Architectural design
Mar. 1, 2018 -  Innovative architectural and structural design in taller and larger mass timber buildings headlined the 2018 Wood Design Awards event at the Vancouver Convention Centre (West) this evening. The 14th annual event, organized and hosted by Wood WORKS! BC, honoured excellence in wood building and design, and recognized leadership and innovation in wood use. Nearly 500 guests attended this year's celebration of wood, including distinguished building and design professionals, owners, local and provincial government representatives, industry sponsors and guests.
As we kick off the new year I’m excited to begin this column.  The window industry is changing and we are seeing unprecedented pressure to manufacture better windows with lower U-values. However, along with this pressure there are many opportunities. At the WinDoor show held in November at the International Centre in Mississauga there were many great presentations regarding the trends in our industry.
Feb. 5, 2018 - The Marvin Family of Brands invites architects in the U.S., Canada, Japan and Israel to submit their work to the annual Marvin Architects Challenge, which honors outstanding residential and commercial design projects that demonstrate creativity and ingenuity. Architects can submit their entries to, which will be evaluated by an independent panel of esteemed architects, including Matt Kreilich, AIA, Takashi Yanai, FAIA and Jane Frederick, FAIA, ASID for a chance at national recognition and other rewards.
Jan. 16, 2018 - The jury is in! Eastman, manufacturer of the Vanceva Color System for laminated glass, announced today the five jury members for its 2018 Vanceva World of Color Awards international design recognition program.All projects will be judged by this international jury of renowned industry professionals representing the architectural and design industries.
Jan. 10, 2018 - Designed by Montgomery Sisam Architects Inc., the Greenwood College School Expansion is a 74,0002 -building addition located in mid-town Toronto. The dense, four-storey structure adjoins the existing school at every level above grade, increasing the School’s square footage by 120%. Making efficient use of limited land, it features a balanced mix of work spaces and social space that supports a personalized, new-century approach to learning.
Nov. 22, 2017 -  The Fort Calgary Edges landscaping project, designed to create a respectful delineation between Calgary’s East Village district and Fort Calgary, a national historic site representing the city’s birthplace, features five scarlet red sentinels that present a striking contrast to its prairie surroundings. Architects specified Starphire Ultra-Clear glass by Vitro Architectural Glass to enhance the bold, striking color of the columns, which were inspired by the red uniforms of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police.
In August Glass Canada, we discussed the development of window wall systems and the relevant past and current building codes and standards.
Canadian author Margaret Atwood has been in the news lately over her opposition to a modest three-storey high-rise development proposed in her posh Annex neighbourhood in Toronto. It’s a leafy suburb that is one of the few remaining areas in the city with big houses, big yards and relatively convenient access to the downtown core.
One of the defining characteristics of modern high-rise residential apartment building design in Canada today is window wall. Most systems in use today evolved from punched windows in double-wythe mass-masonry walls in the 1960s, beginning in the Greater Toronto Area. The original punched windows incorporated thermally broken, open-back, extruded aluminum frames.
As part of the current Parliament Buildings rehabilitation being performed by PCL Constructors Canada, work on the pre-Confederation West Block began in 2011. By the fall of 2018, its permanent courtyard infill will serve as a temporary House of Commons Chamber during the upcoming rehab of the Centre Block over the following 10 years.
The newest landmark building on the campus of Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ont., is the 220,000-square-foot, four-storey Lazaridis Hall, named after BlackBerry co-founder and philanthropist, Mike Lazaridis. Crowning the structure’s central atrium, now the main gathering place for students, faculty and visitors, is the 130-foot-long glass skylight, the stunning signature feature of the $70 million building that houses the University’s School of Business and Economics, along with the dean office, grad student space, computer labs, 300- and 150-person lecture halls, learning space, a broadcast facility, a two-level 1,000-seat auditorium for convocation, seven lecture halls, cafes, computer and math labs. The skylight represents not just the project’s structural tour de force, but also a case study in innovative design and installation.
BC Passive House (BCPH) Factory is an “all-wood construction” demonstration project, co-owned and built by Whistler-based general contractor Durfeld Constructors and Vancouver’s Equilibrium Consulting Inc., an engineering firm that focuses on heavy wood construction. BCPH mandated that the design and construction of their new facility must exemplify their investment in wood construction, prefabrication, energy efficiency, and sustainable design practice.
Melding stunning historic elements with safety and high environmental standards are the hallmarks of the recent renovation of the Wellington Building in Ottawa. Located across from Parliament Hill, it was constructed in 1927 for the Metropolitan Insurance Company, underwent a substantial enlargement in 1959 and was acquired by the Crown in 1973. A major renovation, started in 2008 under primary architect NORR Limited, has prepared the Wellington to house the offices for 70 members of Parliament and much more.
The Vaughan Civic Centre Resource Library is a shining example of one of the most challenging glazing jobs in the Greater Toronto Area to date,” says Ted Redlarski, president of Noram Building Systems, glass fabricators and installers of the new $15 million library sited on Toronto’s northern outskirts. “Certain elevations of the building proved the most tricky,” he continues. “Glass is used to build a wall of sweeping curves tilting sideways 15 degrees and leaning forwards from zero to 15 degrees, substantially twisting the infill glass and aluminum panels, creating an extraordinary illusion appearing to defy the laws of physics.”
April 19, 2017 - Cadillac Fairview (CF) has unveiled plans  for a new pedestrian bridge across Queen Street to better integrate CF Toronto Eaton Centre with the Hudson's Bay and Saks Fifth Avenue flagship locations in downtownToronto. Construction is slated to begin this month.CF sees the project as a significant investment in, and contribution to, the public realm by replacing the existing structure with an exciting new connection between two major retail landmarks, creating a more integrated CF Toronto Eaton Centre complex.
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