Winners announced for Wood WORKS! BC 2017 Wood Design Awards

Michael Green, T3. Photo Credit: Wood WORKS! BC – 2017 Wood Design Awards in B.C.
Michael Green, T3. Photo Credit: Wood WORKS! BC – 2017 Wood Design Awards in B.C.

Excellence in contemporary design and building with wood was celebrated in Vancouver at the Wood Design Awards in B.C. last week. More than 400 distinguished design and building professionals gathered for the 13th annual event at the Vancouver Convention Centre (West), including architects, structural engineers, project teams, local government, industry sponsors and guests. Winners and nominees of the Wood WORKS! BC 2017 Wood Design Awards were honoured and recognized for their leadership and innovation in structural and architectural wood use.

The awards also marked the end of Wood Week BC – four events over 10 days that focused on the latest trends and topics on wood design and construction with a range of educational and networking opportunities. 

There were 114 nominations in 13 categories for the 2017 awards – a record number – with nominations from all over the province, as well as some national and international project submissions from as far away as Shanghai, China.  All projects showcase distinctive and unique qualities of wood such as strength, beauty, versatility, and cost-effectiveness in a wide range of projects and a variety of wood uses.

“With wood now recognized for its ability to significantly reduce carbon impacts in our built environment and increase construction efficiency, it is playing a leading role in a design and building revolution,” said Lynn Embury-Williams, executive director of Wood WORKS! BC. “The relentless exploration of new frontiers with wood is the foundation of our awards program and the projects presented here this evening provide a view into the future.” 

The panel of four judges included Adele Weder, MASA, MRAIC (Hon), Architectural Journalist and Critic, Vancouver, B.C.; Bob Smith, BScF, MSc, General Manager – Specialty Products Sales & Manager, Canfor, Vancouver, B.C.; Karla Fraser, Senior Project Manager, Urban One Builders, Vancouver, B.C.; and Ed Lim, P.Eng., United Building Systems, Vancouver, B.C. 

The Wood Champion Award was presented to Dana Westermark, Oris Consulting, Richmond, who was one of the first to establish wood as the best material for a significant new market sector: five- and six- storey mid-rise wood frame residential construction. He has willingly shared the lessons he learned, and inspired and supported a team of consultants in the development of this new type of construction. 

Chris Jacques, Tsawwassen Mills. Photo Credit: Wood WORKS! BC – 2017 Wood Design Awards in B.C.
Chris Jacques, Tsawwassen Mills. Photo Credit: Wood WORKS! BC – 2017 Wood Design Awards in B.C.

Fast + Epp, Vancouver, an internationally respected firm that has led the way for wood in many of Canada’s most innovative wood structures, was the recipient of the Engineer Award. The firm’s projectGrandview Heights Aquatic Centre, Surrey, was cited in the nomination for its unique undulating roof structure, which achieves the significant clear spans required for pools, and ensures long-term operational cost savings.

The Architect Award was presented to HCMA Architecture + Design, Vancouver.  The firm, which has earned many significant awards for its work, has been a leader in supporting the movement toward using wood as a first choice in design and construction. The firm has also recognized the important economic, social and cultural aspects to the livelihood of many British Columbian communities that the wood industry provides. 

The Wood Innovation Award recognizes creative and innovative approaches in the use of wood in building design, product design and/or processes.  The winner of this category was Iain Weir-Jones, Weir-Jones Group, Vancouver, for Shoreline by MGA in Vancouver. The jury felt that the wood created a contemporary design with unique warmth and character to stimulate and promote a healthy office and shop environment. 

Patkau Architects, Audain Art Museum. Photo Credit: Wood WORKS! BC – 2017 Wood Design Awards in B.C.
Patkau Architects, Audain Art Museum. Photo Credit: Wood WORKS! BC – 2017 Wood Design Awards in B.C.

The Vancouver Coastal Health Authority, represented by Brett Crawley, Vancouver, was presented with the Environmental Performance Award for Bella Bella Passive House, Bella Bella. The jury was impressed with the efficiency of the modular construction which employed less material waste, required fewer material deliveries (further reducing the carbon footprint) and reduced the dust, noise, air and water pollution, compared to traditional on-site construction methods. 

Winners in the wood design categories include:

  • Residential Wood Design: Bo Helliwell and Kim Smith, Helliwell + Smith | Blue Sky Architecture, West Vancouver – Arbutus House, Victoria
  • Multi-Unit Residential Wood Design: Innovation Building Group Ltd., represented by: Ron Nadeau, Whistler – Solana, Whistler
  • Commercial Wood Design: Chris Jacques, Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd., Vancouver – Tsawwassen Mills, Tsawwassen
  • Interior Beauty Design: Rod Windjack, HDR | CEI Architecture Associates Inc., Vancouver – Mulgrave Senior School Addition, West Vancouver
  • Institutional Wood Design – Small: Shelley Craig, Urban Arts Architecture, Vancouver – UBC Engineering Student Centre, Vancouver
  • Institutional Wood Design – Large: Patkau Architects, represented by: Patricia and John Patkau, Vancouver – Audain Art Museum, Whistler
  • Western Red Cedar: Franc D’Ambrosio, D’AMBROSIO architecture + urbanism, Victoria – Cadboro Bay Residence, Saanich
  • International Wood DesignMichael Green, MGA | MICHAEL GREEN ARCHITECTURE, Vancouver | Steve Cavanaugh, DLR Group, Chicago, IL, U.S. – T3, Minneapolis, Minnesota, U.S.
  • Jury’s Choice award: Kengo Kuma, Kengo Kuma and Associates, Minato-ku, Tokyo, Japan – Shaw Tower Teahouse, Vancouver
  • The Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Award, part of the North American-wide Wood Design Awards, was presented to the Oregon-based architecture firm Hacker, for its project, Lakeside at Black Butte Ranch, Black Butte, Oregon.

“We thank all the nominees for their ingenuity and innovation with wood design and building that continues to make British Columbia a leader nationally and internationally,” concluded Ms. Embury-Williams.