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RDHA and Zeidler Receive 2020 International Architecture Awards

RDH Architects (RDHA) and Zeidler Architecture are among the 2020 International Architecture Awards recipients for their respective projects in the “Libraries” and “Bridges and Infrastructures” categories.

The awards, presented by The Chicago Athenaeum architecture and design museum together with the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies, and Metropolitan Arts Press Ltd., recognizes the best, significant new buildings from over 38 countries.

Courtesy of RDHA

RDHA has won two awards: for its adaptive re-use of Cambridge’s Idea Exchange Old Post Office and for the design of Brampton’s Springdale Library and Komagata Maru Park. The landmark Canadian libraries were the only buildings to be honoured in the Library Category this year.

The Idea Exchange Old Post Office in Cambridge, Ontario is Canada’s first “bookless” library. Anchored on the bank of the Grand River, the project reignites a heritage-listed 1885 masonry post office that had fallen into serious disrepair, and adds a 9,000-square-foot transparent pavilion that wraps around the original building and stretches out over the water.

Courtesy of RDHA

The Springdale Public Library and the adjacent Komagata Maru Park inspire and connect members of the community in Brampton, Ontario with welcoming spaces to meet and learn.

The 25,000-square-foot library includes areas for programs, quiet study, engaging activities and an imaginative children’s area, all capped by a living green roof. The interiors, awash with natural light coming in from imaginative oculi, create a bright and uplifting visitor experience.

Designed in collaboration with NAK Design Strategies, the park extends the community space outside with contemplative gardens, reflective pools, and a play area organized around text spelling out “imagine”.

“We are deeply honoured for this accolade from the International Architecture Awards. The public libraries are a credit to the imagination and vitality of the communities they serve, and we are grateful to have played a role in bringing them to life,” says Tyler Sharp, RDHA Principal and Design Director.

Photo Credit: Stefan Palman and James Brittain

WilkinsonEyre and Zeidler Architecture’s CF Eaton Centre Bridge received an award in the Bridges and Infrastructure category. The project required a new enclosed bridge to replace an outdated span between two shopping destinations in downtown Toronto. The design had to resolve a disparity between the architecture of the historic Hudson’s Bay Centre and the 1970s Eaton Centre.

Photo Credit: Stefan Palman and James Brittain

The springing point for the bridge was predefined, emerging from the existing arches of the older building on one side. On the other side, the new construction took the opportunity to move the landing point at the Eaton Centre from a hidden position into the main atrium.

The architectural response is a graded shift, through geometry, from a traditional arch in the facade of the Hudson Bay building to a modern rectangular opening in the Eaton center. The new bridge interior suitably reflects the quality retail environments of both malls.