Canadian winners of the 2008 International Architecture Awards announced

Given the record numbers of entries this year and the widest geographic distribution of buildings worldwide, the International Architecture Awards have become a global event of an unprecedented scale the most important barometer for the future direction of new architectural design and thinking today celebrating, recognizing, and highlighting the world’s foremost architectural solutions for the designs of new skyscrapers, corporate buildings, institutions, arts facilities, airports, private homes, industrial structures, and urban planning projects from Paris to Hong Kong. The International Architecture Awards is the only global awards program in architecture of its kind, which was conceived and presented by the Museum and in partnership with The European Centre for Architecture, Art, Design and Urban Studies to give an important overview of design and architecture on a world scale.

The awards program draws important public and professional focus for the celebration and recognition of the most important key buildings produced in this decade, underscoring the highest level of imagination and inspiration of the “best of the best” architectural minds practicing design today. The selected projects challenge new approaches to design that are beyond the envelope of the everyday, while providing cities with key civic building that celebrate and harmonize architecture as a high art while finding answers to the complicated problems of environment, social context, improving quality of life, and sustainability.

And the list of this year’s winning schemes is impressive, drawn by some of the world’s most talented thinkers from large and small architectural practices around the world. The glossary of entries is a “Who’s Who” in international architecture practice today.

For the 2008 International Architecture Awards , the Museum received hundreds of submissions from design firms in Europe, Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Americas. The submissions ranged from the latest new corporate high-tech headquarters to smaller planning projects, bridges, memorials, sacred spaces, and private residences. All submitted projects were designed by architects in their respective countries of origin or abroad for both built and unbuilt projects alike, as of January 1, 2004.

This year’s jury for awards took place in New York with the assistance of the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects and included some of the most influential design minds of our time: Rick Bell, Executive Director, New York Chapter/American Institute of Architects, New York; Joseph E. MacIsaac, President, Knoll International, New York; Henry Smith-Miller, Smith-Miller + Hawkinson, New York; David J. Weinger, David Jay Weiner Architects, New York; and Michael Manfredi, Weiss/Manfredi, New York.

Five Canadian project were recognized in this year’s awards, and are as follows:

Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts
Toronto, Ontario
Architects: Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc.
Client: Canadian Opera Company
Contractor: PCL Constructors Canada Inc.

Gardiner Museum
Toronto, Ontario
Architects: Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects
Client: Gardiner Museum
Contractor: Urbacon

Killbear Visitor Centre
Nobel, Ontario
Architects: HOK Architects
Client: Killbear Provincial Park
Contractor: M. J. Dixon Construction Ltd.

Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Waterloo, Ontario
Architects: Saucier + Perrotte Architectes
Client: Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
Contractor: Eastern Construction

Pierre Dansereau Science Complex
Montreal, Quebec
Architects: SAIA Barbarese Topouzanov Architectes/Tetreault Parent Languedoc and Associates
Client: University of Quebec in Montreal
Contractor: Herv Pomerleau Construction Inc.

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