Winning wood

More than 300 design and building professionals — including architects, engineers, project teams and industry sponsors, along with B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell and speaker Patrick Moore — gathered recently to honour the nominees and winners of the 2010 Wood WORKS! BC Wood Design Awards. The 6th annual awards evening in Vancouver recognized leadership and innovation in wood use while being an opportunity to publicly salute and encourage continued excellence in the building and design community.

Wood WORKS! is a national industry-led initiative of the Canadian Wood Council, with a goal to support innovation and provide leadership on the use of wood and wood products. Wood WORKS! BC provides education, training and technical expertise to building and design professionals involved with non-residential construction projects throughout BC.

There were more than 100 nominations in 12 categories for the 2010 awards from all over B.C. and one from the Yukon. “The awareness and appreciation for wood is growing at an unprecedented rate,” says Wood WORKS! BC executive director Mary Tracey. “As world attention focuses on our environment, wood continues to gain momentum as its environmental attributes are recognized.”

The nominated projects ranged from a wood-signature school to a world-class private resort where wood connects the architecture to the powerful landscape. There were new buildings and renovations, using new timber, engineered wood products, reclaimed wood and Cross Laminated Timber (CLT).

B.C. Premier Gordon Campbell presented the Premier’s Wood Champion Award to Castlegar-based Kalesnikoff Lumber Company. “This family business has survived the ups and downs of economic swings for more than 65 years, and throughout it all has managed to provide a high quality wood product,” says Mary Tracey. “This Wood Champion business exemplifies the spirit of the forest and wood products industry as it has always had a strong commitment to being good stewards of the land.”

A new category this year is the Wood Innovation Award, which recognizes creative and innovative approaches in the use of wood in building design, product design and/or processes. The winner is structural engineer Robert Malczyk at Equilibrium Consulting Inc. for Austria House, built for the 2010 Olympic Games in Whistler. It features the first Canadian application of Cross Laminated Timber (CLT) panels.

The Green Building Award went to Jess & Nicolas Meyer of Nico Spacecraft for “the new but historic workshop” in Roberts Creek. The jury noted that “it was equipped with all the ingenuity of someone who rolled up their sleeves and asked what was needed to be done to get it done.”

The B.C. Ferries Departure Bay Passenger Facility in Nanaimo is the winner in the Commercial Wood Design Award category. Designed by Clive Grout Architect Inc., the desire was to introduce a signature material to the landside facilities, symbolic of the land and mountains of coastal BC.

Darryl Condon of Hughes Condon Marler Architects won the Architect Award with the stunning design of the Whistler Public Library in Whistler. The jury noted that Mr. Condon “consistently uses wood in an elegant matter”. The Whistler Public Library is no exception. The library picks up on the drama of the surrounding mountains while promoting the community’s sustainable development ambitions.

Paul Fast of Fast + Epp Structural Engineers, known internationally for leading-edge work on many projects, including the Richmond Oval, is the recipient of the Engineer Award. The jury’s decision was based on a landmark bridge – the Kingsway Pedestrian Bridge in Burnaby. 

Winners in the wood design categories include:

– Residential Wood Design: Shuswap Cabin, Celista – Nigel Parish, splice design

– Multi-Unit Residential Wood Design: The Outback, Vernon – Kevin Ryan, Coast Architectural Group

– Western Red Cedar: First Peoples House, University of Victoria, Victoria – Alfred Waugh, Alfred Waugh Architect

– Interior Beauty Design: Kwantlen Polytechnical University Gathering Place, Surrey – Brian Wakelin, Public Architecture and Communications

– Institutional Wood Design (less than) $10M: Crawford Bay Elementary-Secondary School, Crawford Bay – Witmar Abele, KMBR Architects Planners Inc.

– Institutional Wood Design(greater than) $10M: Gateway Lodge-Long Term Care Facility, Prince George – Jerry Doll, Neale Staniszkis Doll Adams Architects