RDHA, a Toronto-based architecture studio that has specialized in public buildings for almost a century, and has in recent years undergone a successful renewal, is the recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s 2018 Architectural Firm Award.
“There is a remarkable consistency throughout the last 10 to 15 years of work by a younger generation of designers that have taken over the firm and kept the lineage and re-established themselves as a leading designing firm in Toronto,” said the five-member selection jury.
Williams Parkway Operations Centre by RDHA. Photo by Tom Arban.
“For the successors to rebuild the firm and reputation and deliver a fresh portfolio of completed projects, is exceptionally difficult,” the jury said, noting that many firms in Canada are currently in transition, some bought out or consolidated.
The RAIC Architectural Firm Award recognizes the achievements of a firm for its quality of architecture, service to clients and innovations in practice. It also takes into account the firm’s contribution to architectural education and professional organizations, as well as public recognition.
Bloor Gladstone branch, Toronto Public Library. Photo by Tom Arban.
The award will be presented at the RAIC/AANB Festival of Architecture which takes place in Saint John, NB from May 30 to June 2.
The jury also praised RDHA’s commitment to making even ordinary projects, such as industrial buildings, into delightful and visually interesting architecture. “Many of their projects are cost-driven. They make very good architecture with lean budgets.”
Recent projects include:
- Waterdown Library and Civic Centre, 2015, Hamilton, ON
- Lakeview, Port Credit, and Lorne Park Branch Libraries, 2011, Mississauga, ON
- Hamilton Central Library and Farmers’ Market, 2010, Hamilton, ON
- Bloor/Gladstone District Library, 2009, Toronto, ON
- Williams Parkway Operations Centre, 2017, Brampton, ON
- Surrey Operations Centre, 2016, Surrey, BC
Founded in 1919, RDHA is one of Canada’s oldest practices and is also known as Rounthwaite Dick and Hadley Architects. Over the last century, the firm has produced a wide range of work, including corporate headquarters, embassies and chanceries, industrial facilities, academic buildings, recreation centres, arenas, transportation infrastructure, and both academic and public libraries.
In 2005, the firm decided to change the nature of the firm from a staid and competent firm with significant project management and technical experience to a studio striving to produce architecture of the highest calibre.
Waterdown Library. Photo by Tom Arban.
Since then, the current partners, Tyler Sharp, Geoff Miller, Bob Goyeche, Rob Boyko, and Momin Hoq, have redefined the office structure and the creative design process, attracting an influx of young talent. Outside of the day-to-day of running a practice, principals and staff are also involved in numerous volunteer, academic, and professional pursuits.
RDHA has achieved significant recognition garnering over 40 major design awards in the last 10 years, including three Governor General’s Medals for Architecture, and the RAIC Young Architect Medal for Tyler Sharp.
“We are truly delighted to accept this prestigious award which validates our commitment to the creation of clear, sustainable, and progressive public architecture,” said RDHA Managing Principal Bob Goyeche “We thank all of the dedicated and talented colleagues who have been essential to our ongoing evolution.”
The jury members were:
- Peter Busby, FRAIC, partner, Perkins + Will, Vancouver, BC;
- Andrew Batay-Csorba, MRAIC, partner, Batay-Csorba Architects, Toronto, ON;
- Johanna Hurme, FRAIC, partner, 5468796 architecture Winnipeg, MB;
- Renée Mailhot, MIRAC, founder, la SHED architecture, Montreal, QC;
- Diogo Burnay, director, Dalhousie University School of Architecture, Halifax, NS.
More information about RDHA is available via the company’s official website, linked here.