Urban Infrastructure and Built Environment Trade Mission to India

10-15 November 2014

The Canadian Trade Commissioner Service and its partners invite Canadian companies to take part in an Urban Infrastructure and Built Environment mission to India. The mission will consist of a series of seminars and roundtables in New Delhi and Mumbai, followed by participation at “Municipalika 2014” to be held in Gandhi Nagar, Gujarat from November 13-15, 2014.

Over the last two decades, India has witnessed urbanization on a massive scale. Its urban population has increased from 286 million in 2001 to 377 million in 2011. Such migration is expected to continue at unprecedented rates, with India’s urban population estimated to reach 590 million by 2030, contributing 70% to the country’s GDP.

To meet growing urbanisation needs, the Government of India is undertaking aggressive urbanization initiatives. Plans include the construction of 100 smart cities across the country with GIS (Geographic Information Systems)-based town planning and using the latest technology and infrastructure, including housing, integrated waste and water management and advanced transport systems.

This mission will focus on export-ready Canadian companies active across infrastructure sub-sectors and the built environment who will find opportunities in India’s growing urban environment. An emphasis will be on project management and engineering services (construction, architecture and design), transportation (road/highways, rail, airports, SEZs and intelligent transportation systems), Water and Waste Water (Conservation, Treatment and Supply) Solid Waste Management (Collection, Storage, Transportation, Treatment and Disposal) Safety, Security and Disaster Management (Prevention, Protection and Rescue) and Building materials and prefabricated construction.

The mission will help Canadian companies and trade associations understand the significant opportunities in India, as well as assist them in making key contacts across the public and private sector in order to pursue future opportunities.

For any questions about this program, please contact Shriya Ramachandran (shriya.ramachandran@international.gc.ca) or Elizabeth Sharma (elizabeth.sharma@international.gc.ca).
Leran more…

Álvaro Siza donates architectural archive to the Canadian Centre for Architecture

By Staff Canadian Architect
July 27, 2014, Canadian Architect

Portuguese architect Álvaro Siza, recipient of the Pritzker Prize,has donated a large part of his architectural archive to the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal (CCA). In a recent statement, Siza announced his decision to place the material in the care of the CCA in order to foster discussion and dialogue in a research-oriented context. As one of the world’s foremost international architecture collections, the CCA offers a unique environment dedicated to the study and presentation of architectural thought and practice.

Álvaro Siza’s work can be studied in the context of the international archives of Peter Eisenman, Arthur Erickson, John Hejduk, Gordon Matta-Clark, Cedric Price, Aldo Rossi, James Stirling, as well as Pierre Jeanneret, Abalos & Herreros, Foreign Office Architects, and others housed at the CCA.

CCA Director Mirko Zardini states, “The CCA is thrilled to accept this generous donation. I have known Álvaro Siza and followed his work closely for several decades. His architecture escapes easy classification, but always offers a lesson – a new way of seeing the world around us. His buildings have a distinct character and particular relationship to their urban or natural settings, always born from the desire to participate in the world. Siza’s drawings and sketches reflect his ability to capture the essence of a place through careful observation. No matter in which country he works, the finished buildings are always distinctly of the place as much as they are distinctly his. His vision on architecture and the city generates a new dialogue within the CCA collection.”  Read more…

Inside the $22M facelift for the Colonial Building

By The Canadian Press Posted
July 28, 2014, CBC News – Newfoundland & Labrador

There’s a good story behind the spectacular ceiling frescoes now brought back to full glory as part of a $22-million restoration of Newfoundland’s former legislature.

The intricate patterns that embellish twin chambers where elected and appointed officials once governed the British colony turned dominion then Canadian province were painted by a Polish artist serving time for forgery.

NL Colonial Building 20140727
Restoration of the Colonial Building is scheduled to be completed by the fall of 2015. (Paul Daly/The Canadian Press)

It’s perhaps the least you’d expect from one of the most fabled buildings in St. John’s — a place that calls itself the City of Legends.

Jerry Dick, director of heritage for the provincial Tourism, Culture and Recreation Department, tells the tale of Alexander Pindikowski. The gifted artist wound up in Her Majesty’s Penitentiary for 15 months in 1880 after forging cheques.

Rather than have his talents go to waste, his sentence was partly commuted in exchange for creating resplendent ceiling murals at the Colonial Building and other prominent sites around the city.

“There are lots of interesting things about this building,” Dick said of the neoclassical structure that first opened in 1850. A triangular pediment dominates the exterior supported by six stone columns.

Project to be completed next year

The restoration to be finished by the fall of next year will transform the front lobby back to 1850 with faux marble and wood paint finishes considered among the finest of the day, Dick said.

Inside, the elected house of assembly and appointed legislative council chambers will be taken back to 1880 to showcase Pindikowski’s stunning handiwork.

“There will be the desks of the legislators and we plan to use this space for things like historical re-enactments,” Dick said. “We also see youth parliaments, debates and … even special sittings of the house of assembly.”

The storied site hasn’t functioned as a legislature since just before provincial politicians relocated to the Confederation Building in 1960. It served as the provincial archives until 2005 and has since been maintained but mostly empty.

The $22.3-million revamp is being largely funded by the province with the federal government contributing just over $9 million.

Escaping a riot

Dick clearly enjoys pointing out the building’s unique features. There’s the staircase down which former prime minister Richard Squires escaped on April 5, 1932 as a riot raged outside over suspected government corruption and mismanagement. Newspaper accounts described how Squires was chased by the crowd into a nearby residence from which he narrowly fled.  Read more…

Some Moncton architecture ‘not very fair’ to homeless

CBC News, New Brunswick
Jul 25, 2014

Greater Moncton Homelessness Steering Committee says posts and similar structures are unwelcoming

Moncton residents are debating some architectural design elements along city streets that are intended to be so uncomfortable that it discourages people from loitering or sleeping in the area.

Decorative objects, such as posts, rivets and fences, can be found along Moncton streets and are designed to stop people from sitting on windowsills or laying on flowerbeds.

These design elements are not uncommon. In Montreal last month, anti-loitering spikes were installed with the intention of deterring people from sitting on a ledge along a sidewalk.

The controversial spikes were removed after Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre called them a “disgrace” and promised they would be taken away.

Some people refer to these posts, or spikes or fences as anti-homeless design or hostile architecture.
Ronnie LeBlanc spends a lot of his time in downtown Moncton and he said he feels these loitering deterrents are unfair.

“We’re not harming anyone sitting up there. We’re just sitting right? We’re having a coffee or a cigarette, or whatever. That’s it,” LeBlanc said.

It’s better than sitting right in the middle. Look at the bank over there with all these posts you can’t sit on at all. It’s not very fair.”

Sue Calhoun, a community development officer with the Greater Moncton Homelessness Steering Committee, said posts and similar structures are unwelcoming. Read more…

Current Exhibit: UBC SALA Presents “Conceptualizing the Technical”

AIBC Gallery

August  7 – September 19, 2014

This exhibit features 19 student team projects developed by fourth term Master of Archi­tecture students studying at the University of British Columbia. The studio work featured is the result of a collaboration between the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture and the UBC First Nations House of Learning.

Each project on display explores the concept of “Research Centre” development in one of four institutional variants: centre, museum, archive, or memorial. Throughout the exhibit, the design process is illustrated through beautiful and provocative key images.  The exhibit also includes statements from individuals who participated in the studio as “clients”. This exhibit demonstrates how a real world context can lend meaning and clarity to help to speculative design endeavors.

Gallery Reception:

AIBC registrants are invited to attend a reception on September 15 from 5:30 – 7:30 p.m. Advance reception R.S.V.P. is required by September 7. Please R.S.V.P. by emailing: conceptualizingthetechnical@gmail.com or confirm as “going” at the Facebook event page. The AIBC Gallery, located at #100 – 440 Cambie Street in Vancouver, is free and open to the public open Monday – Friday 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

D’Arcy Jones Wins Ronald J. Thom Award For Early Design Achievement

By Staff Canadian Architect
Jul 23, 2014, Canadian Architect

Vancouver-based architect D’Arcy Jones is the 2014 winner of the Canada Council’s Ronald J. Thom Award for Early Design Achievement. This annual award is given to an architect in the early stages of a career with outstanding creative talent and exceptional potential in architectural design.

D’Arcy Jones is known for his award-winning projects throughout Canada. He heads a studio recognized for its fine craft sensibility – a reputation earned through collaborations with ceramic artists, traditional woodworkers, metal fabricators and industrial designers. On each project he weaves together construction and context, manipulating materials and space to create original buildings.
Designed for a Toronto family, the Åbenbare House was featured in the April 2013 issue of Canadian Architect, followed in March 2014 by the Monte Clark Gallery in Vancouver.

The Ronald J. Thom Award for Early Design Achievement is awarded to either a practitioner of architecture or an architectural firm. The successful candidate must be in the early stages of a career or practice and must demonstrate both outstanding creative talent and exceptional potential in architectural design. He or she must demonstrate sensitivity to architecture’s allied arts, crafts and professions within the context of an integrated built environment. These include landscape architecture, interior design, furniture design, graphic design and decorative arts.

The award was established in 1990, in collaboration with the Canada Council for the Arts, by friends and colleagues of the eminent Canadian architect Ronald J. Thom. The award, which honours Thom’s life and work, reflects the qualities of his legacy to Canada. This legacy includes both his buildings and the encouragement and inspiration he gave his colleagues in architecture and its allied arts and professions.

The award is valued at $10,000.

Jones was interviewed by the Canada Council, the results of which can be found at http://canadacouncil.ca/council/blog/2014/5questions-darcy-jones

In Passing: James Coverdale

James Coverdale, a former associate of the AIBC, passed away on July 1, 2014 after a long and courageous battle with brain cancer. James passed on peacefully in the loving presence of his wife and “dearest soul friend” Lynn, their beloved daughter Nina, and sister-in-law Karen.  With the support of Lynn (and with then-infant Nina in tow) Jim took a daring mid-life plunge into the School of Architecture at Carlton University. Upon graduating he applied his modernist aesthetic and impeccable design skills to projects in Vancouver for some 20 years.

Jim’s architectural sensibility was continuous with his deep love and profound understanding of music, a gift he generously bestowed on all who knew him, whether by sharing the latest acquisition to his infinitely expanding and eclectic music collection, or an exhilarating account of a concert he’d just attended. As past president and long- standing board member of the Coastal Jazz and Blues Society, Jim’s vast musical knowledge, superb ear, and commitment to governance helped to inform and shape Canada’s leading showcase for cutting edge music, the Vancouver International Jazz Festival. Jim understood that small things often carry great significance and loved tuning others in to the “bright moments” that illuminated his days. To his many friends he was a touchstone not only on matters of taste but also on matters of right and wrong, how we should conduct ourselves, and what we should attend to in our lives.

Those who knew Jim are invited to visit http://jcremembered.wordpress.com and share their remembrances. An Open House at the family home to honour James will be held on Saturday, July 26 from 3-5 p.m. Donations to The Callanish Society (604 732-0633) and The Coastal Jazz and Blues Society (604 872-5200 ext. 5) in James’ memory will be gratefully accepted.

A North Korean Architect’s Crazy Visions Of The Future


By Kyle Vanhemert
July 22, 2014, Wired.co.uk

It’s difficult for anyone to imagine the future. But what if you were largely unfamiliar with the present?

That’s the fascination at the heart of “Commissions for Utopia,” a series of futuristic scenes of North Korea dreamed up by one of the country’s promising young architects. The illustrations, currently on view at the Venice Architecture Biennale in Italy, show the buildings of tomorrow as envisioned by someone with little exposure to the architecture of today.

In the Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, “architect” is a government job. There are no private projects, and young North Korean architects come out of school with only a faint understanding of the field as it exists outside their deeply isolated country. Recently, however, one young architect was given a rare chance at an outside commission by a client named Nick Bonner.

Bonner holds the unusual distinction of operating the most popular tourist agency to the least-visited country in the world. Born in Britain and trained as a landscape architect, he founded Koryo Tours in Beijing in 1993. Today, the company takes over two thousand tourists into North Korea a year — more than half of all the foreigners who visit.  Read more…

Hong Kong Needs Master Plan For Urban Development, Architect Says

By Yvonne Liu
July 22, 2014, Property

While the government seeks more land across the city to meet its ultimate target of 470,000 more homes within a decade, architect Bryant Lu says Hong Kong urgently needs an urban master plan.

Lu, vice-chairman of Ronald Lu & Partners, a major local architectural firm, said a large-scale master design should inform the city’s development.

“Architects are trained to think about design from a human perspective, not from the view of infrastructure. For example, how to improve the natural ventilation in a high-density area,” Lu said.

The Planning Department conducted a study of ventilation in Hong Kong, he said, and the results should have been taken into consideration in town planning.

“The planning of a new railway and highway should [also] involve architects,” Lu said. “A new railway or highway may cut human traffic flow. Architects could find ways to avoid such isolation.”

The Central and Wan Chai Reclamation area has shown how this can work, he said. Since the reclaimed land in the area is above the underground transport infrastructure, a waterfront promenade could be developed.

“It is a good design. It won’t cut human traffic flow, and people can enjoy the waterfront,” Lu said. In developing new districts to tackle the housing shortage, he suggested the government adopt an integrated approach. Read more…

The Centre for Advanced Wood Processing at UBC (CAWP)

Norway Wood Construction Technical Tour and Conference

The Centre for Advanced Wood Processing at UBC (CAWP) is pleased to announce that it will lead a technical tour to Norway in September 2014 to visit sites that showcase innovative wood design and construction, culminating in attendance with the 3 day Holzbau Nordic “Building our Future with Wood” conference. The tour will run during the week of September 21st to 27th and will focus on the sustainability and energy-efficiency benefits that wood can bring to contemporary construction practices in both the residential and non-residential sectors. Thanks to generous funding from Forestry Innovation Investment, this tour is available to BC architects, wood products manufacturers and building industry professionals at a special rate of $2,495. If you would like to know more about the Norway Wood Construction Technical Tour and Conference 2014 please email: cawp@cawp.ubc.ca or call Jason Chiu at 604-822-0082. To register for the event, click here. For further information visit the Norway Wood Construction Technical Tour and Conference 2014 website.

32.75 Core LUs

New Registered Educational Provider – WSP Canada Inc.

WSP is one of the world’s leading professional services firms, working with governments, businesses, architects and planners and providing integrated solutions across many disciplines. The firm’s expertise includes environmental remediation, urban planning, and sustainable transport network design. To view a listing of all current Registered Educational Providers, click here.

Spec Golf 2014

The Construction Specifications Canada Vancouver Chapter in collaboration with BCBEC is pleased to invite you to their Spec Golf 2014 Annual Golf Tournament. This year’s tournament is being held on Thursday, September 18th at Meadow Gardens Golf and Country Club. It will be a Shotgun Start (1pm) with a Texas Scramble format so that everyone can have fun and start/finish at the same time.  Click here to register.  For those interested in sponsorship, learn more.

If you build it: Baseball stadium architecture has come a long way since SkyDome opened in the late 1980s

By Jason Rehel
National Post, July 14, 2014

Since 1993, there have been only seven times where the stadium the played host to the Major League Baseball All-Star Game was not a brand-new barn. that year, of course, featured Oriole Park at Camden Yards, the now already iconic “nostalgia park” that has gone on to become the template for so many other cities’ efforts to capture the traditions and heroics of eras in a game whose history spans three centuries. That’s meant that in the last two decades, 14 new parks have been featured, and many of them, including Comerica Park in Detroit, PNC Park in Pittsburgh and Coors Field in Denver are the handiwork of Populous, a Kansas City-based architecture firm, and the most prolific designer of ballparks – major league and minor – in America today.

At the same time, interest in baseball and its building designs has been given new life across many fields, including graphic design, in such books as Flip Flop Flyball by Craig Robinson (Bloomsburgy, 2011) a book of infographics that includes a page of just the unique shapes of each major league playing field (they look like melted cookie cutters); and historical book series such as the McFarland Historic Ballparks collection, whose latest instalment encompasses the 81-year story of Old Comiskey Park in Chicago, the long-time home of Barack Obama’s beloved White Sox. In these stories and so many others told formally and less so, public parks, even while attached to big business money machines like pro baseball clubs, become physical repositories of human narrative, both on the field and off – what architect Pat Tangen, a principal at Populous who’s worked on baseball parks for 23 years, might call the “baseball experience.” Read more…

Slovak Architect Turns Billboards Into Homes For The Homeless


by GMA News Staff
GMA News Online, July 14, 2014 

BRATISLAVA – As some European cities install spikes on pavements to prevent homeless people bedding down for the night, one architect in Slovakia plans to give them a proper abode—made from billboards.

The Gregory Project uses advertising hoardings, usually placed along roads in a V-shape to be visible from both directions, to create small but functional homes for the homeless by adding a third wall and a roof.

Slovak architect Michal Polacek told AFP he hopes his novel design will “help the homeless to return to normal life, find a job and eventually find a better place to stay.”

Polacek’s one-bedroom triangular homes include a kitchen and bathroom and are powered by solar panels or connected to the same network that lights the billboards at night.

He says the cost of building the homes can be covered by billboard advertising revenues.

“I was inspired by a friend who once pointed at a billboard and said ‘Hey, I could live up there!’ and also by the desire to help those less fortunate,” Polacek added.

He has yet to construct his design but says it is available as a free, open-source platform for anyone wanting to use it.

The installation of pavement spikes to stop homeless people sleeping outside a London building sparked outrage last month, with 40,000 people signing a petition calling for their removal. Read more…

Webinar: Proposals for a Modern Building Regulatory System

The Office of Housing and Construction Standards, Building and Safety Standards Branch invites you to join them for a webinar focused on the Province’s updated proposals for streamlining and modernizing the building regulatory system. This online forum is intended to summarize the proposals and answer any questions you may have.

2014 Webinar Date and Topic:

  • Proposals for a Modern Building Regulatory System
  • Wednesday July 23, 2014 | 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Registration and More Information:

  • There is no cost to participate, but registration is required.
  • Please feel free to distribute to your members.
  • Register via email by Monday, July 21, 2014 to Sarah.Gosman@gov.bc.ca.
  • For more information, please see click here.