Five Canadian Buildings Win 2019 North American Copper in Architecture Awards

At the 2019 North American Copper in Architecture Awards (NACIA), five Canadian buildings were award winners for their exceptional use of architectural copper.

Organized by the Copper Development Association (CDA) and the Canadian Copper & Brass Development Association (CCBDA), the NACIA awards recognize North American building projects that demonstrate outstanding use of architectural copper and copper alloys.

The awards program showcases a wide range of projects that highlight craftsmanship, attention to detail, and architectural vision.

Since its launch in 2008, the program has awarded projects across three categories: new construction, restoration and ornamental applications.

Submissions are judged and reviewed by a panel of industry experts based on building design, copper installation and technique.

This year’s award-winners include the following projects by Canadian architects:

Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre
University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
New Construction
Architect: Formline Architecture

Photo Credit: Andrew Latreille Photography Ltd.

The Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre features a standing seam copper roof that embodies the Coast Salish’s idea that the chief’s copper represents dignity. The copper roof is designed to capture water and send it to one location, creating a waterfall feature symbolizing the tears of the many survivors who suffered traumatic experiences in residential schools.

Postal Station B
Ottawa, Ontario
Architect: Schoeler Heaton & Robertson Martin Architects in Joint Venture
Sheet Metal Contractor: Heather and Little Ltd.

Photo Credit: SHRMA

Postal Station B is a Classified Federal Heritage Building within the Parliamentary Precinct in Ottawa. Home to the Privy Council Office, Postal Station B was designated for a restoration project in 2015 to replace its original 1938-39 copper mansard roofs, gutters, cornices, dormers and tower. A mix of standing seam and flatlock seam roof systems was employed to replicate the original copper elements. Key architectural elements were salvaged and existing systems were improved. The rehabilitation of Postal Station B stayed true to the original design of the century-old heritage building.

Saint Roch de l’Achigan City Hall
Saint Roch de l’Achigan, Québec
Architect: Affleck de la Riva architectes
Sheet Metal Contractor: Couverture Montréal Nord

Photo Credit: Affleck de la Riva

Saint Roch de l’Achigan is a small farming community 80 kilometers north of Montréal. Its historic convent, built in 1881, is a landmark visible across the surrounding countryside. The project employs a rich material palette, where copper takes the lead. Copper’s ability to capture both historic and contemporary architecture is showcased through the use of similar standing seam details on both the restored mansard and the new stair-tower. The bell tower and its ornamental copper elements were also carefully restored according to traditional artisanal techniques.

Senate of Canada Building
Ottawa, Ontario
Ornamental Applications
Architect: Diamond Schmitt Architects & KWC Architects, Architects in Joint Venture
Bronze Fabrication: MCM 2001

Photo Credit: Tom Arban

Ottawa’s historic Union Train Station, known as the Government Conference Centre since 1968, recently opened as the temporary home for the Senate of Canada. The move presented an opportunity to restore the station and upgrade it to a modern, secure 21st century building. To signal the importance of the general waiting room, which was used to create two large committee meeting rooms for the Senate, both rooms were clad with perforated bronze panels. Large images — 14 meters long by 6 meters tall — were applied to the bronze, taking into account the constraints of available bronze sheet stock, its gauge and the proportions of the doors. Additional bronze detailing was selectively deployed throughout the building.

Voltigeurs de Québec Armoury
Québec, Québec
Architect: Architecture49, DFS Architecture & Design and STGM Architectes in Joint Venture
Sheet Metal Contractor: Toitures Falardeau

Photo Credit: Stéphane Groleau

Following a major fire, the Voltigeurs de Québec Armoury began an extensive rehabilitation project in 2015, including a copper roof replacement. Before the fire, the Armoury was one of Canada’s most recognized architectural icons inspired by the architecture of French Renaissance castles. Careful planning and work was carried out on site with the tinsmiths to restore the ornamental details to their original proportions. The team masterfully navigated the challenge of restoring the structure to its original look, while also weaving in today’s standards, conventions, and particularly insulation and ventilation systems.

For more information on the 2019 North American Copper in Architecture Awards recipients click here