AIBC Architectural Awards

Themes of adaptive reuse and fresh design were front and centre at the 2010 Annual AIBC Architectural Awards, revealed Saturday at the Architectural Institute of British Columbia’s annual conference. A total of 11 awards were bestowed upon British Columbia’s architectural leaders, including two Lieutenant-Governor Award in Architecture medals; four Lieutenant-Governor Award in Architecture merit awards; three AIBC Special Jury Awards; an AIBC Innovation Award; and an Emerging Firm Award.

Top honours went to two unique Vancouver initiatives that set new standards for design excellence. Alhambra + Garage + Cordage + Grand + Terminus, a project by Acton Ostry Architects Inc., was recognized for its creative re-imagining and extensive rehabilitation of five historic buildings. Walter Francl Architecture Inc. and Pechet and Robb art and architecture ltd. shared accolades for the False Creek Energy Centre, a rare combination of cutting-edge architecture and infrastructure.

“Projects like these speak to the courage, creativity and talent that exist in this province,” says AIBC president Pierre E. Gallant MAIBC AAA MRAIC. “It’s indicative of the state of the profession. Increasingly, B.C. architects are building a collective reputation as leaders in sustainability, heritage preservation and design innovation. This year’s winning projects, and the many other worthy submissions that were in the running, make that abundantly clear.”

The 2010 crop of award submissions also connected with the AIBC’s conference theme, Community Building: The Social Impact of Architecture. “Good architecture has always been about having a positive, lasting impact on people and communities,” offers AIBC Executive Director Michael Ernest MAIBC. “We need to remain mindful of the role that architecture plays in creating livable communities. This year’s award recipients show that the profession not only understands, but embraces, the challenge of making the world a better place.”

This year’s awards program attracted a record 72 submissions, ranging from small-but-smart residences and snazzy boutiques to multi-faceted educational facilities and community centres. The award categories include:

• Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Award in Architecture (Medal and Merit categories) – recognizing excellence in completed architectural projects completed within the past seven years and led by a B.C.-registered architect.

• AIBC Innovation Award – for achievements in building design that are not strictly ‘architectural,’
but that have a direct bearing on the future of architecture.

• AIBC Special Jury Award – a discretionary honour for outstanding achievement.

• AIBC Emerging Firm Award – calling attention to a budding architectural practice with less
than six years’ history.

“Each year, it seems there are more and more noteworthy projects from B.C. architects springing forth throughout the province and around the globe,” says Gallant. “One of the biggest challenges has become the very task of selecting those most worthy for these prestigious awards.” That responsibility falls upon a volunteer jury design professionals and media representatives.

The 2010 AIBC Awards Jury consisted of:

• Bruce Carscadden MAIBC (Chair), Bruce Carscadden Architect Inc.
MAIBC / Past Winner

• Richard Gilbert, The Journal of Commerce, Burnaby
Media / Public Representative

• Jason Herzog IA.AIBC, The Colborne Architectural Group Pacific Inc.
Intern Architect Representative

• Terry LeDesky AIA, American Institute of Architects – Northwest Washington
Guest Architect from Another Region

• Brigitte Loranger MAIBC, Brigitte Loranger Architecture & Planning Limited
Architect from Another Region of B.C.

• Graham McGarva MAIBC AIA, VIA Architecture
Architect – Innovative Approaches to Practice

• Jim Toy RID LEED®AP, False Creek Design Group
Design Practitioner from Another Discipline

The following are the jury’s selections for 2010:

Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia Award in Architecture – Medal (2):

Alhambra + Garage + Cordage + Grand + Terminus
Acton Ostry Architects Inc.
Lead Design Architects: Mark Ostry MAIBC AAA FRAIC,
Russell Acton MAIBC AAA FRAIC and Alan Davies MAIBC

This project represents a modern take on a series of Vancouver heritage buildings. The design plan honours the significance of the site’s history while placing it into a contemporary framework. The result revitalizes the original buildings, offering a new vision of mixed-use spaces and a 100 per cent increase in density. It involved the integration of six- and seven-storey residential buildings with two-storey commercial space and existing three- and four-storey frontages.

False Creek Energy Centre
Walter Francl Architecture Inc. and Pechet and Robb art and architecture ltd.
Lead Design Architects: Walter Francl MAIBC MRAIC P. Eng. LEED®AP and
Hazen Sise MAIBC MRAIC EED®AP (Building) and Stephanie Robb MAIBC (Stacks)

The False Creek Energy Centre serves the energy needs of Vancouver’s newest community. The centre encompasses two facilities: a sewage pump station for the greater neighbourhood and a sewage heat recovery and distribution system. The five towering stainless steel emissions stacks double as public art. Architectural materials carry an industrial aesthetic reflective of the Cambie Street bridge that spans overhead. Sustainability is featured in both the structure’s operations and design, and the building played a major role in the South East False Creek community’s recent LEED® Platinum rating.

Lieutenant-Governor of British Columbia Award in Architecture – Merit (4):

135 Keefer Street
Gair Williamson Architect Inc.
Lead Design Architect: Chris Woodford MAIBC LEED®AP

135 Keefer Street is a restoration project that brings new life to Vancouver’s historic Chinatown. The design team salvaged a building that was likely otherwise headed for demolition. The reconstruction project program included the insertion of three full-floor suites within the existing shell; an additional residential storey; roof deck; outdoor kitchen facilities and loggia, and a ground floor restaurant.

House, Southern Gulf Islands
Gates_Suter Architects
Lead Design Architects: Joanne Gates MAIBC and Peter Suter MAIBC

A simple and elegant single family home, this project offers a new response to architectural design in remote areas. Designers created a series of terraced levels that respond seamlessly to the sloping landscape. Natural wood, large windows and concrete echo the beauty of the outdoor environment.

Mountain View Cemetery
(Customer Service Centre, Celebration Hall and Operations Yard)
Birmingham & Wood – Architects and Planners
Lead Design Architect: Sandra Moore MAIBC MRAIC LEED®AP

Mountain View Cemetery is a project that honours the full range of human experience through sensitive architecture and design. Spaces for contemplation and gathering abound.

West Vancouver Community Centre
WMW Public: Architecture + Communication Inc.
Lead Design Architect: Darryl Condon MAIBC AAA FRAIC LEED®AP

The West Vancouver Community Centre brings cohesion – along with new life and vitality – to what had previously been a sprawling campus-like space. The project is expected to earn a LEED® Gold certification.

2010 AIBC Innovation Award:

WMW Public: Architecture + Communication Inc
Lead Design Architects: Brian Wakelin MAIBC MRAIC LEED®AP and

Xthum, a shared vision of Kwantlen Polytechnic University and the First Nations of Kwantlen, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen and Katzie, offers an inviting new multi-purpose space within an existing classroom building on the university’s Surrey campus. The imaginative design is defined by a
basket-like weave pattern that pays homage to traditional methods.

2010 AIBC Special Jury Award (3):

Lynn Steven Boutique
mcfarlane green biggar ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN INC
Lead Design Architect: Michael Green MAIBC AIA MRAIC

The Lynn Steven Boutique, located in Vancouver’s historic Gastown neighbourhood, takes a fun and creative approach to retail design. Paperbacks scoured from Craig’s List were stacked to create a cylindrical washroom and change room facility. In granting this award, the jury recognizes the innovative treatment of interior design with consideration to budgetary constraints.

Rennie Art Gallery and Offices
Walter Francl Architecture Inc. and
mcfarlane green biggar ARCHITECTURE + DESIGN INC
Lead Design: Walter Francl MAIBC, Michelle Biggar BBE Int.Design and
Michael Green MAIBC AIA RAIC

The Rennie Art Gallery and Offices is a substantial Chinatown conservation and restoration project that encompasses both an original six-storey laneway brick building and its adjacent three-story street-front structure. A seamless blending of old and new, it sets a new standard in adaptive re-use.

Thompson Rivers University Students’ Union
Stantec Architecture Ltd.
Design Architect: Ray Wolfe MAIBC

The Thompson Rivers University Students’ Union project reflects a tangible commitment to improving the quality of campus life for this Kamloops post-secondary institution. Each room offers a range of options in terms of use, acoustic separation and interaction. For truly elevating the end user experience, this project was deemed worthy of a special jury award.

The AIBC Emerging Firm Award:

Matthew Soules Architecture Inc.
Principal: Matthew Soules MAIBC Reg. Arch. New York

Matthew Soules Architecture Inc. was launched in 2008, under the leadership of principal Matthew Soules MAIBC Reg. Arch. New York. Since then, this two-person firm has offered up a diverse range of services across multiple areas of practice including commercial, residential, cultural and recreational. Soules brings an analytical approach to each project – carefully considering social, economic and environmental contexts in order to deliver performance-based solutions to meet each client’s needs.

For more information about the 2010 AIBC awards program, please visit www.aibc.