Evergreen Brick Works design team honoured with Congress for New Urbanism Charter Award

The design team for Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works was honoured with a 2013 Congress for New Urbanism (CNU) Charter Award. Announced on May 29, 2013 at CNU21 in Salt Lake City, the CNU Charter Awards are regarded as the urban design industry’s pre-eminent global awards for excellence.

Team members include: Evergreen – a not-for-profit seeking to bring cities and nature together, DTAH, Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc., Claude Cormier + Associés, E.R.A. Architects, Stantec Consulting, Halsall, AECOM, HFM, Turner & Townsend, Leber Rubes, Ferrucio Sardella, Trow; BA Consulting Group Ltd., and Eastern Construction.

The project transforms an abandoned industrial site in Toronto’s Don Valley into an environmentally themed community landmark that bridges the gap between nature and urban life. Fourteen of the historic factory buildings were restored – a collection of early 1900s brick structures and 1950s industrial sheds – focusing on adaptive reuse for year-round activities ranging from demonstration gardens to yoga lessons. In keeping with the site’s rich industrial heritage, the design approach was to use as many of the existing structural elements as possible.

Jurors praised the project for its innovative reuse of a challenging – but historic – built fabric. “The project respects the enterprising spirit and built legacy of the original industrial use while responding to environmental considerations and the need for gathering space within the larger community,” according to the jury remarks.

Evergreen Brick Works was one of only nine international projects given a 2013 Charter Award. Winning projects are recognized for their excellence in fulfilling and advancing the principles of the Charter of the New Urbanism, which defines the essential qualities of walkable, sustainable places from the regional scale down to the block and building.