British Columbia's architectural community is celebrating its best and brightest. The Architectural Institute of British Columbia (AIBC) recognized several B.C. projects at the 2016 Architectural Awards, which concluded the AIBC's annual conference in downtown Vancouver on May 18.
"The awards are a wonderful opportunity for us to celebrate the creativity and success of architects and architecture. We're hoping to see a resurgence of the conversation around architecture and its impact on community and society, the greater built environment," AIBC CEO Mark Vernon said.
"We received over 60 submissions, and the criteria is the architect has to be registered in British Columbia, but there are projects from out of province."
Seven projects won Merit Level awards, including the York House Senior School by Acton Ostry Architects Inc., the Centennial College Ashtonbee Campus Student Hub and the MNP Tower by the Musson Cattell Mackey Partnership, in association with Kohn Pederson Fox.
Grandview Heights Aquatic Centre and the Jasper Place Library, both by HCMA Architecture + Design, also took Merit Level awards, as did the Fort McMurray International Airport Terminal, designed by mcfarlane biggar architects + designers.
The AIBC Innovation Award went to Taylor Kirtz Architecture + Design Inc. and Rounthwaite, Dick & Hadley Architects for the Surrey Operations Centre.
"Unlike the Oscars, there isn't always a 'Best Picture.' Submissions have to meet a minimum criteria and standard, so it isn't always granted," Vernon said.
"For instance, last year there wasn't a Lieutenant Governor award."
This year, there were two Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Awards in Architecture medals awarded. Telus Garden by Henriquez Partners Architects and the Guildford Aquatic Centre by Bing Thom Architects, in association with Shape Architecture, each won in the category.
The AIBC Emerging Firm Award was given to marianne amodio architecture studio.
The award is given to "those who have shown exemplary promise, clear vision and defined goals in the practice of architecture," an AIBC news release said.
Two AIBC Special Jury Awards were also given out, one for heritage retention and modernization at Shaughnessy House by Measured Architecture Inc., and one for contextual innovation at 2211 Cambie by Arno Matis Architecture Inc. and Azurean Architecture.
The 2016 AIBC Annual Conference included a three-day series of learning sessions and discussion panels for AIBC members.
"There are two aspects to the conference, and one is that architects are required to have a minimum number of professional development hours, and the conference helps achieve that. But it's also very helpful and wonderful to see them getting together, the sharing of ideas and conversations that come out of it," Vernon said.
"I think the intangibles are the connections made at the conference."