Marking the beginning of the summer, the annual AZ Awards Gala celebrates the best in architecture and design from around the world. On June 21, our ninth annual awards program – which drew a record 1,175 submissions – culminated in a memorable one-night-only experience at Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works. From the food service and bespoke decor to the custom installations and immersive audio-visual presentation, we go behind the scenes to take in some of the elements that made it a night to remember.
The 2019 AZ Awards trophy is an interactive sculpture with timeless design, awarded to 20 winners at this year’s gala. The trophy’s ability to transform without any mechanical parts was a focal point for designer Matt Carr, who is the VP of design at Umbra. Carr crafted an elegantly designed piece that boasts a Dazzle Camouflage effect from the front, but from the side profiles reveal the A and Z laser etched into the sculpture. Cork pieces were attached to the top and bottom of the stamped metal to provide protection and a surface to rest on, removing disposable packaging from the equation by making it part of the design.
Carr – who has contributed to over 100 Umbra products – was also one of our 2019 AZ Awards jurors.
Led by local creatives Christine Leu and Alan Webb, LeuWebb Projects unveiled a playful wood fencing installation at this year’s gala. Subtly inspired by the contoured landscapes of AZ Awards Guest of Honour Martha Schwartz, the installation featured wooden slats hung from steel trusses to create a screened view of the seating area and stage.
Using simple wood materials, the installation was a fitting accent to the urban garden aesthetic, setting a casual but refined ambiance for the gala. The fencing was illuminated from the steel trusses, allowing the drapery to glow when viewed from the party space. Rolled fencing was combined with greenery to create a second installation in the entrance space, used to showcase the 2019 AZ Awards gift bags.
They tasted even better than they look. Masterminded by Toronto-based pâtisserie – and catering service – The Tempered Room, this year’s mouthwatering selection of desserts featured a variety of bite-sized baked treats. Topped by custom flourishes, creative flavour combinations like honeycomb caramel, strawberry Prosecco, and grapefruit & pink peppercorn, brought a sweet and sophisticated note to this year’s gala.
Headed by Paddy Harrington, Toronto’s Frontier Studio developed this year’s bold and immersive presentation. The energetic display was a perfect complement to the charisma of our AZ Awards Gala host, CBC’s Jessica Allen. Frontier Studio worked closely with AZURE to produce a show with mesmerizing images of the winners and finalist projects as well as behind-the-scenes videos of the jury process.
Guests of the gala parted with a unique piece of design at the end of the night. Manufactured by Essent’ial, these AZ Awards loot bags made with Tyvek, contained goodies showcasing the exciting and distinguished brands of our sponsors. Each bag also included a copy of AZURE and Designlines Magazine.
The AZ Awards are generously presented by Ceragres, Keilhauer and Landscape Forms; and sponsored by Cosentino, Design Within Reach, Farrow & Ball, George Brown College, Lualdi, and TAS. The gala sponsors are Alpi, Formica, Dark Tools, and Scavolini.
Held on June 21 at the Evergreen Brick Works, the 2019 AZ Awards Gala was a collaboration on many levels: from designer Matt Carr’s trophy to a scene-making installation by LeuWebb Projects, and much more.