News (February 01, 2003)


2002 Wood Design Awards. Canadian winners of the 2002 Wood Design Awards include Patkau Architects Inc. for the Agosta House on San Juan Island, Washington; Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects for the Jackson-Triggs Niagara Estate Winery (see CA, Oct. 2001); Busby & Associates Architects Ltd. for the Nicola Valley Institute of Technology (see CA, Aug. 2002) and the Gilmore Skytrain Station. Jury members were Jeremiah Eck, Brian MacKay-Lyons and Lawrence Speck. Out of the 320 entries, 15 received awards. A new 112-page limited edition book documenting the 15 winners, 2002 Wood Design Awards, has been published by Janam Publications Inc. and TUNS Press. The American Institute of Architects (AIA) will host a presentation of the 15 award-winning projects at the AIA National Convention in San Diego, California in May.

Canadians get AR + d high commendations. Shim-Sutcliffe Architects of Toronto received a high commendation from AR d line international in its annual Emerging Architecture Awards for the Moorelands Camp Dining Hall, located on Lake Kawagama near Dorset, Ontario. The project received a Governor General’s Medal for Architecture last year (see CA, May 2002). Forsythe + MacAllen Design Associates of Vancouver were also highly commended in the scheme for their design of the Float-tea lantern, a transparent teapot with an integral vacuum jacket. Five award-winners were chosen from over 700 international entries, with a further 21 projects selected for high commendation.

Two honours for Toronto firm. Julian Jacobs Architects of Toronto has received the Woodworks’ Wood Design Award 2002 in the residential category for the Pamensky House (see CA, Oct. 2002) and its use of different woods including cherry, mahogany, maple, cedar, parallel strand lumber and zebrawood. The firm’s Ellesmere Community Centre in Toronto won the 2002 Friends of Masonry Design Award from the Metropolitan Industrial and Commercial Masonry Contractors Institute, in the institutional category for its suspension of masonry over glass and expressive use of colour, shape, pattern and scale in masonry in the building’s design.


Museum for Huronne-Wendat Nation. Croft-Pelletier architectes have been selected in an open anonymous competition to design the new $6 million Muse de la nation huronne-wendat at Wendake near Quebec City. Shortlisted firms included Blanger-Beauchemin architectes, Ramoisy Tremblay architectes and Saint-Gelais Montminy architectes. The winning scheme was based on the Huronne-Wendats’ relationship with nature, spirituality and mythology. The museum is scheduled to open in 2004 or 2005.

New museum addition, Gaspsie. Croft-Pelletier architectes in association with Martin Brire architecte, and in collaboration with Vachon Roy and Claude Cormier landscape architect have also won a competition to design a $4.5 million, 1,500 square metre addition to the existing Muse de la Gaspsie in Gasp, Quebec. Croft-Pelletier and Martin Brire’s conceptual approach and development are based on an understanding of the importance of the landscape and history of the Gaspsie region. Shortlisted architects included Dupuis Le Tourneux architectes, Pierre Bouvier architectes and Pierre Thibault Architecte.

A competition for Memphis. A competition for the design of a five-acre urban event site and riverboat docking facility linking downtown Memphis, Tennessee to the Mississippi River is being launched by the Riverfront Development Corporation of the City of Memphis. The open, international two-stage competition, Shaping the New American Riverfront, is open to architects, landscape architects, urban designers, designers, artists, students and faculty. Registration opened in January and submissions are due April 23 with awards to be announced in May. Registration information and a competition brief are at

The jury will consist of Toni L. Griffin, William Morrish, Stanley Saitowitz, Martha Schwartz and three local jurors.


SPIRE. Toronto firm Architects Alliance has designed a 45-storey residential condominium called Spire. Clad in glass with glass-fronted balconies on a four-storey podium, it will incorporate street-level retail and an adjoining public parkette. Several unit types will be designed and clustered around a common landing to avoid identical doorways typical of many condo buildings. Context Development, who have partnered with Architects Alliance on condominium projects such as District Lofts, Radio City and Ideal Condominiums, are developing Spire.


Douglas Shadbolt Memorial Scholarship. The School of Architecture at the University of British Columbia is establishing the Douglas Shadbolt Memorial Scholarship. Shadbolt, who served as the school’s Director from 1980 to 1991, passed away on May 8, 2002 in Vancouver (see CA July 2002). Current UBC Director Christopher Macdonald writes that “In his critical writing and leadership of the programmes at TUNS [the Technical University of Nova Scotia; now part of Dalhousie University], Carleton University, and UBC, Doug made a singular contribution to a generation of architectural education in Canada.” The UBC School of Architecture will be holding a memorial dinner to honour Shadbolt’s accomplishments in late March, and invites past students and colleagues to communicate their respects at this time. Contributions to the Douglas Shadbolt Memorial Scholarship may be made to the UBC School of Architecture, #402-6333 Memorial Road, Vancouver, B.C., V6T 1Z2. For further information, please contact Jana Tyner at

New gargoyles. The Ventin Group (Toronto) Ltd. Architects have completed a $35 million renovation of Old City Hall in Toronto, originally designed by E.J. Lennox in 1886. The four gargoyles atop the clock tower, removed for safety reasons in 1939 after a 50-pound section broke off the gargoyle in the northeast corner the year before, are being completely replaced. The original gargoyles cantilevered out about nine feet, proving too heavy a load given the presence of high winds and freeze-thaw cycles, and because of the stone’s low-tensile strength. The new gargoyles are made of lightweight bronze, intended to remain maintenance-free for 100 years. Because only distant archival photos exist of the originals, only the silhouette and not the intricate details of each creature was replicated. The new creatures derive from an examination of gargoyles and grotesques at Old City Hall, Queen’s Park and the Peace Tower of the federal Parliament building in Ottawa.

Bing Thom in Brno. Bing Thom Architects Inc. of Vancouver is one of three international practices invited to take part in the City of Brno two-stage design competition for the Janc*ek Cultural Centre. The building will house a concert hall for the Brno Philharmonic Orchestra in honour of composer Leos* Janc*ek. It will be the first major project to be undertaken since the Czech Republic suffered massive flooding earlier this year.

Plans for solar tower in Australia. An Australian power company has announced plans to build a solar tower in the middle of the outback that will be the world’s tallest structure. Enviromission says the tower will be over 1,000 metres (3,300 feet) tall, almost double the height of Toronto’s CN Tower which, at 553 metres, is currently the world’s tallest free-standing structure.

The Australian tower, which could provide enough electricity for 200,000 homes, is being backed by the governments of Australia and New South Wales and is expected to be completed in 2006 in the remote Buronga district of New South Wales at a cost of about $1 billion Australian ($860 million Canadian). The tower could result in savings of more than 700,000 tonnes of greenhouse gases that would otherwise be emitted by coal- or oil-fired power stations generating the same amount of power

The structure will have a width similar in size to a football field and will stand in the centre of a huge glass roof extending seven kilometres. The design is based on the principle that the sun will heat the air under the glass roof, creating an updraft in the tower that will draw air through 32 turbines, generating power 24 hours a day. The tower will be equipped with high intensity obstacle lights to prevent aircraft from crashing into it.