Vancouver Wood Design Awards celebrate the material’s possibilities

Audain Art Museum (Whistler, B.C.) earned an award in the large institutional wood design category at the WoodWorks BC Wood Design Awards earlier this month.
Photos courtesy WoodWorks BC 2017 Wood Design Awards

More than 400 design/construction professionals celebrated structural and architectural wood projects at the Vancouver Convention Centre earlier this month. Sponsored by WoodWorks BC, the Wood Design Awards’ 13 categories received a record 114 nominations this year, with international and Canada-wide submissions in addition to British Columbian.

Projects were judged for their ability to showcase wood’s benefits (e.g. strength, beauty, versatility, and cost-effectiveness), by a panel including:

  • Adele Weder, MASA, MRAIC (Hon), an architectural journalist;
  • Bob Smith, B.Sc.F., M.Sc., of Canfor;
  • Karla Fraser of Urban One Builders; and
  • Ed Lim of United Building Systems.

“With wood now recognized for its ability to significantly reduce carbon impacts in our built environment and increase construction efficiency, it is playing a leading role in a design and building revolution,” said Lynn Embury-Williams, executive director of WoodWorks BC. “The relentless exploration of new frontiers with wood is the foundation of our awards program, and the projects presented here this evening provide a view into the future.”

The winners included:

  • Dana Westermark of Oris Consulting earned the Wood Champion Award for pioneering work in mid-rise residential buildings;
  • Fast + Epp earned the Engineer Award for the cost-effective, practical, and esthetically appealing roof structure of its Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre (Surrey, B.C.);
  • HCMA Architecture + Design earned the Architect Award for both supporting wood use in the industry and recognizing its various contributions to British Columbian communities;
  • Iain Weir-Jones of Weir-Jones Group earned the Wood Innovation Award for Shoreline by MGA, which used the material to create a design that was modern, unique, and welcoming;
  • Vancouver Coastal Health Authority earned the Environmental Performance Award for its efficient implementation of modular construction in building Bella Bella Passive House;
  • Kengo Kuma of Kengo Kuma and Associates of Tokyo, Japan, earned the Jury’s Choice Award for Shaw Tower Teahouse, Vancouver; and
  • Hacker earned the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) Award for Lakeside at Black Butte Ranch, Oregon.
Chris Jacques of Read Jones Christofferson Ltd. was awarded in commercial wood design for Tsawwassen Mills.

Other winners earned awards according to the list of categories, including:

  • residential wood design, awarded to Bo Helliwell and Kim Smith of Helliwell + Smith | Blue Sky Architecture for Arbutus House in Victoria;
  • multi-unit residential wood design, awarded to Innovation Building Group Ltd. for its Solana project in Whistler;
  • commercial wood design, awarded to Chris Jacques of Read Jones Christofferson Ltd. for Tsawwassen Mills;
  • interior beauty design, awarded to Ron Windjack of HDR | CEI Architecture Associates Inc. for an addition to Mulgrave Senior School;
  • small institutional wood design, awarded to Shelley Craig of Urban Arts Architect for University of British Columbia (UBC) Engineering Student Centre;
  • large institutional wood design, awarded to Patkau Architects, represented by Patricia and John Patkau, for Audain Art Museum;
  • western red cedar, awarded to Franc D’Ambrosio of D’Ambrosio architecture + urbanism for Cadboro Bay Residence; and
  • international wood design, awarded to Vancouver’s Michael Green Architecture (MGA) and Steve Cavanaugh of Chicago’s DLR Group for T3 (Minneapolis, Minnesota).
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