2005 RAIC Awards of Excellence (May 01, 2005)

The Architectural Firm Award recognizes an architectural firm or practice that has consistently produced distinguished architecture. The award recognizes the achievements of the firm for its quality of architecture, service to its clients, innovations in practice, contributions to architectural education and to professional institutions and associations, and public recognition.

Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects

KPMB was founded in Toronto in 1987 by Bruce Kuwabara, Thomas Payne, Marianne McKenna and Shirley Blumberg, and has since risen to become one of Canada’s premier architectural offices. KPMB’s projects have received more than 60 awards recognizing design excellence, including nine Governor General’s Awards for Architecture.

The four partners, all strong proponents of the tenets of Modernism, were each former associates of Toronto architect Barton Myers, who himself studied under the leading American architect Louis Kahn. This legacy is reflected in many of KPMB’s projects.

The ethnic and gender diversity of the partnership continues to be one of the firm’s signature strengths; the heterogeneity of their contributions positively inform and enrich this esteemed Canadian practice.

KPMB’s extensive portfolio encompasses cultural, civic, educational, hospitality, health care and performing arts projects located across Canada and increasingly in the United States as well as in Europe. At the same time the studio has repeatedly devoted itself to creating architecture that supports the urban condition as well as to the tectonics of making interior space. The work is also noted for the design of spatial programs and interior spaces that support, sustain and cultivate communities of users.

Recent award-winning projects indicative of the evolution and maturation of the firm include the recently completed James Stewart Centre for Mathematics at McMaster University and the Vaughan Civic Centre, slated for completion in 2010.

Jury Comments

Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects consistently produces architecture that expresses the unique artistic and architectural strengths of the firm’s principals. Prolific, urbane and sophisticated, the work establishes this firm as one of the internationally recognized leaders of our profession.

Busby Perkins + Will Architects Co.

Originally established in 1984 in Vancouver, British Columbia as Peter Busby Architect, the firm became Busby + Associates in 1996. In 2004, the firm joined forces with the architectural practice Perkins + Will, forming Busby Perkins + Will Architects Co. The Vancouver office currently employs over 60 staff members, oversees a branch office in Calgary, Alberta, and manages projects across Canada, the United States, and Europe. Now with more than 15 offices worldwide and over 700 employees, the merger allows the Vancouver office to expand its scope of work internationally while continuing to promote and realize a high standard of design locally.

The firm is involved in a diversity of projects ranging from industrial design to large comprehensive site planning. Its core strength resides in the area of sustainable and technically complex projects for commercial and residential developers as well as institutional clients. Every Principal and Associate at Busby Perkins+Will is a LEED-accredited professional, and the firm has the largest portfolio of green projects in Canada. Recent projects include Vancouver’s Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability and the City of White Rock Operations Building.

Jury Comments

Busby Perkins + Will Architects is an exemplary ambassador for the profession of architecture developing innovative designs that harmoniously reconcile green building principles, design, quality and service. The firm’s dedication to reinvesting in the knowledge pool, generously sharing each discovery of a better way of building environmentally, is truly commendable.

Merrick Architecture

Merrick Architecture was established in 1984, founded on the longstanding friendship and professional association of its two founding principals, Paul Merrick and Roger Bayley. As graduates from two distinct professions, Paul and Roger bring unique qualifications and skills to the practice. Paul’s design credentials and his passion for creating innovative people places is both balanced and enhanced by the pragmatic knowledge and organizational training that Roger contributes from his career in structural engineering.

From this leadership the practice has grown into a dynamic team of professionals supported by principals Greg Borowski, Christine Lintott, Mitch Sakumoto, and Graham Fligg, plus a combined staff of 45 working from the Victoria and Vancouver offices. The expanded partnership provides a breadth of experience, design talent, technical expertise and client knowledge that has allowed the firm to work in both the private sector and public domain.

Over the past 20 years, the practice has provided planning and architectural services for a number of sectors, including health care and education, multi-residential development, commercial building design and construction, land-use rezoning and development, adaptive reuse and restoration of heritage buildings, and transportation land use planning and urban design. The firm’s extensive client list includes the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria, and Polygon Developments.

Jury Comments

Merrick Architecture, rooted in the practice of Ron Thom, has created buildings that distinguish the Canadian landscape through the careful selection of materials and in the way these materials are brought together as a cohesive whole. The firm has nourished a talented group of professionals, providing a high level of design and service to their diverse client group.