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Gerry Kopelow

shai Gil

Courtesy team North
16 ManitoBa hydro place 9 news
ew Art Gallery of Alberta opens; call for
this laNdmarK projeCt iN wiNNipeG represeNts a CritiCal juNCture iN the trajeCtory
of sustaiNable desiGN, outperformiNG eveN its owN striNGeNt eNerGy reduCtioN
submissions for the 2010 National Urban
tarGets. teXt peter sampsoN Design Awards.

32 technical
24 langara college liBrary and Kathy Velikov and Geoffrey Thün describe
the complex process of designing and
student centre building North House, an important
the iNCorporatioN of bold formal Gestures iN this faCility by teeple arChiteCts iN prototype for sustainable living.
assoCiatioN with ibi/hb arChiteCts provides a welCome ChaNGe iN the City of
vaNCouver. teXt matthew soules
35 report
Leslie Jen comments on the recent spec-
tacle of CERSAIE 2009, a massive inter-
national trade show devoted exclusively to
briaN dust

ceramic tile and bathroom furnishings
held each year in Bologna, Italy.

40 calendar
L eonardo da Vinci: The Mechanics of Man at
the Vancouver Art Gallery; Francine Hou-
ben of Mecanoo Architecten lectures at
Ryerson University.

42 Backpage
An architect strives to convert a portion of
Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway into an
elevated park in the city’s downtown core.

jaNuary 2010, v.55 N.01

maNitoba hydro plaCe iN wiNNipeG.

The NaTioNal Review of DesigN aND PRacTice/ photo by eduard hueber.
The JouRNal of RecoRD of The Raic

01/10 canadian architect 5
Courtesy shaPe vanCouver

Ian ChodIkoff, OAA, MRAIC
associate editor
editorial advisors
John MCMInn, AADIpl.
contributing editors
GavIn affLeCk, OAQ, MRAIC
herbert enns, MAA, MRAIC
above Led by busby PerkIns + wILL and ConCord PaCIfIC, shaPe vanCouver 2050 Is an douGLas MaCLeod, nCARb
regional correspondents
onLIne researCh InItIatIve Intended to GuIde future PoLICIes reGardInG urban densIfICa- halifax ChrIstIne MaCy, OAA regina bernard fLaMan, SAA
tIon and sustaInabILIty. montreal davId theodore calgary davId a. down, AAA
Winnipeg herbert enns, MAA vancouver adeLe weder
Because competition amongst Vancouver archi- lars, tonnes of carbon, and cubic feet of asphalt toM arkeLL 416-510-6806
tects is so high (the city has the highest concen- can be saved if we can promote higher-density associate publisher
GreG PaLIouras 416-510-6808
tration of architects per capita in Canada), many urban living. Shape Vancouver is merely intend- circulation Manager
firms have been forced to either merge their ed to gauge the public’s opinion of the extent to beata oLeChnowICz 416-442-5600 ext. 3543
custoMer service
practices—as Hotson Bakker Boniface Haden which we can alter Vancouver’s skyline for the MaLkIt Chana 416-442-5600 ext. 3539

Architects has done recently with Cohos Evamy— better, being careful to note that “it does not pro- production
JessICa Jubb
or engage in research that distinguishes them vide metrics for more complex issues such as af- graphic design
sue wILLIaMson
from the rest of the pack. Bing Thom Architects fordability, amenities, transportation or other vice president of canadian publishing
has developed research and policy reports on social issues.” The initial results were released in aLex PaPanou
president of business inforMation group
housing and changing demographics. Henriquez mid-January with ongoing results and commen- bruCe CreIGhton

Partners Architects intends to publish an issues- tary continuing thereafter. Based on responses head office
12 ConCorde PLaCe, suIte 800,
related book every two years—its latest volume is from participants, an average build-out should toronto, on M3C 4J2
telephone 416-510-6845
to be released shortly. Although many of the be developed by the beginning of February. facsimile 416-510-5140
e-mail edItors@CanadIanarChIteCt.CoM
city’s architecture firms are staffed with “LEED- Hopefully, the survey will provide guidance for Web site www.CanadIanarChIteCt.CoM

ites” who are well-versed in all things “sustain- the City of Vancouver to correlate issues affecting Canadian architect is published monthly by business Information Group,
a division of bIG Magazines LP, a leading Canadian information company
able,” one firm—Busby Perkins + Will—remains sustainable design practices with existing and in- with interests in daily and community newspapers and business-to-business
information services.
the leader in this regard. Under the direction of creasingly obsolete zoning regulations. The City’s the editors have made every reasonable effort to provide accurate and
authoritative information, but they assume no liability for the accuracy or com-
Peter Busby, who continues to use that rare com- planning department still struggles to develop a pleteness of the text, or its fitness for any particular purpose.

bination of strong design skills and business firm direction regarding the implementation of subscription rates Canada: $52.95 plus applicable taxes for one year;
$83.95 plus applicable taxes for two years (Gst – #809751274rt0001).
acumen to advocate for greener cities, Busby Per- proactive sustainable planning measures. But Price per single copy: $6.95. students (prepaid with student Id, includes
taxes): $32.50 for one year. usa: $101.95 us for one year. all other
kins + Will has recently launched a new online while the City has been promoting its EcoDensity foreign: $120.00 us per year.
us office of publication: 2424 niagara falls blvd, niagara falls, ny 14304-
poll to question Vancouverites’ opinion of their and Greenest City platforms, Busby has been 5709. Periodicals Postage Paid at niagara falls, ny. usPs #009-192.
us postmaster: send address changes to Canadian architect, Po box 1118,
precious skyline and the environmental implica- working hard at testing and evolving the implica- niagara falls, ny 14304.

tions of intensifying the city’s downtown core. tions of increased density through his own list of return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Circulation dept., Canadian
architect, 12 Concorde Place, suite 800, toronto, on Canada M3C 4J2.
For those unfamiliar with the shape of Van- projects, especially in the areas surrounding the Postmaster: please forward forms 29b and 67b to 12 Concorde Place, suite
800, toronto, on Canada M3C 4J2. Printed in Canada. all rights reserved.
couver’s downtown peninsula, it is a carefully Canada Line, for which his firm has been com- the contents of this publication may not be reproduced either in part or in full
without the consent of the copyright owner.
monitored and controlled entity, with view cones missioned to design three stations. from time to time we make our subscription list available to select companies
(developed in part by Busby Bridger Architects While we appreciate Vancouver Mayor Gregor and organizations whose product or service may interest you. If you do not
wish your contact information to be made available, please contact us via
in 1989), height restrictions and design guide- Robertson’s 2020 action plan entitled “A Bright one of the following methods:
telephone 1-800-668-2374
lines that have taken decades to develop and ac- Green Future”—part of his desire to make Van- facsimile 416-442-2191
cept. But as the city grows, what are the real couver the greenest city in the world by 2020—the mail Privacy officer, business Information Group, 12 Concorde Place, suite 800,
benefits of mitigating Vancouver’s carbon foot- City would be wise to move beyond motherhood toronto, on Canada M3C 4J2
member of the canadian business press
print, and what are the realistic limitations to statements and gear up toward an action plan that member of the audit bureau of circulations
publications mail agreement #40069240
its growth? Entitled “Shape Vancouver 2050” promotes and builds real projects, not just pub- issn 0008-2872
(, Busby’s initiative was lish a wish list of benchmarks. Simply put, if the
developed in conjunction with the developer implications of Shape Vancouver 2050 and its
Concord Pacific. The project involves an inter- findings are folded into building and zoning regu-
active website allowing visitors to clearly visual- lations, the City will find that its accomplishments
ize—through the manipulation of building heights may prove more tangible than any of its intermin-
and densities—how taller buildings can affect able eco-reports. It isn’t just the competition
variables like carbon savings, energy consump- amongst Vancouver architects that is fierce, but
tion, infrastructure costs and automobile usage. also that city’s need to compete on the global stage.
The survey makes no claim that tall buildings Vancouver must shape up, or lose its capacity to We acknoWledge the financial support of the
government of canada through the publications
are a panacea for our cities’ environmental ills, become a global leader in sustainable living. assistance program toWards our mailing costs.
pap registration no. 11093
but it certainly makes us aware of how many dol- Ian ChodIkoff ichodikoff@canadianarchitect.coM

6 canadian architect 01/10
Manufacturer and Generic Objects and Systems

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new art Gallery of alberta opens.
Designed by Los Angeles-based Randall Stout
Architects, the renovation and expansion of the
new Art Gallery of Alberta (AGA) was completed
this month and opened to the public. Located on
Sir Winston Churchill Square in downtown
Edmonton—the city’s arts and government core,
the addition/renovation project has upgraded
and expanded the original 1960s Brutalist con-
crete structure with galleries and art-handling
facilities, featuring a significant increase in the
number of exhibition spaces, including gallery
space for the AGA’s permanent collection of
more than 5,000 pieces of art. Additionally, a
new off-site collection storage facility was com-
pleted as part of the first phase of the New Vision
project. An expanded art education centre

ArT GAllery of AlberTA
doubles the number of classroom/studio spaces,
complemented by a new restaurant, gallery shop,
and the renovation of a 150-seat theatre. New
public event areas have been incorporated, like
the soaring four-storey entry lobby, the Gallery
aBOVeThe ArT GAllery of AlberTA (AGA) will open iTs renovATed And expAnded premises AT
Great Hall, a multi-purpose theatre, a café, a gal- The end of JAnuAry. desiGned by los AnGeles-bAsed rAndAll sTouT ArchiTecTs, The build-
lery shop, a “floating” private members’ lounge, inG AppeArs To be inspired by frAnk Gehry’s ApproAch To civic-buildinG desiGn.
and an outdoor sculpture terrace. Edmonton’s
underground light rail transportation system study. The first part of the multi-phased initiative the LEED Platinum-certified building will be a
(LRT) and public pedway are accessible from the will proceed under the direction of Brock James, teaching laboratory for best practices in sustain-
main entry lobby. The new building totals 84,000 Levitt Goodman’s partner-in-charge of the pro- able construction. The $77-million Centre for
square feet, adding 27,000 square feet of new ject. The library will remain open during the con- Construction Excellence is expected to be com-
public spaces and galleries and approximately struction period, which is expected to commence plete by fall 2011. Located in Ottawa, Algonquin
24,000 square feet of interior exhibition space. in the spring of 2010, with a projected completion College of Applied Arts and Technology is the
The duality of Edmonton’s urban grid layout date for the start of the fall semester. The firm’s largest college in Eastern Ontario with 18,000
juxtaposed against the winding contours of the recent library projects include the Musagetes full-time students and more than 33,000 part-
North Saskatchewan River is reflected in the library at the University of Waterloo School of time students registered in over 140 programs.
square and curved components of the new Architecture, Bridgenorth Library, the five-year
design, while the swirling forms of the Aurora multimillion-dollar renovation of the Queens awards
Borealis provided inspiration for the building’s Square Central Branch of the Cambridge Libraries
main stainless steel feature. system and the $24.9-million renovation of the call for submissions for the 2010 national Kitchener Public Library (in association with Urban design awards.
Walter Fedy Partnership and Phillip H. Carter Urban design plays an important role in main-
Levitt Goodman architects to design new Architect) which will be completed in 2013. taining and enhancing the quality of life in Cana-
Learning commons at York University. dian cities. The Royal Architectural Institute of
York University has selected Levitt Goodman diamond and schmitt architects design Canada (RAIC), the Canadian Institute of Plan-
Architects to develop detailed designs for its com- algonquin college centre for construction ners (CIP) and the Canadian Society of Land-
petition-winning design for a 26,390-square- excellence. scape Architects (CSLA) in cooperation with Ca-
foot renovation of York University’s main library The looming shortage of skilled trades workers nadian municipalities, wish to promote public
on its Keele campus. The “Learning Commons” across Canada served as the catalyst for the and private awareness of that role. For this rea-
will provide users with a mix of group study areas planned Centre for Construction Excellence at son, an Urban Design Awards program has been
that will shift York University’s 40-year-old Scott the Algonquin College of Applied Arts and Tech- established to recognize individuals, organiza-
Library into a progressive learning environment. nology. Diamond and Schmitt Architects in col- tions, firms and projects that have contributed to
The $2-million renovation will be the first initia- laboration with Edward J. Cuhaci and Associates the quality of life in our Canadian cities and their
tive on the campus specifically designed to reflect Architects have designed a 180,000-square-foot sustainability. There are six different categories
York’s pedagogical shift from a teacher-centred building that will consolidate all of Algonquin of urban design projects, and one award will be
approach to active and collaborative learning. The College’s trades education programs under one bestowed for each category: Urban Design Plans;
firm’s winning scheme offers a mix of open and roof. With classrooms, studios, laboratories and Urban Fragments; Urban Architecture; Commu-
semi-private multi-purpose areas designed to shops for 600 construction students and for nity Improvement Projects; Civic Design Pro-
promote interaction, collaboration and group thousands more studying in related programs, jects; and Student Projects. The jury members

01/10 canadian architect 9
A groundbreaking study on
Canadian architectural firms

2009 Canadian
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• What is the average cost to develop a proposal?

Order Your Copy Today. Go to:
CirCle reply Card 16
are: Vincent Asselin, FCSLA (Montreal); Nigel order to allow entrants complete freedom to gen-
Baldwin, FRAIC (Vancouver); and Don Hester, erate their own unique ideas, stipulating only
FCSLA, MCIP (Winnipeg). Entry forms and that the school will provide education in either
binders must be received before 4:00pm on Feb- English or French, and that it must deeply engage
ruary 11, 2010. with and learn from the First Nation communi- ties throughout the province. A jury comprised of In trodu cin g
urban/2010call/urban-submission_e.htm Anne Cormier, Douglas Cardinal, Craig Dykers

and Dominic Giroux awarded a first prize of
c3 community care consortium wins 2009 $5,000 to the Italian team of Daniele Rocchio and ª
academy award for Mental health design. Ferdinando Mazza from the Facoltà di Architet-
The C3 Community Care Consortium—comprised
of Montgomery Sisam Architects, Kearns Manci-
tura Valle Giulia Sapienza. Second-place winners
Dylan Sauer and Joe Smith from the Yale School
recycling system
ni Architects and KPMB Architects—has recently of Architecture received $3,000 in prize money. designedÊbyÊJohnÊRizzi
been honoured with an Academy Award from the And taking third place was Ryerson University’s
International Academy of Design and Health for Michael Blois, Sean MacLean and Jason Fung,
Mental Health Design. The Academy recognizes who shared a prize of $2,000. Prizes were award-
mental health design projects that provide a civi- ed based on each submission’s contribution to
lized and humane setting to support therapeutic the research, creation and critique of new ideas
intervention. The Award was given for Phase IA for a school of architecture—specifically one that
of the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health serves a culturally diverse community while pro-
(CAMH) in Toronto. CAMH is Canada’s leading viding an innovative and globally competitive ed-
addiction and health treatment centre, and suc- ucation. There was no specific site for the pro-
ceeds in transforming the lives of affected indi- ject, other than a general location within the
viduals by applying the latest in scientific ad- downtown of the City of Greater Sudbury.
vances through integrated and compassionate
clinical practice, education, research and care.
what’s new
Pugh + scarpa architects to receive 2010
aia architecture Firm award. all architects resign from city of Ottawa
The American Institute of Architects (AIA) Board design review Panel.
of Directors voted for Pugh + Scarpa Architects to On December 7, 2009, all of the architects that
receive the 2010 AIA Architecture Firm Award. were members of the Downtown Ottawa Urban

Given annually, the award is the highest honour Design Review Panel resigned. The City was in-
the AIA bestows on an architecture firm and rec- formed by way of a letter to Councillor Peter
ognizes a practice that consistently has produced Hume, Chair of the Planning and Environment

distinguished architecture for at least 10 years. Committee. The Downtown Ottawa Urban Design
Founding partners Gwynne Pugh, AIA, and Law- Review Panel was established in March 2005 to

rence Scarpa, AIA, along with Angela Brooks, provide expert peer review of urban design ele-
AIA, who became a partner in 2001, are known ments of new developments in the downtown
for forging a broad, inclusive, experimental ap- core. More than 15 major development applica-
proach to socially and environmentally sensitive tions have been reviewed. The Design Review
urban planning and design. Previous recipients Panel was originally composed of seven archi-
include Olson Sundberg Kundig Allen Architects, tects and three landscape architects. The resigna-
Leers Weinzapfel, Moore Ruble Yudell, Murphy/ tion of all of the architects leaves the Panel with
Jahn, and KieranTimberlake. only three members. Reasons cited for the resig-

nation included long-overdue improvements to
cOMPetitiOns the design review process, the City’s continuing
inaction on the Ottawa By Design section of its
winners announced in competition for new Official Plan, and the City’s approach to the re-
northern Ontario school of architecture. development of Lansdowne Park. The architects,
The winners of a competition for a new school of in their letter of resignation, state that, “while we
architecture at Laurentian University were re- believe that it is no longer possible to support the
cently announced. The competition asked the status quo, we do remain committed to improv-
question of what a new school of architecture can ing the quality of urban design in the city. We
be within the unique context of Northern Ontar- hope the City will take a renewed interest and
877.837.3275 •
io, and asked entrants to question the role of commitment to urban design, but until we see
schools of architecture, defining physical, ab- substantial improvements in the approach to
stract and theoretical characteristics. It purpose- urban design on the part of the City, it is no lon-
circLe rePLY card 17
fully ignored setting strict design guidelines in ger in our interest to participate.”

01/10 canadian architect 11


CirCle reply Card 18
ISSuE 32. 1
W INTER 2009/ 2010
AU RAIC Centre for Architecture receives
CCMPA support 2009-2010
The RAIC and Athabasca university (Au) recently announced the Cana- RAIC Board Members
dian Concrete Masonry Producers Association (CCMPA) has become
the first industry partner to support the new architecture program at Ranjit (Randy) K. Dhar, FRAIC
Au. The RAIC Centre of Architecture at Au will eventually replace
the RAIC Syllabus program. The CCMPA has agreed to a long term 1st Vice-President and
partnership with RAIC and Au. The terms of this partnership will be President-Elect
Stuart Howard, FRAIC
formally announced in early 2010.
2nd Vice-President and
Task Force appointed to David Craddock, MRAIC

promote Fee Guidelines Immediate Past President
Paule Boutin, AP/FIRAC
Members from across Canada
have been tasked with recom- Regional Directors
mending methods to com- Wayne De Angelis, MRAIC
municate, promote, and ensure (British Columbia/Yukon)
the adoption of the Guide to Wayne Guy, FRAIC
Determining Appropriate Fees (Alberta/NWT)
for the Services of an Architect: Charles Olfert, MRAIC
•  Nick Bevanda, MRAIC – BC
David Craddock, MRAIC
•  Wayne Guy, FRAIC – Alberta/NWT (Ontario Southwest)
•  Jeff Jurzyniec, MRAIC – Saskatchewan Ralph Wiesbrock, FRAIC
•  Chris Fillingham, PP/FRAIC – Ontario SW (Ontario North and East/Nunavut)

•  Claudio Brun del Re, FRAIC – Ontario NE Claude Hamelin Lalonde, FIRAC
•  Alain Fournier, FIRAC – Québec Paul E. Frank, FRAIC
•  William Knorr, FRAIC – Atlantic (Atlantic)

Gerrie Doyle, MRAIC will participate on behalf of the OAA and Rick Chancellor of College of
Linley, FRAIC on behalf of the MAA. Alexander Rankin, FRAIC will Fellows
Alexander Rankin, FRAIC
act as RAIC Board Liaison.
RAIC launched its national fee guidelines in June 2009. The guidelines Council of Canadian University
Schools of Architecture
RAIC Syllabus Renewal are intended for use by both clients and architects. It includes updated (CCUSA)
FAQ online recommendations for percentage-based fees and is free to RAIC Eric Haldenby, FRAIC
In an effort to communicate Director Representing Intern
ongoing efforts regarding the Architects
Syllabus Renewal, RAIC offers W. Steve Boulton, MRAIC
the answers to frequently asked Editorial Liaison
questions on its web site. RAIC strategic objectives Ralph Wiesbrock, FRAIC
Please see for a At a recent Board retreat RAIC reviewed its strategic plan and Executive Director
link off the home page. identified six areas as key issues for the 2010. Jon Hobbs, FRAIC

1. Regional Chapters – the development of a framework, Editor
including name, bylaws, financial and support structure Sylvie Powell
Intern representative joins 2. Festivals – recommendations for future formats for the The national office of the
Board annual conference after 2011 RAIC is located at:
The RAIC Board of 3. Syllabus – hiring a Director and launching the program as 330-55 Murray St.
Directors is pleased soon as possible Ottawa ON K1N 5M3
Tel.: 613-241-3600
to announce W. 4. Fee Guidelines – promoting the new document to Owner Fax: 613-241-5750
Stephen Boulton, groups E-mail:
MRAIC is joining
them as a Director 5. The 2030 Challenge – advocating for its adoption and pro-
viding tools for architects to meet the challenge
to represent the
6. Transition to a New Executive Director
general interests of SEARCH CENTRE AT uNIvERSITy OF QuEBEC IN OuTA-
NuM éRO 32.1
HI v ER 200 9/201 0
Le Centre d’architecture de l’IRAC à l’AU obtient
Conseil d’administration l’appui de la CCMPA
de l’IRAC de 2009-2010 L’IRAC et l’université Athabasca (Au) ont le plaisir d’annoncer que la Cana-
dian Concrete Masonry Producers Association (CCMPA) est le premier
Président partenaire de l’industrie à offrir son appui au nouveau programme en archi-
Ranjit (Randy) K. Dhar, FRAIC tecture de l’uA. Le Centre d’architecture de l’IRAC à l’uA remplacera
Premier vice-président et
éventuellement le programme actuel Syllabus de l’IRAC. La CCMPA a
président élu convenu d’un partenariat à long terme avec l’IRAC et l’Au. Les modalités
Stuart Howard, FRAIC de cette entente seront annoncées officiellement au début de 2010.
Deuxième vice-président et
David Craddock, MRAIC
Création d’un groupe de travail pour promouvoir le guide
national des honoraires
Présidente sortante de charge
Paule Boutin, AP/FIRAC
L’IRAC a créé un groupe de travail
formé d’architectes de toutes les
Administrateurs régionaux régions du pays et lui a confié le
Wayne De Angelis, MRAIC
mandat d’orienter, de développer
(Colombie-Britannique/Yukon) et de recommander des méthodes
en vue de la diffusion, de la promo-
Wayne Guy, FRAIC
(Alberta/T.N.-O.) tion, de l’utilisation et de l’adoption
du Guide aidant à déterminer les
Charles Olfert, MRAIC honoraires appropriés pour les ser-
vices d’un architecte. Le groupe de
David Craddock, MRAIC travail est formé des membres suivants :
(Sud et Ouest de l’Ontario)
•  Nick Bevanda, MRAIC – Colombie-Britannique
Ralph Wiesbrock, FRAIC
(Est et Nord de l’Ontario/Nunavut) •  Wayne Guy, FRAIC – Alberta/Territoires du Nord-Ouest
Claude Hamelin Lalonde, FIRAC •  Jeff Jurzyniec, MRAIC – Saskatchewan
(Québec) •  Chris Fillingham, PP/FRAIC – Sud et Ouest de l’Ontario
Paul E. Frank, FRAIC •  Claudio Brun del Re, FRAIC – Nord et Est de l’Ontario
•  Alain Fournier, FIRAC – Québec
Chancelier du Collège des •  William Knorr, FRAIC – Provinces de l’Atlantique
Alexander Rankin, FRAIC Gerrie Doyle, MRAIC représentera l’OAA et Rick Linley, FRAIC représen-
tera le MAA. Alexander Rankin, FRAIC sera l’agent de liaison de l’IRAC.
Conseil canadien des écoles
universitaires d’architecture
L’IRAC a lancé son guide national sur les honoraires en juin 2009. Ce guide
(CCÉUA) est conçu pour être utilisé par les clients et les architectes. Il comprend FAQ sur le renouvellement
notamment des recommandations actualisées concernant les honoraires à
Eric Haldenby, FRAIC
pourcentage et est offert gratuitement aux membres de l’IRAC.
du Syllabus de l’IRAC
Conseiller représentant les Pour mieux faire connaître les
stagiaires efforts continus déployés dans le
W. Steve Boulton, MRAIC
dossier du renouvellement du
Conseiller à la rédaction Syllabus, l’IRAC a mis en ligne
Ralph Wiesbrock, FRAIC
objectifs stratégiques de l’IRAC une liste des questions les plus
Le conseil d’administration a tenu récemment une réunion spéciale fréquemment posées. veuillez
Directeur général au cours de laquelle il a revu son plan stratégique. Il a décidé d’axer cliquer sur le lien suivant pour y
Jon Hobbs, FRAIC avoir accès
ses efforts sur les six domaines prioritaires qui suivent au cours de la
Rédactrice en chef prochaine année.
Sylvie Powell 1. Sections régionales – le développement d’un cadre portant
notamment sur l’appellation, les règlements administratifs et la
Le siège social de l’IRAC
structure financière et de soutien. Un représentant des stagiaires
est situé au :
2. Festivals – recommandations quant à la forme des prochains au conseil d’administration
55, rue Murray, bureau 330
Ottawa (Ontario) K1N 5M3
congrès annuels après 2011. Le conseil d’admi-
Tél. : 613-241-3600 3. Syllabus – embauche d’un directeur et lancement du program- nistration de l’IRAC a
Téléc. : 613-241-5750 me le plus tôt possible. le plaisir d’annoncer
Courriel : que W. Stephen
4. Guide sur les honoraires – promotion du nouveau document
Boulton, MRAIC auprès des divers groupes de donneurs d’ouvrage.
5. Le Défi 2030 – plaider en faveur de son adoption et offrir aux se joint à lui pour
architectes les outils dont ils ont besoin pour relever le défi. représenter les inté-
6. Transition au poste de directeur général. stagiaires en archi-
1968 Social environmental
movements take hold.

You do.

1978 Earth Day brings What was once a quiet evolution has
awareness to Earth’s
need for continual care. become a revolutionary force. Your desire
for sustainable design has helped redefine
the meaning of green. Since we began
making nora® rubber flooring over
50 years ago, we’ve evolved with you.

1988 1,000 communities Your concern for the environment continues
in America initiate
curbside recycling. to create new standards for designing
in harmony with nature. It is why we
continually explore ways to blend the
best of technology with greener thinking.

1998 EPA launches voluntary It starts with you.
programs for energy,
water, indoor air You and your challenges.
quality, waste and You and your world.
smart growth.
You and nora.

2008 U.S. Green
Building Council 800-332-NORA
member organizations
grow to 15,000.

CirCle reply Card 19
eduard Hueber


Performing 66 Percent better than model national He was flown to Copenhagen to rescue the federal
energy guidelines suggest, a new state-of-the-art government’s dwindling hopes of escaping the
corPorate headquarters in downtown winniPeg is talks unscathed. More significantly, the energy-
setting new standards for commercial office buildings. rich province is also home to the Best Tall Build-
ing in America in 2009 awarded by the Council
on Tall Buildings and Urban Habitat (CTBUH),
ProJect Manitoba Hydro Place, WinniPeg, Manitoba
based in Chicago.
KuWabara Payne McKenna bluMberg arcHitects, sMitH carter arcHitects
integrated design team

& engineers, transsolar KliMaengineering, Prairie arcHitects inc. Located in downtown Winnipeg, the 22-storey
teXt Peter saMPson headquarters for Manitoba Hydro was designed
Photos gerry KoPeloW and eduard Hueber by Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Archi-
tects in conjunction with Smith Carter Architects
With the Copenhagen Summit having come to a mood for their recent performance in this re- and Engineers of Winnipeg, and climate engin-
dismally weak resolution on global emissions gard. Amidst this weakness on ecological futures, eers Transsolar of Germany. Opened earlier this
targets, and with Canada’s even more appallingly the province is home to ex-premier-turned- year with its LEED Platinum target firmly in
vague and fidgety position on the issue of climate ambassador Gary Doer, known internationally sight, Manitoba Hydro Place is proving to be one
change, many Manitobans are in a celebratory for his strong track record on the environment. of the most efficient passive-energy office towers

16 canadian architect 01/10
eduard Hueber
in North America. Manager of Corporate Services and the visionary rising along WinniPeg’s Por-
oPPosite toP
Let’s face it, nothing says regional head office project manager for Manitoba Hydro, “then we tage avenue, Manitoba Hydro Place usH-
like Winnipeg’s skyline and so it is with some can build like this anywhere.” ers in a neW era of office building for
measured sense of pride that Winnipeg’s newest Despite Canada’s poor reputation in Copen- a city tHat already Has a ricH History of
addition to the stumpy vista beat out contenders hagen, on its home continent, Manitoba Hydro HigH-rise arcHitecture. aboVe one of
tHree soutH-facing atria tHat acts as a
from cities across the continent for the Award. Place—known locally as the Hydro Tower—is Winter garden and lung for tHe build-
What is remarkable is that this 696,000-square- clearly a new kind of symbol for progress in this ing, teMPering fresH-air intaKe tHrougH
foot winner is outperforming its own energy re- century. Manitoba has been making a name for tHe use of Passive solar Heating.
duction targets, no small feat in Canada’s coldest itself on issues of sustainability through an ex-
city where even modest efficiency milestones are tensive and complex commitment to ecological square-foot times, it is hard not to observe, de-
challenging in the smallest of residential infills. construction and performance. Much of this ef- spite the $278-million price tag, how far the pub-
With an annual Canadian temperature swing of fort is spearheaded by the country’s fourth-lar- lic dollar has been stretched here. A city of
70 degrees Celsius, Winnipeg’s –35 degree win- gest utility, a provincially owned corporation that 700,000 people in a province of 1 million is
ters make most Canadians wince at the thought of boasts some of the lowest rates on the continent, home to the continent’s leader in the evolution of
100 percent fresh-air intake. “If we can build yet still promotes energy conservation as a fun- office towers. And what’s more, in the face of re-
like this here,” says Tom Gouldsborough, District damental mandate. In these low-dollar-per- cent international criticism of Canada, of the 25

01/10 canadian architect 17
bryan cHristie

Shoulder Seasons/
Summer Mode
air is drawn naturally in
through large operable

South Gusting Winds
abundant in Winnipeg, dir-
ect air into south winter

Solar Chimney
Winter Garden 115-metre-high solar
six-storey-tall atria act chimney uses stack
as the building’s lungs, effect
drawing fresh air in and
preconditioning it before
it enters the workspace
Shoulder Seasons/
Summer Mode
draws used air up and
exhausts it out of the

Exposed Ceiling

eduard Hueber
Winter Mode uses radiant heating
air is drawn in through and cooling; warm air
outer mechanical units rises and is drawn into
and heated by geother- north atria via natural
mal field pressure differences

Inner Heating and
Cooling Units 100% Fresh Air,
further condition air as it 24/7
passes into the raised in all office spaces is
floor distribution plenum drawn through the
raised access floor
24-metre-high water
feature either humidifies
or dehumidifies air as it
enters the building
Winter Mode
chimney closes, fans
draw warm exhaust air
down, and recirculate it
to warm the parkade.
Heat exchangers recap-
ture heat and return it
to south winter gardens
to preheat incoming air

Geothermal System
280 boreholes 125
limited to 200 spots to en-
metres deep draw
courage employees to take
excess heat or cold

eduard Hueber
public transit, and use
stored within the soil to
parking spaces in the city
condition the building

FresH Air exHAust Air HeAting And Cooling systems
PassiVe mechanical systems

consulting experts commissioned for Manitoba architect, tells me that “this just might be one of toPa variety of cladding Material Was
Hydro Place, all but one firm was Canadian. the best ways to spend public money that I can used on tHe Project, ranging froM
The general well-being of architecture in this think of.” Manitoba Hydro Place is challenging loW-iron ultra-clear glass to tyndall
country stands to benefit from Manitoba Hydro’s the nature of conventional large building targets stone and a tyndall stone-insPired frit
commitment to building not the largest nor the in Canada. “It is long overdue,” Kuwabara says, aPPlied to a unitized curtain Wall. aboVe
in addition to iMProving tHe vieW for
tallest tower in the country, and not the slen- “that we raise our standards.” Many office WorKers, tHe green roof
derest nor the most formally outstanding. In- On track to achieve LEED Platinum, the project HelPs reduce solar Heat gain and Miti-
stead, a quiet and didactic working laboratory for marks what Kuwabara describes as “a critical gates storM Water runoff. below a series
passive and sustainable energy performance is moment for Canadian architecture. The era of the of tiMe-laPse PHotograPHs brilliantly
set in an urban environment and is open to the hermetically sealed box is over. And so is the way conveys tHe sPecial quality of ligHt
found only on tHe Prairies.
public. Bruce Kuwabara, the project’s design we deliver projects of this stature and complex-
gerry KoPeloW

18 canadian architect 01/10
ity.” Manitoba Hydro Place is a game-changer. floorplates capitalize on this daylighting strategy: quirements.
“The Class A office tower is a thing of the past,” the workspace is only 11 metres from envelope to At the north apex of the atrium, a 115-metre-
he says. “The whole notion of B’s and A’s is a ri- core, and while this is two metres deeper than tall solar chimney rises expressively over Portage
diculous leftover of modern efficiency. Isn’t it code standards established in Germany around Avenue above the bulk of the complex to capture
weird that in the 21st century, we’re actually talk- daylight design, it is shallower than local con- the sun. It provides an energy-free passive venti-
ing about how good the quality of air is—that this temporary examples. Where lighting does occur, lation source by employing the natural stack ef-
is something we should actually talk about? How advanced T-5 fluorescent fixtures are used. fect of a high-rise structure and drawing spent
did we get here?” Extending below the single storey of under- interior air up and outwards.
Collected data for Class A office towers in Can- ground parking is the province’s largest geother- The CTBUH provides an annual internationally
ada indicates that most cold-climate office tow- mal system with 280 boreholes, each one 125 juried awards program to assess advances in tall-
ers operate in a range of 400-550 kWh/m2 per metres deep. These tap the earth’s natural energy building technology on a continent-by-continent
year. Gouldsborough confirms that the average storage for both heating and cooling purposes. basis. This year’s jury statement noted that Mani-
Manitoba office space utilizes 495 kWh/m2 per Because of the raised floor ventilation provided toba Hydro Place “was designed to be completely
year. When the design of Manitoba Hydro Place at each floor, the bulk of heating and cooling site-specific. The design could not be trans-
began five years ago, the average Canadian office radiates from exposed concrete slabs above. planted to another city and still work, thus mak-
space used 550 kWh/m2 per year. Today, Winni- Three south-facing, six-storey “winter gar- ing it the perfect response to the seeming homo-
peg office towers are in the 325 kWh/m2 per dens” are lungs that condition incoming air. By genization of the world’s skylines.” This is quite
annum range because of Manitoba Hydro initia- capitalizing on available solar energy, these sus- an ironic description for a building that clearly
tives over the past decade. He also notes that new pended atria add to a bevy of social spaces that gives a nod to Gordon Bunshaft’s canonical 1952
performance guidelines for Class A office towers perform vital functions in the passive operations Lever House in New York City, a building many
in Canada are targeting energy consumption at of the complex. Here, multi-storey waterfalls consider to have singlehandedly ushered in the
260kWh/m2 per annum. flow down steel wires humidifying or dehumidi- generic International Style to the skylines of
Current consumption patterns at Manitoba fying air, depending on the season. Below, green America. Bunshaft is credited with the statement
Hydro Place demonstrate a projected energy use roofs atop the three-storey podium feature sweet “concrete, steel and glass are the natural materi-
of 88 kWh/m2 per annum, 66 percent better than grass, a sacred plant of local Aboriginal cultures, als of North America,” a broad notion of site
the Model National Energy Code for Buildings and other native prairie plants. These assist in specificity, to be sure.
(MNECB). “And that surpasses the project target the reduction of stormwater runoff and are said Bunshaft’s seminal headquarters transformed
of being just 60 percent better than the MNECB,” to convert carbon dioxide to oxygen, minimizing the urban skyline in the 20th century because it
Gouldsborough says. the building’s urban heat-island effect. Most im- revolutionized envelope constructability and per-
The high-performance envelope is comprised portantly, an advanced fully integrated building formance through the design of the curtain wall.
of a double-glass curtain-wall system containing management system coordinates ventilation, Manitoba Hydro Place pays homage to the Lever
operable windows and automated solar shading. heating, lighting and solar shades throughout the House both formally and in the reinvention of
The system is comprised of low-iron glass which day ensuring that the structure operates as a sin- the curtain wall into a triple-glazed performative
maximizes natural daylight entering floorplates, gle entity while actively responding to changes in skin that mediates the behaviours of interior and
reducing demand for artificial lighting. Shallow climate, use, environment, and operational re- exterior environments in a way Bunshaft could

Office lofts

Green roof South grove
wood screens


bryan cHristie

Geothermal Parkade Public plaza
well field


01/10 canadian architect 19
Oriented due south, the sixth-floor Exposed radiant Overhead direct-indirect lighting Computer-con- Computer-controlled exterior
atria act as passive solar collectors ceiling slab heats uses integrated occupancy and trolled louvre blinds window vents allow air into
in the winter, allowing the low and cools the daylight sensors to minimize reduce glare and the double skin when temper-
winter sun to warm the air in the space efficiently. energy consumption, and make solar gain. atures allow.
atria, and penetrate deep into the maximum use of daylight.
core of the building.

Humidification or
dehumidification is pro-
vided by a water feature
in each atrium.
During the summer, horizon-
tal blinds deploy and protect A second set of fan coils Exterior glazing uses
the atrium from the harsh at each floor level fur- extremely clear low-iron-
summer heat and glare. ther heats and cools the content glass to allow
air as it is drawn into more light into the work-
the raised floor at space lofts.
Six-storey-tall communication each level.
Low-emissivity coatings
stair encourages physical help to reduce heat
activity and interdepartment penetration at the
communication. Large-span struc- Manually controlled The perimeter edge façade.
tural concrete ribs interior windows allow of the slab has been Where a double skin is
provide flexible occupants to individu- shaped to allow for

bryan cHristie
Air is preheated at the exterior not employed, façades
column-free office ally control airflow maximum daylight utilize high-efficiency
bench using glycol circulated lofts. and temperature at penetration into the
through the geothermal field. triple glazing.
their workstations. building.


not have imagined. It subverts the generic nature the decision to relocate 2,000 workers in the we did this to create a healthy infrastructure for
of the overdone glass box and podium by context- heart of our city will be right up there.” He an- our employees.”
ualizing it in a local, living, ecological response to ticipates the precedent will spark a decade of re- Further positive impact to the downtown ex-
place. vitalization. A host of cultural institutional land- tends to the type of leasing opportunities offered
One major factor of place is the urban context. marks currently under construction indicate that in the base building. These are intentionally lim-
Hydro’s mandate went beyond technological per- renewal in the city’s core is well underway. ited in an effort to stimulate the support of local
formance. The renewal of resources included so- Manitoba Hydro Place amalgamates 15 of the businesses and to encourage staff to experience
cial resources. The commitment to downtown corporation’s two- and three-storey suburban their city. Though space exists for a child-care
development was not second nature to Hydro; leaseholds. Prior to the new facility, 95 percent of facility, research determined that the nearby
word on the street is that it came at the insistence the employees drove to work. Hesitancy among YMCA’s child care program was under-enrolled
of Glen Murray, Winnipeg’s mayor from 1998 to employees to move to the downtown location was and would benefit from the arrival of a new
2004. Gouldsborough comments that when he countered with a careful Change Management as- demographic.
helped broker the deal to merge Winnipeg’s sessment conducted by Hydro to complement a The project was commissioned through an In-
hydroelectric utility company with the Province’s host of corporate incentives ranging from par- tegrated Design Process in which each team
Crown utility corporation, the proviso was that a ticipation in Winnipeg Transit’s EcoPass pro- member was interviewed, selected and con-
new head office be built downtown. Hydro’s gram. Six months after moving, Hydro cites that tracted directly by Hydro. Dudley Thompson,
1,800 employees were seen as an obvious and 50 percent of the relocated employees are leaving Principal of Prairie Architects, was retained as
much-needed stimulus to the downtown econ- their cars at home. As a result, Manitoba Hydro the Advocate Architect for the project. Kuwabara
omy. has been able to reduce its parking demand in the credits him with enabling a team of high-calibre
Stefano Grande, the Executive Director of downtown sector and has observed a five-fold in- experts to come together. As the first member of
Winnipeg’s Downtown Biz, comments that “a few crease in employee use of public transit com- the team, Thompson spearheaded the Integrated
decades from now, when we look back on what pared to the previous year. Gouldsborough adds, Design Process and worked closely with Hydro to
some of the turning points for downtown were, “energy reductions were important, but primarily establish LEED objectives. In the pre-design and
eduard Hueber

gerry KoPeloW

20 canadian architect 01/10
gerry KoPeloW
research phase of the project, Thompson ar- simple and direct; we knew who we would be aboVe various atria tHrougHout tHe build-
ranged a field trip for Hydro executives to tour dealing with. The other groups came with too ing Provide sPace for socializing and
10 high-performance buildings across the US many people; we could not get a sense of who ac- iMProMPtu Meetings. oPPosite, bottom left to
and Europe. tually would be doing the work with our team, if right a vieW along Portage avenue illus-

When it came to the selection of the Design any of them. There was something about Bruce’s trates tHe building’s classic Modernist
origins; tHe tHree-storey atriuM tHat
Architect for the project, a number of inter- ability to listen and his interest in people that constitutes tHe Main entrance also
national architects known for their success with convinced us that he would work with the team to acts as tHe building’s Hub and connec-
bioclimatic design were interviewed along with create an appropriate urban building for both tion to an outdoor Public Plaza; a vieW
KPMB. These included British architect Norman Hydro and Winnipeg.” doWn tHe central atriuM; an oPen stair
Foster, Stuttgart-based Behnisch Architekten, “The process depends entirely on respect,” terMinates tHe nortH-facing atriuM and
adds WarMtH WitH its douglas fir clad-
Germany’s Christoph Ingenhoven, and US-based says Kuwabara. It is only as good as the individ- ding; one of tHe Many attractive stairs
Gensler. “With that roster, I can’t say we came to uals who participate in it. If there is distrust or in tHe building, a gesture tHat encour-
Winnipeg expecting to win,” says Kuwabara. stubbornness at the table, he says, the process is ages eMPloyees to use tHeM instead of
Thompson recalls that “Bruce’s presentation was entirely compromised. Kuwabara cites his own elevators WHenever Possible.
gerry KoPeloW

eduard Hueber

eduard Hueber

01/10 canadian architect 21
— east and west faces offer a double-skin
façade with occupant-controlled natural
— floor-to-ceiling height of 3.31m (10’10”)
— floor-to-ceiling glazing, typical
— overhead radiant heating and cooling
— air and services distributed through raised carlton st.
access floors

graham ave.
ge av
contained spaces
8’0” demountable solid and glass partitions
enclosed spaces edmonton st.
8’0” demountable solid and glass partitions, with glass transoms to ceiling
north/south multiple floor atriums, with communication stairs
elevators, services and storage
open work stations
50” tall panels
tyPical tower floor layout concePt 0 10M site Plan 0 30m
eduard Hueber

inexperience with IDP when he began the pro- developers building in a slow-growth city. “With
ject. “I guess because I had not gone through it, I the payback period for construction measured
had no preconceptions of it—it was an open- over 60 years instead of the more typical short-
minded event. I think many of us approached it term investment “scenario,” says Kuwabara, he
this way. It worked well on this project because it feels the commitment to such a long-range fore-
was so well organized.” cast reinforced the design team’s commitment to
Both Kuwabara and Thompson suggest that quality workspaces, systems durability, and the
without Thomas Auer of Transsolar, whose ex- overall urban integrity of the project. Gouldsbor-
pertise in passive bioclimatic architecture and ough claims that many of the project’s major de-
energy modelling spans two decades, Manitoba sign elements—the bright open floor spaces, high
Hydro Place could not have been what it is today. ceilings, operable windows, advanced work-
“Thomas brought with him a wealth of experi- stations, and the 100 percent fresh-air ventila-
ence from Europe that doesn’t yet exist here,” tion system—are designed to maximize employee
says Kuwabara. His ability to react quickly to de- productivity and comfort as well as minimize
sign ideas based on that experience was an im- energy consumption. These have untallied finan-
measurable asset to the team. “Thomas was in my cial advantages for any organization and are clear
office one day looking at some of the schemes objectives as we move into the second decade of
that we had on the go before a big presentation to this century. ca
Hydro,” says Kuwabara, “and he casually com-
eduard Hueber

mented that if we rotated one of our schemes 90 Peter Sampson is Principal of Peter Sampson Archi-
degrees, we could capitalize on the prevailing tecture Studio in Winnipeg and is an Adjunct Profes-
southerly winds and sun of Winnipeg.” Despite sor at the University of Manitoba’s Faculty of Archi-
being from Germany, Auer’s intimate research tecture.
and modelling of weather patterns around the
city made him the resident expert on local cli- client Manitoba Hydro
integrated design team KuWabara Payne McKenna bluMberg
mate. “That was a beautiful moment in the pro- arcHitects (design arcHitect); sMitH carter arcHitects & engin-
eers (executive arcHitect); transsolar KliMaengineering (energy/
cess,” says Kuwabara, “everything just snapped cliMate engineers); Prairie arcHitects inc. (advocate arcHitect/
leed consultant)
into place. The urban design strategies that we structural HalcroW yolles, crosier Kilgour & Partners ltd.
mechanical/electrical aecoM
were wrestling with to limit shadows on Portage, landscaPe PHilliPs farevaag sMallenberg, HilderMan tHoMas
franK craM
the effort to strengthen pedestrian connectivity interiors KPMb arcHitects (base building and Public sPace), ibi
grouP, nuMber ten arcHitecture grouP, esP environMental
on the site combined with the towers being situ- sPace Planning (interiors, office/WorKsPace)
construction manager Pcl constructors canada inc.
ated so as to open the atrium to the south, all of a acoustical aercoustics
building enVeloPe brooK van dalen & associates
sudden everything was in place.” water features dan euser WaterarcHitecture
geothermal groundsolar energy tecHnologies, oMnicron
At $400 per square foot, Manitoba Hydro Place consulting grouP
quantity surVeyor HanscoMb
exceeds financially the objectives of many of local code & life safety leber rubes
traffic/access/Parking nd lea engineers & Planners
lighting Pivotal ligHting design
microclimate rWdi inc.
tHe soutH façade of tHe
left, toP to bottom Vertical transPortation soberMan engineering
building, overlooKing tHe neW Public geotechnical engineer/hydrogeologist uMa engineer-
Plaza; tHe 115-Metre-HigH solar cHiMney municiPal & site serVices WardroP engineering
area 695,742 ft2
uses tHe stacK effect to HelP ventilate budget $278 M (Project cost)
tHe toWer. comPletion sePteMber 2009

22 canadian architect 01/10
CirCle reply Card 20
tactical insertions

a series of new buildings introduces an cades, there have been very few significant commissions designed by “out-
expressive architectural language that is siders.” At the same time it is readily apparent that Vancouver would benefit
relatively unfamiliar to the vancouver from more diversity in its architecture. An increased number of architects
context. from elsewhere operating in the city could help address this shortcoming.
Architecture and urbanism in Vancouver are famed for their livability.
This livability is most often described in terms of podium towers, ample
proJect Langara CoLLege Library, Langara Student union and
green space, and generous civic programming, and is associated with the
Langara CLaSSroom buiLding C, VanCouVer, britiSh CoLumbia
architects teepLe arChiteCtS inC. and aSSoCiate arChiteCtS ibi/hb
newer residential condominium districts of the central city. One might ex-
arChiteCtS tend this list to include ecological and environmental sensitivity in light of
text matthew SouLeS recent projects such as the new convention centre and the South East False
photos Shai giL Creek neighbourhood. What is less commonly discussed are the ways in
which the ethos of livability impacts buildings and projects throughout the
One of the most obvious things to say about Stephen Teeple’s new work at city and far beyond the residential zones of the central city. At its core, liva-
Vancouver’s Langara College is that it’s black. Literally. The new library’s bility prefaces the middle ground; for many good reasons it is anti-extrem-
exterior presents a hulking black concrete mass, the renovated classroom ism. The podium tower itself is literally a hybrid middle that combines the
building is refaced in black metal panels, and the student centre is clad with high density of the point tower with the more “human” scale of the row-
black cementitious board. Not to ascribe too much meaning to a building’s house. A collateral result of pursuing this comfortable middle is a latent
colour, but in this case it’s difficult to resist. Every sizeable city has a dis- distrust of “form” or “shape”—the implication being that an overly shapely
tinct architectural culture which inflects all aspects of design—including co- building must somehow disregard more important considerations related to
lour. Douglas Coupland’s idiosyncratic but insightful guide to Vancouver, livability and environmental performance. Too much form is superficial,
City of Glass, smartly riffs on the city’s colour palette: a range of greens, a the argument goes. This is, of course, an overly simplistic and reductive po-
few blues, and grey—naturally—for the sky. But there’s no mention of black sition. Nevertheless it silently persists. Perhaps the most important contri-
and I can’t think of any recent building in Vancouver in which the colour bution that Teeple Architects offer at Langara is a useful reminder that for-
has figured so prominently. That Teeple has operated outside of the perva- malism can be smart and meaningful—that is, how ambitious shapeliness
sive Vancouver palette is not insignificant and is the signifying tip of a larg- and a resulting iconicism can be the product of polyvalent criteria ranging
er architectural agenda he has flown from Toronto to Vancouver. from environmental performance to social interactivity.
Like many other cities, Vancouver’s architectural culture is relatively in- Langara College opened in 1965 and has been operating at its current
sular and, in more ways than one, it’s hard to imagine the new work at Lan- campus on 49th Avenue in south Vancouver since 1970. With 23,000 stu-
gara being produced by a local. In Metro Vancouver over the preceding de- dents, it is one of Metro Vancouver’s major post-secondary institutions and

24 canadian architect 01/10
multiple scales shape the library building. Conceptually, we could describe
the library as a concrete block that is deformed by external forces. In an am-
bitious effort to naturally cool and ventilate the building, five wind tower
voids are subtracted from the block, each facilitating air movement through
the use of the stack effect. Primary vertical circulation is located within two of
these voids, therefore allowing these environmental performance mecha-
nisms to also function as organizational and experiential devices. The roof is
warped into an undulating surface that responds to multi-directional wind
movement in an effort to accelerate crosswinds, thereby enhancing the per-
formance of the wind towers. A rooftop weather station monitors wind direc-
tion, speed and humidity, and adjusts louvres in the wind towers accordingly.
Again, environmental performance has palpably impacted the spatial form
and experience of the building as the top floor of the library’s interior is de-
fined by the strikingly exposed concrete undersurface of the curving roof that
recalls the grand reading rooms of classical libraries—only here, form is at
once grand and performative. In addition to the warped roofscape and the
wind towers, exteriority inflects the building elsewhere. Two exterior sub-
tractions drop down into the building in the form of sunken courtyards that
are planted with trees—offering a visually rich interaction with living ecology
deep within the procession of space. At the ground, the primary reflecting
pool carves its way into the northern face of the building, resulting in visual
connection with the pool from the interior and a dramatic overhang. At the
southern edge, a primary axis from the central quadrangle cuts through the
mass, again resulting in an overhang, but this time providing a walkway pro-
tected from the rain.
This pushing and pulling is echoed in the interior circulation hall that
runs north-south. A larger study zone extends into the hall as an elevated
bridge, while smaller-scale study nooks pop out as glass boxes that offer
connectivity to the movement below. A concrete stair devoted to the admin-
opposite topdeSpite itS Striking bLaCk ConCrete maSS, the new
istration offices similarly juts into the space. The result is a physical and
Library SkiLLfuLLy refLeCtS the unique quaLitieS of VanCouVer’S Late- interactive enlivening of the space. Elsewhere in the project, this formal
afternoon Sun. above ContraSting againSt the dark ConCrete, clarity breaks down with sometimes less than successful results. A jarring
the CLear bright Light emanating from the Library iS further instance is the undulating dropped ceilings on floors one and two. While
aCCentuated by refLeCting pondS aLong the buiLding’S perimeter. clearly an echo of the concrete roof, this purely formal conceit devalues the
performative formalism elsewhere in the scheme. Another example is the
is the only one with its primary campus directly inside the city of Vancou- massing at the southwest corner. Here, the simple but provocative notion of
ver. Occupying 20 acres within a detached-home neighbourhood, the cam- a concrete block deformed by a series of forces and factors seems to have
pus has until recently been defined by a collection of disparate and mostly been abandoned in favour of a collage-like assembly of forms and materi-
Brutalist structures set among a sea of parking. The school is currently re- als; a berm-covered computer lab, a heroic glass stair, and the concrete
inventing itself through a 25-year master plan that seeks to unify its campus mass dematerializing into planar elements.
and connect it more effectively with its surrounding context. This effort, Teeple’s newest building at Langara is the recently completed student
along with the new Canada Line subway, with a station two short blocks centre that sits east of the library at the geographic heart of the campus. A
away, poise the campus to possibly take on a more central role in the intel- dynamic “Y” plan that positions one of its lengths tightly between two existing
lectual and cultural life of the city. classroom buildings with the other two lengths extending out as a figure into
Teeple Architects’ first and most important building on the campus is the the central quadrangle, this building formally ties the campus together by
new library—a 7,700-square-metre, three-storey rectangular mass that an- offering a new circuit-like hub. Its modest area packs informal study lounge
chors the western portion of the campus. As part of the master-plan strate- areas, a restaurant, and student union offices into a complex and energetic
gy, the building buries former surface parking underground and helps con- sectional arrangement. One of the challenges in lending unity to the disparate
figure and order its surroundings. To its north, a series of reflecting pools campus is to offer connection among a variety of differing ground elevations.
and a plaza extend from the main entrance to 49th Avenue, linking the Primary among these shifts is the drop from the existing entry levels of the
building with the campus’s most important public edge. A three-storey- neighbouring classroom buildings to the lower quadrangle. Through a series
high interior circulation spine runs through the entire western edge of the of ramps and stairs, the student centre resolves these differences in a build-
building from the main entry—offering a major connection sequence be- ing that is radically spatially diverse. A high lounge space opens up to the
tween planned future buildings that will straddle the library to its northwest quadrangle. A sleek interior ramp leads to a compressed restaurant that is
and southwest. As the western boundary of a centrally located open space, it tucked under the cellular offices. Two tight stairs extend up into the office
helps define a new student quadrangle. level. Another ramp runs up the exterior of the building and connects to a
While the library and its landscaping strategies give order to its surround- route between the existing classroom buildings, offering overlooks down into
ing context, the process also acts in reverse, as exterior contingencies at the centre and a bypass shortcut through the campus. The overall result is an

01/10 canadian architect 25
leftSet amidSt a refLeCtiVe LandSCape, the
open Corner of the Library and CLaSS-
room buiLding C CreateS a Softer and
tranSparent arChiteCturaL expreSSion.
middle, left to right the pLaStiCity of darkLy

pigmented ConCrete haS reSuLted in the
whimSiCaL expreSSion of an interior
Stair; the upSide-down ziggurat-Shaped
Corner of the new buiLding on Cam-
puS. bottom left an axonometriC of the
Library and CLaSSroom buiLding C
iLLuStrateS the appLiCation of paSSiVe
enVironmentaL ControLS SuCh aS pLant-
ingS, naturaL VentiLation and atrium
SpaCeS. bottom right aS iS typiCaL of muCh
of teepLe’S work, an aSSembLage of in-
expenSiVe materiaLS CreateS a dynamiC
and effeCtiVe interior arChiteCture.

array of spatial qualities that make this relatively
small building feel large and varied.
Like the library building, exterior forces play a
significant role in determining the form of the
student centre. While the library derives much of
its spatial logic from environmental performance
criteria, the student centre prefaces its contin-
gent location in relation to existing structures
and ground heights. In both instances, Teeple
successfully achieves a formally ambitious archi-
tecture that is responsive to particular needs.
However, in both buildings Teeple seems to un-
dervalue restraint and persistent clarity. The
purely formal conceit of the library’s undulating
dropped ceiling on its lower floors is echoed in
the student centre in idiosyncratic and almost
ornamental little angles and tweaks in various
planar and structural elements. This results in an
overly fussy amalgam of elements in which the
clarity of larger moves is compromised. It is not
unreasonable to want both buildings to be calmer
throughout, thereby allowing the strong, larger
operations to be more appreciated.
In a city preoccupied with a notion of livability

26 canadian architect 01/10
right ampLe feneStration and a Large,

open atrium introduCe pLenty of natur-
aL Light into the Library’S three StoreyS.
bottom, left to right the Student union buiLd-

ing’S interiorS Contain CurVed Con-
Crete eLementS whereVer poSSibLe to
frame ViewS and enhanCe interior
CirCuLation SpaCeS; the maSSing and
expreSSion of the Same buiLding attemptS
to CLarify exterior CirCuLation and out-
door pubLiC SpaCeS within an otherwiSe
inCoherentLy deVeLoped CampuS.

that often suspiciously views strong form as
potentially superficial, Teeple has made an im-
portant contribution in the work at Langara by
demonstrating that this kind of architecture can
indeed be responsive and responsible; that it can
be grounded in the performative specificity of its
location. Part of the rationale for choosing black
as the dominant exterior colour is to make the
buildings stand out in relation to Vancouver’s
often overcast skies. Black itself is contingent
and operative. We can only hope that more non-

langara college library and classroom building
client Langara CoLLege
architect team Stephen teepLe, CheryL atkinSon, myLeS Craig,
LuC bouLiane, martin bruCkner, Jeff ChriStianSon, hiLde heyVaertS
structural gLotman SimpSon
mechanical CobaLt engineering
electrical StanteC, keen engineering
landscape pfS
interiors teepLe arChiteCtS inC.
leed ibi/hb arChiteCtS
contractor bird ConStruCtion
area 80,000 ft2
budget $35 m
completion 2007

langara student union and langara classroom
building c
client Langara CoLLege
architect team Stephen teepLe, myLeS Craig, LuC bouLiane, Jeff
structural weiLer Smith bowerS
mechanical imeC meChaniCaL ConSuLtantS/perez engineering
electrical geniVar, rfa ConSuLting eLeCtriCaL engineerS
landscape teepLe arChiteCtS inC.
interiors teepLe arChiteCtS inC.
leed enermodaL engineering
contractor bird ConStruCtion
area 68,000 ft2
budget $18 m
completion 2009

01/10 canadian architect 27
local architects will have the opportunity to ex-
pand the range of possibilities in this fast-grow-
ing metropolis. ca

Matthew Soules, MAIBC, is the director of Matthew
Soules Architecture (MSA) and an Adjunct Professor
at the School of Architecture and Landscape Architec-
wind tower section ture at the University of British Columbia.


12 1(below)

10 10
4 4

12 3
9 12 12


library and student union building—second floor 0 10M

classroom building c—level 1 0 10M

6 6

1 1 1

5 5 7
4 2

3 3


0 10M
library and student union building—first floor
1 CirCuLation Spine 7 Café
2 Lobby 8 preSentation room
3 main Library SpaCe 9 meeting room
4 CLaSSroom 10 Study Lounge
5 adminiStration 11 CoVered waLk
6 Computer Lab 12 open to beLow

classroom building c—level 0
0 10M





1 buiLding a 4 CentraL quad 0 50M proposed campus future future future
2 buiLding b 5 new Library circulation spine expansions green spaces student quad
3 buiLding C 6 Line of exiSting buiLding N
10m 25m 50m
site plan 0 50m site plan 0 50M

28 canadian architect 01/10
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CirCle reply Card 23

north house Project

An extensive interdisciplinAry teAm Applies A
rAnge of building And informAtion tech­ southwest view of north house, instAlled on the nAtionAl mAll in
aBoVe, LeFt to riGht

nologies to design And build An import­ wAshington, dc during the 2009 solAr decAthlon; the Alis touch screen is embedded
Ant prototype for sustAinAble living. into the continuous coriAn wAll surfAce in the Kitchen, which glows with vAriAble
intensity As energy systems And wAter usAge of the home Are optimized; south
fAçAde of north house At dusK.
teXt KAthy veliKov And geoffrey thün
Photos teAm north

Global transformation with respect to technol- industry investment in green building research is Canadian team of students and faculty from the
ogy, culture and economy within the past two still appallingly low, given the urgency in advan- University of Waterloo, Simon Fraser University
decades has brought about a serious internal re- cing innovations in green building technology, and Ryerson University, to design and complete
consideration of the role of architecture. The manufacturing processes and performance the North House prototype for the 2009 com-
modes in which architects operate within the evaluation. A recent report by the United States petition. The North House prototype offers
world, the tools and techniques best suited to en- Green Building Council (USGBC) identified that specific proof of a concept model of a broader set
gage these new conditions, and the nature of ap- in 2005, research in the US related to high-per- of goals that formed the basis for RVTR’s Latitude
propriate pedagogic tools and approaches that formance green building practices and technolo- Housing System, designed for the 2008 Living
will cultivate the next generation of professionals gies amounted to only 0.2% of all federally fund- Steel Sustainable Housing Competition, and
will help produce responsive and innovative ed research and only 0.02% of the estimated expands on RVTR partners Velikov and Thün’s
architectural projects that will help improve the value of annual US building construction. The S.W.A.M.P. House which won a 2005 Canadian
ways in which we engage and address contem- condition is laden with potential, as a reliable Architect Award of Excellence. The prototype
porary issues. Fundamental to this endeavour is and continually developing knowledge, practice combines module and panel methods of pre-
the mobilization of the potential power of new and research base is essential to the advancement fabrication, and aims to develop and demonstrate
partnerships between academic/practice/indus- of building and urban design practice within the a whole-building strategy for solar-powered
try interests as an opportunity for complex col- current mandate for buildings to reduce energy residential design that approaches questions of
laborations and the ability to engage within a consumption and to increase renewable power how to design buildings that are resilient and
broader set of disciplinary communities. These generation associated with sustainable agendas. adaptive to climate extremes while maintaining
forms of successful partnerships will certainly Potentials for researcher/practitioners in archi- strong connections to their surrounding land-
test new limits for design innovation while serv- tecture are beginning to emerge. scape, and how to develop new technologies,
ing as a lever for advanced research funding op- One scenario positioned to lever such out- alternative energy systems and pre-fabricated
portunities. comes is the US Department of Energy’s Solar customizable components optimized for high-
Only recently has architecture begun to de- Decathlon, where international academia/indus- performance net-energy-producing architecture.
velop productive industry/academia design re- try teams construct, showcase and enter into The prototype serves to test system components
search relationships such as those that have been competition fully solar-powered homes. The that can be applied to a range of residential typ-
common in the fields of technology, engineering authors’ design research-based practice RVTR, ologies. Following its participation in the 2009
and medicine. However, current government and initiated and led Team North, a multidisciplinary competition, North House will become a living

32 canadian architect 01/10
laboratory at the University of Waterloo where it multi-disciplinary experts and practicing profes- to quintuple-glazed to double façades. Based on
will continue to be utilized for extensive per- sionals to develop individual system components this investigation, a quad-glazed krypton-filled
formance monitoring, systems testing and occu- of the project, each of which has been developed unit was chosen due to an optimum balance of
pancy evaluation. It will also operate as a highly to the level of a working demonstrable prototype. U-value, Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) and
visible site of public demonstration and educa- Of these systems, two in particular—the DReSS solar transmittance. The glazing panels are pos-
tion in solar living and energy conservation. (Distributed Responsive System of Skins), and itioned within a custom structural wood curtain
Project funding and financing was assembled the ALIS (Adaptive Living Interface System)— wall system deploying rubberized “thermally
through a network of governmental, institutional, point towards new directions in high-perform- inert” caps on the vertical and fibreglass caps on
industry and private support, providing grants, ance building design and technology integration. horizontal joints to maximize frame efficiency.
cash, product, and in-kind contributions. We be- The DReSS is based on the principle of layered Phase-change materials (PCMs) integrated in the
lieve that this model of institutional, government high-performance clothing, where each layer floor assembly mitigate temperature fluctuations
and industry collaboration will be increasingly performs a specific function contributing to inte- and store daytime heat for release during the
common where the discipline of architecture can grated building performance. It combines active night. The exterior shades are linked to a custom
promise and deliver on the design and produc- and passive technologies in the envelope of the sensor and control system that tracks the sun
tion of projects that constitute leading-edge ap- building to result in a net-energy-producing throughout the day and season, providing for a
plied research with recognizable and holistic building design. Automated exterior aluminum highly environmentally responsive envelope that
products and outcomes. Similar efforts will be venetian blinds developed for exterior and cold continually allows for natural light and views. In-
necessary to support development in the field of weather use block 80 percent of solar radiation in terior shades provide privacy and are paired with
high-performance and experimental building the summer, while allowing individual control of the custom parametrically modelled and panel-
technologies that both drive and lead contempor- clerestory tilt angles for light and view. In the
ary demand and market awareness. Successful, winter, the shades retract and the large areas of
compelling demonstrations of sustainable hous- highly insulated glazing (R-12.5 centre-of-glass
ing are essential for consumers, builders and re- rating) with selective UV coatings maximize pas-
lated building industries to buy into sustainable sive heating for the house. Intensive analysis was
housing as a marketable option and to transform carried out to investigate over 60 glazing com-
the nature of contemporary offerings and prac- binations with different types of glass, films,
tices. Similarly, the context of collaboration coatings and configurations, from double-glazed
between academic, industry, government and
professional agents helps drive a model of prac-
riGht two screen operAtions Are illus­
tice that moves beyond current discussions asso- trAted to highlight the mAny ApplicA­
ciated with the Integrated Design Process (IDP). tions developed for the iphone by teAm
Throughout the two-year research and design north to monitor the performAnce of
process of North House, Team North worked in their protoype building using the AdAp­
tive living interfAce system (Alis).
direct contact with industry and manufacturers,

01/10 canadian architect 33
4 ly address the needs of residential occupants by providing an easy-to-use
ubiquitous interface that helps the occupant control the systems of the
house while integrating the user’s lifestyle and providing meaningful per-
3 formance feedback. Working with human test subjects within the university
and with computer software design consultants, the design team developed
the ALIS system for North House under the principles of ubiquity, context-
ually appropriate information and control, integration with life, and mean-
ingful performance feedback. The extent of the automation within the home
was continually at the forefront of the discussion, as was the integration
with currently accepted technologies such as smart phones and internet
tools. The system is currently in a beta testing stage and is intended to
undergo several rounds of development before its commercialization.
These are just two examples of several within the project where the
creation of multidisciplinary teams to work on specific areas of focus within
6 7 8
the overall project generated highly innovative solutions, brought to proof-
of-concept stage in remarkably short time frames. In total, almost 80
graduate and undergraduate students were involved in a number of course
enVeLoPe aXonometric
1 bipv solAr pAnels 6 thermAlly broKen douglAs fir struc­ offerings throughout the project’s development that valourized this form of
2 interior blinds turAl curtAin wAll “learning though doing” from a range of disciplinary silos. Ten graduate
3 thermAlly inert rubber mullion cAp 7 quAd glAzing
4 exterior motor housing 8 exterior Aluminum shAdes students from the University of Waterloo were paid for their full-time work
5 pcm sAlt hydrAte phAse­chAnge mAteriAl
cAptures And stores heAt in floor, releAsing on the project and their contributions formed the basis of their graduate
it on cool evenings thesis requirements. We believe this kind of design research pedagogy will
lized interior ceiling system to reduce glare, diffuse natural and artificial become increasingly dominant within architectural education in the coming
LED lighting, and dampen acoustics within the house. Solar-power genera- years. In some instances, these students now possess expertise and experi-
tion includes a rooftop BAPV (Building Applied Photovoltaic) array, as well ence beyond the level of most professional offices that they will soon join.
as highly efficient glass-encapsulated BIPV (Building Integrated Photo- Facilitation of the North House prototype’s manufacture was enabled by
voltaic) façades on the east, south and west elevations which capture low its ability to operate outside of traditional project procurement constraints.
sun angles in winter months and in the early and late parts of the day. Certainly, relationships with industry manufacturers were essential to its
Solar thermal collectors provide hot water for resident use and for running realization. These range from direct product donation, to at-cost supply,
the highly efficient solar-assisted reversible heat pump system (also technical consultation and collaboration, and the manufacture of new cus-
custom-designed for the house) that very efficiently heats and cools the tomized products developed to suit the low-energy demands of the proto-
house. Operable windows provide passive ventilation in the shoulder type. Numerous products deployed in the project are drawn from foreign
seasons. These systems, in combination with R-66 opaque envelope com- commercial applications, and required special testing in order to meet do-
ponents, are designed to make North House a net-energy producer within mestic building code requirements. Rather than tendering the project to a
the demanding conditions of northern climates. Excess energy from the general contractor, Team North operated as project managers with Toronto-
total 13.5 kWp PV system can be sold back to the electrical grid, taking based expert fabricators MCM2001 Inc. who handled the fabrication, in-
advantage of the feed-in tariff program recently introduced by the Ontario stallation and construction of the prototype on a cost-plus basis. This ar-
Power Authority that pays up to $0.8 kWh for small-scale independent rangement permitted extensive refinement of project details in terms of
energy production. both material and process selection during construction, in direct day-to-
The ALIS and smart-home control system combines a customized set of day dialogue with design team members at the construction site. Team
advanced controls with direct and ambient feedback systems intended to members revised as-built drawings and specifications along the way, with
enhance and mediate individuals’ relationships to the complex technologies the entire prototype being fabricated in just under 12 weeks.
and systems of the home. Touch screens with a custom graphic user inter- For RVTR, this project represents its first foray into design research at
face are integrated in the home to easily and intuitively control the lights, the scale of prototype manufacture, and has reinforced the belief that this
shades, and climate settings in the house. An ambient display of variable alternative model of practice model will yield significant disciplinary out-
LED lights signals energy and water use, and through subtle cues, fosters comes and transformation in the future. Beyond the development of the
behavioural reinforcement of sustainable use of the home. ALIS also deliv- first proof-of-concept prototype, several research streams focused on re-
ers a series of community-based Web application tools that have been de- sponsive building envelopes, energy-producing façades, building auto-
signed to support the North House resident in maintaining low-energy-use mation interface systems, and module-based mass-customization strategies
living patterns. The resident can compete in energy reduction challenges, have emerged from the North House project and will be developed over the
compare energy stats against the community average, and share energy- next several years with new partners and collaborative networks. ca
saving advice through a series of Web-based forums.
An emerging area of research in the design of sustainable buildings Geoffrey Thün and Kathy Velikov are partners in RVTR, a research-based practice
examines the extent to which the occupants of that building are engaged and currently located in Toronto. Kathy Velikov is an Assistant Professor and Geoffrey
involved with its operation. Research has found that actions of building oc- Thün is an Associate Professor at the A. Alfred Taubman College of Architecture
cupants can account for significant variations in building energy use. The and Urban Planning, University of Michigan.
motivation for the design of North House, ALIS is rooted in the observation
that intelligent buildings are not just automated but provide the occupants Team North is comprised of over 80 graduate students, faculty collaborators, de–
with the information and access to help the building operate more effi- sign professionals, industry partners, and product manufacturers. For a full list of
ciently. Supporting behavioural transformations that lead toward energy- Team North credits, see
saving living patterns, the ALIS moves beyond automated controls to direct- For more information on the North House Project, see

34 canadian architect 01/10

tiles for
Some highlightS are preSented from CerSaie
2009, the international eXhiBition of
CeramiC tile and Bathroom fUrniShingS
held annUally in Bologna, italy.

teXt leSlie Jen
photos Brian dUSt, UnleSS otherwiSe noted

CERSAIE, the international exhibition of ceramic
tile and bathroom furnishings, takes place every
autumn in Bologna, a northern Italian city filled
with sensory delights, where sights, smells and
tastes arouse the most jaded of travellers. Archi­
tecturally, the city is striking: from above, the red
roofs of the buildings form a monochromatically
rosy textured surface; from the street, the grand
arcades in the historic city centre shelter pedes­
trians from the blazing sun. And in the crowded
shop windows of the food purveyors in the Qua­
dilatero district off Piazza Maggiore, the mind­
boggling array of produce, pasta, seafood and aBoVe the main entry into the Bologna fiere CompleX. clocKWise froM BottoM riGht one of
cured meats astounds: vying for your attention the more dramatiC diSplayS at CerSaie evokeS the loCh neSS monSter; SUperStar SpaniSh
deSigner patriCia UrqUiola haS eXpanded her repertoire to inClUde “déChirer,” a line of
are alarmingly giant legs of prosciutto and bound teXtile-inSpired CeramiC tile for mUtina; a BeaUtifUlly ornate and whimSiCal tile moSaiC
and bulging mortadellas the size of toddlers. evidenCeS the Still-viBrant tradition of Craft in italy.
This richly historic city draws a number of
massive trade shows year­round, as its exhibition exhibition booth. And even within the contextless tion, craft, expertise and pride in the Italian de­
venue in the Fiera district is one of the largest in environment of the immense, airless exhibition sign industry, a sensibility that is understandably
Europe. CERSAIE 2009 kicked off its five­day halls, there is a clear reminder that one is still in not as developed in Canada. With a centuries­old
run on September 26, and despite recessionary this most fashionable city of Bologna: how do the culture of extensive artisanal production, it’s
times, it was a sold­out event that featured over armies of impeccably tailored suits maintain the hard to compete.
1,000 exhibitors and 83,137 visitors from Italy razor­sharp creases in their chic, narrowly cut The bounty of Bologna’s rich history was shared
and abroad. Given the economic woes of the past wool trousers despite the wilting heat? with visitors and participants through a number
year, the theme of “Building, Dwelling, Think­ What does become quickly evident is the tradi­ of events that were held in architecturally signifi­
ing”—borrowed from Heidegger’s seminal essay—
encouraged reflection on issues beyond com­
merce to larger existential themes.
Located just a few kilometres from the city
centre, the Bologna Fiere venue is visible from
some distance—Kenzo Tange’s adjacent six­tower
office structure (1989­1994) serves as a land­
mark. The space devoted to CERSAIE is vast—1.9
million square feet, most of it devoted to ceramic
tile, and the rest showcasing the latest in slick
bathroom furnishings. The sheer volume of tile
on display is inconceivable to most: there are
tiles that look like tiles, and then there are tiles
made to look like wood, like stone, like wallpa­
per, like wainscoting, like fabric, like anything.
They amaze with limitless textures, colours, geo­
metric patterns, floral motifs, iridescent and
matte finishes and everything in between.
The design and production of ceramic tile is a
vital industry in Italy. CERSAIE is clearly a show
geared to buyers; a whole lot of business is being
conducted at the tables located at the back of every

01/10 canadian architect 35
a glorioUS view of the red-roofed City of Bol-
aBoVe, left to riGht
process. His participation in this year’s CERSAIE introduced a three­year
ogna; CrowdS gather in antiCipation of renzo piano’S keynote (2009­2011) joint venture between Confindustria (the Italian employers’
leCtUre. BottoM, left to riGht marazzi preSentS a teXtUred pattern of federation) and the Renzo Piano Foundation, an initiative which admits 16
dotS in high-gloSS red; trend offerS a wallpaper-inSpired finiSh young architecture students for six­month work­experience programs in
throUgh artfUlly laid tiny moSaiC tileS; d’agoStino getS Creative Piano’s Genoa and Paris offices.
at CerSaie, USing a grid of lemonS to form Booth partition
wallS; taking a Break in the vaSt eXhiBition CompleX.
Piano was not the only design superstar in attendance at CERSAIE: Milan­
based Spanish designer Patricia Urquiola introduced a line of ceramic
cant buildings around the city. The Arena del Sole, a grand Neoclassical tile for Mutina, just one example of the increasing number of high­profile
structure on via Indipendenza, the city centre’s main thoroughfare, was the designer/manufacturer collaborations taking place. Trained as an architect
venue of choice for an international press conference featuring representa­ in her native Spain, Urquiola is best known for her interiors and furnish­
tives from the Italian Trade Commission, Confindustria Ceramica and ings. At the show, she unveiled “Déchirer,”a collection of large, unglazed
Mapei. Immediately following, a gala awards dinner was held at the spectac­ porcelain stoneware tiles, the surfaces of which are embossed with a deli­
ular Basilica di Santo Stefano, whose origins are thought to date back as far as cate, almost lacey texture, creating evocative patterns of light and shadow.
the 5th century. This complex of religious buildings includes four linked Ro­ Cut into hexagonal shapes, the ceramic tiles also function as tops in Urquio­
manesque churches along with a medieval cloister and various courtyards la’s “Bugs”collection of tables for Mutina’s interior design collection.
and accessory spaces. With dramatic blue uplighting clearly articulating the In keeping with the existential nature of the show’s theme, the future of
Basilica’s striking architectural detail against a clear and cloudless night sky, building and our planet was addressed through a dominant focus on sus­
it could easily have functioned as the set of a Fellini film. tainable solutions and energy­saving technologies. A major feature of CER­
As if this were not inspiration enough, one memorable highlight of CER­ SAIE was an outdoor exhibition entitled Green Street: Landscape Meets Archi-
SAIE was the keynote lecture delivered by Pritzker Prize­winning Italian tecture, in which ceramic tiles were utilized extensively to demonstrate how
architect Renzo Piano. From a vast body of work in virtually every part of the the use of ceramic, a product made from natural raw materials, minimizes
world, notable projects include the Centre Georges Pompidou in Paris environmental impact. A plethora of seminars were offered that furthered
(1977) designed with Richard Rogers, Kansai International Airport in the sustainability objective, covering topics such as energy remediation for
Osaka, Japan (1987­1990), and the recently completed Art Institute of Chi­ existing buildings, and the role of ceramic tiles in the energy/environmen­
cago expansion (2009). tal certification of buildings.
Rather startling was the anticipation preceding the event, a fever pitch that The mantra of reduce, reuse and recycle has been adopted by virtually
is usually reserved only for rock stars. Hordes of eager fans queued outside every tile manufacturer at CERSAIE. A real commitment to sustainability is
the Palazzo dei Congressi hours before Piano’s scheduled appearance, and evidenced through the reduction of material in the form of thinner tiles
ultimately, dozens were turned away at the door, despite the abundant over­ which can still withstand high traffic, the use of recycled materials such as
flow crowds that gathered in the expansive lobby of the venue hoping to at glass and electronic appliance waste to make new tiles, and the reuse of
least catch a glimpse of the revered architect on a televised screen. wastewater derived from the production of ceramic tile.
The impossibly elegant and articulate Piano took the stage and transfixed CERSAIE proved that despite global economic setbacks, the ceramic tile
the audience with a highly compelling presentation entitled “Creating industry is thriving. This recent showcase of beautiful product in a beautiful
Architecture.” Augmenting his lecture with an impressive selection of city reminds us that it is now more important than ever to educate ourselves
slides, Piano emphasized the importance of site and context as the essence and to keep abreast of new developments in the international design com­
of each project, and that craftsmanship is as important as science in build­ munity and in the materials we spec to ensure we fulfill our commitment to
ing—hence, his emphasis on model­making as a critical part of the design a healthy and sustainable future. ca

marazzi trend CeramiC tileS of italy/lUCiano BUSani

36 canadian architect 01/10
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the Films of John lennon and Jack diamond lecture sides, this celebrated group of ex- the borders of net zero buildings by
yoko ono 1970-1972 February 3, 2010 As part of Carleton quisitely rendered compositions creating the Alstonvale Net Zero
January 28, 2010 As part of the Inter- University’s Forum Lecture Series, represents stunning achievements House, one of the winning projects
mission: Films from a Heroic Future Jack Diamond of Diamond & in both art and science. With more in Canada Mortgage and Housing
series at the Canadian Centre for Schmitt Architects in Toronto lec- than 240 individual drawings and Corporation’s EQuilibrium Sus-
Architecture in Montreal, at 7:00pm tures at 6:00pm at the National Gal- 13,000 words written in Leonardo’s tainable Housing Demonstration
UbuWeb founder Kenneth Gold- lery in Ottawa. Admission is free unique mirror-image script, Ana- Initiative.
smith presents four rarely seen and open to the general public. tomical Manuscript A is a treatise on
films by and about John Lennon and the human body created centuries
Yoko Ono. ahead of its time. werner Sobek lecture Kelly Shannon lecture February 15, 2010 Werner Sobek of
February 4, 2010 Kelly Shannon, Werner Sobek Engineering & De-
Origamic Architecture Professor of Architecture, Catholic Francine houben lecture sign in Stuttgart delivers the Steel
Until February 25, 2010 This exhibi- University of Leuven in Belgium, February 11, 2010 Francine Houben Structures Education Foundation
tion at the Japan Foundation in will lecture at 6:30pm in Room of Mecanoo Architecten in Delft, Lecture at 6:00pm in Room G10 of
Toronto involves the three-dimen- ARC202 of the Ryerson Architecture Netherlands, will lecture at 6:30pm the Macdonald-Harrington Building
sional reproduction of architecture, Building in Toronto. in Room ARC202 of the Ryerson at McGill University in Montreal.
geometric patterns and everyday Architecture Building in Toronto.
objects through cut and folded Leonardo da Vinci: The Mech- naSa archive 1966-1972
paper. Varieties of existing build- anics of Man net Zero energy lifestyle in February 18, 2010 As part of the Inter-
ings of the world, from historical to February 6-May 2, 2010 For the first canada mission: Films from a Heroic Future
contemporary, are included in this time in history, the anatomical February 11, 2010 As part of the series at the Canadian Centre for
show. All models are designed by drawings of Leonardo da Vinci’s Building Ecology, Science and Architecture in Montreal, Christo-
the late Masahiro Chatani (1934- Anatomical Manuscript A will be on Technology Lecture Series at the pher Riley, co-curator of the NASA
2008) singlehandedly. Half of the view in their entirety in this exhibi- John H. Daniels Faculty of Archi- material presented in Intermission,
exhibited models are freshly con- tion at the Vancouver Art Gallery. tecture, Landscape and Design at speaks at 7:00pm about the origins
structed in Toronto by local Cana- Comprised of a series of 18 sheets the University of Toronto, Sevag of the NASA film archive and its
dian folders. created during the winter of 1510, Pogharian delivers this lecture from preservation, and explains the tech- 16 of which have drawings on both 6:00-8:30pm. Pogharian is pushing nical demands of filming in space

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40 canadian architect 01/10
and the continuing importance of dented access to NASA. The only
this footage. surviving 35-mm print was discov- ered and remastered in 2007 with
additional footage added to com-
Vitória Stone Fair 2010 plete this amazing time capsule,
February 23-26, 2010 This event takes which screens at 7:00pm.
place in Vitória, Espírito Santo in
Brazil. Francis westley lecture
February 25, 2010 Francis Westley
Bernardo Gómez-Pimienta will deliver a lecture as part of the
lecture University of Calgary’s Faculty of
February 25, 2010 Bernardo Gómez- Environmental Design’s (EVDS)
Pimienta of BGP Arquitectura in Design Matters lecture series. De-
Mexico City will lecture at 6:30pm sign Matters intends to engage the
in Room ARC202 of the Ryerson Calgary community in thoughtful
Architecture Building in Toronto. discussions on how the design of
our material culture impacts our
Moonwalk One: The Director’s daily lives and the well-being of
Cut the environment we inhabit. The
February 25, 2010 As part of the Inter- lecture takes place at The Uptown,
mission: Films from a Heroic Future located at 610 8th Ave SW in
series at the Canadian Centre for Calgary.
Architecture in Montreal, this film
was originally made in 1970 as the For more inFormation about
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01/10 canadian architect 41
Quadrangle archiTecTs

the thin green Line

Quadrangle archiTecTs
an archiTecT’s desire To improve The sus- elevated park had just been completed and
TainabiliTy facTor and general well-being Two renderings of The
aBOVe, LeFt tO right
opened to the public—the first section of Man- green ribbon—a speculaTive proposal To
of his ciTy is noTed.
hattan’s High Line. The High Line was built in Transform ToronTo’s gardiner express-
the 1930s as part of a public-private infrastruc- way inTo an urban park.
text ian chodikoff ture project and remained operational until 1980.
Rising nearly 10 metres above grade, it removed pathways and the fragility of the new plantings,
As a society, we tend to praise the entrepreneurial freight trains from street level, thereby segregat- pets are not allowed either. Fittingly, a cartoon
spirit of those who demonstrate acumen in gener- ing two modes of transportation in the city. By that appeared in The New Yorker last September
ating new ideas, persevering with them until com- 1999, a community-based non-profit group depicted a number of dogs leashed to steel col-
pletion. There may be even greater praise for known as Friends of the High Line was formed to umns amidst garbage cans in the dark and dirty
those who can take an idea, allow it to gather mo- preserve and maintain the disused rail lines as an streets below, while their more fortunate owners
mentum, and connect it with the zeitgeist of the elevated public park. It wasn’t until 2001 when enjoyed ice cream cones, drank Starbucks coffee,
day. Needless to say, turning ideas into reality the visually arresting photographs of the High and otherwise experienced the city from a level of
takes relentless hard work and politicking to en- Line taken by Joel Sternfeld brought the neglect- blissful detachment high above the city.
sure that all the proverbial ducks are lined up in a ed infrastructure into the public imagination. Undaunted by such criticism and inspired by
row. A recent example of such an entrepreneurial Sternfeld’s images of wild grasses growing on top the success of the High Line, Klein is convinced
and speculative endeavour is the “Green Ribbon.” of the old railway allowed politicians and citizens that Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway can be simi-
Presented by architect Les Klein last June at an alike to appreciate the poetry and potential of larly transformed. He sees the potential for the
ideaCity conference, Klein’s proposal involves such a place. Green Ribbon as a seven-kilometre-long urban
transforming a section of Toronto’s Gardiner The High Line needed to be transformed into a park complete with cycling and pedestrian path-
Expressway that runs along the edge of Lake On- magical and economically viable place. So, when ways, plantings, and both wind turbines and
tario and across the city’s downtown core into an James Corner Field Operations and Diller Scofi- photovoltaic panels to generate enough electricity
elevated swathe of green space for bicycles and dio + Renfro won the commission to transform to power the lighting and electrical systems
pedestrians instead of cars. Spurred on by his the abandoned railway into an elevated urban needed to sustain the park. He estimates that the
well-received public presentation and a spate of park in 2004, the two firms needed to reformu- park could be built for about half of the $1.2 to 1.8
media attention thereafter, he has been busy late the vision for the 2.4-kilometre-long piece billion needed to take down the expressway alto-
pitching the idea ever since, hoping to eventually of infrastructure. Its success has been immediate gether. Some engineering and costing reports
see the Green Ribbon built. What makes his pro- and its transformation has proven to be an awe- have been prepared to add legitimacy to Klein’s
posal so interesting to so many people is the fact inspiring addition to the city, altering visitors’ crusade, and he has been seeking out allies from
that it incorporates several feel-good principles of perspectives of the surrounding world. During its both public and private sectors for additional
sustainable design ranging from reducing the first six months in operation, the High Line has support. If anything, it has given his firm, which
heat-island effect and offsetting carbon dioxide attracted nearly 2 million visitors. was founded in 1986, a resurgent voice to speak
emissions, to generating renewable forms of elec- Nevertheless, the High Line is not without about sustainable design issues on an urban
tricity and mitigating the effects of the automobile criticism. There are numerous rules that visitors level, providing inspiration for other architects
in the city. must obey, such as not walking in certain areas, like him to initiate new design opportunities in
When Klein, principal of Quadrangle Archi- sitting on railings or climbing on any part of the the public realm. ca
tects, first presented the Green Ribbon, another elevated structure. Due to the limited area of the

42 canadian architect 01/10
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