British Columbia's best wood projects earn awards

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by Bradley Fehr

Innovative wood projects in British Columbia were celebrated at a gala in Vancouver. Wood Works! BC recently unveiled their 2012 WOOD DESIGN AWARDS at the new Vancouver Convention Centre.
British Columbia's best wood projects earn awards

Innovative wood projects in British Columbia were celebrated at a gala in Vancouver.

Wood Works! BC recently unveiled their 2012 WOOD DESIGN AWARDS at the new Vancouver Convention Centre.

Projects, firms, engineers and architects took home awards in 12 different categories.

“We are proud to congratulate the winners and nominees of the 2012 Wood Design Awards, who have all explored the potential of wood and showcased its outstanding qualities such as strength, beauty, versatility and cost-effectiveness,” said Wood WORKS! BC executive director Mary Tracey.

This year’s winners were selected from 106 nominated projects.

“We’re recognizing excellence in wood design,” she said.

“We’re showcasing how wood can be used in different applications.”

The B.C. Premier’s Wood Champion Award was presented to architect Jim Taggart, an architectural writer, who has authored numerous magazine articles and several books, including Towards a Culture of Wood Architecture.

“The wood champion is a prestigious award,” said Tracey.

“It goes to a worthy participant.”

Two Wood Innovation Awards were presented this year. They went to Gerald Epp and Brian Woudstra. Epp earned his award for the commercialization of mechanically-fastened cross-laminated timber and Woudstra for commercialization of the WoodWave structural panel.

The Green Building Award went to Craig Duffield of McFarland Marceau Architects for the Ecole Mer et Montagne Elementary School, in Campbell River.

The concept for the project evolved almost entirely out of the re-use and re-purposing of existing wood joists discovered within the derelict existing school building on the site.

The Engineer Award went to Fast + Epp Structural Engineers for their innovative work on a 50,000 square foot replacement of the existing Samuel Brighouse Elementary School in Richmond, B.C.

The jury said that they went the extra mile to prove that it’s possible to use wood in order to provide public buildings that are cost effective, architecturally expressive and engaging, while adhering to a strict budget.

Sean Barrington Pearson won the 2012 Architect Award for promoting the use of wood both at home and abroad.

He and with his RUFproject (Rural Urban Fantasy Project) earned the award for the Gulf Islands Residence & Boat House on Salt Spring Island as well as the Football Training Centre in Soweto, South Africa.

Several projects also took home Wood Design Awards.

The Commercial Wood Design Award was presented for work on the Nanaimo Cruise Ship Terminal Building. The award was presented to David Poiron and Ben Checkwitch with Checkwitch Poiron Architects.

“It was a huge honour, especially for us. We’re a relatively young firm,” said Checkwitch.

The Institutional Wood Design–Large Award went to Jesse Garlick, with McFarland Marceau Architects, for the Ecole au Coeur de l’ile Comox on Vancouver Island.

The Institutional Wood Design–Small Award was presented to Darryl Condon with Hughes Condon Marler Architects for his work on the Steveston Fire Hall in Richmond.

Other island-based projects earned kudos.

The Western Red Cedar Award went to the City of Courtenay for the Courtenay City Hall Renovation.

The Interior Beauty Design Award was presented to Antoni James, with Warner James Architects, for his work on Art’s Place Food Services Outlet in the Fine Arts Building at the University of Victoria.

The Multi-Unit Residential Wood Design Award went to Paul Hammond, with Chow Low Hammond Architects, for the Camas Gardens Supportive Housing in the provincial capital.

C.C. Yao with Read Jones Christoffersen earned the Residential Wood Design Award for Linear House, Salt Spring Island.

Wood Works! is a national industry-led initiative of the Canadian Wood Council, which supports innovation and provides leadership on the use of wood and wood products.

Wood Works! BC is the provincial chapter.

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