October 12, 2017
by Canadian Architect
The American Architecture Prize honours designs in the disciplines of architecture, interior design, and landscape architecture with the goal of advancing the appreciation of architecture worldwide. Each submitted design was evaluated by the esteemed AAP Jury on its own merit on the dimensions of Design Excellence, Innovation and Function. This year, Canada’s rzlbd architects were among the winning firms, taking home a prize in the ‘Residential Architecture’ category.
Completed in the summer of 2016, the 6,000 square foot Toronto home is a single-strorey steel and wood structure, set on a 1,000 hectare lot in Scarborough’s Cliffcrest neighbourhood. According to the American Architecture Prize website, “the Opposite House’s conceptual formation and program is centred around the dynamic interplay of the opposites: between north (servant) and south (served), rendered in black/white, textured/smooth, closed/open, opaque/transparent, and shadow/light.
The house adopts an institutional/commercial typology with all spaces aligned and arranged along a galleria. This spine defines a spatial organization, structural and mechanical schemes, and provides dwellers with a very efficient spatial network, a shortcut to navigate between quarters. Although the gallery generates a linear void, its emptiness is the very soul of the project’s interiority.”
Led by rzlbd’s Reza Aliabadi, the project’s design team included Julia Francisco (structure), Egbert Engineering (mechanical), McCallum Consulting (septic), and Gunnell (engineering).
Alongside rzlbd’s award, Canadian architecture claimed another prize, with the Hariri Pontarini-designed Bahá’í
Temple of South America awarded a prize in the “Cultural Architecture” category.
Designed by Toronto-based architect Siamak Hariri, the much-lauded luminous dome — which was built to last 600 years — has already claimed a host of awards, including a recent RAIC Award of Excellence. Located in the Andean foothills above Santiago, Chile, the Bahá’í Temple of South America was completed in late 2016.