July 6, 2010
by Canadian Architect
Toronto-based Teeple Architects (in association with Kasian Architecture) received the 2010 Prairie Design Award of Excellence for the Montrose Cultural Centre in Grande Prairie, Alberta in the Recent Work category. The award celebrates “new standards in creativity and skill” and is presented every two years by the Alberta Association of Architects (AAA), the Saskatchewan Association of Architects (SAA) and the Manitoba Association of Architects (MAA). The Awards were presented at the kick-off to the RAIC/SAA Festival of Architecture in Saskatoon at the end of June.
Set in Grande Prairie’s downtown, the Montrose Cultural Centre is conceived as a new cultural hub and rejuvenated civic focal point. The 60,000-square-foot facility houses a library, exhibition spaces, community meeting rooms, a café and art gallery. Since opening in June 2009, the building is playing a successful transformational role in the city’s development becoming the heart of the city in the heart of the city.
Capturing the iconic prairie grasslands and the dramatic beauty of the northern prairie light was the key design focus. The curtain wall and large clerestory windows fill the interior with natural light year-round. Both coloured and textured glazing introduce the prairie palate into the interior spaces. The linear south elevation recalls the blowing prairie grasses hugging the skyline. Building materials including standing-seam zinc cladding, pitted brick and coloured exterior glazing create different light and shadow conditions as time of day and seasons change. Colourful low trusses channel light strategically deep inside the building while providing protection from the heat of the summer sun. These brightly hued fins also generate an irregular patchwork of shapes, shadows and colour recalling the textured Alberta landscape. The project is targeted as LEED Silver.
montrose cultural centre