2012 Vaughan Urban Design Awards announced

The winners of the 2012 Vaughan Urban Design Awards were recently revealed, recognizing local development initiatives that exemplify excellence and innovation in urban development in the City of Vaughan.

“Tonight’s awards are an opportunity to celebrate the wide range of projects that represent the best in architecture, landscape architecture and environmental stewardship in the City of Vaughan,” said Mayor Maurizio Bevilacqua. “These award-winning projects highlight our commitment to sustainable city-building, and help build a distinct image of Vaughan as an emerging world-class city with a unique style and growing civic pride.”

Of the 20 entries picked as nominees this year, a total of six projects were presented with 2012 Urban Design Awards, including: an Award of Excellence for Vaughan City Hall; three Awards of Merit for North Thornhill Community Centre, Thornhill City Centre and Longo’s Support Centre; and two Environmental Green Awards for Mackenzie Ridge and the Molise Kleinburg Wetland Channel Project.

A jury of design professionals from the design industry, members of Vaughan Council and City staff judged qualified entries on the following criteria: significance on a city-wide scale; significance on a community-wide scale; sustainability design; accessibility; compatibility, innovation and creativity, and execution.

Vaughan City Hall, submitted by KPMB Architects and Phillips Farevaag Smallenberg Landscape Architects, was recognized by jury members as an excellent example of a civic-minded community building, and for its leading-edge environmental and landscape features. It is expected to be one of the largest civic buildings in Canada to achieve Gold certification in LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design), an internationally accepted benchmark for the design, construction and operation of high-performance green buildings. An official opening was held in September 2011.

“We are raising the bar for urban design and development, and moving forward in a new direction focused on innovation and creativity in order to build a city where people feel connected,” said City Manager Clayton Harris. “It’s important for the development community to know that as Vaughan continues to move toward a more urban centre the City remains committed to building a safe and sustainable City for our residents.”

The awards program invited submissions from architects, landscape architects, planners, engineers, developers, contractors, owners and the general public. Eligible project entries included: residential, commercial, institutional, recreational, sustainable development, streetscape improvements and heritage. A total of 20 projects were chosen this year as nominees.

Presentation boards of all qualified entries for the 2012 Vaughan Urban Design Awards are available for viewing in the main atrium of Vaughan City Hall until the end of November. A Jury Report of the six winning designs can be found on the City’s website at www.vaughan.ca