Two Canadian Firms win AIA Awards
Two Canadian architecture firms have won awards in the AIA’s annual awards program. Hariri Pontarini Architects won an AIA Award for Architecture for Casey House, a healthcare facility in Toronto, and Looney Ricks Kiss, in association with Canadian firm DIALOG was part of a team recognized for the Crosstown Concourse project in Memphis, Tennessee.
“We are very pleased that Crosstown Concourse has received the AIA Award for Architecture. This project was focussed on communal design and social interaction, and has proven to be truly transformative for this part of Memphis. It is heartening to receive recognition for design that truly changes people’s lives in profound ways,” said Alan Boniface, Architect AIBC AAA MRAIC AIA
The projects were among nine awards given by the five-member jury for the 2019 cycle. The American Institute of Architects award program celebrates the best contemporary architecture by projects that demonstrate the ways buildings and spaces have the ability to improve lives.
Looney Ricks Kiss in association with DIALOG and Spatial Affairs Bureau teamed with Memphis community activists, planners and developers to revitalize a 1.3-million-square foot Art Deco Sears building in the urban core of Memphis, Tennessee. The retail distribution center had been abandoned since the early 1980s.
Renamed Crosstown Concourse, it has become a vertical urban village that has regenerated a community. The 10-storey building is now home to a variety of organizations, including a high school; a YMCA fitness center; a theater; a free art gallery; a radio station; and the country’s largest dental clinic; along with nearly 300 apartment units.
Firm: Hariri Pontarini Architects
Project: Casey House
Toronto’s Casey House is an extension and addition for a specialized healthcare facility serving those living with HIV/AIDS. The increased 59,000-foot space embraces the 1875 mansion and channels the compassionate legacy of Casey House founder June Callwood. Its brick, tinted mirrored glass, and limestone façade reference the patchwork AIDS memorial quilt, and a garden surrounded by a beech hedge serves as an contemplative space. The building’s interior has a welcoming familiarity that straddles institutional and residential spaces, with a warm palette of wood and rough-cut stone. The heritage building’s brick is exposed in the living room—a central gathering space that boasts a two-story atrium anchored by an Algonquin limestone fireplace. Over 10 years in the making, Toronto’s Casey House meets the needs of its patients, and the sincerity provided by its staff is also felt in the building’s architecture.