Azerbaijan Counts Human Cost Of Architecture

By Shahin Abbasov
The Guardian, July 14, 2014

Baku is gaining international recognition as a centre of cutting-edge architectural design thanks in part to a major award given recently to London-based architect Zaha Hadid for her Heydar Aliyev Centre. The Azerbaijani capital’s new look has plenty of local fans, but also some detractors.

With its swooping curves, the Heydar Aliyev Centre is certainly eye-catching, but it’s far from the only architectural showpiece in Baku. Over the past decade, the centre of the city has been transformed by such projects as a new seaside boulevard, the modernist Crystal Hall and the “Flame Towers,” glass-and-steel skyscrapers made to resemble burning torches. Also in progress is the “White City,” an urban renewal project that aims to transform one of the city’s grimiest areas.

The catalyst for Baku’s architectural makeover is widely reported to be Mehriban Aliyeva, wife of President Ilham Aliyev. She is said to have significant input in all new construction in the centre of the city.

Aliyeva is known to have a strong affinity for the look-and-feel of Paris, thus it’s not a surprise that Louvre-style pyramids have appeared at the entrance of three metro stations, and Paris-style newspaper kiosks have been installed all over the city. A “Paris Quarter” is also being constructed in the “White City.” Foster + Partners, founded by British architect Norman Foster, is among the firms involved in the White City Project.

Urban renewal often comes with a high human toll, and Baku is no exception. International rights groups, including Freedom House and Human Rights Watch, have documented widespread instances in recent years of forced evictions of local residents to make way for new projects. Protests have occasionally erupted over the forced evictions; police have resorted to aggressive methods to quell such disturbances.

The latest wave of protests occurred in February and March, prompted by a government announcement that 40,000 downtown residents would be evicted to make way for a “green zone” on a 50-hectare parcel in the Sovietskaya neighbourhood. The project is being undertaken in conjunction with Baku hosting the first-ever European Games next summer. Pushback by protesters forced officials to revisit plans for relocations and compensation. Negotiations are continuing. Read more…

Heritage Vancouver Society

Vancouver’s Granville Street and central West Georgia Street

Join historian and Senior Planner for Downtown Vancouver, Michael Gordon in an exploration of two of Vancouver’s most famous streets, taking place on Saturday, July 26th, 11am – 1 pm.  On Wednesday, May 15, 1886, Lauchlan Hamilton, a City of Vancouver Aldermen and the CPR Land Commissioner began to stake out and survey what would become Granville Street and West Georgia Streets. It is still today one of Vancouver’s pre-eminent ‘high streets’ reflecting many elements that define our city. Our walk will begin at the northern foot of Granville Street, the location of the 1st and 2nd CPR train stations overlooking the CP rail yards and the port. You will find us on the plaza by the entrance to 200 Granville Street that was to become a much larger project that would have demolished Gastown buildings between Abbott St and Granville St. Admission is $15.00; and $10.00 for Heritage Vancouver Members.

Register via Eventbrite at, or inquire for more information at

2.0 Core LUs

CSLA Announces The Creation Of The Governor General’s Medal in Landscape Architecture

By Staff Canadian Architect
July 6, 2014, Canadian Architect

The Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA) recently announced that His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada, has agreed to establish the Governor General’s Medal in Landscape Architecture (GGMLA) to commemorate the 80th anniversary of the CSLA. This award will be the highest honour bestowed by the CSLA and it will be awarded every two years.

The GGMLA is an occasion for Canadians to celebrate and learn about the contributions that professional landscape architects have made to the urban, rural and wilderness environments of Canada over the last century – since Frederick Todd became the first landscape architect to work in Canada in 1900.

The Governor General’s Medal in Landscape Architecture (GGMLA) is the highest honour bestowed on a landscape architect by the CSLA. The medal is intended to honour exceptional landscape architects whose lifetime achievements and contributions to the profession have had a unique and lasting impact on Canadian society.

To be eligible, the individual must be: a) a landscape architect, and b) a member of the CSLA.

Recipients of the CSLA Lifetime Achievement Award are eligible for the GGMLA. However, current CSLA Board Members are ineligible for the award. An individual may only receive the GGMLA once in their lifetime.

One medal is available every two years.  Read more…

Forest Retreat Sits Between A Rock And A Hard Place

By Adam Williams
July 4, 2014, gizmag

Forest-based shelters come in all shapes and sizes, but rarely are they smaller, nor do they take their place amongst their surroundings better, than the aptly-named Forest Retreat by Czech firm Uhlik Architekti. The Central Bohemia-based project serves as a remote bolt hole for its Prague owner.

The Forest Retreat measures just 16 sq m (172 sq ft), and operates completely off-grid, with no lights, electricity, running water, or toilet – so presumably the occupants would be required to make like the proverbial bears and avail themselves of the forest when nature calls.

There is at least a small wood burning stove installed, and the shelter contains two windows which are covered by shutters. The larger of the two shutters is operable by hand winch and opens to create a small porch area.

Owing to its remarkable placement partly atop a boulder, the Forest Retreat slopes upwards considerably inside. Read more…

Architect Transforms Storage Room Into A Micro Home

By Bridget Borgobello
July 8, 2014, gizmag

When Swedish architect Karin Matz discovered a small space in Stockholm, which for over 30 years had been used for furniture storage, she was instantly inspired to transform it into a multi-purpose tiny home. The 36 sq m (387 sq ft) space had not been touched since the 1980s when its owner started initial renovations before falling ill. Three decades later, Matz has breathed new life into the apartment, successfully converting it into a light-filled compact home and finally finishing what the previous owner had started.

“I found it fascinating that this apartment had been in this state for 30 years,” Karin Matz tells Gizmag. “Time had been frozen; wallpaper was half removed, only a few tiles and a kitchen faucet were sticking out of the wall, there was no electricity and the bathroom only had signs of rats as inhabitants. In a city like Stockholm with an enormous housing shortage and with every square meter increasing in price by the minute, this project was somehow impossible to resist.”

It took Matz a little under six months…read more

Role Call: AIBC Building Envelope Committee

The AIBC Building Envelope Committee is seeking new members. Those with particular interest in energy issues are encouraged to apply.

The committee’s Terms of Reference include:

  • Give direction to the Professional Services Board (and assist with development and delivery) regarding Building Envelope Education Program (BEEP) courses, seminars and round tables on building envelope failures, best practice guides, appropriate procedures for efforts in architectural firms;
  • Work with the Regulatory Coordination Committee in having input on municipal and provincial regulations regarding building envelope design and field review and assurances;
  • Work with other building industry groups regarding standards of design, field review, construction, insurance and warranties that are fair to all participants.
  • Attain, in its undertakings and achievements, a balance between the needs of intern architects, generalist architects and consultants specializing in enhanced building envelope services.

The Building Envelope Committee meets at the AIBC office on the third Tuesday of every month except for July, August and December from 12:00 noon to 2:00 p.m.

If you are interested in volunteering on this committee, please contact Practice Services Coordinator Yana Vassilenko by e-mail (

AIBC Gallery: 2014 Canadian Green Building Awards

July 10 – 31, 2014

The Canadian Green Building Awards recognize excellence in the design and execution of Canadian residential and non-residential buildings of all types, including new construction, existing buildings, renovations and interior design projects. The program is open to new and renovated buildings and interiors. The exhibition will feature this year’s eight award-winning projects from across the country. The AIBC Gallery, located at #100 – 440 Cambie Steet in Vancouver, is free and open to the public open Monday – Thursday from 8:30 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. and Friday from 8:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

New Registered Educational Provider: America Training Solutions

America Trade Solutions, a consulting firm, provides international business development services for companies in Canada, the United States and the Caribbean. The firm specializes in international business development and trade services, with the goal of providing high quality professional services that address client business needs and budgets. To view a listing of all current Registered Educational Providers, click here.

AIBC Induction & Retirement Ceremony

The AIBC’s annual Induction and Retirement Ceremony was held on Thursday, June 26, 2014 at the Segal Graduate School of Business in Vancouver. This year’s event welcomed 129 newly-inducted architects: 39 through the Internship in Architecture Program, 83 through reciprocal registration agreements with Canada and the USA, and 7 through the alternative qualifications process via section 36 and 37 of the Architects Act. There were 14 newly-registered Architectural Technologists recognized as well as 28 architects who retired over the past year.

MC duties were shared by AIBC Registration Board Chair, Sean Rodrigues Architect AIBC and Council member, John Etcher Architect AIBC. AIBC Registrar, Karl Gustavson Architect AIBC was on hand to assist with the presentations. Retired Architect Myron Kuzych delivered the Charge to the Inductees, with Kelly Riopelle Architect AIBC responding on behalf of the new inductees. The honourees were joined for the evening by their family, friends and other invited guests, AIBC Council members and AIBC staff.

Appreciation goes out to all who made the evening a success.  Congratulations to the honourees.

induction ceremony 2014

NEXT BIG ONE – International Open Ideas Competition – Deadline Extended Sept 7

“NEXT BIG ONE” – an international open ideas competition organized by the Architecture for Humanity Vancouver Chapter – raises awareness on the high-magnitude earthquake and tsunami events that plague cities around the world.  The competition calls upon the design community to offer fresh perspectives and innovative ideas in designing for disasters.

The challenge of this single-stage open-ideas competition is to propose an innovative design solution that can mitigate natural disasters while simultaneously providing permanence for the community.  The proposal must satisfy the following criteria:

1) Exemplify INNOVATION in disaster design,
2) Promote COMMUNITY RESILIENCY before and after disasters,
3) Meet the MULTI-HAZARD PARAMETERS for the worst-case scenario.

Entrants may register as teams of Design Professionals or Emerging Designers (Students).  Entry information, along with all competition details, can be found at  Registration closes at 11:59PM PDT on September 7, 2014.  Submissions are due at 11:59PM PDT on September 30, 2014.  Winners will be announced on October 31, 2014.


ExAC Registration Deadline: July 15, 2014

ExAC Registration Deadline - Draft 2

As of June 1 until July 15th 2014, Intern Architects can apply to write the 2014 Examination for Architects in Canada (ExAC) (November 3rd and 4th, 2014). The registration form is available here. Intern Architects are eligible to write the ExAC if they are in good standing with the institute and have had a minimum 2,800 hours of experience logged on a CERB, submitted and approved. Applications can be submitted to the AIBC in hard copy or PDF format via e-mail.  For more questions or information, please contact Admissions Coordinator Belinda Chao at

‘I Dream Of Buildings’ – Ontario Prof Launches Canada’s Biggest Architecture Festival

July 2, 2014
CNW Newswire

CAMBRIDGE, ON, July 2, 2014 /CNW/ – Architecture prof Rick Haldenby has a dream this week, and every week throughout the summer of 2014. He wants to show Canadians how to build the future.

Haldenby is lead curator at Building Waterloo Region, an unprecedented 10-week Canadian architecture festival kicking off in Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge July 4 & 5, 2014.

“We need a conversation about what Canadian cities will look like fifty years from now,” said Haldenby, former head of the University of Waterloo School of Architecture. “It’s not enough to just wait for it to happen. Building Waterloo Region explores some extraordinary urban design decisions and celebrates the past to help people engage with the future.”

The festival is the biggest of its kind ever staged in Canada and includes eight connected exhibits at galleries and institutions throughout Kitchener, Waterloo, and Cambridge.

Visit for details.

User’s Guide To The National Energy Code For Buildings Is Now Available

The 2014 User’s Guide – National Energy Code of Canada for Buildings 2011, is a first edition, designed to complement the NECB and to build on the code requirements by providing additional background information, as well as detailed examples and calculations. Of particular interest to designers are the checklists at the end of each part to help them verify that provisions in the NECB have been considered in their design. Used along with the NECB 2011, the User’s Guide facilitates its usage by providing explanatory material and suggested approaches to design or compliance questions. As the NECB offers a number of compliance path options including trade-off paths, code users will find this guide provides clarity by describing the various compliance approaches and including detailed examples of trade-off path calculations. Visit the NRC website to obtain a User’s Guide.

code book

AIBC Annual Conference: Register Now!

Register now for the 2014 AIBC Annual Conference. This year’s conference takes place October 8 – 10, 2014 at the award-winning Vancouver Convention Centre West. This annual gathering, the largest of its kind in British Columbia, brings together architects and other members of the design community to learn about industry trends, technological advances and best practices. It also provides exceptional networking opportunities and a platform to celebrate the innovative, impactful work of practitioners and theorists. The conference theme – Shifting Perspectivesacknowledges that, as a society, we are continually re-inventing the way we think, live, work and play in our world. A conference highlight will be Keynote Speaker Caleb Behn, a First Nations activist passionate about the many intersections between the environment, sustainable development and law. To learn more about this year’s dynamic conference program, please visit the conference website. Click here to register online. Trouble registering? Please contact the AIBC at A wide range of excellent sponsorship and exhibitor opportunities are also available. To learn more, please call Senior Communications Specialist Lisa Christensen at (604) 683 8588 ext 331.

E-Voting Bylaws for Council Elections and Bylaw Amendments Now In Force

AIBC bylaws permitting electronic voting (“e-voting”) for annual council elections and bylaw amendments are now in force.

At the May 3, 2014 annual meeting, AIBC members and honorary members voted 86% in favour of new Bylaw 24.3 (e-voting for council elections) and 80 per cent in favour of new Bylaw 35.4 (e-voting for bylaw changes). The new bylaws were submitted to the provincial government, which under the Architects Act, had a 45-day window to voice concerns or disallow the bylaws. This disallowance period lapsed in late June.

Next steps include AIBC Council establishing rules for the conduct of council elections and rules to allow for amendments to bylaws, both by electronic means.  Under new council policies passed in June, members would be given notification of these rules and an opportunity to provide feedback. AIBC Council will determine whether any future bylaw amendments or council elections will proceed by electronic vote.

Should you have any questions, please contact Professional Conduct Coordinator Gayle Roberts (

Updated AIBC Bylaws