B.C.’s wood architects, engineers and builders showed off a rich variety of nominated projects recently at the 15th Annual 2019 Wood Design Awards.
The awards, held at the Vancouver Convention Centre, welcomed more than 400 architects, engineers, developers and project teams as 103 nominated projects in 14 categories were celebrated.
“We had a brand-new building code implemented in December of last year and that will allow a greater variety of taller and bigger buildings in wood. Some designers have been working on those buildings and they’ll be showcased,” said Wood WORKS! BC executive director Lynn Embury-Williams.
“The national 2020 building code will also allow wood structures up to 12 storeys. Whenever these things are worked on, designers are already planning buildings and there’s over 20 being planned in B.C. So we won’t see any of those (at the awards) this year but certainly we will in future years.”
The Residential Wood Design award went to Measured Architecture for Shift House in Vancouver, and the Multi-Unit Residential Wood Design award was earned by Adera Development Corporation for Virtuoso, also located in Vancouver.
Asher DeGroot of MOTIV Architects Inc. won the Commercial Wood Design for Swallowfield Barn in Langley, B.C. and Formline Architecture in West Vancouver won in the Institutional Wood Design – Small category for the Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre in Vancouver. The Institutional Wood Design – Large award went to DIALOG for the UBC Campus Energy Centre.
Embury-Williams said there is a growing trend towards wood use for commercial buildings.
“There are definitely more wood office buildings following the mid-rise trend at five or six storeys with mixed-use as well. We would anticipate some of the 12-storey or taller may have retail on the bottom and then office on the upper floors. You see a real mix of buildings,” she said.
Wood WORKS! BC has also focused on institutional work involving schools.
“There are a lot of schools being built and in Vancouver the building code only allows wood schools of two storeys. We’re working on four storeys and we want to try to implement the ability to build taller schools,” Embury-Wiliams said.
Unison Architecture Ltd.’s work on the Ts’kw’aylaxw Cultural and Community Health Centre in Lillooet, B.C. took the Interior Beauty Design prize, and the Western Red Cedar Award went to Kwakiutl Wagalus School in Port Hardy, B.C. designed by Lubor Trubka Architects.
Evan Williams and Victoria Truss 2007 Ltd. won the Prefabricated Structural Wood award for their curved trusses for Tyron Road in Victoria, B.C. and Jie Lee of Challenge Design Pte. Ltd in Shanghai, China won the International Wood Design Award for the Chongqing Yuanlu Community Center in Chongqing, China.
Urban Arts Architecture principal Shelley Craig won the Wood Champion award for her work on sustainable wood design, advocacy and advancement of wood solutions. Her work on the UBC Engineering Student Centre and the Radium Hot Springs Community Hall and Library were highlighted.
Weiler Smith Bowers Structural Engineers principal Darryl Bowers won the 2019 Engineer Award for his work on five and six-storey mid-rise wood construction as well as his work on projects such as Sail and Remy Richmond.
The 2019 Architect Award went to JWT Architecture and Planning principal James Tuer who has worked on and garnered other awards for his residential projects along with commercial and institutional work such as the Buddhist International Society Retreat on Bowen Island, B.C.
The Wood Innovation Award went to Patkau Architects for the Temple of Light structure in Kootenay, B.C. which features curvilinear geometry the jury called “an experience out of wood.” The Environmental Performance Award was won by the UNBC Wood Innovation Research Laboratory in Prince George, B.C., which features wood throughout its interior and as structural and cladding material.
Wander Wood at the University of British Columbia, an art installation and bench created using cutting-edge robotics, won a Special Recognition Award, with the jury stating it “invokes movement, detail and texture.”
“We would expect to see more of this trend in the future. You see elements of that CLT producers like Structurlam and StructureCraft. With their CNC (computer numerical control) technology, they have the ability to do precision cutting which is so accurate and exact and allows for buildings to be put together quickly,” Embury-Williams said.
A Special Recognition Award was also given to Surrey, B.C. fire chief Len Garis, who has been a leader for fire safety research in wood buildings and was formerly the president of the Fire Chiefs Association of B.C. as well as an adjunct professor at the University of the Fraser Valley ‐ Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research.