges are down sharply from 81% to 68%.

4 bonjour refrigeration 2 dark finishes Dark natural finishes overtook medium natural, glazed, and white painted finishes to become the most specified type of finish toward the end of 2010. Dark natural finishes were the most popular, rising from 42 to 51 per cent. Light natural and coloured painted finishes remained fairly common, as each rose slightly from the previous year. Distressed finishes dropped significantly from a year ago, down to 5 per cent from 16 per cent. 16


The French door refrigerator has strengthened its position as the type specified most often by NKBA member designers. While freezer-top refrigerators were only specified by 8 per cent of designers as 2010 drew to a close, freezer-bottom models fell very slightly and side-by-side units actually rose slightly. Among smaller units, refrigerator or freezer drawers remained flat at 31 per cent, while undercounter wine refrigerators fell sharply from 50 per cent to 36 per cent, an interesting change given the increasing use of unchilled wine storage.

6 LED lighting Incandescent lighting continues its journey to obsolescence. While 50 per cent of NKBA member designers incorporated incandescent bulbs into their designs at the end of 2009, only 35 per cent have done so a year later. Instead, designers are clearly opting for more energy-efficient lighting options. While the use of halogen lighting is down over the past year, LED (light-emitting diode) lighting has increased (up from 47 per cent to 54 per cent). Designers aren’t turning to CFLs (compact fluorescent lights) as a solution, though, most likely due to the poor quality of light they produce.

::::::: kitchen & bath ::::::: 7 trashy designs A greater emphasis is being made to address trash considerations in the kitchen. Some 89 per cent of kitchens designed in 2010 included a trash or recycling pull-outs. In addition, garbage disposals were incorporated by 86 per cent of designers, up from 75 per cent the previous year. Trash compactors have also become more common. These changes may be due to an increase in sustainability awareness, but they certainly indicate an increase in concern toward trash generated in the kitchen.

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Quartz continues to take away market share from granite for bathroom vanity tops. The gap between the two has narrowed to 83 per cent for granite and 54 per cent for quartz. Unlike in the kitchen, solid surfaces haven’t gained much popularity in the bathroom, increasing only marginally over the past year. Meanwhile, solid marble has declined while cultured marble and onyx have increased from 12 per cent to 19 per cent.

Under mount sinks continue to dominate newly remodeled bathrooms, with 97 per cent of NKBA bathroom designers having specified them over the last three months of 2010, up from 95 per cent a year earlier. However, vessel sinks have become the clear second choice among designers. Integrated sink tops, pedestal sinks and drop-in sinks were also all up. This shows that bathroom designers have been specifying more lavoratory sinks across the board.

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9 green bathrooms

11 satin nickel faucets

No, we’re not referring to eco-friendly spaces—we literally mean green bathrooms. A year ago, green colour palettes were used by only 14 per cent of NKBA designers, but at the end of 2010, that figure had risen to 24 per cent. Whites and off-whites, beiges, and browns remain the three most commonly used colour tones in bathrooms. Other common colour tones include blues, greys and bronzes and terracottas.

In both bathrooms and kitchens, satin nickelfinished faucets were number one in popularity. Brushed nickel faucet fell from 61 per cent to 48 per cent in the kitchen and from 66 per cent to 38 per cent in the bathroom. Other popular faucet finishes in both the kitchen and bathroom are bronze and oil-rubbed bronze, polished chrome, and polished nickel. While stainless steel is popular in the kitchen, the usage in bathrooms dropped to 16 per cent. DQ

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::::::: kitchen & bath :::::::

modern wine storage solutions By Adrienne Gavard

Modular wine racking is versatile and able to match any style of collection.


ay the words “wine cellar” and for many, it conjures images of rugged underground spaces, filled with dusty bottles. The truth is, modern wine storage often brings these bottles above ground, dusts them off and provides a showpiece for the home. Although the method of creating a wine cellar or wine storage room varies from years gone by, the desired conditions remain the same. Fully subterranean spaces provide ideal climate conditions for wine (14°C – 16°C and 60 – 75 per cent relative humidity). For those that don’t have this kind of space, a little help from a cooling unit and proper insulation can get the job done in most areas of the home.

a wine room in a condo? Yes! Wine rooms can be created in almost any area of the home. The only limitations are space and budget. It’s best to choose a basement or north-facing area if you can, for naturally cooler temperatures. If that’s not pos18


sible, even a kitchen pantry can be converted with the right insulation and cooling system. “We’ve worked on wine rooms as small as three feet by five feet and many in smaller homes and condominiums. Almost no space is too small and we’re rarely presented with a space that won’t work,” says Gary Bombay, president of Blue Grouse Wine Cellars.

growing popularity Wine cellars are no longer only for the super rich. According to Statistics Canada, recent growth in domestic wine consumption has out-performed that of beer and spirits. The growth and improvement of our own Okanagan Valley wine region may also be a contributing factor to our more common need for proper wine storage. A small wine room with storage for a couple hundred bottles can really be affordable, especially if it’s considered during the construction of a home. This way, no work, such as dry walling, is being undone and then redone.

racking options Modern wine racking trends address not only proper positioning but create a decorative showpiece for the home. Many people with contemporary homes are choosing the sleeker, more minimalist look of the Vintage View wine racking system. This patented metal racking mounts either into the wall or on floor-to-ceiling frames and cradles the wine bottles in a horizontal position. This racking system is also practical. When the bottles display sideways, the labels are front and centre, making it easy to find. For those with more traditional spaces, wood wine racking comes in a variety of woods and can be custom-made or modular. Modular wood racking solutions have come a long way in terms of quality and variety of configurations, including curved corner pieces for maximizing space. Most rooms can be fit within a couple inches using modular racking so it’s not far off a custom look with a much smaller price tag.

::::::: kitchen & bath ::::::: The patented Vintage

…wood wine racking comes in a variety of woods and can be custom-made or modular.

View wine racking system is practical for locating bottles and looks sharp with overhead lighting.

Natural wood is best for wine storage so stay away from racking with noxious stains or lacquers — it may look great, but the odours will negatively affect the wine. “We do sell some stained racking for those that must have it, but it is finished with a very low odour stain. The large majority of our clients choose natural California Redwood racking. We use all heartwood to keep the colour and grains consistent so it looks great without a lick of stain or lacquer,” says Bombay.

cooling the wine room Cooling units are made for small wine cabinets, 2,000 cubic foot spaces and everything in between. You can buy a simple unit that installs through the wall like an air conditioner or duct in the cool air with more advanced units. Noise is often a consideration for modern wine rooms. For good-sized rooms that need a powerful cooling unit, venting it out into an adjoining media room or living space can be undesirable and noisy. This is where a split cooling system comes in handy. The condenser (noisy part) can be separated from the rest of the system and placed in a mechanical room, or even outside. Alternatively, a self-contained watercooled system makes an excellent choice to keep noise to a minimum and allows for easy installation. These units simply hook up to a water line and no refrigeration technician is required.

adding a wow-factor Chandeliers, intricate lighting layouts, French doors and even full glass walls can be accommodated. Efforts should be made to keep any heat-producing features to a minimum so they won’t cause the cooling unit to overrun, but most lighting effects won’t cause much concern, especially if you opt for low voltage LED lighting. “LED display lighting is probably the most common accent piece we include in wine rooms. In our wood racking it can run just above the display row, lighting up the client’s favourite bottles,” says Bombay. DQ Adrienne Gavard is a marketing and customer service agent for Blue Grouse Wine Cellars, located in North Vancouver. For more information, call 604.929.3180 or 1.888.400.CORK.

Located in the Armoury District 101-1626 West 2nd Avenue Vancouver, BC V6J 1H4 P. 604.569.0783 F. 604.569.0784 Spring 2011 | DESIGN QUARTERLY


Immerse yourself in the possibilities.

Experience our new showroom.

Be inspired. Experience our new Vancouver showroom — unlike any in North America — and see the possibilities unfold. Cantu — ideas made real. 604.688.1252 Now—196 Kingsway, Vancouver Soon— 8351 Ontario Street, Vancouver


::::::: kitchen & bath :::::::

haute and healthy

Restroom trends causing designers to see blue and green this year. By James Davis also add new textures and dimensions to conventional aesthetics. While 54 per cent of designers surveyed by the National Kitchen and Bath Association (NKBA) advised they had specified quartz countertops in the past year, other materials such as recycled glass and concrete are also becoming more prevalent.

ethnic with a muted and metallic twist


rends come and go, but in the restroom, they can deliver high impact. From muted colours to use of renewable materials and sustainable products, many current home design trends carry through to the restroom; however, this area also provides an opportunity to make a big statement in a small space. One thing that designers and architects must keep in mind is the increasing importance of restrooms and its transition from being a “necessity” to a luxury. As such, it must be an area that instills tranquility and peace, providing occupants with more of a visceral experience. In previous years, this ambiance has been accomplished with “spalike” elements; however, now, the trend is to create “healthy” restrooms. By incorporating elements that are healthy for inhabitants and healthy for the environment, designers can establish the precarious balance between the functional and fabulous in the restroom. From new technology such as improved temperature controls, low-temperature heating solutions, low-flow sinks and greywater (run-off water) or rainwater recovery retention cisterns, to transitional design elements such as quartz surfacing, metallic accents and cool colours such as greens and blues, designers can develop a fresh, healthy space that appeals to both the senses and the environment. 22


functional elements As with most sustainable products, restroom features that help reduce the amount of water, resources or energy consumed are taking centre stage. While certain elements may seem predictable, an unexpected way to add a touch of environmental flair to a restroom is to integrate a unique heating element, such as a low-temperature radiator, into the room’s design. Newer radiator innovations allow for customizable features such as colour, size and shape to fit the specific needs of the space. Further, they can double as towel heaters or racks, enhancing the unit’s functionality. Unlike traditional panel radiators, these units also output heat more quickly, so users have more control over the room temperature. Low-flow faucets and vessel sinks and commodes are another functional feature appearing with more regularity. In fact, use of vessel sinks has increased from 39 per cent in 2009 to 51 per cent in 2010. Similarly, shower and bath features that help capture runoff water, known as “greywater,” can also provide a stylish, yet extremely sustainable and functional solution to limiting the environmental impact of the space. Other renewable materials such a wood, concrete, cork and recycled polycarbonates are finding their way into the restroom. Aside from their ecological benefits, these materials

Defining such a small space with extensive colour can often be a difficult decision, but it appears that while the muted colours of whites, off-whites and beige still provide the base palette, more designers are incorporating green and blue accents. Twenty-four percent of NKBA survey respondents indicated that they used green in the restroom, up from 14 per cent the year before. Metallic colours also bring unexpected class and appeal to the space. While satin nickel finishes are increasing in popularity, other colours such as brushed copper help establish an ethereal feel to the room. In addition to colours, new forms are also appearing in restroom spaces. While designers have long embraced the restroom as an opportunity to showcase cultural elements, architectural accent pieces, patterns and designs are another way that designers have begun to establish a sense of escape for users. Ultimately, any haute and healthy design will provide a contemporary and relaxing feel that users crave. However, it is important not to go overboard on any one element. Elements that enhance the restroom experience by providing users with essentials that increase comfort and improve aesthetic without draining environmental resources will provide the framework for a winning design. DQ James Davis is a designer for Jaga Climate Systems, a leading manufacturer of low-temperature heating solutions in Canada. Davis recently received the 2009 and 2010 Henry van de Velde People’s Choice Awards for the “Play” radiator.

2011 Top Five Restroom Trends Products with a Conscience Classic Colours with Metallic Accents Focus on Wellness Ethno Design Dual-Purpose Pieces

Advertise in Design Quarterly and let us connect your products and services to the design industry Endorsed by the leading design and architectural associations, Design Quarterly is the publication of choice by advertisers who want to connect with the decision makers in the multi-billion dollar B.C. and Alberta design marketplace. To advertise your products, services and expertise or for more information on customizing an advertising program, please contact: Dan Gnocato 604.739.2115 ext. 223

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creating a spa bath By Jeanne Milne

www.k in e tik h a rdwa re . c o m


ith today’s busy lifestyles and increased pressures, the biggest trend in bathrooms is creating an escape or retreat from it all ­— a spa. In one of the few truly private spaces in the home, homeowners are investing in luxurious comfort. The elements that make this space take on that special spa like feel are free standing soaker tubs and tub fillers, glassed in shower systems and great accessories that complete the look.


seamless glass

It wasn’t long ago that traditional claw foot tubs were the only free standing tub available. Today, free standing bathtubs come in all sorts of shapes and sizes; they come in a variety of materials from acrylic, stone to volcanic ash and come complete with a variety of options such as soakers and air jets. Faucets to fill the tubs have changed as well. Old fashion telephone faucets were the only option for a free standing tub. Faucet manufacturers have responded to the need and offer complimentary free standing fillers in all style ranges and finishes. If you don’t like the look of a faucet you can fill the tub through the waste and overflow. MTI offers The Fill-Flush system that fills the tub through the jets. When the cleaning system is activated after a bath, a fresh supply of water and cleaner is circulated through the entire system including the air and water lines. Fill flush requires less than five gallons of water and five minutes to clean the entire pumping system, saving water and time.

No spa is complete without a glass enclosed personalized shower system. Kinetik shower doors feature two sets of silent, smooth Symmetry rollers, a brand-new technology that glides effortlessly over the door’s solid stainless steel bar without flexing or friction. Made of stainless steel and high performance engineering polymer, each set of three inch (7.6cm) rollers can support up to 300 pounds in weight, more then any other rollers in its category on the market. This unmatched weight capacity enables the shower door to be manufactured from one single pane of glass, giving the door a simple, minimalist look that is unique on the market. Kinetik Doors offer designers and architects unlimited options to tailor the door’s size to match any desired specifications — from standard sizes to floor-to-ceiling requirements. Options for glass include clear and mist in 1/2 inch (12mm) thick, while choices for finishes include brushed stainless steel and high polished stainless steel.

chrome For the last few years industry pundits have been predicting a return of brass to the most popular finishes. But today the finish of choice with the fashion forward crowd is chrome. Chrome offers a little “bling” to the darker wood finishes’ popular in both kitchens and bathrooms today. For the first time we are seeing more chrome on door hardware sets including hinges than ever before. (Brass — nothing yet.) For those who want a real bling experience, swartzky crystals can be added to door hardware, cabinet hardware and even faucets. DQ Jeanne is president and owner of Art of Hardware in Calgary, Alberta. 24


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studio furniture growth By Ron Cromie

Brent Comber — Drum in Salvaged


ver the past decade in Vancouver and throughout B.C. there has been a tremendous growth in studio furniture — furniture crafted by independent designer artisans working from smallscale workshops, typically hand-crafted and often built to customer’s order. This explosive growth in local studio furniture has been accompanied by a marked rise in the standard of both the craftsmanship and the designs. Over this period, at least at the high end of the market, customers too have gained a better appreciation of the beauty and the value of the work of studio artists. They also have come to value provenance, or the story behind beautiful studio produced pieces. It goes without saying that a successful studio artist has to have both the technical skills of an experienced craftsman and the creativity of a true artist. Equally important they need to have a deep understanding of the material they work with. And when it comes to material, nothing beats solid woods for natural warmth and long-term durability. Each and every piece of solid wood has its own unique character and personality.

Western Cedar

salvaged wood In an ideal world, nothing adds more to the value of a beautifully crafted piece of furniture than to be able to use salvaged wood. A table crafted from a salvaged tree has a special history or story, not just of the artist but of the tree itself. In historic times salvaging and crafting went very much hand-in-hand. More recently, George Nakashima probably best exemplified the dream of the furniture craftsman who personally salvaged virtually all of the beautiful hardwoods he crafted into stunning pieces of furniture. Nakashima famously had an eye out for downed trees wherever he went, and after bringing them home would wait years, even decades, for the slabs to tell him what they wanted to become! Today the reality is that salvaging trees and crafting wood into beautiful furniture have for the most part become two different professions requiring very different skill sets and business models. A successful tree salvager, of course, has to have a deep understanding of trees and of wood. But unlike a studio craftsman, a salvager requires trucks, heavy lift and milling equipment, along with large stor-

age sheds and drying kiln. Salvaging involves a long timeframe, with lead times of up to four years before the harvested wood is fully seasoned. Critically, salvaging also requires building effective relationships with local city authorities, parks boards and tree cutters so that you are the first to be alerted when trees come down. Seattle and Portland are case studies of where local entrepreneurs have done this very effectively. In Vancouver, unfortunately, there are no professional salvaging operations of any scale. Despite our well-known love of trees here on the coast, we are way behind other cities (even Toronto) in salvaging the trees that come down, whether due to storms, redevelopment, or the work of our hyper-active tree cutters. Outside of our urban areas, we are further limited by the fact that a high percentage of our indigenous woods are softwoods, rather than hardwoods. Of course, we do have our Western maples and alders (both a bit on the soft side), as well as our Garry oaks, arbutus (a beautiful wood for those willing to tackle it), birch, ash, poplar and others. But most of the denser hardwoods so often used — walnut, cherry, oak, hard maple — come from elsewhere. Spring 2011 | DESIGN QUARTERLY


::::::: furniture ::::::: Peter Pierobon –

Arnt Arntzen

Slack Tide console

coffee table


artisans Looking, then, at our burgeoning local studio furniture scene, we see studio artists using different approaches to wood sourcing, especially regarding salvaged woods. Brent Comber is unique in working almost exclusively with salvaged woods, turning them into either wonderful functional pieces with elemental forms, or increasingly, into purely sculptural forms. He almost always works with indigenous woods, usually softwoods such as our local western cedars and Douglas firs, rather than hardwoods. Arnt Arntzen, a true artist with an absolutely unique style, famously combines locally salvaged wood together with salvaged metal (often airplane parts) in the pieces he creates. Fred Savage, on Cortes Island, also works almost exclusively with salvaged woods, making harvest tables and other pieces to traditional English designs including even the joinery and hardware. Interestingly, most of Fred’s woods are salvaged from his native Ontario, with its much richer source of dense hardwoods and reclaimed pines. Other local studio craftsmen including Peter Pierobon, Nicolas Meyer, Seiji Kuwabara, Ian Wilson, Nathan Wiens, Steven Pollock and Doug Lane manage to source at least some of their woods from salvaged or reclaimed sources. But for most of these artists, the majority of their wood is sourced from reputable wood yards, such as Upper Canada or PJ White, whose hardwoods are FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified as coming from responsibly harvested sources. When you can get it, salvaged wood is great and can add even more value to studio furniture pieces. More importantly, finely crafted studio pieces which respect and bring out the warm beauty and unique character and personality of each and every piece of solid wood, whether hard or soft and from whatever source, are to be greatly valued and appreciated. And our local studio artisans now compare with the world’s best, regardless of the source of their wood. DQ Ron Cromie is a partner in Kozai Modern, a Vancouver gallery focused on the best of West Coast and Japanese studio furniture and lighting. 26








29 /09 /11








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mastering multi-functional Multi-Tasking Furniture Let Urbanites Live Large In a Small Space. By Kailey Wilson

Petra coffee table


ith the growing reduction in living spaces, particularly in Vancouver, spacesaving storage solutions has proliferated over the years to meet the rapidly growing market for multi-functional furniture. Over the years, advancements and changes in designs have resulted in space-saving closets and storage areas becoming entire bedrooms. Bathrooms and kitchens came next, followed closely by living and dining rooms, which lead into where we are today with patios and balconies being included in this progression. Vancouver living spaces often consist of a mere single room, 400-600 square foot condo. Multi-functional furniture offers homeowners the ability to live without limits in a limited space. Items such as the Mascotte coffee table, which effortlessly raises and expands to transform into a six-seat dining table, or the Z Sleep Chest, today’s answer to the Murphy bed, are just two examples of furniture that can fit any space for any lifestyle. 28


Sleeper sofas now range in size from a slim cot that, unopened, appears as a classic easy chair, to a full King sized sofa bed. Not only will this line of stylish seating fit any size and any space, the arms and back easily unbolt to provide effortless access to any type of home. The Petra coffee table transforms seamlessly into a proper desk; the Evoke bed includes deep drawers embedded beneath its frame, which eliminate the need for a separate wardrobe. Furniture today is trending away from impractical and oversized into a new age of multi-functional and space enhancing. These trends do not end with indoor decor. Patio furniture is heading down this road as well and the Wow lounger is a great example. The compact lounge chair has built in storage and includes a small umbrella, which saves a significant amount of precious patio space. For the condo-inhabiting city dweller, big backyards are a lost luxury, but items like the Wow lounger allow for a full outdoor relaxation experience.  

Today’s furniture trends and designs aim to ensure that there are no spatial limits to creating the perfect home. One room can be easily four with the right multi-functional furnishings. DQ Kailey Wilson is involved with promotions, social media and marketing for Industrial Revolution, a popular Vancouver store offering unique, modern furniture from its Granville Street location since 1981.

::::::: furniture :::::::

creating personality By Fedra Day


aving the pleasure of visiting many a beautiful and interesting homes over the years, it’s my experience that people with a laid back relaxed approach towards decorating and design are often far more pleased with the outcome of their spaces. Eclectic, quirky interiors are often a direct result of extensive travel, a sense of humour or simply a blend of personalities within the household. While minimal, clean interior spaces are ideal (let’s face it — clutter doesn’t make anyone happy), this is no excuse however for space to be devoid of personality. After all, we are all different, and so our interiors should reflect that!

redefined clothesline Alberto proves that you do not have to sacrifice style to be eco-friendly, redefining the ordinary clothesline and creating something extraordinary. The garden friendly Alberto is both sunlight and water resistant, made from the same recyclable polyethylene material as the Urban. It may be used to simply hang bathing suits and towels pool or lakeside, or perhaps the Alberto may empower us to ban the dryer altogether this summer.

table for change Take for instance, industrial designer Luca Nichetto’s Poliart collection, a family of distinctive tables born from his love of travel. Abstractly shaped like the city centre maps of Paris, Barcelona, Venice and Istanbul. Poliart is a unique project, which brings together the personal experiences of the designer with a wider social responsibility for understanding, promoting and preserving the beauty and cultural history of these cities. At the core of this project lies the concept of social change — portions of the profits from each of the Poliart tables are donated to various cultural associations within these cities. The Poliart side tables are a perfect step towards an expressive interior, giving the space the power to tell a story.

recyclable addition A bookshelf like Urban can add personality to any space; it may be rearranged stacked or flipped, making them the perfect addition to ever-changing increasingly busy lives. With the Urban it’s possible to make room for books — after all not everything is meant to be digitalized. Fun fact: the Urban bookcase is made from polyethylene (plastic) making them recyclable, sturdy, and the perfect addition to any indoor or outdoor space. All products available through Spring 2011 | DESIGN QUARTERLY


::::::: furniture :::::::

wood: the green choice

wood is one of the most energy efficient materials available to the architectural and design community.


umanity’s ties to wood are much stronger than one might first think. From the evolution of the Neanderthal, we have used wood for our very existence. It was from wood that we built shelter. It was from wood that we harnessed the wheel. It is because of wood that we’ve evolved. Yet, when it comes to furniture, the environmental impact of wood is sometimes questioned. Is wood a “green” choice? The answer is yes! No other widely used furniture material is completely renewable or completely biodegradable. Sustainability is the next question. According to the American Forest and Paper Associate ( North America has 25 per cent more forest land than 45 years ago. Actually, sustainable forestry practices have been recognized in the U.S. for more than 100 years. Nearly four million trees are planted each day in America. That equates to more than five new trees for every man, woman and child every year. When calculating total energy used to produce, wood is one of the most energy efficient materials available to the architectural and design community. According to the Architectural Woodworking Institute ( when comparing the energy costs to acquire the raw material, transport it, and process it into a useful product, wood far outshines its competitors. (see chart) Steel actually uses 10 times more energy to produce than wood. Just selecting furniture that is wood-based though is not enough to celebrate your efforts 30


to improve the world. To feel good about the products you specify, you really must know about how those products affect their immediate environment. In the world of wood furniture, indoor air quality is not a given. Certain coatings, glues and composites associated with wood furniture can release harmful emissions. Seeking out GREENGUARD certified furniture is a critical step. It is not easy for wood furniture manufactures to attain this status. One of the very early furniture manufacturers to offer GREEN-

GUARD certified products was OFS Brands. OFS Brands achieved this certification in 2008 and has adapted an “all products” philosophy ensuring that every piece of furniture offered in its four furniture brands achieved GREENGUARD certified status. Whether you are specifying furniture for hospitality, office or healthcare environments, wood can make those environments beautiful and healthy. For more information, visit www.ofsbrands. com DQ

Material Creation Assessment

Kilograms of Carbon Emissions Generated Per One Metric Ton of Material Source: Architectural Wood Working Institute

::::::: flooring :::::::

top flooring trends


aking inspiration from fashion and looking to new technologies, Silverwood’s trend report features some previously unseen elements such as faded edges and a revolutionary decking product made from rice husk. “Predicting new trends and identifying the latest technologies is especially important for our market segment where project cycles tend to be long and durability is key,” says Silverwood Flooring president, Tamar Royt. “We are excited about introducing elements which are new to us in Canada, and have been proven in European markets”.

fade away precious metals

white out

Adding glamour to any room is easily accomplished with a little gold, platinum or bronze.

After years of warm winter whites, a pure ice-white stain is applied to wood floors to create a white backdrop for great design.

They’ve done it with denim. Fading out the edges on wide plank flooring creates a spectacular look that’s truly new (in an “old and distressed’ kind of way).

herringbone Architectural and classic, herringbone is a hot pattern for this year. Available in a variety of stains, widths and lengths to create any pattern.

floors for the great outdoors black is the new black Several years of chocolate brown overload, it may be time to surrender to what we really want: big, bad, vampire black.

What natural material is guaranteed to be splinter free, crack free and rot free? Rice, of course. From Germany comes a complete line of outdoor wall and flooring systems made of 100 per cent natural materials: rice, salt and minerals. Ideal for exterior cladding, rooftops and balconies.

two-tone stone Rather than looking rustic, black or white oil applications on contrasted floors result in a contemporary look, particularly when featured on wide plank, square edged flooring. Stonewashing creates a deeper floor optic and adds warmth to any room. Spring 2011 | DESIGN QUARTERLY


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resilient flooring has it all By Dean Thompson


esilient flooring is all about versatility. Whether you’re looking for something fashion-forward for a dramatic lobby or something durable and cost-effective for a school cafeteria, there’s a resilient solution to meet your needs. A significant share of resilient flooring products on the market today are made from vinyl. The principal raw material for vinyl is derived from common salt, an abundant and inexpensive natural resource. Scientific studies from around the world support the longterm health and safety advantages of vinyl products. The material is popular not just for flooring but for a wide range of products including wall covering, roofing, doors, windows and furniture. Resilient flooring products have long been the most popular choice for hard surface flooring in North America. Here are a few reasons why you’ll want to consider using it in your next project: Durability. Architects say that durability is the most important attribute for a green building product, according to a survey commissioned by PPG Industries. Resilient flooring has long been prized for its durability — retaining its appearance with little maintenance over a long life cycle. Architects also rated life-cycle assessment and low-VOC indoor air quality as important, both areas where resilient flooring excels. Sustainability. Resilient flooring offers many sustainable benefits, and the industry has been hard at work to reduce environmental impacts. The new ANSI/NSF 332 Sustainability Assessment Standard for Resilient Floor Coverings was released in Spring 2010. Developed by NSF, an independent, accredited ANSI standards organization, the standard evalutes criteria across the product’s life cycle, from raw material extraction through manufacturing, use, and end-of-life management. Multi-attribute standards like ANSI/NSF 332 help define environmentally preferable products. The standard also brings transparency to the manufacturing process and allows suppliers to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability. Resilient manufacturers continually improve processes and techniques and innovate new products with enhanced sustainability benefits. Design Flexibility. Resilient flooring lets you keep up with the leading design trends. The large selection of colourful styles and pat-



terns can meet the aesthetic needs of almost any space — from traditional to futuristic.

what’s new? New from Armstrong is AbodeTM, a light commercial sheet flooring line offering 27 SKUs in 12 designs for assisted living facilities, college dorms, multi-family and military housing. Abode is the only light commercial sheet flooring on the market to offer metal and textile visuals. Mannington Commercial has introduced Progressions VCT, ideal for healthcare, retail and K-12 education installations. Progressions is manufactured with post-consumer recycled content, as part of Mannington’s VCT n2 VCT program. The collection’s 36 rich neutrals, saturated hues and key primary accents offer the right colours for installations from healthcare to K-12 schools. Metroflor launched a pilot reclamation program for the East Coast that collects flooring and sends it freight-free to Metroflor’s recycling centre in Calhoun, GA. The postconsumer material is shredded and granulated and recycled into product backing. Amtico International has radically revamped its Arteca and Spacia flooring brands and launched the largest product introduction in the company’s history. The luxury vinyl tile flooring manufacturer kept the most popular designs but doubled Spacia, adding 40 new products to form a 73-product line, and added 30 designs to bring the Arteca selection to 170. Stria from Centiva is manufactured so that every tile is different. Metallic pigments add visual depth and dimension to this directional design. Stria is constructed with recycled

Left: Amtico Urban marble. Above: Johnsonite Folio Collection

material equaling more than half the total product and is available in eight colourations and various sizes. Roppe Corporation touts the industry’s first commercial rubber flooring recycling program. IMPACT encourages rubber flooring to be reclaimed at the jobsite and sent to a recycling centre where it’s recycled into such products as landscaping mulches, playground surfacing and rubber crumb for athletic fields.  The Folio™ collection from Johnsonite includes six designs based on tree, branch and leaf forms that bring a literal aspect to environmental awareness. Stylized and simplified, the designs form intriguing patterns of positive and negative space. With each tile, every pattern element is defined by its texture and the design is formed by the light, shadow and reflectance of the various textures. Congoleum has achieved FloorScore® certification for its product line. The company also is working to reduce energy usage and waste at its U.S. manufacturing facilities. Vinyl USA is focusing on its new LVT line that was launched this year for light and heavy commercial use. They also are in the process of introducing a new heavy traffic LVT line with 60 new colours. DQ Dean Thompson is president of the Resilient Floor Coverings Institute, based in LaGrange, Georgia. RFCI is a nonprofit industry trade association that represents the major manufacturers of resilient flooring marketed throughout North America.

::::::: flooring :::::::

designed to inspire By Jackie Dettmar report that can be used as supplemental product documentation for LEED or equivalent certification submissions

maximizing an investment Key to carpet success is candid upfront dialogue with your flooring consultant. When beginning a new project, certain questions must be considered as the responses to them will play a critical role in choosing the best colour, pattern and backing system. The industry continues to see a growth in carpet tiles as a versatile alternative to broadloom.

colours and patterns


ew construction may have slowed, but cost-effective and eco-friendly renovations are still on the upswing. As carpeting can be one of the largest elements of the material and finishes budget for a commercial interior (and though these budgets are squeezed tighter than ever), it remains an important piece of any project that needs to be given significant thought. Certainly clients want design concepts, patterns and colour palettes with longevity, but they are still seeking innovative solutions. Carpet is no exception. Pattern selections are embracing timeless geometrics and subtle small-scale organics, and are also taking a twist on the traditional. Design inspirations come from everywhere — nature, fashion, culture. Nature inspired textures as well as retro organics and geometric shapes are increasing in popularity. Even stripes and classic geometrics are getting a makeover with simpler, cleaner form. Colour selections are also increasingly invested in more timeless neutrals with wood tone elements and grays of varied tones and Chroma from silvery lights to saturated coals. Designers and facilities everywhere are striving to bring light and nature into interiors. Coastal blues and greens and earthy khakis are hip today — and will still be stylish tomorrow — whether for a lobby, break room, boardroom or anywhere in between. Chromatic brights are key for unexpected splashes of colour used for navigation, differentiation and branding. There are also increasing opportunities for facilities to select an accent colour of their choice in their carpeting to reinforce their brand and differentiate their space from that of the competition.

The pattern design and colour of carpet can powerfully impact a space and its inhabitants, and it’s one of the more important considerations when making a selection. Do you want to use your flooring selection to encourage and reinforce collaboration, to sooth and rejuvenate the soul, or to be a haven for the young, cultured and hip? Does the company pride itself on conservative thinking and tradition or does it strive to redefine the way people communicate and interact?

be a “LEED”er Today, a carpet is no longer measured on aesthetics alone. It is also judged on how it will affect the environment both inside and out. Innovations in green processes, reclaimation, and reuse continue to be introduced in all aspects of flooring choices. Fibre and materials are evolving with more recycled content and bio-based content. Understanding the importance of going green within the design industry, tools are now available that allow designers to understand how the carpet selected will impact the environmental rating of the building in which it is installed. With the birth of Web-based calculator tools, the environmental impact of offerings can be easily determined, allowing users to: Search carpet collections and calculate the USGBC LEED certification points, as well as other environmental industry ratings, from CHPS (Collaborative For High Performance Schools) to GGHC™ (Green Guide For Healthcare) Easily access and document in three simple steps: log-on to the LEED Plus Calculator site, choose a product and select the rating system or third-party certification; within minutes, delivers research results in a PDF

Colours and patterns are more than just aesthetic accessories, they are also performance features. For example, high-traffic open office areas are served well with multi-coloured carpeting, which can hide those hard-to-treat stains. Look for manufacturers that offer protectants built into the fibre of the carpet to permanently protect against these nuisances.

backings Choosing the appropriate backing system for the intended space is critical to providing long-term, high performance. Carpeting in high-traffic areas like hallways should have a backing that offers lifetime performance warranties covering edge ravel, delamination and tuft-bind loss.

adhesives Wasteful glue buckets, messy transfer papers, inefficient downtime and costly procedures can create a sticky situation with traditional carpet adhesives. Fortunately, several new technologies are worth investigating that can make installation a breeze, including pre-applied adhesives. End users continue to become savvier in making selections and seek the most innovative designs and sustainable products that their investments will allow for. By understanding the design and maintenance needs of a given space, clients and end users can be presented with the best options that will not only be aesthetically pleasing over time, but will also perform well for years. DQ Jackie Dettmar is vice president of commercial product development and design for The Mohawk Group, a leading manufacturer of award-winning broadloom, modular and custom carpeting for every installation. Visit Spring 2011 | DESIGN QUARTERLY






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philosophies in hospital design By Wojciech Brus and John Etcher


he Canadian health care system is under the microscope. Medical experts contend that the current model is not responsive to patients’ needs and that the system is straining to cope with the demands placed on it by an aging population. Multiple challenges including packed emergency rooms, shortages of beds, uncertain government funding and long waiting times for key procedures are adding to the burden. In addition, many of our older hospitals are built to cater to patients who require acute episodic care, and not for elderly patients with long-term complex conditions. Given that baby-boomers now constitute onethird of Canada’s population, this is a concern. According to the Canadian Medical Association, the hospital for the 21st century should be, “...more patient-centered, with a greater focus on prevention and education. Quality and timely health care should not be dependent on geography, income level or age.” One solution currently being explored by medical experts is the advancement of a more proactive approach to healthcare, with an increased focus on disease prevention and chronic disease management. In terms of design, this involves planning buildings around the needs of patients and reinventing hospitals as places of healing and community. Under this delivery model, all of the traditional medical services including doctor’s offices, emergency departments and operating rooms would be located under the same roof as healthyeating clinics, fitness facilities and disease management services. This is the medical equivalent of the ‘one stop shop’, which offers Canadians the tools to stay fit, healthy and out of hospital. This new model embraces two key design methodologies that are rapidly gaining credibility with staff and patients alike. The incorporation of Lean Design strategies and Evidence Based Design (EBD) seeks to make health care delivery safer and more reliable for everyone. Lean is a structured approach to workflow analysis that streamlines processes and reduces functional and operational waste by design. Originally developed by Toyota for their car manufacturing plants, the purpose of ‘Lean Manufacturing’ or the Toyota Production System (TPS) was to increase efficiency and reduce waste. 36


Transferred to the hospital setting, Lean utilizes empirical methods to eliminate what are known as the “Eight Wastes of Healthcare”: Overproduction (material, information); Waiting (patient; material; information; equipment; specialist); Transportation (patient transfer; clinical staff in-flight); Inefficient process (patient registration; access to services); Inventory (too much of what you don’t need, not enough of what you do); Motion/movement (movements that enable employees to perform their tasks effectively); Errors (clinical; administrative); Lost creativity (failure to implement ideas linked to increased efficiency or overall improvements). Lean consists of hundreds of tools. One tool that is widely used in health care facility design is DMADV (Define, Measure, Analyze, Design and Verify). This promotes the optimum flow of patients, staff, visitors, equipment, medical supplies and information within the

Lean Design strategies and Evidence Based Design seeks to make health care delivery safer… hospital setting. Design elements are carefully aligned to enhance workflow. The Jim Pattison Outpatient Care and Surgery Centre in Surrey, Canada’s first stand-alone outpatient facility, incorporates Lean Design strategies to optimize staff and patient flow within the building. In practical terms this means that each floor is set up to be patient orientated on one side and staff orientated on the other. Both groups can meet in the middle, thereby reducing walking distances. EBD bridges the gap between art and science, using practical scientific data to guide and refine the creative process. This methodology is typically based on the following five key principles, which are designed to improve the health and well-being of patients and staff: Private Rooms: Sharing a hospital room with one or more roommates has been proven to increase a patient’s chance of developing a secondary illness by 10 per cent. A 2003 pilot study by SFU, which assessed patient care issues in single and multiple occupancy hospital rooms, concluded that a room of one’s own not only reduced the risk of contracting additional infections but also

lessened the probability of medical errors or dietary mix-ups. It also found that single rooms preserve a patient’s dignity and aid peaceful sleep. Tranquil Environments: Sound absorbing walls, ceilings and floors not only allows patients to sleep better, but also calms agitated patients. Giving patients a sense of control over their environment, by permitting each patient to adjust their own lighting and temperature controls, also decreases stress levels. Right to Natural Light: Post operative patients placed in rooms with abundant sunlight and adequate ventilation report less pain and suffer fewer bouts of depression. Natural light aids the healing process, which results in quicker recovery times. Simplified & Consistent Layouts: Mobility speeds recovery and decreases the average length of time spent in hospital. Welllit passages and improved signage lessens disorientation and makes it easier for frail patients to get around, which promotes confidence and independence. Access to Nature: A number of studies demonstrate that even three to five minutes of contact with nature, through access to courtyards or gardens, will have a calming and restorative effect on patients, staff and visitors. The implementation of both Lean Design and EBD strategies requires a significant investment of time, money and resources at the project design phase. A report published in “Frontiers of Health Service Management” in 2005, pointed out that it costs an additional US $12 million to build a hospital that incorporates EBD principles. However, a hospital that incorporates EBD standards would save US $11.4 million in its first year of operation through a marked reduction in infections, falls, medication use, staff turnover and other costs. The application of management science within the health care system has the potential to yield improvements that will result in faster and better care, without increasing operating costs. This will create a better, more efficient, health care model for our future. DQ Wojciech Brus is principal and leader of the P3 and health care market sector for Kasian Architecture Interior Design and Planning Ltd. Contact him at wojciech.brus@kasian. com. John Etcher is a senior associate / medical facilities architect with Kasian. Contact him at

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bringing space to life

P h o to g r a ph y by Ra e f G ro e hne

P h ot o g r a ph y by Ki r ste n Mc G a u g h e y

By Tara Wells

Above: Lobby in One Ski Hill Place — Breckenridge, Colorado.


ar too often, interior design focuses on the visual sense at the expense of other senses. This is a shame, since it is through all of the senses that interior design can be most effective. Is an orchestra effective when it only has a string section, but no brass, woodwind or percussion instruments? No, our senses are heightened when all of the instruments are synchronized for the orchestra. Like a composer, the interior designer orchestrates space by synchronizing design elements for form, which appeals to the visual sense, and function, which appeals to our other senses. Interior design comes to life when people engage space through what they see, smell, touch, hear and yes, sometimes even taste. Like a musical composition, interior space is most effective when the layers are brought together into a symphony. No matter what space we’re designing, the ultimate goal is to tug at the heart strings of the customer. This means that our design has to appeal to all of the senses. For instance, restaurant space often requires unusual detailing, materials and a play on textures and colours to provide a stimulating environment. Add the smell of restaurant’s best cuisine and the appropriate mood music and you create an environment that appeals to the senses. With the proper integration of materials and details, you have created a conformable place to be. Depending on the location of a hotel, luxury and comfort are what most hoteliers focus their attention on. Levels of luxury vary with

Left: Summerfield — South Surrey, B.C.

the cost of a room, but the goal is the same. Hotels often have more than one type of end users, but they typically develop a brand to target a specific type of guest. The interior designer must know this particular demographic. We help to create an environment that pampers the guest by appealing to what they see and what they feel. Typically in most new hotels, guests are provided with crisp white bedding, pillow top mattresses and a variety of pillow types. A splashy accent bed scarf adds sizzle to the room. Few people stay in hotels today without some sort of mobile device so internet connections and docking stations are specified in new or renovated hotels. A bath tray with a variety of pleasant smelling soaps, shampoos and other products enhances the guest’s experience. The same principles apply regardless of the type of hotel or the cost of a room. The only variance is the cost of the products specified. With proper connections with suppliers and use of the internet, the most appropriate products can be attained with relative ease from just about anywhere, provided they meet local codes and standards as required. Office environments above all should be ergonomic and comfortable. Employees spend up to 40 hours or longer a week in their work settings. Special attention needs to be paid to maintain lighting at the appropriate level, especially in spaces where natural light is minimal. Eye strain, headaches and sensory light deprivation can result in spaces where the lighting levels are not

appropriate. Air systems are very important in these types of environments. Smells are not well tolerated in offices. Some people are sensitive to smells and suffer allergies; others simply find some smells annoying. Unlike customers who choose to visit a restaurant or store, employees usually don’t have a choice in where they will spend their time. Smells and sounds don’t contribute to their comfort, so the focus should be on appealing to the visual and touch senses. For a lot of people, the home is their sanctuary. It is where they for go to rest, relax and rejuvenate. Unlike designing for a multitude of customers and employees, designing a home is much more specific for a particular end user. People have different tastes and unless we know what those tastes are and how people prefer to live in their homes, we cannot provide design to properly meet their needs. Consider the personality of the client; what does the client like and dislike. Our role is to assist them to create the home environment they want. We all know that not everyone knows what they want, but they often know what they don’t want. As consultants, we have the knowledge and experience to help clients create a vision that is practical for them. Only by helping the client to create this vision can we bring space to life. DQ Tara Wells is principal of Portico Design Group, an awarding design firm specializing in residential and resorts throughout North America. Spring 2011 | DESIGN QUARTERLY


::::::: design headlines ::::::: Gold for Bing

Ledingham Honoured Robert Ledingham was recognized with the prestigious 2011 Leadership Award of Excellence. The award, which recognizes outstanding contributions to the profession of interior design, was presented to him at the inaugural IDC/IIDA Vancouver Leaders Breakfast on February 24 at the Vancouver Convention Centre. The sold out event was held in conjunction with Buildex. Trevor Linden former NHL allstar and Olympian, delivered the keynote address. Ledingham is one of Canada’s most celebrated interior designers, with more than two decades of experience in the corporate, hospitality, and retail sectors. He is the recipient of more than 30 awards for his designs, including several City of Vancouver Heritage Awards, for his contribution to heritage design. In 2004 he became the second inductee to Western Living magazine’s Hall of Fame. He is currently principal of Ledingham Design Consultants. The Leaders Breakfast series began as a single event, launched in New York in 1989. In 2001, the series expanded into what is now an international program. Vancouver was the second stop of the 2011 tour.    

Pixels Launched CGC Inc. announced the launch of Pixels™, the first design product of its kind in Canada, aimed at the commercial marketplace. Pixels™ turns a CGC metal ceiling or wall-mounted panel system into a “canvas” upon which images can be displayed, transforming blank surfaces into customized, interactive visuals. Pixels™, enabled by Intelliperf Technology™, software proprietary to CGC, displays images, such as photographs and company logos, via perforations of various sizes in metal panels. The perforations give the display an optical art appearance close up and resolve into a clear image when viewed from a distance. 38


Renowned architect Bing Thom is the recipient of the 2011 RAIC Gold Medal, the highest honour the organization can bestow. The award is in recognition of a significant body of work deemed to be a major contribution to Canadian architecture and having lasting influence on the theory and practice of architecture. Thom has built a global reputation for innovative design on a wide range of projects ranging from single-family homes to largescale mixed-use projects and city building, always balancing a delight in form-making with a commitment to shaping artful, involving, democratic public spaces. Past recipients include Frank Gehry and Arthur Erickson. Thom studied under Erickson and will receive his award during the 2011 RAIC Festival of Architecture in Vancouver.

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Green Awards

Top Ten

Seven sustainably designed buildings from all over Canada, including Quebec, Ontario, Alberta, and B.C. were honoured with 2011 SAB Canadian Green Building Awards. Projects were celebrated for their level of sustainable design, architectural excellence, and technical innovation. The winning projects from B.C. and Alberta were: Ralph Klein Park, Environmental Education Centre, Calgary; Creekside Community Centre, Vancouver; False Creek Energy Centre, Vancouver; VIU Deep Bay Marine Field Station, Vancouver Island; and The Schoolhouse, Vancouver.

LMN-designed Vancouver Convention Centre West has been selected as one of the Top Ten Green Projects awarded by the American Institute of Architects (AIA) Committee on the Environment (COTE). LMN was honoured for this prestigious award at the AIA National Convention and Design Exposition in New Orleans. The project was a collaboration between LMN (as design architect), Vancouver-based Musson Cattell Mackey and DA Architects + Planners. The COTE Top Ten Green Projects program, now in its 15th year, celebrates projects that are the result of a thoroughly integrated approach to architecture, natural systems and technology. They make a positive contribution to their communities, improve comfort for building occupants and reduce environmental impacts through strategies such as reuse of existing structures, connection to transit systems, low-impact and regenerative site development, energy and water conservation, use of sustainable or renewable construction materials, and design that improves indoor air quality.

Outstanding Achievement The recently transformed Britannia Mine Museum has received the 2011 Canadian Museum Association Award for Outstanding Achievement in Facility Development and Design. The museum was unanimously recognized for excellence in function, vision, innovation, and architecture, acknowledging its national significance and ambitious vision in creating a destination museum in a considerable short time frame. The long-standing site was reinvented in 2010 through a $14.7 million three-phase redevelopment project that turned a mining legacy site into a vibrant tourist destination. The redevelopment project focused on preserving the museum’s heritage buildings and mining collections while creating an enhanced visitor experience. Partner organizations involved in the redevelopment of the Museum include AldrichPears Associates, TRB Architecture, David Jensen & Associates, Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg and Parkwood Construction Ltd. to name a few.

Codes delayed to 2012 The BC government will be publishing the next editions of the BC Building Code, BC Fire Code, and BC Plumbing Code in the spring of 2012 with an effective date in the fall of 2012. Many in the industry were anticipating the release of the codes this spring. The province generally adopts next editions of the BC Codes in the year following the release of the new edition of the National Building Code. However, the new National Building Code was released with over 850 changes. Some of the more substantial changes require further analysis.

Design Quarterly - Spring 2011  

Design Quarterly - Spring 2011