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April 20, 2011

RAIC announce 2011 Awards of Excellence


The Cube, a downtown open-air performance space in Winnipeg, is one of four buildings across Canada selected for Awards of Excellence from Architecture Canada.

The Cube, also known as OMS Stage, was hailed for its innovative metal mesh design, which draws back to reveal a stage and can be adapted for everything from concerts to parties. The jury called the work, by 5468796 Architecture Inc., a “The Cube” is a brilliant work of architectural art. It takes a simple object like the cube and transforms it into a piece of art. The use of materials and their assembly is quite imaginative and evident in how light is refracted. It is also a testament of what can happen when various parties with varying backgrounds can collaborate together and produce such a wonderful piece of art that is both functional and pleasant to look at.”

Other winners of Awards of Excellence for innovation: Mission 2050 at the University of Guelph, a campus dedicated to making agriculture more ecologically sensitive, by Baird Sampson Neuert Architects Inc. of Toronto. “The agri-ecology campus is truly a visionary endeavour. The concept of “total resource recovery” is an essential part of humanity’s environmental challenge this coming century. The role of the architect as a central figure in this project sends an important message for our profession’s next generation. This is the serious business of saving the planet.”

North House, a prototype prefabricated solar-powered home designed for northern climates, created by a team of faculty and graduate students from the University of Waterloo, Ryerson University and Simon Fraser University. “This is a unique house which integrates the latest in building technologies making it specifically designed for northern climates. It combines such things as solar energy, automation and natural light making it an energy efficient house. The ceiling tiling system is also quite innovative and provides an artistic touch to this unique house. This type of experimental home is very much in line with work being conducted at the National Research Council and would warrant possible collaboration in the future.”

The new Durham Consolidated Courthouse in Oshawa by WZMH Architects of Toronto won the Awards of Excellence for green architecture for its planning efficiency and contribution to the city. “This building revitalizes the downtown core and provides a contextual response to a complex architectural challenge. The project provides landscaped open areas and a gateway to the downtown,” the jury said.

University of Waterloo professor and artist Philip Beesley, whose unusual lightweight ‘textile’ structures were Canada’s entry at the Venice Biennale for Architecture in 2010, won the Allied Arts Awards. The awards will be presented May 27 at a president’s gala for Architecture Canada.