Pharmaceutical Sciences Building wins Governor General's Medal in Architecture

Source: Kim Pemberton, Vancouver Sun. April 23, 2014

Three B.C. projects have won recognition in a national competition that honours the best in Canadian architecture.

The buildings — the Tula House on Quadra Island designed by Patkau Architects; North Vancouver's City Hall by Micheal Green, now of Michael Green Architecture; and the Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences and Centre for Drug Research and Development at the University of B.C. by Saucier + Perrotte Architectes and Hughes Condon Marler Architects — are being recognized with Governor General's Medals in Architecture.

The projects and nine others across the country were named winners of the award by the Canada Council for the Arts on Wednesday. Awards will be presented at a ceremony at Rideau Hall on May 13.

The oceanside Tula House was described by the awards jury as "a spectacular house for a spectacular site" that is "in dynamic harmony with nature."

The North Vancouver City Hall project revitalized the existing municipal hall and added a tubelike structure between the hall and the adjacent library to connect them.

The jury wrote that the project was "an elegant, restrained and sophisticated expansion to a small district municipal hall. ... The vocabulary is warm and refined, befitting a city hall's place in the community." The design was based on the concept of two trees whose foliage becomes fused into an extensive network of branches.

The UBC building was described by the jury as being a "strong building with a strong concept, beautifully executed."

Other winners include:

  • 60 Richmond East Housing Co-Operative in Toronto by Teeple Architects;
  • Centennial College Athletic and Wellness Centre in Toronto by Kongats Architects;
  • Centre for International Governance Innovation Campus in Waterloo by KPMB Architects;
  • Joseph L. Rotman School of Management Expansion at the University of Toronto by KPMB Architects;
  • Mies van der Rohe gas station in Verdun, Quebec by Les Architects FABG;
  • OMS Stage in Winnipeg by 5468796 Architecture;
  • Raymond-Levesque Public Library in Saint-Hubert, Quebec by Atelier TAG and Jodoin Lamarre Pratte Architectes en consortium;
  • Residence for the Sisters of St. Joseph of Toronto by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects;
  • The Bloor Gladstone Library in Toronto by RDH Architects Inc. in association with Shoalts and Zabalt Architects.

"Our built environments have a profound impact on our lives and communities," Governor General David Johnston said in a news release announcing the winners. "That is why I am so pleased to honour the many talented Canadian architects at work today, including the recipients of this year's Governor General's Medals in Architecture."

The awards were created by RAIC/Architecture Canada and are administered jointly with the Canada Council for the Arts.

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada is a voluntary association established in 1907 to act as the voice of architects in Canada and represents about 4,800 members.

Image: Exterior of Pharmaceutical Sciences Building. Hover Collective.