The Marc Boutin Architectural Collective: Wrap House, Calgary
Boutin has designed this home for a single male, and with this in mind, the spaces within are flexible in nature to adapt to changes in lifestyle over time. The plan is ‘eroded’ along the south elevation to create an interior-exterior courtyard space that becomes the main feature of the home. Light floods the interior spaces from the courtyard, which also creates a spatially complex interconnectivity between spaces on a very compact footprint.
Superkül Inc: The Junior Academy, Toronto
Squeezed into this tight urban site, The Junior Academy – a new elementary school – features a gymnasium that has been sunk 7.6 m into the ground. Supported by steel trusses that span the width of the gym, the building appears to hover over the clerestory windows that light the semi-buried space. The red brick façade is in-keeping with neighbouring residential properties but stack-bonded brickwork and seemingly random windows create a playful architectural spectacle.
Paul Raff Studio: Cascade House, Toronto
Cascade House is a playful design with strong environmental credentials. Perched on a gently sloping site, the house is oriented on a strict Cartesian axis, designed to maximize its potential for natural light. The home combines a high-performance building envelope with passive solar design. However, the vertical stacked glass screen at the front of the house is designed for its beauty rather than performance, looking like a cascading waterfall from within.
Photography by Ben Rahn/A-Frame Inc www.aframestudio.com
Nature Humaine: St Hubert Residence, Montreal
The client’s wish to enlarge this Montreal bungalow by adding a second floor proved impossible due to poor ground conditions. Instead, Nature Humaine developed an imaginative solution that extended the home into the backyard. The architect reorganised internal spaces on numerous split-levels, brought in more natural light and created a stunning double height dining room. The project is modest but exciting at the same time; an example of what can be achieved on a relatively small budget.
Moriyama & Teshima: Waterloo Regional Museum, Kitchener
Recent recipients of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, Moriyama & Teshima has built extensively in Canada, predominantly in the educational and cultural sectors. This museum in southern Ontario takes reference from the Mennonite heritage of the area, including such contemporary quirks as the coloured ‘quilt’ façade and using timbers from razed barns as interior wall finishes.
Gow Hastings Architects: Humber College, Centre for Justice Leadership, Toronto
The renovation of a 1980s car showroom, transforming it into a venue to teach crime scene investigation techniques, prompted Gow Hastings to propose a bold reworking of the façade. The result is a perforated aluminium mesh cloak that wraps the building reducing views inside from the street while retaining good natural light ingress. Planting behind the façade will grow up and through the mesh to further disguise the original building.
gh3: Photographer’s studio over a boat house, Stoney Lake
Transparent, to afford an uninterrupted flow of natural light into the space, this photographer’s studio is the epitome of the Modernist glass box. It is indicative of gh3’s designs and a refreshing departure from the more traditional stone and wood palette of its neighbours. The studio sits at the water’s edge on a granite plinth. The granite’s thermal mass exploits the abundant sunshine, eliminating the need for active heating systems on fine winter days, while the lakefront site also allows the use of a deep-water heat exchange system to warm and cool the building.
Photography: Larry Williams
Dubbeldam Design Architects: 411 Offset: A Room at the Gladstone Hotel, Toronto
Collaborating with Tania Ursomarzo, Heather Dubbeldam has created an installation that takes the form of two wrapping architectural expressions, which formalize the elements of a hotel room. Skeletal timber fins echo the structural framework of the room and create a vertical plane wrapping around the space, supporting the bed, side tables and desk. Another plane wraps horizontally around the walls replacing a solid portion of the window wall with a continuous strip of light. Combined, these two wraps form a ‘room within a room’ floating within the existing Victorian shell.
Photography: Heather Dubbeldam, Tom Arban
Donald Chong Studio: Galley House, Toronto
At just 3.65 m wide, Galley House is probably Canada’s slimmest home. Chong has reinvigorated a derelict and difficult urban site to create a home that is potentially more desirable than its larger neighbours. Every aspect of the design is first and foremost about maximising space – from the wrap around staircase with specially made space-saving brackets to a double height kitchen with a glazed façade that opens onto an outdoor ‘dining room’.
Cindy Rendely Architexture: Beth Torah Congregation Synagogue, Toronto
This renovation and expansion of a 1960s synagogue responds both to Jewish law and contemporary architectural values. Rendely has distilled the design down to pure geometries, natural materials, careful manipulation of light and space, with detailing to encourage the thoughts, activities and emotions of users within. One long wall extends from the front all the way through the building, creating a generous passageway that strings together the chapel, the sanctuary and the social hall.
Bing Thom Architects: SAIT Polytechnic Parkade, Calgary
Sunk into the sloping site and covered with a sports field, this 35,400 sqm parking garage is almost completely invisible from the north side. Conversely, the exposed southern elevation has been treated as a canvas. Working with an artist, BTA has created a giant mural of cloudscape and prairie sky that seems to move as the sun plays across the punched metal screen.
Photography Nic Lehoux, Courtesy of Bing Thom Architects
Photography Nic Lehoux, Courtesy of Bing Thom Architects
ArchitectsAlliance with Behnisch Architekten: Terrence Donnelly Centre for Cellular and Biomolecular Research, Toronto
Designed and built for the University of Toronto, the TDCCBR is an advanced research facility aimed at finding links between genes and disease. The transparent design of the building promotes collaborative research within flexible, loft-style laboratories. A planted multi-story atrium connects the centre to an adjacent heritage campus building. Above, winter gardens and staff lounges punctuate a system of open corridors and stairwells between lab floors, encouraging informal, interdisciplinary contact as scientists move around the building.
Levitt Goodman Architects: Evergreen Brickworks Welcome Hut, Toronto
Far smaller than the majority of Levitt Goodman’s work, the Evergreen Brickworks Welcome Hut is a temporary structure for this community environmental centre in Toronto. It is built primarily from refuse materials: a derelict shipping container embellished with salvage from the historic brickyards including a graffiti door that now leads to a deck, sheets of slate used as chalkboards and an electrical panel and factory lamps that hang from the ceiling as an artful light fixture.
AgaThom Co: Molly's Cabin, Georgian Bay
Set on an island, in the windswept environs of Georgian Bay, Molly's Cabin is a contemporary take on the traditional Canadian vacation cottage. Used as a holiday home, the cabin is built entirely of timber, much of which has been rescued from dilapidated barns in the area. AgaThom’s clever use of the over-sailing roof shades the interior while presenting a striking architectural presence on this exposed location.
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