Local Architects Aim to Increase Evidence of Edmonton’s Aboriginal Population in Art, Buildings

By Elise Stolte, Edmonton Journal
February 28, 2012

Searching for evidence of Edmonton’s aboriginal history took Zoe Todd to out-of-the way spots — the north LRT tracks, industrial sites, the rarely used downtown Beaver Hills Park. Edmonton has the second largest urban aboriginal population in Canada, but the impact of that culture and history almost invisible in the shapes of the buildings and art of the street. Calgary names major freeways after local First Nations bands, Winnipeg created an aboriginal history walk in its most popular park, the totem poles of Vancouver’s Museum of Anthropology are a tourist hot spot, but Edmonton’s largest tribute is tucked between an industrial site and a busy road in Rossdale. More … 

A Case For New Urbanism in Mount Pleasant

By Tony Wanless, BC Business
February 28, 2012

The fight shaping up over a development proposal in a funky Mt. Pleasant location says just about all you ever want to know about where the city of Vancouver is these days. The proposed 19-storey highrise at the major intersection of Kingsway and Broadway has “divided” the neighbourhood, according to the Vancouver Sun. Given that there hasn’t been a development proposal in 20 years that hasn’t “divided” a neighborhood in Vancouver and most of its suburbs, that’s hardly a surprise. More …

Upcoming Exhibit: BCIT Graduate Studio Exhibit: Re-imagining 14th and Main

March 12-30,  2012
Reception: Tuesday,  March 27, 2012, 5:30 – 7:00 p.m.
AIBC Gallery (#100 – 440 Cambie Street, Vancouver)

Re-imagining 14th and Main showcases the work of fourth year students enrolled the British Columbia Institute of Technology’s Architectural Science Program. This years’ graduating project studio is offered in conjunction with the CityStudio program, which focuses on sustainable design both at the broad urban level and the individual building level. This year’s studio projects examine the  intersection of Vancouver’s 14th and Main, tackling complex urban design issues while examining the notions put forward by Vancouver’s Greenest City Goals and The Living Building Challenge. The projects also explore the question of how buildings can be part of a complete community while addressing social and environmental sustainability principles. This exhibit, the result of a year-long studio, reflects the development of detailed technical and design responses to complex contemporary issues. A reception will take place Tuesday, March 27, 2012  from 5:30 – 7:00 p.m. at the AIBC Gallery. Those wishing to attend should r.s.v.p. by March 20 to communications@aibc.ca.

2012 AIBC Annual Conference: Sponsorship and Exhibitor Opportunities

Sponsorship of the AIBC Annual Conference provides a prime opportunity for organizations to build brand recognition while accessing hundreds of potential clients, partners and colleagues. There are four sponsorship tiers to choose from, each with a select range of benefits. Sponsors may choose to align with special events, professional development streams, meals, and much more. With opportunities flexibly priced from $1,500 – $10,000, there’s something to fit every budget. A limited number of exhibitor spots are also available. For more information, please contact Senior Communications Specialist Lisa Christensen by e-mail (lchristensen@aibc.ca) or telephone (604 683 8588 ext 331).

Chinese Architect Awarded Pritzker Prize

Wang Shu, a 48-year-old architect from The People’s Republic of China, has been chosen by the Hyatt Foundation as its recipient of the 2012 Pritzker Architecture Prize. The annual award, regarded by many as architecture’s highest honor, recognizes a living architect whose built work demonstrates the qualities of talent, vision and commitment with consistent and significant contributions to humanity and the built environment through the art of architecture. Those chosen receive a $100,000 grant and a bronze medallion. In making its selection, this year’s jury noted Wang’s ability to transcend the debate of past versus present with regard to urbanization in China. Wang and his wife Lu Wenyu founded their professional practice, Amateur Architecture Studio, in 1997 in Hangzhou. All of his major projects are in China. Wang is also a visiting professor at Harvard University and a frequent visiting lecturer at many universities around the world. Another thing that sets Wang apart from most of his contemporaries is his design process: “I don’t use the computer. I use just the pencil.” For more information on the Pritzker Architecture Prize and this year’s recipient, visit http://www.pritzkerprize.com/.

Update: Consensual Resolution Amendments to Architects Act

Earlier this month, the B.C. Legislature concluded second reading of Bill 18: The Advanced Education Statutes Amendment Act, proposed legislation introduced by Minister of Advanced Education Naomi Yamamoto that, if passed, would enshrine consensual resolution as an option to disciplinary inquiries for resolving professional conduct matters. The draft bill now proceeds to Committee of the Whole before the third and final reading stage. As previously noted, the AIBC has been seeking legislative amendments to authorize consensual resolution since the autumn of 2009, when a B.C. Court of Appeal decision involving the professional engineers led AIBC Council to put the institute’s successful consensual resolution process on hold pending statutory reform. Since that time, all charges of unprofessional conduct have been heard at formal disciplinary inquiries as the only statutory mechanism available. If enacted, the amendments would require AIBC members to pass bylaws relating to consensual resolution practices and procedures. Any related questions can be directed to Director of Professional Conduct and Illegal Practice Thom Lutes at tlutes@aibc.ca.

The Waning of Wild Architecture

By Kelvin Browne, National Post
February 27, 2012

When’s the last time you heard someone describe a house or interior as eccentric, and mean it as a compliment? These are the quirky, perhaps even beautiful, places that are vastly different than the norm. Eccentric architecture has a long history, often fuelled by personalities. Mad King Ludwig of Bavaria built many palaces such as Neuschwanstein, the fantasy castle we associate with Walt Disney. Marjorie Merriweather Post built the pseudo Moorish-cum-Venetian palace in Palm Beach, Mar-a-Lago, in 1924. It was exotic, with eclectic furnishing to match. Donald Trump has since turned it into a club and hotel. More … 

Renée Van Halm’s Cross-Cutting/Inside Out is Charged With Wonderful Contradictions

By Robin Laurence, Georgia Straight
February 17, 2012

Walk into the main floor exhibition space of the Burnaby Art Gallery and you are confronted with an image of a starkly modernist interior. A gridded wall of glass casts light and shadow across the bare floor and onto a Le Corbusier chair, all stiff black leather and shiny chrome. A telescope sits in one corner, and a sleek floor lamp, pared down to a few militarily efficient lines, occupies the other. Based on a still from the 1986 film 9½ Weeks, this image has been purged of its human occupants, stripped to its modernist bones. More … 

Tall, Thin, Curvy, Gorgeous – And Heating The Winter Sky

By Lisa Rochon, Globe and Mail
February 24, 2012

At night, they glitter, they sparkle, they stand as quintessential beacons of futurism. Scrutinized in the bright light of day, however, transparent skyscrapers are starting to be understood for what they are: environmentally toxic, and harbingers of a devastating urban scenario. A recent attack on the “architectural pornography” of the 82-storey Aqua Tower in Chicago by Ted Kesik, a University of Toronto professor of building science, has caused a serious rethink of the glassy skyscrapers that now dominate cities like Vancouver and Toronto, where another 132 towers are currently in the process of being built. To Kesik and other building scientists, the uninsulated concrete slab floors that sweep seamlessly from Aqua’s interiors out to its exterior balconies are typical of abysmal cold-climate design. More … 

Vancouver Building Bylaw Submission

Earlier this year, the City of Vancouver announced proposed changes to the Vancouver Building Bylaw, inviting key industry and professional organizations as well as individuals to provide feedback and commentary. Major areas that are being addressed include incorporating changes made in the National Building Code of Canada 2010, new measures for environmental protection and resource conservation, and greater flexibility of use of ground floor tenant spaces. In crafting its formal response, the AIBC gathered commentary and feedback from its Regulatory Coordination Committee as well as from experienced members outside of that committee. The AIBC’s resulting submission expressed general support for the changes proposed while offering occasional suggestions and cautionary notes with regard to specific proposals under consideration. The institute also expressed appreciation for the opportunity to be part of the review process for regulation having a significant impact on the profession. To access the AIBC’s detailed submission, click here.

Changes to the Internship in Architecture Program

Effective January 1, 2012, several changes were made to the national Internship in Architecture Program (IAP). These changes include:

  • Reduction of the total length of the work experience requirement from 5600 hours (three years) to 3720 hours (two years);
  • Elimination of the Discretionary Experience requirement; and
  • Effective January 1, 2013, all experience hours must be gained as an intern architect. Credit will not be granted for experience gained while a student at a school of architecture. Note: this change does not affect individuals in the Syllabus Program.

The major intent of these changes is to move towards a shorter, more focused program that reflects current and relevant experience gained by intern architects while working under the supervision and mentorship of architects.

Internship in Architecture Program Manual

Detailed information about the changes to the program can be found in the revised Internship in Architecture Program Manual.

AIBC Appendix B:  British Columbia Requirements

An updated version of AIBC Appendix B detailing B.C.-specific information, requirements and transition period details is also available online.

Reciprocal Licensing Agreements with U.S.A.

The overall reduction in hours will have an effect on the reciprocal licensing agreements that have historically been in place between the United States and Canada. In response to the concerns expressed by many intern architects, the AIBC will continue to offer and administer the 5600-hour version of the IAP to accommodate those intern architects who would like to preserve their reciprocity options. Details of how and when selection between the 3720-hour and 5600-hour programs can be are explained more fully in AIBC Appendix B.

More Questions?

For additional information or questions, see the FAQ document on the AIBC’s IAP web page or contact Registration & Licensing Administrative Assistant Emily Tyler by e-mail (etyler@aibc.ca) or phone (604-683-8588, x. 324).

Tangential Vancouverism

Friday, March 2 marks the official opening of a new exhibition that look beyond Vancouver’s status quo while considering the necessary political, social, and economic triggers for urban innovation. Directed by University of British Columbia students Alexandra Kenyon and Alex Buss and titledTangential Vancouverism”, this experimental project brings together the works of five emerging design practice and three urban thinkers who, as part of a design research forum, hope to the current models by which the city builds. Participants include Ian Ross McDonald MAIBC, Matthew Soules MAIBC and Hannah Teicher as well as design teams from  Hapa Collaborative, ph5 architecture / Urban Republic, Public Architecture and Communication, RUF Project, and space2place. The resulting exhibition is meant to prompt discussion through design projects, written proposals, and dialogue that engage the public and private sector alike. It will run from March 2 to April 29 at 221a Artist Run Centre, located at 221A East Georgia Street at Main in Vancouver. Those interested are welcome to attend the opening reception March 2 at 8:00 p.m.  Designer talks and a publication launch are slated for later in March. Additional information can be found online at


Bylaw Amendments Recommended by AIBC Council

At its February 14, 2012 meeting, AIBC Council reviewed a series of recommendations made by the AIBC Bylaw Review Committee to amend portions of the AIBC’s bylaws. Council approved those recommendations and has now asked the committee to prepare information and seek feedback from members in preparation for voting on the amendments at the AIBC Annual Meeting to be held on Saturday, May 12, 2012. Further information on this process, including the background recommendation memorandum prepared by the committee, will be available through the  AIBC web site in the coming days. Council has also requested that the committee continue its bylaw review process in order to identify further bylaw modernization and improvement recommendations for later in the calendar year. Those with questions, concerns or comments are invited to contact AIBC Bylaw Review Committee Chair Janet Lutz MAIBC (janet.lutz@lutzarch.com) or AIBC Professional Conduct Coordinator Gayle Roberts (groberts@aibc.ca).

Deadline: AIBC Honorary Membership Nominations

Monday, February 27 is the nomination deadline for this year’s AIBC Honorary Membership recognizing non-architects who have made an exceptional contribution to the profession or demonstrated a remarkable commitment to the institute. AIBC members and associates are encouraged to bring forward the names or worthy candidates for consideration. For additional information and a nomination form, click here.

Enermodal Engineering Inc. – Designing for People and the Planet

Designing for people and the planet is an unfolding reality for designers of buildings and communities. Conventional approaches to design have failed to cost-effectively deliver sustainability. The integrated design process, high-performance building technologies and sophisticated performance simulation tools offer enormous potential but pose interesting questions and challenges. How close are we to net-zero energy buildings in Canada? Should designers focus mostly on adaptive/passive systems that can easily integrate active renewable energy technologies in the future? How much does the promise of design depend on the realities of operation and maintenance? In this presentation, Enermodal Engineering President Stephen Carpenter M.A.Sc. P.Eng. will explore the state of building and community design today, and where it should go in order to balance social, environmental and economic dynamics. It takes place Monday, February 27, 7:00 – 9:00 p.m. at University of British Columbia – Robson Square, 800 Robson Street, Vancouver. Register online at http://www.zvents.com/vancouver-bc/events/show/243679385-designing-for-people-and-the-planet#.

2 Core LUs