News (September 01, 2001)


Saucier + Perrotte in Ontario.

Two projects in Ontario designed by Montreal firm Saucier + Perrotte architectes are to begin construction early next year. The Perimeter Institute, located next to Silver Lake in Waterloo, will act as a forum for fundamental physicists from around the world. Researchers can stay for periods of up to two years and exchange ideas and results with colleagues working in various fields. The 5,000 square metre facility will contain 46 offices, a bistro, a lecture hall, a library and a small gym.

Saucier + Perrotte have also designed a new $15.3 million residence building for New College at the University of Toronto’s St. George campus (see photo on page 3). The building will be located at the corner of Spadina Avenue and Willcocks Street, close to the existing mixed-use New College building. It will accommodate 280 students and feature a versatile ground floor to be used as a theatre and/or study space. Two large gardens linked by an exterior stairwell are carved out of the volume on the second and fifth floors.

New Aviation Campus.

ZAS Architects Inc. (formerly Zawadzki Armin Stevens Architects) of Toronto, in joint venture with Larocque Elder Architects of North Bay, will design a new Aviation Campus at Canadore College of Applied Arts & Technology. The new $10 million facility, the first of its kind in Canada, will support the aviation related programs offered at the College, which include aviation maintenance and repair and helicopter flight training. To be located at Jack Garland Airport in North Bay, the self-sufficient, 82,000 square foot facility will include a fixed and rotary wing hangar, avionics labs, engine labs, a lecture hall and other student support areas. The project replaces existing facilities at a former BOMARC (Boeing and University of Michigan Aeronautical Research Center) missile site in North York. Completion is expected for August 2002.


Italian award for Ottawa architect.

Ottawa architect Ovidio Sbrissa has won a merit award in an international competition sponsored by the Florence College of Architects and Controradio. The object of the exercise was to conduct an ideas competition employing the Internet and current CAD technologies, and every aspect of it was carried out via the Web. The design challenge was to create a Third Door, an ephemeral intervention to tie the two existing doors or archways in Florence’s Piazza della Libert with the area of the Parterre, where outdoor concerts and performances are held nightly with free attendance for the general public. The Door or Gate was also intended to act as a portal connecting the Parterre to the World Wide Web. Sbrissa’s proposal involved a reflective levitating sphere connecting the Parterre to the gates of Piazza della Libert, its ethereal nature providing a contrast to the permanence and physicality of the two existing gates.


Changes at Zeidler firm.

Zeidler Roberts Partnership/Architects have changed their name to Zeidler Grinnell Partnership Architects, reflecting over two decades of contributions by partner Ian Grinnell. With the retirement of Peter Wakayama, Alan Munn has been appointed to the senior management team, joining Eberhard Zeidler and Ian Grinnell. Seven new general partners have also been appointed, including Robert Eley, Tarek El-Khatib, Jurgen Henze, Francis Kwok, Gerald Stein, Don Vetere and Dalibor Vokac. Zeidler Grinnell Partnership Architects maintain offices in Toronto, West Palm Beach, London and Berlin.

Canada Council residency program.

As part of its Creation/Production Grants for Architects category, the Canada Council will grant up to $15,000 to enable a young architect to take a residency at an architectural firm either in Canada or abroad. Either a short-term or long-term grant may be sought in support of a residency, and the Canada Council for the Arts contribution must be complemented by an equivalent sum from the host company.

A revision of the Council’s grants and programs for architects is under way. An appointee has been asked to record input from the architectural community so that the Council’s efforts may better serve its needs in the future.

Governor General’s Medals.

The RAIC and the Canada Council have completed discussions on the next round of the Governor General’s Medals for Architecture. To allow members to take photographs of eligible projects in good weather, the deadline for submissions will be November 30. A call for submissions is available through the RAIC at

Housing ministers continue meetings.

Federal Housing Minister Alfonso Gagliano met with his provincial counterparts in London, Ontario last month to discuss the 2000 Liberal election promise to spend $680 million over four years to build 80,000 new units of rental housing for low-income tenants. The program is dependent on the provinces and territories matching that contribution.

The proposal was the key topic for discussion at the ministers’ annual federal-provincial two-day housing conference. No specific solutions resulted from the meeting, but ministers agreed to reconvene in Quebec City in November to review each province’s progress. They also agreed to keep working on a long-term national housing strategy that could include tax breaks for builders.

Toronto city councillor Jack Layton, president of the Federation of Canadian Municipalities, expressed optimism over the ministerial meeting, stating that “For the first time in Canada in about 10 years, the federal and provincial governments are all agreeing that we need to build affordable housing for very low-income people.”

As part of a broad strategy of cost-cutting aimed at eliminating the annual deficit, the federal government stopped funding social housing in 1993. Since then, a majority of provinces have followed suit.

GBC 2002 call for entries.

The Canadian Green Building Challenge team has issued a call for project submissions for consideration in the Third International Green Building Challenge: GBC 2002. Selected projects will be assessed and presented at the Sustainable Building 2002 conference in Oslo, Norway in October 2002. SB ’02 is the third international conference utilizing the Green Building Challenge process (following GBC 98 held in Vancouver in October 1998 and SB 2000 held in Maastricht, The Netherlands in October 2000). The Maastricht conference featured over 60 buildings from 19 countries, and was attended by over 850 international delegates for three days of meetings, presentations and discussion papers.

GBC 2002 is an international co-operative process to develop new performance assessment tools and highlight innovative environmental building technologies intended to raise awareness of green building design in the building industry and government and among architects, engineers and contractors in participating countries.

The deadline for submission of entries is November 30. For more information see the detailed Call for Entries and Submission Requirements on the Web site of the International Initiative for Sustainable Built Environment,

University of Calgary anniversary.

This year the architecture program at the University of Calgary celebrated the 10th anniversary of the William Lyon Somerville Visiting Lectureship. The Lectureship was established by an endowment given to the university by the late Mrs. A.G. Burton of Calgary in memory of her father, William Lyon Somerville, ARCA, FRAIC, FRIBA, a distinguished architect born in Hamilton, Ontario in 1886. He was educated at the cole des Beaux-Arts of America (New York City) and had a long and successful career in the Toronto firm Somerville, McMurrich and Oxley. The William Lyon Somerville Visiting Lectureship is designed to bring a visiting practitioner, academic or critic to the architecture program annually to direct a one week charrette and give a public lecture. The first ten recipients included Erick van E
geraat and Francine Houben, Mecanoo Architekten, Delft (1992); Peter Eisenman, Eisenman Architects, New York (1993); Patricia and John Patkau, Patkau Architects, Vancouver (1994); Peter Salter, Architectural Association, London (1995); Laura Hartman and Richard Fernau, Fernau & Hartman Architects, Berkeley (1996); Dan Hanganu, Dan S. Hanganu Architectes, Montreal (1997); Alejandro Zaera-Polo, Foreign Office Architects, London (1998); Roger Riewe, Architekturburo Riegler Riewe, Graz (1999); Juhani Pallasmaa, Helsinki (2000); and Inaki Abalos, Abalos & Herreros, Madrid (2001).


Kudos all around.

I’d like to start by saying that Canadian Architect achieves a unique balance on reporting from across the country. The major centres are well represented on a consistent basis.

This is why the great article by Jim Taggart, “Vancouver’s Millennium Line” (July 2001), comes as no surprise. What makes it stand out is the depth of research and accuracy with which it is written.

I am an architectural technologist working in Vancouver and I’ve been following the planning, design and construction process of the SkyTrain line with interest, particularly because I live in Coquitlam, near one of the new stations. The public process that I took part in was definitely valuable to my development as an aspiring transportation planner, as is Canadian Architect, considering the strength of the articles in it.

Stefan Larose

Coquitlam, B.C.


In the July issue, credits at the end of the article “Vancouver’s Millennium Line” (see p. 13) listed Boldwing Architecture Inc. among the participants in Stage 1: Ideas Forum. The correct credit is BoldWing Continuum Architects Inc.