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National Urban Design Awards winners announced

National Urban Design Awards winners announced
TOM ARBAN — The Mechanized River Valley Access, one of winners of the 2020 National Urban Design Awards, connects Edmonton’s downtown with its river valley. The large elevation difference and steep slopes of the river valley make access difficult for users with mobility challenges. The Mechanized River Valley Access was imagined addressing this connectivity challenge. The intuitive, barrier-free journey includes a funicular, staircase, promenade and park, pedestrian bridge, lookout and elevator.

OTTAWA — Twelve projects across Canada have been selected for the 2020 National Urban Design Awards by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), the Canadian Institute of Planners (CIP) and the Canadian Society of Landscape Architects (CSLA).

The winning projects, announced Feb. 19, range from public art installations and parks to a revitalized underpass.

The awards are part of a two-tier program held in co-operation with Canadian municipalities. The National Urban Design Awards program judged winners of the 2020 municipal awards and entries submitted at large.

18 Shades of Gay, a one-kilometre-long ribbon-like installation of 180,000 multicoloured resin balls suspended over Sainte-Catherine Street East, in the Gay Village of Montreal, is part of the transformation of the street into a pedestrian mall during the summer.
JEAN-FRANCOIS SAVARIA — 18 Shades of Gay, a one-kilometre-long ribbon-like installation of 180,000 multicoloured resin balls suspended over Sainte-Catherine Street East, in the Gay Village of Montreal, is part of the transformation of the street into a pedestrian mall during the summer.

The awards in each category will be presented during the RAIC’s Conference on Architecture hosted in Edmonton from June 3 to 7.

In the Student Projects category, the Award of Excellence was given to Topographic Urban Expansion of Toronto by Qiwei Song (University of Toronto).

The Certificate of Merit in the Student Projects category was awarded to The Drainage Filter for the Everglades (Toronto) by Qiwei Song, Meikang Li and Chaoyi Cui (University of Toronto).

To tackle the water pollution issue in the Everglades, the proposal is a cost-efficient alternative, and improvement, to existing expensive treatment infrastructures.

In the Civic Design category, the Award of Excellence was presented to Mechanized River Valley Access (Edmonton) by DIALOG.

The Certificate of Merit in the category was won by Berczy Park (Toronto) by Claude Cormier et Associes.

Winnipeg’s North East Exchange District Public Realm by HTFC Planning and Design, in collaboration with WSP Engineering, the City of Winnipeg & CentreVenture Development Corporation, was also given a certificate of merit.

The award of excellence in the Urban Fragments category was won by 18 Shades of Gay by Claude Cormier et Associes in Montreal. The one-kilometre-long ribbon-like installation of 180,000 multicoloured resin balls suspended over Sainte-Catherine Street East — the Gay Village of Montreal — is part of the transformation of the street into a pedestrian mall during the summer.

The Certificate of Merit was given to The Fourth Street SW Underpass Enhancement (Calgary, Alta.), by the marc boutin architectural collaborative inc.

In the Community Initiatives category, the Award of Excellence was won by The Warming Huts (Winnipeg), Sputnik Architecture Inc. & The Forks Renewal Corporation.

Warming Huts is an annual project that engages local and international designers, artists, and students each winter to design and create structures that are installed along with public skating and pedestrian trail on the ice of the city’s frozen rivers.

The Award of Excellence in the Urban Design Plans category went to Plan d’intervention pour le confort et la securite des pietons et cyclistes dans le Vieux-Quebec, by Groupe A/Annexe U, a pedestrian and cycling plan in old Quebec City.

The Casey House in Toronto, by Hariri Pontarini Architects, won the Urban Architecture Award of Excellence for the renovation and extension to Casey House, a specialized healthcare facility for individuals with HIV/AIDS.

A Certificate of Merit was given to The Springdale Library and Komagata Maru Park in Brampton, Ont. by RDH Architects.

A Sustainable Development Award was given to Corridor de biodiversite, Arrondissement de Saint-Laurent, Montreal, by civiliti, LAND Italia, Table Architecture and Biodiversite conseil.

The jury for the 2020 National Urban Design Awards consisted of Doug Leighton, RPP, MCIP, MRAIC, a Planner in Residence at the University of Calgary; Jean Trottier, CSLA, RPP, MCIP, Associate Professor in the Department of Landscape Architecture at the University of Manitoba; and Susan Fitzgerald, FRAIC, the design director at FBM and an assistant professor at Dalhousie University.

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