Toronto – Two buildings designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects are finalists for the
Ontario Association of Architects’ Design Excellence Awards.
The National Arts Centre in Ottawa is Canada’s stage, a multi-venue performing arts centre in the heart of the nation’s capital. For the country’s 150th anniversary, this robust structure was enlarged and reoriented to engage with the city. No longer a concrete bunker in the Brutalist style, three new wings of public amenity and gathering space extend the original geometry framed in glass, wood and perforated bronze to reveal the creative activity within. This transparency includes a marquee tower with a digital screen, adding a ‘fifth stage’ of performance and connection with the city.
The Environmental Science and Chemistry Building at University of Toronto Scarborough is a model of new thinking in laboratory design – open, transparent, flexible and adaptable to the ever-changing nature of research and teaching methods. The building connects laboratories and academic offices around a skylit forum and crossroads designed to encourage interdisciplinary collaboration and exchange. Inspired by nature to reflect these academic pursuits, this highly sustainable and energy-efficient structure has green roofs, earthtubes to pretreat fresh air, and an array of vertical sunshades that enliven the façade in patterns likened to the impression of a wind pattern on sand or water.
“The 2018 finalists have set a new standard for excellence in architecture and represent a dynamic range of bold and cutting-edge thinking that architects in our province are fast becoming renowned for. The projects demonstrate exciting new approaches to functionality that enhance the lives of Ontarians, Canadians and global citizens,” said OAA President, John Stephenson. Once again, I’m pleased that through the OAA Awards, we can celebrate the world-class design and vision of architects based in Ontario that are creating and inspiring powerful contributions for our future.”
Finalists were judged on a number of criteria including creativity, context, sustainability, good design/good business and legacy. The winners will be announced on April 3.
Diamond Schmitt Architects (www.dsai.ca) is based in Toronto with studios in Vancouver and New York City. The firm’s extensive portfolio includes performing arts centres, post-secondary facilities, and residential, institutional and commercial buildings. Current projects include the Collection and Conservation Centre at the Canadian Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa; Robarts Common at the University of Toronto and Buddy Holly Hall in Lubbock, Texas.