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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 AZ Awards trophy by Matt Carr

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.

AZ Awards 2019 trophy

Carr – who has contributed to over 100 Umbra products – was also one of our 2019 AZ Awards jurors.

The décor partner, LeuWebb Projects

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.

American landscape legend Martha Schwartz takes the stage to talk about the climate emergency – and how we all need to play a role in turning it around, AZ Awards 2019: Scenes from the Gala
AZ Awards 2019: Scenes from the Gala
On June 21, 2019, AZURE hosted the AZ Awards 2019 Gala at Toronto’s Evergreen Brick Works. We welcomed over 500 guests, handed out 20 trophies and danced the night away. Here are some highlights from the unforgettable evening.

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.

The desserts by The Tempered Room

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.

The visual presentation by Frontier Studio

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.

The gift bags by Essent’ial

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 2019 AZ Awards is presented by Ceragres, Keilhauer and Landscape Forms, and sponsored by Cosentino, Design Within Reach, Lualdi, Farrow & Ball, George Brown College School of Design and TAS.

The 2019 AZ Awards Gala was sponsored by Alpi, Dark Tools, Formica and Scavolini.

The 2019 AZ Awards Gala partners are Dollco, LeuWebb Projects, Stratus and The Tempered Room.

Martha Schwartz’s participation at the AZ Awards Gala was made possible by the support of Dark Tools.

Behind the Scenes at the 2019 AZ Awards Gala

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.

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