Canadian Architect


2007 Wood WORKS! award winners announced

November 7, 2007
by Canadian Architect

The 2007 Wood WORKS! award winners were announced on November 6, 2007. They are as follows:

Residential Wood Design
Dundas, Ontario: Painter’s Studio Lillepold Dowling Architects (Paris)

This 530-square-foot structure was masterfully composed of Douglas Fir, Spruce and Eastern White Pine. Modular and readily available wood products were combined with carefully selected elements of higher craft. Almost all of the construction in wood was accomplished by one or two carpenters, with the Douglas Fir doors and windows the only custom elements not fabricated on site.

Commercial Wood Design
Toronto, Ontario: The Young Centre for the Performing Arts Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (Toronto)

This 45,567-square-foot structure, designated as a national historic site, is located in two existing tankhouses in the historic Gooderham and Worts Distillery District. Rough-cut Douglas Fir heavy timber trusses were used to span between the walls of the existing brick tankhouses, enclosing the new Theatre Lobby, studios and administrative spaces. Rough-cut, stained Hemlock was used as exterior cladding. And stained, rough-cut Oak planking was used as an interior cladding in the main, large theatre space for the balcony guard rails, stair rails and as a wall covering.

Multi-Unit Wood Design
Guelph, Ontario: Wellington Park Terrace Robert J Dyck Architect & Engineer (Kitchener)

This 86,112-square-foot, four-storey, 117-unit retirement home, is composed of Spruce, Fir, Cedar, Pine and Red Oak above the second floor level, complete with a wood mansard feature. Wood was chosen for cost effectiveness and for its resilience as a floor system, which is more comfortable for seniors. Some of the wood features include Cedar shingles, solid Oak doors, solid Red Oak trim, Pine trim for porch elements, Panelized Wall Systems and Engineered Wood Products including PSL, LSL and Wood I Joist.

Institutional Wood Design
Fort Erie, Ontario: Canada Border Service Agency Building- Peace Bridge NORR Limited Architects and Engineers (Toronto)

The 29,000-square-foot Canada Border Service Agency Building at the Peace Bridge is composed of Spruce-Pine-Fir glulam beams and decking. The modern roof contains an interwoven glulam sub-structure, supporting an exposed wood roof deck that is evocative of shelter construction and the canoes of local First Nations. The curving wood roof creates an embracing space that is materially warm and animated, making the vehicle inspection area atmosphere less intimidating and more welcoming. The wood components are fundamental to the design. They go beyond an elegant structural solution and sculptural form to make a connection to a material that is part of the Canadian identity.

Interior Wood Design
Toronto, Ontario: Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc. (Toronto)

This 265,000-square-foot structure uses wood to create interest within a minimalist design. The spaces are warmed and coloured subtly but significantly by an extensive use of wood on the inside. Wood is used at several scales. On one hand, it is grand and elemental to the space, equal to the exposed steel and structural glass; while on the other hand, it humanizes the design: railings, drink rails and cabinetry elements in proximity to human touch are all wood.

Green Design
Vaughan, Ontario: Restoration Services Centre, Toronto Region Conservation Authority Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc. (Toronto)

Using only Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) Certified wood, this 11,800-square-foot structure was designed to meet LEED Platinum certification (pending) by incorporating a wide range of environmentally friendly components and systems. Wood was chosen as the primary material, forming the main structural and cladding systems, because it has low-embodied energy, is a renewable resource, has good thermal properties and does not emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs). The use of wood also promotes the growth of forests, increasing the carbon sink effect and reducing CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

Waterloo, Ontario: Seagram Barrel Warehouse / Centre for International Governance Innovation Barton Myers Associates (Los Angeles)

This 40,000-square-foot structure was part of the distillery founded in 1857 on Beaver (Laurel) Creek by William Hespeler and George Randall. A careful blend of new office space was mixed with traditional brewing and wood barrel storage components. Large, spliced posts and beams rise five storeys, still supporting barrels. These storage racks were preserved to give the building structural stability and an impression of original purpose, while defining the strength and beauty of wood. Ties with the local Mennonite communities were also maintained by using post and beam barn building techniques.

Architect – Wood Advocate
Toronto, Ontario: Montgomery Sisam Architects

Established in 1978, Montgomery Sisam Architects have developed a reputation for design excellence. They are the winners of this years Green by Design Award for the Toronto Region Conservation Authoritys Restoration Services Centre. Other recent outstanding wood projects by this firm include the Island Yacht Club (Toronto), Bloorview Kids Rehab Pavilions (Toronto) and Norview Lodge (Simcoe).

Community Leader – Wood Advocate
Gravenhurst, Ontario: Corporation of the Town of Gravenhurst

The Town of Gravenhurst demonstrated wood advocacy leadership in the Muskoka Wharf project, a $170-million project situated on 90 acres of waterfront. The development has more than a dozen wood-framed buildings, which include several restaurants and specialty retail shops, in addition to 700 metres of wooden boardwalk and 129 docking slips. This community embraces wood construction as part of its heritage and culture and takes pride in the way the wooden buildings of the wharf reflect the social history and casual elegance typically associated with the Muskoka region.

Engineer – Wood Advocate
Toronto, Ontario: Blackwell Bowick Partnership Limited

Blackwell Bowick Partnership Limited, the successor firm to Blackwell Engineering Limited founded in 1987, provided the structural design for the Canada Border Service Agency Building (Peace Bridge) project, which garnered this years Institutional Wood Design Award. Other outstanding wood structures recently completed by Blackwell Bowick Partnership include Camp Arowhon Headquarters (Toronto), the Brampton Soccer Centre (Brampton), and the Fielding Estate Winery (Beamsville).

Jurys Choice – Corporate Leader
Oakville, Ontario: The TDL Group Corp. (Tim Hortons)

The TDL Group Corporation has chosen to use wood in its Tim Hortons stores where possible because it is an effective and cost-efficient material. In 2006 and 2007, 30% of the stores built in Ontario were wood frame construction. Designing and building with wood products also allows for a much shorter construction cycle. Most products are inventoried and sourced locally; this eliminates the need to pre-order building materials due to manufacturing lead times.

Wood Champion – Wood Advocate
Kingston, Ontario: Dr. Pierre Quenneville

Dr. Quenneville, formerly with the Department of Civil Engineering at the Royal Military College of Canada, is a leading innovator in wood structural design. His research focuses on the resistance and behaviour of connections in timber structures. He obtained his undergraduate education in civil engineering at RMC in 1983, his M. Eng. degree at cole Polytechnique in Montreal and his Ph. D. at Queens University in Kingston in 1992. Among many other accomplishments, he has served on the Canadian Standard Associations technical committee for the Design in Wood Structures since 1992.

For more information on the awards, please visit

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