OAA Awards honour three additional projects at recent conference

The annual Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) Celebration of Excellence Awards on Friday, May 9, 2014 showcased the best in architectural design and innovation by Ontario architects. Fifteen new buildings in Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Bracebridge, Hamilton, Brampton, Midhurst, and Halifax were distinguished in this year’s Design Excellence category. 

The 2014 award-winning projects reflect their environment and surroundings and invite the local community in. “Increasingly it’s becoming important to have a seamless relationship between the interior and exterior of a structure,” said OAA President Bill Birdsell. “A building should engage with its location and it should create spaces for end-users and members of the community to enjoy.”

In addition to the 15 Design Excellence awards announced before the ceremony, three more honours were unveiled during the gala:

* Best of Show was awarded to Centennial College Library and Academic Facility by Diamond and Schmitt Architects Incorporated.

* The Michael V. and Wanda Plachta Award, honouring architectural excellence for projects in Ontario that cost no more than $8 million, was presented to G. Bruce Stratton Architects for Mount Dennis Library.

* The People’s Choice, decided by public vote, went to Dubbeldam Architecture + Design for Through House.

“We are honoured to receive the OAA’s Best of Show Award,” says Donald Schmitt, principal of Diamond Schmitt Architects, who took home the award for the design of the Centennial College Library and Academic Facility. “This project is designed to be a welcoming and versatile place to learn. The central atrium with its four-storey living wall creates that vital social hub where students and faculty can interact. The use of quality materials and detailing – granite and copper cladding on the exterior and custom wood screen panels and limestone stairs for the interior – convey a message that this institution respects students and their pursuit of knowledge. Daylighting is drawn deep inside from a sawtooth glazed façade that lends further distinction to this LEED Gold facility.”

The 2014 OAA awards were presented at the OAA Celebration of Excellence Awards and Dinner at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, Quebec on Friday, May 9, 2014. The gala was attended by the province’s top architects, building industry guests, clients of the winning

The previously announced list of winners is as follows.

In the Design Excellence category: Algonguin Centre for Construction Excellence in  Ottawa by Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. and Edward J. Cuhaci and Associates Architects Inc.; Bridgepoint Active Healthcare in Toronto by Stantec Architecture Ltd., Architects | KPMB Architects, HDR Architecture Associates, Inc. | Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc.; Centennial College Athletic and Wellness Centre in Toronto by Kongats Architects; Centennial College Library and Academic Facility in Toronto by Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc.; Chinguacousy Park Redevelopment in Brampton by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects Ltd.; County of Simcoe Administration Centre in Midhurst by Teeple Architects Inc. & Ted Handy & Associates Inc. Architect in joint venture; Manitoba Hydro Place in Winnipeg by KPMB Architects (Design Architect), Smith Carter Architects & Engineers Incorporated (Executive Architect) and Prairie Architects Inc. (Advocate Architect); Moore Park Residence in Toronto by Drew Mandel Architects; Mount Dennis Library in Toronto by G. Bruce Stratton Architects; Nova Scotia Power (NSP) Corporate Headquarters in Halifax by WZMH Architects and Fowler Bauld and Mitchell Associates Architects; Stealth Cabin in Bracebridge by Superkül Inc. | Architect; Stoney Creek Recreation Centre in Hamilton by Rounthwaite Dick & Hadley Architects Inc. with Lintack Architects Incorporated; Through House in Toronto by Dubbeldam Architecture + Design; Tommy Thompson Park Pavilions in Toronto by Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc.; and Victoria Park Subway Station in Toronto by IBI Group Architects Brown and Storey Architects Inc.

In the Concepts category: Semi [Detached] byBatay-Csorba Architects; Jiigew (By the Water) at Prince Arthur’s Landing in Thunder Bay by spmb & Brook Mcllroy Architects; and UnEarthed by Ken O. Lum won an Honourable Mention.

The Sustainable Design Excellence Award went to Manitoba Hydro Place in Winnipeg by KPMB Architects (Design Architect), Smith Carter Architects & Engineers Incorporated (Executive Architect) and Prairie Architects Inc. (Advocate Architect).

A Landmark Designation went to: 50 Park Road in Toronto by John B. Parkin Associates (now NORR Limited, Architects and Engineers); McMaster University Health Sciences Centre in Hamilton by Zeidler Partnership Architects; and Wandich Cottage in Peterborough by Strasman Architects Inc.

Atelier Kastelic Buffey Inc. claimed the Best Emerging Practice Award.

Susan Ruptash was named the recipient of the G. Randy Roberts Service Award, which recognizes members of the OAA for extraordinary service to its members.

Honouring members for career-long contribution to Architectural Design Excellence, the Lifetime Design Achievement Award went to Jerome Markson.

And finally, Gordon Grice was awarded the Order of da Vinci, which is presented to persons who have made a significant and meaningful contribution to the profession of architecture.

For more information, please visit www.oaa.on.ca.