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A tiny timber library pavilion and a housing project for homeless youth are amongst the winners of the 2017 Ontario Association of Architects Awards, announced last week. The OAA, whose annual awards program recognizes the best in architectural excellence and innovation from across the province, revealed the 10 winners of the Design Excellence prizes, plus the winners of awards for Concepts, Best Emerging Practice, and Landmark Designations, and honours for practitioners.

The recipients of these awards, plus those of the Lieutenant Governor’s Award, Michael V & Wanda Plachta Award and the to-be-determined People’s Choice Award, will be recognized at the 2017 RAIC/OAA Festival of Architecture in Ottawa on May 27. In the meantime, meet the 10 winners of the Design Excellence awards below. People’s Choice voting closes on April 24.

Boulevard Club West Wing Replacement by Teeple Architects Inc., in Toronto
Teeple devised a two-storey addition to Boulevard Club, a historic building situated on Toronto’s western waterfront. Completed in 2015, the sculptural volume “embodies the Club’s strategy to attract the next generation of members by responding to the changing priorities of a younger demographic and maximizing the extraordinary lake views.”


Eva’s Phoenix by LGA Architectural Partners (formerly Levitt Goodman Architects), in Toronto
This transitional housing, education and skills training centre for homeless youth is devised as a “neighbourhood within a building.” Located inside a historic warehouse, LGA created an “internal street” lined by 10 townhouses that include ground-level common spaces, second-level private bedrooms, and support and counselling spaces on the rooftops.



Mike & Ophelia Lazaridis Quantum-Nano Centre at the University of Waterloo by KPMB Architects, in Waterloo, Ontario
The structural steel honeycomb pattern that comprises a portion of the Quantum-Nano Centre’s facade was inspired by the structure of the nanotube – a nod to the studies of nanotechnology that happen inside the building. Completed in 2012, the Quantum-Nano Centre was designed to showcase and support Canadian innovation and industry in the cutting-edge fields of quantum computing and nanotech.


Story Pod by Atelier Kastelic Buffey Inc., in Newmarket, Ontario
This 2.4-metre wide pod is a book-sharing library where community members can drop off their books and borrow others. Situated outside, near the town’s civic square and a walking trail system, the Story Pod’s walls pivot open to reveal bookshelves and seating. Once the sun sets, solar-powered LEDs light the pod up from within.


Queen Richmond Centre West by Sweeny&Co. Architects Inc., in Toronto
The Toronto firm became a shining example of how to support progressive and sensitive urban growth by building around and above two historic brick-and-beam factories, rather than demolishing them, to build Queen Richmond Centre West. A soaring, glass-walled atrium connects the two original structures, plus the 11 floors of new office space that Sweeny&Co added above.


River City – Phase 1 & 2 by Saucier + Perrotte Architectes and ZAS Architects Inc., in Toronto
River City is the first residential neighbourhood to rise in a post-industrial area of Toronto that’s currently undergoing a radical redevelopment. Phase one and two are bold multi-unit buildings, one black and one white, that marry aesthetics with sustainability; the River City development is one of the city’s first LEED Gold, carbon-neutral residential developments.


Centennial College Ashtonbee Campus Library & Student Hub by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects Ltd., in Toronto
This 2014 addition to Canada’s largest transportation technology school created an additional 2,880 square metres of space for students and faculty. It provided a dose of contemporary style to the 1970s site, and increased utilization of library services by 200 per cent.


Rosemary House by Kohn Shnier Architects, in Toronto
When devising this two-storey home for a young family in a well-established neighbourhood of Toronto, Kohn Shnier Architects sought to create something distinct from the other homes, but not dominant or overshadowing. To that point, the house features an “innovative use of custom solid limestone masonry [that] is tonally sympathetic with other homes, yet demonstrates how contemporary design can contribute difference.”


Conestoga College Student Recreation Centre by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects Ltd., in Kitchener, Ontario
The original project brief called for the demolition of the existing arena shell, but the firm managed to retain and renovate it, incorporating it in a new light-filled recreation space that brings fitness, food, counselling and social activities all under one roof.


Williams Parkway (Phase 1) by Rounthwaite Dick & Hadley Architects Inc., in Brampton, Ontario
The new home for Brampton’s public works division is conceived as “a collection of crisp glass and metal volumes linked together by a 500-foot-long, two-storey wood-lined atrium that gestures to the street with a dramatic cantilevered board room,” the firm explains. Phase one was completed in 2015; phase two is expected to open this year.


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