Winners named for Quebec’s aluminum in architecture competition

Centre d’expertise sur l’aluminium (CeAl) and Alcoa Innovation proudly announce the two grand prize winners of the design competition dubbed Architecture and community commitment: A tale of aluminum. Launched last November in cooperation with Association des Architectes en pratique privée du Québec (AAPPQ) and backed by funding from the Ministry of Economy, Science and Innovation (MESI), the competition promotes the innovative use of aluminum in the building sector. The two prizes were officially awarded at AAPPQ’s annual June cocktail event.

The panel of judges included Carlo Carbone, professor at UQÀM’s School of Design, Anne Carrier, architect with Anne Carrier Architecture and President of AAPPQ, David Prud’homme, Director of Centre d’expertise sur l’aluminium (CeAl), François Racine, President of Alcoa Innovation, and chair Ron Rayside.

Grand Prizealuminum, Quebec, Groupe A / Annex U

After deliberation, the panel of judges bestowed top honours upon Groupe A/Annexe U (Érick Rivard, Marie-Noël Chouinard, Maxime Rochette, Keven Ross and Rémi Morency) for Constellations, a bold, dynamic, public space concept. The prize comes replete with a cash award of $15,000. In the opinion of the judges, the project best articulated the notion of the discriminating use of aluminum in sustainable, mobile or permanent architectural spaces less than 120 square metres in area. Panel chair Ron Rayside, architect and senior partner with Rayside Labossière, had the following to say about the winning design concept: “This project makes brilliant use of the properties and potential of aluminum. Once set up, the structures would bring public spaces to life. What is more, they are readily adaptable to venue specifics and can be produced in limited quantities.”

Constellations by Groupe A/Annexe U advocates the creation of new public spaces, some enveloping and introverted, others open to the outside world, but all intended to inspire user delight. Erected in former parking lots or set up adjacent to public venues, these new covered spaces would house social, cultural and sporting activities designed to showcase the vibrancy of life in the city. Each unit entails the use of two large sheets of anodized aluminum which unfold to create an inviting shelter. The first forms seating and the enclosure proper, while the second—boasting a bright, gloss finish—floats above the space and folds down to settle gently at ground level. Perforated by hundreds of triangular openings, the aluminum canopy provides an interplay of light and shadow which reproduces the effects of the sunlit sky by day and starlit sky by night.

People’s Choice Award ADHOC architectes, aluminum

Invited to vote for their concept of choice on the sites of each of CeAl and Alcoa Innovation, members of the general public selected Sans détour, a bridge concept designed to enhance oneness of community and imagined by ADHOC Architectes (Jean-François St-Onge, François Martineau, Tania Paula Garza and Pascale Bornais-Lamothe). The prize comes replete with a cash award of $10,000. Readers will be interested to learn that this year’s competition commanded record public participation. Indeed, in the period from April 10th to May 24th, over 2000 Internet users voted for their favourite concepts.

Sans détour, a creation of ADHOC Architectes seeks primarily to link two worlds, two communities with much to share, namely vibrantly urban Verdun and serenely suburban Île des Sœurs. How? By erecting a bridge, literally. Constructed entirely of aluminum, the bridge would present a changing portrait based on the time of day: translucent at sunset and decidedly more opaque when the sun peaks at midday. Features include a helicoidal staircase descending to the water and panoramic overlooks intended to bring together residents living on opposite sides of the river,

The ambitious Sans détour concept further merited a special honourable mention to underscore panel appreciation of the use of aluminum in all its forms and profound team commitment to social harmony.

Each of the two grand prize winners will receive expert assistance valued at $5000, in addition to valuable exposure through competition sponsors and the AAPPQ network. The winners were chosen from five finalists.