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May 14, 2019

RAIC announces recipients of the 2019 Awards of Excellence



OTTAWA, May 14, 2019 – The eight projects and individuals receiving 2019 RAIC Awards of Excellence reflect outstanding achievement in architecture through innovation, green building, allied arts, advocacy, and journalism.

“By sharing examples of the best current architecture with our peers and the public, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) aims to contribute to an enriched and demanding dialogue about the buildings we make,” says RAIC President Michael Cox, FRAIC.

“This year’s projects demonstrate that delightful environments are possible in buildings designed towards zero carbon,” said Cox. “For example, we see innovation applied to extend the structural capacity of timber, the cleaning abilities of biological systems, and the thermal performance of construction.

“The allied arts energize interior spaces through furniture, art, and surfaces, while intelligent advocacy and journalism complement the public experience of the built environment and create an informed public.”

The awards, given out every two years, will be presented at the RAIC Festival of Architecture in Toronto, taking place October 26 to 30, 2019. Sponsorship opportunities are available for the gala awards evening.

One of the five Awards of Excellence, the Green Building award, is presented in partnership with the Canada Green Building Council® (CaGBC).

“The CaGBC is committed to helping Canada reach its 2030 greenhouse-gas reduction commitments by supporting the building industry in achieving the most high-performing and low-carbon buildings possible,” said CaGBC President and CEO Thomas Mueller. “I’m happy to recognize the University of British Columbia’s Campus Energy Centre. This LEED Gold facility is a showcase that can push other Canadian universities to go further. This is the type of leadership needed to meet Canada’s ambitious carbon reduction goals.”

2019 Recipients                                         

The Advocate for Architecture award celebrates an individual who has made a public contribution to architecture in Canada by means other than the practice of architecture. It recognizes a long-term commitment to the profession at a national, regional or local level.

Medal Recipient: Brent Bellamy
Winnipeg, MB

Architect Brent Bellamy has become a leading advocate for sustainable city building and human-focused design through public speaking, teaching, mentoring, writing, and conventional and social media. Since 2010, Brent has contributed a regular column to the Winnipeg Free Press, and his political engagement has brought opportunities to influence public policy.

“His passionate advocacy for architecture is responsible for a strong public appreciation of architecture within his community, and beyond,” said the jury.


The Allied Arts award honours a Canadian artist or designer for outstanding achievement in artwork created to be integrated with architecture. Any medium allied to architecture is eligible including murals, sculpture, glass, fabric, lighting, furniture, water, sound and site-specific installation. It also includes video, digital and industrial and landscape design.

Medal Recipient: Klaus Nienkämper
Toronto, ON

For five decades, furniture manufacturer Klaus Nienkämper has championed design in Canada. He has continuously collaborated with architects and industrial designers, realizing a broad range of chairs, tables, and sofas to create holistic and integrated spaces.

“Klaus Nienkämper has profoundly contributed to the culture of design in Canada and enriched the quality of architecture that this country has produced through his support and collaboration with significant architects and designers,” said the jury.

Medal Recipient: Kathryn Walter
Toronto, ON

For almost 20 years, Toronto artist and designer Kathryn Walter has created feature wall installations through collaborations with architects and interior designers. Since founding FELT Studio in 2000, she has worked almost exclusively with felt.

“The hands-on collaboration and innovation that Kathryn Walter has brought to her practice has pushed the limits of materiality and added a valuable dimension to the making of architectural space by recognized designers and architects,” said the jury.

The Green Building award, given by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the Canada Green Building Council® (CaGBC), recognizes outstanding achievement in buildings that are environmentally responsible and promote the health and well being of users.

Medal Recipient: Campus Energy Centre (CEC)
University of British Columbia
Vancouver, BC
Completion: 2016
Client: University of British Columbia
Architects: DIALOG

This state-of-the-art hot water facility supports the University of British Columbia’s target of eliminating the use of fossil fuels on campus by 2050. The centre uses almost 63 percent less energy and 31 percent less water than a baseline building of its type.

“The predominant use of mass timber and cross-laminated timber, in place of more typically carbon-intensive structural components, reinforces how a project can be exemplary in responding to local challenges,” said the jury.


The Innovation in Architecture award recognizes exceptional architectural innovation. Areas include research and development, applied use of new technology, adaptation of existing technology, new project delivery, and construction methods, advanced design processes and fresh approaches to details and materials.

Medal Recipient: Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool
Borden Park
Edmonton, AB
Completion: 2018
Client: City of Edmonton
Architects: gh3*

The pool in Borden Park is the first chemical-free public outdoor pool in Canada. The design process involved developing a pool technology that cleanses water through stone, gravel, sand, and botanic filtering processes.

“The Borden Park pool embodies the idea of innovation into an effortless and subtle architectural outcome. The strength of the simple, yet powerful architecture is beautifully integrated with the biological systems that provide healthy user experiences, both physically and psychologically,” said the jury.

Medal Recipient: The Joyce Centre for Partnership & Innovation
Mohawk College, Fennel Campus
Hamilton, ON
Completion: 2018
Client: Mohawk College
Architects: B+H Architects and McCallumSather

One of the region’s first and largest net-zero institutional buildings, the facility is helping determine the standards for the Canada Green Building Council Zero Carbon Buildings Framework. The mechanical and electrical areas and the green roofs are accessible to all and part of the learning environment.

“An exemplary building in terms of technical innovation and a powerful learning tool not only for the students but for the whole campus community,” said the jury.

Certificate of Merit: West Block Rehabilitation Project
Parliament Hill
Ottawa, ON
Completion: 2018
Client: Public Services and Procurement Canada
Architects: Architecture 49 and EVOQ Architecture

The project modernized the 19th-century building with state-of-the-art facilities and preserved the heritage and character-defining elements. It also designed a contemporary addition for an interim House of Commons under a glass canopy roof within the West Block courtyard.

 “The very stringent program requirements from the heritage point of view as well keeping the building in operation while stabilizing the structure meant that this is not a run of the mill project,” said the jury.


Category: President’s Award for Media in Architecture

The President’s Award for Media in Architecture recognizes storytelling about buildings and cities that promotes understanding of architecture and the role of architects in the daily lives of Canadians.

Medal Recipient: Alex Bozikovic
The Globe and Mail
Toronto, ON

Alex Bozikovic is the architecture critic for The Globe and Mail. In his columns, he mixes reporting and critical analysis to reveal what is happening in the built environment, and to advocate for better buildings and better cities.

About the RAIC

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada is the leading voice for excellence in the built environment in Canada. Representing about 5,000 members the RAIC advocates for excellence, works to demonstrate how design enhances the quality of life and promotes responsible architecture in addressing important issues of society.


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