2019 BC Wood Design Awards recognize excellence in structural and architectural design

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ubc engineering student centre
Shelley Craig, principal at Urban Arts Architecture in Vancouver designed UBC's Engineering Student Centre. She received the 2019 Wood Champion Award. Image courtesy Wood WORKS! BC

More than 400 architects, structural engineers, developers, project teams together with industry sponsors and guests, gathered in Vancouver on March 4 to celebrate excellence in contemporary wood design and building.

The annual BC Wood Design Awards event in Vancouver recognizes innovation and leadership in advancing wood use in design and building while honouring structural and architectural achievement using wood.

There were 103 nominations in 14 categories from many locations in BC as well as the US and Asia, with international projects in China, Korea and Tajikistan, Wood WORKS! BC says in a news release.

“Over the last 15 years of the Wood Design Awards, and through involvement in hundreds of projects, Wood WORKS! BC has been privileged to observe remarkable leaps forward in wood building and design in BC. The advances have been truly transformative,” the group’s executive director Lynn Embury-Williams said in a statement. “We’re seeing much larger, taller and more complex structures and new building types that have been made possible with wood product research and development, advanced engineering and construction practices. The bold visionaries and early adopters in the BC design community have made BC a global leader in wood design and construction.”

woodworks bc 2019 jury's choice award
The Jury’s Choice award was presented to UBC Vancouver for Wander Wood at UBC in Vancouver. Image courtesy of Wood WORKS! BC.

“The leading designers and builders with us here this evening are the agents of change needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century in our urban built environment,” she said. “They are using wood to enhance speed of construction, reduce costs and deliver improved building performance with a lower carbon impact. Their passion and ingenuity with wood is evident, and every year they amaze us by exploring new frontiers in building and design using wood.”

Jury members included: Ethan Martin, Northwest regional director – WoodWorks, Portland, OR; Kimberly Johnston, principal, Johnston Davidson Architecture + Planning, Vancouver; Angelique Pilon, director, Urban Innovation Research, UBC Sustainability Initiative, University of British Columbia; and  Trevor Hedstrom, design manager, Winton Homes & Cottages, Prince George,

The 2019 Wood Champion Award was presented to Shelley Craig, principal at Urban Arts Architecture in Vancouver. Wood WORKS! says Craig’s “many years of dedication to sustainable wood design, her commitment to innovative wood solutions and her ongoing contributions to wood advancement and advocacy make her a stand-out in her field.” Her work includes the UBC Engineering Student Centre and the Radium Hot Springs Community Hall and Library.

A champion and leader in wood construction for four decades, Darryl Bowers, principal at Weiler Smith Bowers Structural Engineers in Burnaby, BC is the 2019 Engineer Award winner.Bowers is recognized for his contributions to the development and advancement of five- and six-storey mid-rise construction. His projects include Sail and Remy Richmond.

The 2019 Architect Award winner is  James Tuer, principal of JWT Architecture and Planning on Bowen Island, BC. Tuer “embraces the warmth of wood in his architectural and landscape designs while drawing inspiration from the surroundings, cultural heritage and client’s vision,” the award citation says. “He has garnered various awards for his residential projects but his work also includes commercial and institutional projects including the Buddhist International Society Retreat.”

Patkau Architects from Vancouver, won the Wood Innovation Award for Temple of Light, Kootenay Bay, BC. Calling it an “experience out of wood”, the jury noted the project’s complex, curvilinear geometry, and the diversity and flexibility of using wood.

The 2019 Environmental Performance Award went to Stantec Architecture Ltd., Vancouver, BC for the UNBC Wood Innovation Research Laboratory, Prince George, BC.

Winners in the wood design categories include:

  • Residential Wood Design: Measured Architecture, Vancouver, BC – Shift House, Vancouver, BC
  • Multi-Unit Residential Wood Design: Adera Development Corporation, Vancouver, BC – Virtuoso, Vancouver, BC
  • Commercial Wood Design: Asher deGroot, MOTIV Architects Inc., Vancouver, BC – Swallowfield Barn, Langley, BC
  • Interior Beauty Design: Unison Architecture Ltd., Vancouver, BC – Ts’kw’aylaxw Cultural and Community Health Centre, Lillooet, BC
  • Institutional Wood Design – Small: Formline Architecture, West Vancouver, BC – Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, Vancouver, BC
  • Institutional Wood Design – Large: DIALOG, Vancouver, BC – UBC Campus Energy Centre, Vancouver, BC
  • Western Red Cedar: Lubor Trubka Architects, Vancouver, BC – Kwakiutl Wagalus School, Port Hardy, BC
  • Prefabricated Structural Wood: Evan Williams, Victoria Truss 2007 Ltd., Cobble Hill, BC – Curved Trusses for Tyron Road, Victoria, BC
  • International Wood Design: Jie Lee, Challenge Design Pte. Ltd., Shanghai, China – Chongqing Yuanlu Community Center, Chongqing, China

The Jury’s Choice award was presented to UBC Vancouver for Wander Wood at UBC in Vancouver. The jury gave the project high accolades, observing that it invokes movement, detail and texture.

Thomas Abbuhl from BCIT received the Technologist Award.

Surrey fire chief Len Garis received a Special Recognition Award. “As a former president of the Fire Chiefs Association of BC and an adjunct professor at the University of the Fraser Valley – Centre for Public Safety and Criminal Justice Research, he has been a leader in fire safety research in wood buildings, and an advocate of evidence-based decision making and innovation, which has advanced acceptance of wood in new building types in BC and Canada,” the citation said.

“Wood WORKS! BC congratulates the winners for their extraordinary achievements in wood design and building, as well as the world-class wood product manufacturers whose high quality products make these spectacular buildings possible. By using wood, we are celebrating our heritage, building economic prosperity in our communities and creating sustainable and beautiful environments where people live, work and play,” said Embury-Williams.

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