News (October 01, 2002)

PROJECTS

Canadian War Museum.

A new home for the Canadian War Museum in Ottawa has been designed by Moriyama & Teshima Architects of Toronto and Griffiths Rankin Cook Architects of Ottawa. To be located on the LeBreton Flats close to the upstream reach of the Ottawa River, the site will offer views to the north of Albert and Amelia Islands, Chaudire Falls, and the Domtar Industrial site. A riverside promenade flanks the western and northern edges of the building, integrating it with the Ottawa River with berms and native landscaping. An outdoor amphitheatre appears to be carved out of the earth, and is used for demonstrations of equipment and vehicles. To the east, visual sight-lines connect the new museum to the Parliamentary precinct. A glazed wall at the southeast corner will provide views inside the Museum. A reflective mast soars through Memorial Hall which marks the intersection of two axes, one aligned to the Parliament’s Peace Tower and the other at the solar azimuth at 11 a.m. on November 11, Remembrance Day. The roof’s twin copper peaks frame the Peace Tower in the distance, visible from a rooftop pedestrian walkway. A sunken Memorial Garden features 21 free-standing bronze columns in three rows, inscribed with the names of events and battles significant to Canadians. The entire western half of the main level, as well as the lobby and the Memorial Hall, are conceived as non-paying public spaces and include the waterfront caf, the lecture theatre, education centre, library, and gift shop. A lobby provides a direct public passageway through the building to the river, paralleling the walkway on the roof. A change in the floor level from the lobby leads visitors up and around to the entrance of a vertical granite-clad space. A reflective pool catches the daylight that is filtered through a skylight, and the pool is illuminated at its base in the evening.

Canada’s newest university.

Selected from a short list of eight firms drawn from 40 competitors, Diamond and Schmitt Architects Inc. of Toronto are designing the University of Ontario Institute of Technology in Oshawa, Ontario. The proposal consists of an academic village surrounding an outdoor quadrangle. A new library and academic buildings surrounding the quadrangle will feature a flexible design for future expansion. The competing firms were asked to develop a concept that included human scale buildings using natural Canadian materials, the advantageous use of the landscape’s natural watercourses and rolling terrain, and the creation of shared learning environments and places for social gatherings. The first buildings are scheduled for completion in September 2003.

IN MEMORIAM

Carl R. Nelson Jr.,1932-2002

Carl Nelson Jr. was born in Duluth, Minnesota and graduated with distinction from the University of Minnesota in 1955 (B.Arch.), and from MIT in 1956 (M.Arch.) before winning the prestigious Fulbright Scholarship to Italy in 1957. He began his teaching career at the University of Illinois and soon thereafter at the University of Notre Dame. Carl and his family moved north to Winnipeg, where he joined the Faculty of Architecture at the University of Manitoba in 1963.

Carl’s academic and professional career at the University of Manitoba spanned 38 years. His contributions to the Faculty, the University, the professional associations and literally hundreds, indeed thousands, of students and colleagues as a teacher, mentor, confidant and friend is a legacy in itself. Leading academics and practitioners, both in Canada and abroad, credit Carl as a major influence in their professional development.

Carl’s work in the Faculty was instrumental to advancing a vital design curriculum in the Departments of Environmental Studies, from 1966 to 1976, and Landscape Architecture, from 1977 to 1998. The Department of Architecture benefited from his presence for the entire period of Carl’s teaching career. Among his accomplishments, he was recipient of two major teaching awards including the Saunderson Award for excellence in teaching; numerous grants to conduct scholarly research, including Canada Council and CMHC grants; professional and governmental awards including appointment to the RAIC College of Fellows for his service to the profession, and a Premier’s Award for design excellence for the Fort Whyte Centre for Environmental Education.

Carl’s views on architecture’s mediating role in society and the environment helped to shape design culture in the prairie region and beyond.

R.I. Macdonald, MAA, MRAIC

Director, University of Manitoba Department of Architecture

AWARDS

Green Building of the Year.

The new Computer Science Building at York University in Toronto (see CA January 2002), designed in joint venture by Architects Alliance and Busby + Associates, has received this year’s World Architecture Magazine’s Green Building of the Year award. Beating out nearly 300 other projects submitted by studios in 45 countries, the honour was bestowed in July in Berlin. The Computer Science Building was also short-listed in the Best Education Building and Best Building in North America categories, competing with Williams and Tsien’s American Folk Art Museum in New York, which was honoured subsequently as Best Building Completed in the World. The Computer Science Building at York is the first academic building in Canada to be built according to green design criteria for cold climates.

IN BRIEF

UIA President selected.

Brazilian architect Jaime Lerner has been elected President of the International Union of Architects for 2002-2005. Lerner was born in Curitiba, the capital of the State of Parana, in 1937. He created the Institute of Urban Planning and Research of Curitiba in 1965, and participated in the drafting of the Master Plan for the city, which resulted in an economic, cultural, and physical transformation. He was elected mayor of the city for three terms: 1971-75, 1979-83, and 1989-92.

He has won many awards and distinctions, and teaches at both the School of Architecture and Urban Planning of the Federal University of Parana and at the University of California at Berkeley.

Greening the Curricula.

In August, architecture students, faculty and practitioners from across Canada met at the University of Montreal to discuss the how issues of sustainability and green architecture are addressed by the schools of architecture, and the role of architecture in addressing the current environmental crisis. Organized by Dr. Ray Cole of the University of British Columbia and Daniel Pearl of the Universit de Montral, the colloquium brought together representatives from Canada’s 10 professional programs in architecture and Ryerson University’s Department of Architectural Science. Presentations by each of the schools, followed by discussion, allowed those in attendance to compare notes on how each school is addressing these issues, and to discuss initiatives to facilitate better collaboration between schools in the development of green curricula. In addition to greening the curricula to better equip a new generation of architectural practitioners with the necessary skills to design successful green buildings, discussions included how schools of architecture could assume leadership in educating key decision-makers and the general public about the role of architecture in addressing energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction.

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