City of London announces Urban Design Awards winners

Earlier in November, the City of London announced the winners of its 2019 Urban Design Awards.

“The Urban Design Awards evening is a chance for us to recognize the important connection between good urban design and a City that is creative, engaging and attractive,” says Britt O’Hagan, Manager, City Building and Design for the City of London.

The awards included the newly created ‘People’s Choice Award’, which attracted nearly 1,000 votes for the winning project from Londoners.

The winning projects are:


EMS Headquarters, by architects Tillmann Ruth Robinson inc. in association with Arthur Lierman Landscape Architecture

Middlesex-London EMS is a precedent for future development that sets the standard for how built form can enhance strong relationships between buildings, streets and open spaces. As an example of a strong street presence, EMS carefully balances a welcoming and transparent street presence with the need for a safe and secure facility.

EMS HEADQUARTERS, courtesy architects Tillmann Ruth Robinson inc. in association with Arthur Lierman Landscape Architecture


Bostwick Community Centre, by MJMA in association with a+LiNK Architecture

The new Bostwick Community Centre, YMCA, and Library project becomes the new social heart of an expanding peripheral community. Hockey, Library, Fitness, Aquatics all merge to create a whole greater than the sum of their parts. The triumph is not just the integration of three unique public service partners but that the space created ‘in between’ which becomes ‘the place to be’. This space between the activities ignites and connects the diverse interests of this community.

BOSTWICK COMMUNITY CENTRE, courtesy MJMA in association with a+LiNK Architecture

Small Scale Residential

759 Clearview Crescent, by Skinner & Skinner Architects Inc.

The infill home at 759 Clearview Crescent celebrates contemporary design, while complimenting the modern influenced character felt throughout the distinct neighbourhood. The new single-family residence is a one storey, barrier free home for a senior couple. The design is articulated to fit with the neighbourhood by way of its front courtyard, flat roof, and orientation of garage, expansive glazing, materials, and natural landscaping.

759 CLEARVIEW CRESCENT, courtesy Skinner & Skinner Architects Inc.

Public Spaces & Landscapes

Kent Drive Pedestrian Walkway, by architects Tillmann Ruth Robinson Inc. in association with Arthur Lierman Landscape Architecture & Yuna Hur Lighting Design

Kent Drive is laid out across the entire east face of University College running parallel in a north-south direction. Kent Drive was an active vehicle roadway with parking for about 45 cars. The conflict between students, faculty and staff with the automobile had existed for decades. The existing asphalt roadway was removed and replaced with a simple stone paver pattern that could be easily replaced elsewhere on campus. A new stone retaining wall at seating height, complete with in-wall lighting and power was built up on the west side of the Drive. At the north end of Kent Drive, a reading garden was designed utilizing reclaimed stone pavers from work previously completed at Althouse College a few years earlier. The reading garden is located at a redeveloped barrier-free entrance and is augmented with new plantings, low-level lighting and delightful red furniture which contrasts wonderfully with the greenery. 

KENT DRIVE PEDESTRIAN WALKWAY, courtesy architects Tillmann Ruth Robinson inc. in association with Arthur Lierman Landscape Architecture & Yuna Hur Lighting Design

Adaptive Reuse or Rehabilitation

Fanshawe College School of Hospitality & Culinary Arts and School of Information Technology, by Diamond Schmitt Architects and Phil Agar Architect, Architect in Joint Venture in association with ERA Architects

The transformation of London, Ontario’s 19th-century Kingsmill’s Department Store, into a multi-disciplinary centre of learning for Fanshawe College  has resulted in a 10,600-square-metre building, home to the Schools of Tourism, Hospitality and Culinary Arts and Information Technology. The seven-storey structure includes a setback three-storey addition above a terrace on top of the original building. Colourful metal panels and varying densities of frit on the glazing enliven the new façade. The building retains its street character by preserving the stone facade and awning on Dundas Street while the adjacent red brick annex was dismantled and rebuilt using the heritage brick. A student-run restaurant animates the ground floor, which also features a two-storey biofilter living wall, amphitheatre seating, and an open corridor that links the Dundas and Carling Street entrances. Other original features incorporated in the design include reclaimed wood joists, a tin ceiling and locally made yellow brick.

Fanshawe College Courtesy of Diamond Schmitt
Fanshawe College Lobby Courtesy of Diamond Schmitt

Public Realm Enhancement—Honourable Mention

Following in His Footsteps, by LeuWebb Projects in association with Robert Cramm Workshop

Designed to inspire a unique experience for each visitor, each element of the pathway acts as a visual reference to the Terry Fox story, thought-provoking not only during the annual Terry Fox Run, but throughout the year. This work of art is designed to be experienced at the human scale and includes: Two visually striking signposts mapping the cities and distances of the Marathon of Hope (in their original Imperial units as referenced by Terry in his diary); Boulders from east and west of London, representing Terry’s cross-Canada route; A patterned ground surface evocative of Terry’s iconic running gait and including shoe prints to intensify the visual memory of his presence at the site; and Living elements: strategically blooming plantings native to regions across Canada.

FOLLOWING IN HIS FOOTSTEPS, courtesy LeuWebb Projects in association with Robert Cramm Workshop

People’s Choice Award

Boler Mountain Chalet, by architects Tillmann Ruth Robinson inc.

For over 70 years, Boler Mountain has been a much-loved presence in the London community. A special focus on inclusivity, health and wellness has helped shape a unique winter recreation experience for all ages and abilities. Now, with the completion of a major renovation and addition to the 40-year old chalet, Boler has expanded the Mountain site onto an animated invitation to multi-sport activity across all four seasons adding activities such as yoga, mountain biking and fitness trails.

BOLER MOUNTAIN CHALET, courtesy architects Tillmann Ruth Robinson inc.