June 18, 2007
by Canadian Architect
During a press conference held at the Muse national des beaux-arts du Qubec, the Quebec Order of Architects announced the names of the 14 winners in the 24th edition of the Architecture Awards of Excellence. These include the jurys grand prize, an honourable mention for sustainable development, the Prix Marcel-Parizeau, the Peoples Choice and the Childrens Choice.
Once again this year, the Peoples Choice proved just how much people love architecture. More than 3,000 individuals took part in the vote on the Internet (www.pea-oaq.com) for their favourite from among the 30 project finalists. The majority of those who voted most of them from Quebec, but also from France, Germany and the United States chose the residence Les Abouts by architect Pierre Thibault, a finalist in the residential category. The comments made by voters on the Internet were extremely eloquent, describing the home as an enchanting spot where forms and materials converge toward the natural environment, and a project that inspires with its finesse and unpretentious elegance.
Beginning last September, approximately 100 children from five Quebec schools participated in a program designed to awaken their senses to architecture. These budding young architects in the third cycle of elementary school, who attend cole Nouvelle-Querbes in Outremont, cole Saint-Roch in Quebec City, cole Saint-Sacrement in Trois-Rivires, cole du Grand-Bois in Chelsea and cole Marguerite-Belley in Jonquire, described their participation in the program as the ultimate experience.
Among all these children, 50 were members of regional juries and five were elected by their class to represent them on the provincial jury, which met March 31 of this year in Montreal. There were visits to the project finalists before the deliberations began that led to the selection of the Childrens Choice project. During the deliberations, teachers and principals from the participating schools discussed their experiences and how the program had been integrated into their school and their region. The concept of universal accessibility is one of the subjects that had the greatest impact on the children and, from now on, this will be the most important thing they look for in a building, says Michel Rivest from cole Nouvelle-Querbes. In the words of Chantal Germain, who teaches at cole Saint-Roch, When the children visited architects offices, they learned that architecture is a collective act. This activity opened up other trades and professions to them. She also notes that, The Childrens Choice allowed us to integrate the learning of written and oral French with other material topics in a stimulating way, which gives us the incentive to discover all the potential this concept offers. This year, the decision of the Childrens Choice went to the Pavillons Lassonde de lcole polytechnique Montral, a project that was carried out by a consortium made up of Saia Barbarese Topouzanov Architects/Desnoyers Mercure and Associates Architects/ Menks Shooner Dagenais Le Tourneux Architects.
The jury chairman for the 20062007 Architecture Awards of Excellence, Bernardo Gmez-Pimienta and the experts who made up the jury (see www.pea-oaq.com/jury) were unanimous in their choice of winners. They recognized the following projects by awarding them the Architectural Award of Excellence: the CCIT Communication, Culture and Information Technology Building by Saucier + Perrotte Architects (in the institutional projects category); the Carrefour Culturel Jean-Gosselin by Anne Carrier Architects (cultural projects); the Pavillon Gene-H.-Kruger de lUniversit Laval by Gauthier Gallienne Moisan Architects (industrial projects); the rsidence Lalancette-Ruelby Annie Lalancette Architect and Nelson Ruel Architect (interior design projects); the St-Henri House by Nadejda Topouzanov Architect and Vladimir Topouzanov Architect (single-family residential projects); the Cooprative dHabitation Au-Pied-du-Courant by Brire Gilbert + Associates Architects (multi-unit residential projects); the Passerelle de la rivire St-Charles by Croft Pelletier Architects (urban design projects); the March Adonis, Dollard-Des-Ormeaux by Les architectes Boutros + Pratte (commercial projects); the Maison de la Culture Maisonneuve by Les architectes FABG Faucher Aubertin Brodeur Gauthier Architects (architectural recycling and conversion projects); the Pavillon du Lac-aux-Castors au Parc du mont Royal by Pierina Saia Architect and Ral Paul Architect (heritage conversion and restoration projects); the Chalet du Chemin Brochu of Pierre Morency Architect (Prix Marcel-Parizeau in recognition of a project, all categories combined, whose cost does not exceed $150,000).
A jury made up of experts in sustainable development awarded an Honourable Mention to the Camp musical CAMMAC (Box architectures Patricia Sarrazin-Sullivan Architect/Bosses Design Donald Potvin Architect) to highlight the vast variety of strategies put into play to create an ecological building, as well as the simplicity and efficiency of the means used, all of which clearly shows the commitment of young architects to resource conservation.
The jury specializing in universal accessibility could not award an Honourable Mention this year because not enough universal accessibility principles had been incorporated into the very few architectural projects submitted in this category. In a letter to the architects, jury members emphasized the importance of going beyond the requirements of the no-obstacle concept contained in the rules when designing new buildings. Their comments highlighted a number of statistics taken from the Enqute sur la participation et les limitations dactivits (EPLA, 2001) showing that 8.4% of the population of Quebec have significant and chronic disabilities, and this number increases with age to reach 28% of people between the ages of 65 and 74, and 41% of people over 75 years of age.
This year, instead of the usual Awards of Excellence brochure, the public is being offered a beautiful book entitled Parcours comment dune architecture gagnante (a narrated tour of winning architecture). This is a book about the 30 projects (finalists and winners of the 2007 Architecture Awards of Excellence) presented in the exhibition of the same name, which took place at the Galerie darchitecture MONOPOLI in March, at the cole darchitecture de lUniversit Laval in April-May and is at the Muse national des beaux-arts du Qubec from June 4 to 18.
The book features an amazing selection of city and country homes, thoughtfully designed multi-unit residences, modern and functional interior design, green building conversions and restorations, development projects in the city or nestled in the countryside, and cultural and educational establishments. In short, an entire program for those who love architecture!
Sylvie Champeau, manager of the Architecture Awards of Excellence program since 2003, introduces this publication as truly a consecration, architecture rendered as the fruit of a long process. She goes on to say, First of all, there is the conscious decision to choose architecture and the adventure of the architect-client team inspired by the desire to construct a work that is as concerned with the needs of its inhabitants as it is with social and community issues, and then, through this process, enhancing the program of the Quebec Order of Architects.
With its more than 100 pictures and drawings, as well as comments by architects, jury members, the general public and children, this work sheds a new light on contemporary Quebec architecture. It is available in bookstores and through the Quebec Order of Architects for $19.95.
A number of festivities will be taking place this fall in each of the winning locations to celebrate the architecture and present the awards to the winners. The Quebec Order of Architects hopes that this series of festive events will help to spread architecture and its contribution to all the geographical and cultural spheres represented by the 2007 selection.
For almost 30 years no
w, the Quebec Order of Architects has organized the Architecture Awards of Excellence, a competition whose aim is to enhance the value of architectural achievement that best represents the excellent work being done by Quebec architects, in Quebec and elsewhere.