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CISC recognizes student architectural design excellence

Ian Harvey
CISC recognizes student architectural design excellence

The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) has recognized the top three winners of its Architectural Student Design awards.

Montreal architect Atelier Paul Laurendeau, who organized the competition and the panel of judges — engineers Todd Collister, director engineering and business development at Supreme Group, Michel Comeau at Campbell Comeau Engineering Limited in Halifax and Bechara Helal professeur adjoint at Ecole d’architecture Universite de Montreal — says they received 53 entries for the contest.

The panel reflected the diversity of expertise needed to assess a structure, he says, because it’s one thing for an architect to design something visually compelling but it’s the engineers who will calculate the integrity of the structure and whether it will meet the load requirements for the stated purpose.

Each year they pick a different design theme. This year it was for free standing structures, he says, with the provision that the steel not only be integral to the structure but visible and esthetically managed.
The panel worked with professors at the various schools and the students worked on the designs as part of their studies.

Also, the submissions were assessed based on the finishes specified and also some of the practical issues of erecting the structure at the location it was designed for.

“We looked at connections, bolted, welded and the cost factors and the what level of Architecturally Exposed Structural Steel (AESS) finish was specified,” he says.

The Award of Excellence worth $3,000 went to Summit by Christina Vogiatzis at the University of Waterloo working with faculty adviser Terri Meyer Boake.

“Located precariously at the peak of Blackcomb Mountain in Whistler, B.C., Summit is a sleek, steel tower that brings explorers to a point higher than ever before,” the mission statement reads.
“The winning design Summit was very elegant and has a creative use of steel. It’s a lookout tower for the summer of Whistler and she made it very simple and got as high as they could,” adds Laurendeau. “One of the awards of merit was set in Ontario and was designed to resemble pine trees. The third was designed for a canyon observation.”

The Award of Merit worth $2,000 went to Grand Canyon Lookout by James Kwon and Phil Carr-Harris at the University of Waterloo, also working with faculty adviser Terri Meyer Boake. They describe it as: The Grand Canyon Lookout uses as its conceptual and physical base the lasting vigor of the Grand Canyon’s geology. The unique location of this tower, at the further edges of the Grand Canyon, allows it to introduce public infrastructures to a rather closed off yet popular destination.

An Award of Merit also worth $2,000 when to Windswept by Christopher Cleland and Armando Macias of Ryerson University working with faculty adviser Vincent Hui. This tower is located in Killarney Provincial Park, along the Chikanishing Trail, where the well-known eastern white pine trees are abundant.

“This year I took the initiative and assembled a jury from prize winning firms because I think it’s good to have famous people in our industry that the students can look up to,” Laurendeau says. “The theme is to design a canopy for things like open markets and we’ve increased the prizes to $10,000 for the Award of Excellence and one second prize of $4,000 and a third prize of $2,000.”

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