2002 Governor General’s Medals for Architecture: Richmond City Hall, Richmond, British Columbia

Hotson Bakker Architects/Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, Associated Architects

Richmond, a suburban municipality south of Vancouver, is increasing its urban presence rapidly. The series of indoor and outdoor civic gathering spaces configured for its new City Hall establish physical and visual connections between the key buildings of a new civic precinct. The buildings are buffered from adjacent roads with a major green forecourt, Brighouse Park, a south terrace, a north court and a lawn on the east. A large public galleria is the primary organizational element, providing access to the various components of the project. A circular Council Chamber is surrounded by a water garden and has a roof terrace accessible from the second floor Mayor’s and Council offices. A nine-storey administration block acts as a recognizable beacon on the new city’s skyline, while a two-storey Meeting House is used for gatherings, events and receptions. The project also represents an important Canadian milestone in the development of sustainable institutional buildings.