Nine buildings and urban spaces chosen for inaugural Vancouver Urban Design Awards
This article, by Kevin Griffin, was originally published by the Vancouver Sun on September 16, 2014.
The buildings and urban spaces that make Vancouver one of the most livable cities in the world were recognized Monday with the inaugural Vancouver Urban Design Awards.
Presented at the VanDusen Botanical Garden, the awards recognized 10 examples of excellence in buildings, landscapes and communities, said Brian Jackson, the city’s general manager of planning and development.
“Urban design excellence is one of the things that makes us one of the most livable cities in the world,” Jackson said in an interview.
“We wanted to celebrate those architects and urban designs and owners who have pushed the limits and responded to unique circumstances and have rally pushed the envelope in terms of design excellence.”
Jackson said he proposed the idea to council because he recognized a lack of public recognition of an important part of what goes into creating the city’s high quality of life. He said the winners don’t have a unique Vancouver look other than their innovative response to local conditions and challenges. What many do share, he said, is their sustainable approach to design.
“I think it is really important that people understand that excellence in urban design is not just about buildings but the space between buildings and the public spaces as well,” he said.
“With all the controversies about heights and densities, we have a remarkable series of buildings in the city of Vancouver which we can all be proud of and help contribute to the quality of life here,” he said.
The awards are meant to be presented every two years. Winners received a plaque made out of sustainable wood.
The nine winners are:
• Small Residential Buildings: Cloister House, West Point Grey, Measured Architecture Inc.
• Medium Residential Buildings: Monad, 3351 W. 4th, Lang Wilson Practice in Architecture Culture.
• Large Residential Buildings: 6th & Fir — A Bridgehead Interface, Henriquez Partners Architects, developer Westbank Projects Corp, landscape architect Durante Kreuk Ltd.
• Commercial Buildings: Cactus Club English Bay, 1790 Beach, by Acton Ostry Architects Inc.
• Government and Institutional Buildings: York House Senior School, 4176 Alexander St., by Acton Ostry Architects Ltd.
• Urban Elements: Aldo Canopy, 1025 Robson, by Francl Architecture
• Innovation: Paris Block: Paris Annex, 47 W. Hastings, by Gair Williamson Architects
• Outstanding Sustainable Design: Union Street ECOheritage, 662 & 652 Union, by Shape Architecture Inc.
• Landscape, Public Space and Infrastructure: Jericho Park Restoration, Jericho Beach, by Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture
As well, three special jury awards were presented:
• For reinforcing community through collaboration and social innovation: 60 W Cordova, by Henriquez Partners Architects, Westbank Projects and Vancity, and PHS Community Services, Habitat for Humanity.
• For architectural design excellence and innovative community densification: Union Street ECOheritage, by Shape Architecture
• For architectural design excellence and innovative systems integration: Monad, by Lang Wilson Practice in Architecture Culture