Niagara Region announces 2022 Niagara Biennial Design award winners

The Niagara Region has announced Niagara Parks Power Station and the Neil Campbell Rowing Centre among its 11 Biennial Design Award winners. The projects received Grand Prize recognition in the Interior public space and Architecture categories, respectively.

Award-winning submissions were chosen by a panel of design professionals. The awards were open to owners, developers, architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, engineers, interior designers, artists and students.

Designed by +VG Architects, ELLIS Engineering Inc., FORREC, Lord Cultural Resources, Science North, Stantec, and Thinkwell Montreal, Currents: Niagara’s Power Transformed is an interactive sound and light experience that radiates within the historic facility. The former Canadian Niagara Power Company generating station harnessed the energy of the Horseshoe Falls and turned it into a source of electricity for over 100 years. Today, the landmark attraction highlights the history and architectural features of this structure.

“This magnificent project received a Grand Prize for its approach to adaptive reuse. It is like no other project submitted and is beautifully executed. The project displays the archaeology of modern tools and is a cultural heritage artifact of the pioneering electrical era. The roots of Niagara’s electrical power generation over the past century are skillfully captured in the design. It represents an incredible investment and the will of executing a project to such a high quality,” says the Jury.

Located in the city of St.Catherines, the Neil Campbell Rowing Centre is the social and performative heart of the Henley Island rowing community, supporting the history of competition since 1903.
The design team — MJMA Architecture & Design, Raimondo + Associates Architects Inc., Blackwell Structural Engineers, Smith + Andersen, Upper Canada Consultants, 2022 Canada Summer Games — continued the tradition of the ‘glass house,’ reimagined as a functional, social amenity.

The form of the building is generated by the roof, designed with a mass timber system. It is held aloft by a light steel column structure. The building places the interior activities on display, while visually linking to the water and land. Steps to the watercourse physically connect to the water, creating a strong visual identity.

“This elegant project was awarded a Grand Prize for the best new building. The design is a master class in ‘less is so much more’; showing what can be achieved with the least amount of ornamentation to beautifully capture a space that connects to its surroundings. The graceful simplicity and openness of the built form partly floats above the water; perfectly evoking the essence of the sport it serves. There is a stunning transparency through the building to the water and a beautiful glow at night,” says the Jury.

Outstanding achievement awards in Architecture were also given to the Student Commons – Niagara College by Gow Hastings Architects; the Walker Sport and Abilities Centre at Brock University, by MJMA Architecture & Design, Raimondo + Associates Architects Inc.; the Spirit in Niagara Small Batch Distillery – Spirit in Niagara Distillery Corporation, by 2M Architects.

The full list of Award winners can be viewed here.