3-D print a whole house? How the future looks to one forward-thinking architect

Benjamin Dillenburger created a room as intricate as one built over hundreds of years, in a matter of days. His tool? A 3-D printer. Matthew Hague talks to the architect about pushing the boundaries of digital design and his dream of one day printing an entire house



By Matthew Hague
December 10 2014, Special to The Globe and Mail

The operatic curves of baroque architecture are enthralling to visitors of Europe’s 17th-century cathedrals, palaces and grottoes. But in a modern world obsessed with efficiency and expediency, enthralling isn’t good enough to justify the mountain-high price tag and years of manual labour required to erect such structures.

Which is why Benjamin Dillenburger’s designs are such a revelation.

In 2013, the German-born, Swiss-educated architect unveiled a room that is as dynamic and intricate as something built over hundreds of years. But the space, called Digital Grotesque, took days, not eons, to fabricate. And it didn’t involve a single stone chisel. The architecture was conceived using algorithms. It was then spat out by a 3-D printer (a massive one that uses layers of crushed quartz to make sandstone). Read more…

New Registered Educational Provider: Goldray Industries Ltd.

Goldray Industries Ltd. is a leading manufacturer of decorative architectural glass. Their extensive product line includes many non-traditional glass products designed to meet the rapidly evolving needs of architects, interior designers, glazing contractors and other manufacturers throughout North America. To learn more about all AIBC Registered Educational Providers, please visit the AIBC website.

Architect designs the stunning, 183-square-foot house of your dreams


By Staff Of Business Insider
November 25, 2014, National Post

Tiny, sustainable living is becoming a more and more attractive solution to the problems of urban living.

So architects like the Johannesburg-based architect Clara da Cruz Almeida are coming up ingenious ways to make these teeny tiny spaces more livable.

Almeida designed and built a tiny 183-square-foot home — called the INDAWO / lifePOD — and suited it perfectly to the warm South African climate.

Though the square footage isn’t much to work with, Almeida worked closely with Johannesburg-based interior and product design firm Dokter and Misses on the pod’s clever fold-out couches, fold-down table, and enclosed storage that allow the space to transform instantaneously. Read more…

Heritage Vancouver Society

Evening at the Marine Building Penthouse

Heritage Vancouver invites you to attend a Special Evening in the ultra-elegant, Jazz Age Penthouse of the Marine Building, “Vancouver’s Finest Heritage Building”. This is a unique opportunity to explore the two floors of the private Penthouse, enjoy the Art Deco atmosphere and the fabulous view, hear about its unique history and share your own personal experiences, stories and photos of the Marine Building. Heritage Vancouver’s Past President Donald Luxton will lead tours of the lobby and mezzanine of the Marine Building and point out many of the building’s spectacular architectural features. The Penthouse has many of its original features still intact, and is currently the office of Urbanics Consultants Ltd. Purchase your tickets early as there are a limited number of spaces for this exclusive event and it will sell out. All proceeds support Heritage Vancouver’s initiatives to conserve Vancouver’s built heritage.

Date: Wednesday, February 11, 2015, 5:00-8:00pm
Marine Building Penthouse, 2000 – 355 Burrard Street
$100 donation to Heritage Vancouver with tax receipt issued. Includes wine and hors d’oeuvres reception.
Learning Units (LUs): 1.5 Non-Core
To register: You may register by purchasing tickets on-line.

New Registered Educational Provider: Kawneer Company Canada Ltd.

Kawneer has been helping fuel the inspiration of architects and the building team for more than 100 years by providing the commercial industry with best-in-class architectural aluminum products and systems. To learn more about all AIBC Registered Educational Providers, please visit the AIBC website.

New Registered Educational Provider: Bailey Metal Products Ltd.

Bailey Metal Products Ltd. is the largest manufacturer of lightweight steel framing in Canada, and a leading provider of drywall trims and accessories. With more than 60 years in business, the company aims to be Canada’s leading LSF/steel product manufacturer by exceeding customer expectations and providing a broad range of innovative products at great value. To learn more about all AIBC Registered Educational Providers, please visit the AIBC website.

Mark Vernon, CA, CPA (Illinois) announced as new executive director and CEO of the Architectural Institute of British Columbia

Press Release

Mark Vernon 011FThe Architectural Institute of British Columbia is pleased to announce the appointment of Mark Vernon, CA, CPA (Illinois) as the new executive director and chief executive officer, effective January 5, 2015.

Reporting to the AIBC Council, Mark will provide strategic direction ensuring that the institute’s operating, HR and financial plans and activities are tailored to meet the priorities set by council and reflected in the 2014-2018 Strategic Plan. Mark will represent the AIBC on local, national and international issues affecting the practice of architecture and manage relationships with AIBC’s members, staff, regulatory bodies, government entities and other stakeholders.

Prior to joining the AIBC, Mark was the chief operating officer at The University of British Columbia’s  Faculty of Medicine, a position he held for more than seven years. His portfolio included information technology, financial management, facilities development and utilization, communications and international outreach. His 27-year professional career has also included leadership roles at Capilano University, BC Hydro and Deloitte Chartered Accountants.

A Chartered Accountant (in British Columbia) and a Certified Public Account (Illinois), Mark has a proven track record of innovative thinking, building collaborative stakeholder relationships, and implementing strategic and operational plans.

Mark succeeds Michael Ernest Architect AIBC, who has been at the AIBC helm for the past five years. Mike leaves a profound legacy not the least of which is his involvement in the smooth transition of operational matters during the executive change.  The AIBC Council wishes to recognize Mike’s contribution to the organization, as the executive director, but also for the previous 30+ years as councilor, director of professional practice and volunteer.

In turn, the AIBC welcomes Mark. “We look forward to Mark’s leadership as he builds on the important work currently underway at the AIBC and spearheads the organization as it moves forward,” said AIBC Council president Scott Kemp Architect AIBC.


About the AIBC
The Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) is an independent, professional self-regulatory body established in 1920 by provincial statue (the Architects Act) with the mandate to regulate the profession of architecture for B.C.’s public interest. AIBC upholds excellence in the profession by establishing stringent education, experience and examination standards to practice and title in B.C.


Grace Battiston
Director of Communications
Architectural Institute of British Columbia
T: 604.683.8588; gbattiston@aibc.ca

2014 AIBC Holiday Hours

The AIBC office will close for the holidays on Tuesday, December 23, 2014 at 1:00 pm and re-open on Monday, January 5, 2015 at 8:30 am. On behalf of AIBC staff, best wishes for a happy, healthy holiday season.

Vancouver Special Reno Proves There’s Hope For This Tired Design (PHOTOS)

By Sara Harowitz
December 1, 2014, The Huffington Post B.C. 

These days, the Vancouver Special — that infamous, boxy, working class home design — is not exactly, well, special.

Take, for example, this one.


When D’Arcy Jones of D’Arcy Jones Architecture was hired to renovate this humble abode, he knew some major things needed to be changed. Built in 1981, the home was old enough that it required a major upgrade, but not so ancient that it needed to be torn down.

The roof, walls, ground floor, and framing, therefore, are all from the original house — a move that is as environmentally friendly as it is labour-strategic. But there were still some substantial modifications, proving that this outdated build doesn’t have to sacrifice design.

Sitting on a small 33-foot-wide lot, the new space’s look is starkly different than its predecessor. Read more…

Canadian Specifications Canada (Vancouver Chapter)

CSC Luncheon – STC and Steel Framing: Dispelling Myths and Forging Innovative Designs

Presented by Ben Shafer, Acoustic Systems Specialist for PABCP Gypsum, this CSC Vancouver Chapter Luncheon will provide a comprehensive overview of designing acoustically-related interior partitions for a variety of steel stud configurations, including partitions with structural requirements. Ben will address the differences between the ASTM E90-09 lab tests typically performed on 25 gauge steel and the real world sound isolation performance of interior partitions that have structural components such as cross bracing, channel stiffeners, blocking and door frames. He will also introduce and explain new sound isolation measurements and standards related to SPC (Speech Privacy Class) and ASTC (Apparent Sound Transmission Class).

Date: December 11, 2014
Location: Sandman Hotel, 180 West Georgia St, Vancouver
Cost: $32 plus GST for pre-registered CSC members; $48 plus GST for non-members
Learning Units (LUs): 1 Core
To register: http://vancouver.csc-dcc.ca/

Highlights from the 2014 AIBC Recognition Awards

Recognition 3

On the evening of November 20, 2014, members of the AIBC community gathered to celebrate volunteerism and to pay tribute to some of the institute’s most dedicated volunteers. The evening’s gathering, which took place at the VanDusen Botanical Garden, included presentation of the institute’s AIBC Lifetime Achievement Award. There were two recipients of this award: Paul McCarley Merrick Retired Architect AIBC, and the late Bonnie Karen Maples Retired Architect AIBC. The award recognizes current or former members who have made exceptional, sustained, and significant contributions to the profession and its public appreciation in British Columbia through an outstanding, career-long body of work.

Outgoing members of the 2012/14 AIBC Council were also recognized: Laurence W. (Chip) Barrett Architect AIBC (former AIBC Council elected member); Calvin Meiklejohn Architect AIBC (former AIBC Council elected member); Lynne Werker Architect AIBC (former AIBC Council elected member); David N.M. Yustin Architect AIBC (former AIBC Council elected member); and Derek DeLand Intern Architect AIBC (former Intern Architect Liaison from 2012/13).

Photos from the ceremony are available on FLICKR. We will also post links to photos on our social media channels and in eNews.

The 2015 AIBC Recognition Awards call for nominations is now open through August 17, 2015. Please consider nominating a worthy candidate who should be recognized for his/her contributions to the profession, the community or the institute.  Visit the AIBC Recognition Program for more information.

2015 AIBC Course Schedule

The 2015 course schedule is now available for viewing on the AIBC website. Please note, that online course registration will be commence on January 5, 2015. Registration is on a first-come first-served basis so please check out the schedule to note which courses you wish to take. Register early, as some of these sessions can fill up quickly.

Cause of Glasgow’s Mackintosh School Of Art Fire Revealed


Scottish Fire and Rescue in the aftermath of the fire. Image © Stewart Attwood

By James Taylor-Foster
November 27, 2014, Arch Daily

The Glasgow School of Art (GSA) have revealed the unfortunate series of events that led to the school’s iconic Mackintosh library, alongside a large collection of student work and archives, devastated in a fire in May of this year. According to BDOnline, who have spoken with Tom Inns (Director of the GSA), “final-year students were setting up their degree show projects in the basement and holes in some pre-built foam panels were being filled with the spray foam.”

The flammable gas used as a propellant in the canister was sucked into [a nearby] projector’s cooling fan, setting it alight. A foam panel directly behind the projector then quickly also caught light. “The flames quickly spread to timber panelling and through voids around the basement studio and then into the library two floors above and up through the rest of Mackintosh’s 1909 masterpiece.” To add insult to injury, the Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) reported that “a fire suppression system was in the latter stages of installation at the time of the fire but was not operational.”
Inns has stated that “it was an unfortunate accident and like any accident a whole series of events conspired against us to create the incident. It was associated with a particular piece of work and circumstances but no finger-pointing is going on.” The report also makes it clear how courageous the service people from Scottish Fire and Rescue were in protecting as much of the building as possible from further fire and water damage. Read more…

2015 City of Vancouver Heritage Awards

Nominations are now being accepted for the 32nd City of Vancouver Heritage Awards, which recognize the accomplishments of individuals and organizations that have furthered the goal of heritage conservation in the city.

Submission requirements:

Nominations may be submitted for:

  • Restoration, rehabilitation, adaptive re-use or continued maintenance of a heritage building or structure, a significant interior of a heritage building, or characteristic features of a heritage building or structure
  • Use of innovative engineering techniques or restoration/conservation methods in upgrading a heritage building or structure (including seismic upgrading)
  • Preservation of a heritage landscape
  • Advocacy by a group or individual in preserving a heritage site or increasing public awareness of heritage issues
  • A publication, education program, exhibit, or activity that promotes heritage conservation
  • Efforts in community or neighbourhood revitalization

Projects must have been completed within the past six years and not have previously received a City of Vancouver Heritage Award.

Deadline for nominations:
The deadline for nominations is  Monday, February 2, 2015, at 4:00 p.m.

Further details, along with the Nomination Information and Nomination Form, are available at:

RAIC call for submissions for Young Architect Award

By Staff of Canadian Architect
December 2, 2014, Canadian Architect

This award recognizes a young architect for excellence in design, leadership and/or service to the profession. It is intended that this award will inspire other young architects to become licensed and to strive for excellence in their work.

An architect registered in Canada who is an Architecture Canada | RAIC member and is 40 years or younger on the date of the deadline for the Call for Submissions.

Submissions received will be considered each year for three consecutive years, after which the submission will lapse. The submitter(s) may modify/revise the submission to bring it up to date. This does not apply to award recipients.

The submission deadline is January 15, 2015. Read more…