Three B.C. buildings among architecture award winners

By Kim Pemberton
Vancouver Sun , April 23, 2014

Three B.C. projects have won recognition in a national competition that honours the best in Canadian architecture.

The buildings — the Tula House on Quadra Island designed by Patkau Architects; North Vancouver’s City Hall by Micheal Green, now of Michael Green Architecture; and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Centre for Drug Research and Development at the University of B.C. by Saucier + Perrotte Architectes and Hughes Condon Marler Architects — are being recognized with Governor General’s Medals in Architecture.

The projects and nine others across the country were named winners of the award by the Canada Council for the Arts on Wednesday. Awards will be presented at a ceremony at Rideau Hall on May 13.

The oceanside Tula House was described by the awards jury as “a spectacular house for a spectacular site” that is “in dynamic harmony with nature.”

The North Vancouver City Hall project revitalized the existing municipal hall and added a tubelike structure between the hall and the adjacent library to connect them.

The jury wrote that the project was “an elegant, restrained and sophisticated expansion to a small district municipal hall. … The vocabulary is warm and refined, befitting a city hall’s place in the community.” The design was based on the concept of two trees whose foliage becomes fused into an extensive network of branches.

The UBC building was described by the jury as being a “strong building with a strong concept, beautifully executed.”

Other winners include…

Architect offers a new take on preserving the old

By John Bentley Mays 
Special to The Globe and Mail, May 01 2014

To some degree or another, every right-thinking Torontonian is an architectural preservationist nowadays.

We revere our city’s Victorian and Edwardian fabric, and we circulate petitions when a splinter or brick of it is endangered. Public resistance routinely breaks out when a developer proposes the demolition of something city hall has dubbed a “heritage property.” Rather than replace a house or commercial building that’s outlived its usefulness, we tend to gut, remodel, re-purpose, and modernize its interior, shore up its antique exterior, then congratulate ourselves on having done our bit to save Toronto’s historic “character.”

We should be glad that developers have spared many sturdy buildings put up in the age of steam and gaslights, and found new careers for them as condominium stacks, office blocks and such. Old houses, and the streetscapes they generate, have also been beneficiaries of the benevolent attitudes toward the past that have taken root in Toronto during the past 50 years.

But few of these acts of conservation have demanded much more from local architects than a certain knack for taxidermy. Taxidermy, of course, is not the worst thing that can happen to an elderly building people want to rescue. Becoming a zombie is. At its least interesting, preservationism promotes the presence of the living dead among us – facades wrapped around completely disjunct interiors, or surviving only as random fragments or souvenirs recycled into contemporary structures, perfunctory nods to “history,” without weight or life. More…

Space for Life Architecture Competition Finalists Announced

The Montréal Space for Life, in keeping with their desire to meld art, science and emotion, announced the launch of an architecture competition of international scope, on February 10, 2014. The competition, inspired by the Space for Life mission, called for designs for three major projects: the Insectarium Metamorphosis, the Biodôme Renewal and a new Glass Pavilion at the Botanical Garden.

The Space for Life sought creative and innovative input of the world’s top designers. An international jury selected the winners. The Ministère des Affaires municipales, Régions et Occupation du territoire du Québec has allocated a $45 million budget for the three projects, which will stand as legacies of Montréal’s 375th anniversary and are part of the Space for Life development plan.

The finalists in the Montréal Space for Life architecture competition were announced. After deliberating on April 3 and 4, the jury announced its decision to the city of Montréal Executive Committee.

During this first stage, the participants had to present their vision for one or more of the three projects. Many Quebec firms allied with partners from abroad and other Canadian provinces. Eight teams were chosen to take part in the next stage in the competition and to submit more detailed concepts for one or more of the projects.

Of the 59 proposals received, 22 were for the Insectarium Metamorphosis, 11 for the Biodôme Renewal and 27 for the Glass Pavilion. Four finalist teams were chosen for each project. Learn more…

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  • To understand the various panel characteristics and configurations available for operable wall systems.
  • To learn the different suspension systems available for use with operable partitions.
  • To understand the various types of acoustical seals and how they contribute to desired STC levels.
  • To learn about Health and Safety as it relates to the moving and fire ratings of operable partitions.

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