Review of the 2009 RAIC Awards of Excellence Print E-mail
Wednesday, 10 June 2009 08:12

vignetteOn May 29th, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada had announced the recipients of the 2009 RAIC Awards of Excellence.

Innovation in Architecture

According to the RAIC, “The award is to recognize excellence in architectural innovation, including the research and development and the applied use of new technology; unique adaptation of existing technology; new project delivery methods; new design processes; new details; or the development of new methods related to the construction process.”

Among the projects awarded for in this category, are the following:

Prince George Airport
by McFarlane | Green | Biggar Architecture + Design Inc.

princegeorge_01princegeorge_03The Prince George Airport design involved the expansion of the existing terminal to include a new departure lounge, international arrivals area, security screening area, baggage make-up room, support offices and renovations to the existing check-in hall.

The design modernizes the 1970’s terminal with a high performance building envelope and an innovative curtain wall and structure of exposed heavy timber. Durability, sustainability, elegant detailing and cost were all weighed in the decisions to develop a simple natural palette for the building.

The community has embraced the modern design as a catalyst for future growth and gateway for commerce, industry and tourism.

Jury Comments
An innovative example of art in architecture; It uses innovative technology only where it needs to be, and creates simple beautiful surfaces and minimalistic detailing.
Openness of the interior to the extensions is stressed and enhanced by an elegant roof that appears to float. elegant creation in the context of normal cost constraints.

Richmond Olympic Oval by Cannon Design

Cannon Design is an international architectural firm with Canadian offices in Toronto, Vancouver, Victoria and Calgary.
richmond_01richmond_02The City of Richmond Speed Skating Oval is a vast 506,000 square feet structure designed as a dual-use building, housing not only the speed skating venue for the 2010 Olympic Games, but also, after the Games, a permanent legacy facility functioning as an International Centre of Excellence for Sports and Wellness. Several innovative design features. It includes the use of one million board feet of discarded pine-beetle-killed wood, designed as a structural ceiling, creating a stunningly beautiful ceiling. The design of composite wood ‘glulam’ beam spanning 100 m, which is crafted creatively integrating with the distinctive pine-beetle wood structural ceiling.
Jury Comments
Innovative use of the discarded pine-beetle-killed wood integrates the spanning system with the mechanical systems and creates an elegant roof.
The project demonstrates that a large span structure can also manage to feel intimate.
Structural design allows for an effective amount of perimeter daylighting for the interior functions.

Architectural Firm

The ‘Architectural Firm’ award recognizes an architectural firm or practice that has consistently produced distinguished architecture.

Saucier + Perrotte architectes

Saucier_04saucier_02The firm awarded this year is Montreal based  Saucier + Perrotte architectes. Founded in 1988 by Gilles Saucier and André Perrotte, Saucier + Perrotte architectes has gained international renown for its institutional, cultural, and residential projects.

The firm represented Canada at the prestigious Architecture Biennale of Venice in 2004, and has been honoured with numerous awards, including 5 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture and an International Architecture Award. Saucier + Perrotte’s highly acclaimed buildings have been published the world over, reflecting the office's status as one of Canada's premier design firms. While continuing to add to its body of significant built work in Quebec, Ontario and Alberta, Saucier + Perrotte has designed projects for Japan, China, Malaysia and the Middle East.
saucier_03This is a well deserved award for a firm that exhorts a great effort on each project that they produce, with a great of emphasis on research and innovative ideas in their design.

Green Building

As stated by the RAIC "The award is to recognize outstanding achievements of high-performance architecture in Canada for buildings that are environmentally responsible and healthy places to live, work and play."

Dockside Green Synergy
by Busby Perkins+Will Architects

The Green Building administered in partnership with the Canada Green Building Council, was awarded to Dockside Green Synergy by Busby Perkins+Will Architects. The project is also on the AIA list of top ten green projects for 2009. dockside_03
dockside_04Synergy is the highest scoring LEED® Platinum project in the world

Dockside Green is the largest development of city land in Victoria’s history. Once complete the development will total of 26 building and include residential, live/work, hotel, retail, office, light industrial uses and numerous public amenities. With a LEED® Platinum rating targeted
for each building, the project is a global showcase for large-scale
sustainable development.

The first phase of Dockside – known as “Synergy” – is the highest-scoring LEED® Platinum Certified project on record. It includes four detached buildings:
a nine-storey and a six-storey residential tower with commercial units on the ground floor, and a two-storey and four-storey residential building
with townhouses.

Jury Comments
Dockside Green integrates innovation in various aspects into an outstanding architecture which creates exciting “synergies”. Aside from the LEED® platinum rating, Dockside Green addresses issues such as traffic – due to the mixed use structure of the project – biodiversity, microclimate, etc.

All 3 aspects of sustainability (social, economic and environmental) have been addressed. Efforts to create a vibrant community – such as public walkways between the buildings – distinguish the project from many other urban developments. Dockside Green sets a new standard for mixed use urban developments in North America.
Currently this development establishes a new global standard for sustainable communities and sets the bar higher as Synergy, the first phase of the development, is the highest scoring LEED® Platinum project to date. As Canadians, we should be proud of this achievement!
Why Dockside Green Synergy is the most deserving of this award is that it goes beyond green and delivers the complete triple bottom line by incorporating sustainable social and economic aspects.

The design is most successful at the ground and roof levels. The development team has completely understood and celebrated human scale and how people, flora and fauna will harmoniously live, work and play within the community.

In general, the quality of architecture amongst all of the candidate projects was good. We were able to assess almost all projects at a level playing field of sustainability. Therefore, our jury was able to focus much more on the buildings as architecture. The candidates’ follow through from concept design to built form were all well resolved. The level of exterior and interior integration, and the realization of the buildings as a whole were good. Building details were actually able to be discussed… and for design not only green merit.

About the RAIC Awards of Excellence

The RAIC Awards of Excellence are bestowed every two years recognizing the greatest achievement in the category identified. The winners are chosen by a series of juries corresponding to the various categories offered.

This year’s juries were comprised of:

Advocate for Architecture - Larry Beasley; Larry Wayne Richards, FRAIC; Manon Asselin

Allied Arts Medal - Philip Gabriel, FIALD, PLDA, FIES; Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, LMBCSL, CM, LLD (HON) FCSLA, FASLA; Jerry Grey, Visual Artist

Architectural Firm - Alexander Rankin, FRAIC; Adrienne Clarkson, Hon. FRAIC; Mario Saia, FIRAC; Bruce Kuwabara, FRAIC; David J. Simpson, PP/FRAIC

Green Building - Thomas Auer; Lisa Bate, FRAIC; Jonathan Westeinde

Innovation in Architecture - Guy Gosselin, P.Eng.; Pierre E. Gallant, MIRAC; Barry Sampson, FRAIC

The RAIC Board of Directors appoints an Awards committee who then in turn appoints a jury for each award and anyone except the Awards committee and jury members are eligible to submit for an award.

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada is a voluntary national association established in 1907 as the voice for architecture and its practice in Canada. Representing almost 3,800 architects, the RAIC is the leading voice of architecture in Canada whose mission is:

-To affirm that architecture matters;
-To celebrate the richness and diversity of architecture in Canada; and
-To support architects in achieving excellence.

Content via RIAC

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