Wood Works! Alberta 2022 Winners

Wood WORKS! Alberta recently announced the winners of the 2022 Prairie Wood Design Awards program. This prestigious group of leading architects, engineers, and project teams is being recognized for their contributions to advancing the use of wood in construction through design excellence, advocacy, and innovation. This year’s winners showcased architecturally appealing and sophisticated designs which featured locally sourced timber. In this article, we’ll cover the winners of the Industrial, Interior Showcase, and Institutional categories, as well as the Jury’s choice winner.

Industrial: Calgary Transitway Stations, gec architecture

The Transitway network crisscrosses all over the city, with over 100 stops and stations of varying sizes and scales. The design solution needed to be easily repeatable and adaptable to numerous scales and site conditions. Wood provides high quality and warm finish look; CLT also allows easy adaptation to the varying scales and site conditions. The use of wood, and CLT in particular, resulted in an incredibly successful architectural expression that reflects Calgary Transit’s commitment to high-quality transit and has become a ubiquitous symbol of first-choice, first-class transportation. This award-winning work is being employed on new BRT lines throughout the city. It translates well to fit any site or context while maintaining the city’s vision of a unified transit system. As a testament to its success, the city is looking at further expansions.

Interior Showcase: Genevieve E. Yates, SONGER architecture inc.

This beloved theatre, built in the mid-1960s, needed accessibility, functionality and performance updates. The renovation plays homage to the original design but updates both exterior and interior to be welcoming, warm, luxurious, and accessible.

Ceiling and wall-mounted acoustic panels add warmth and luxury while enhancing the listening experience. Blank walls in the main staircases were covered in 3-dimensional walnut panels creating a dynamic vignette with custom lighting fixtures. Walnut panels are repeated on the face of the main floor ticket centre. The design intended to create warmth and luxury with finishes authentic to the 1960s but applied in a modern and updated fashion. The palette of rich paint and furniture colours highlights the walnut features and further works to create a dynamic yet elegant space. The functional warmth added by the wood reflectors in the audience chamber and the wood accents in the front of the house bring a heightened sense of elegance to the theatre.

Institutional: Wanuskewin Heritage Park, aodbt architecture + interior design

Wanuskewin Heritage Park is a National Historic Site, Interpretive Centre, Natural Area, and an active Archaeological site. The Site transcends the line between buildings and land to fulfill the vision of the founding Elders to tell the story of the Northern Plains Indigenous peoples. The location, massing, orientation, and finishes of the Interpretive Centre all reflect this guiding principle, and the results combine these essential historic elements with modern design elements.

Community engagement in the project was extensive, continuous, and crucial to the project’s success. In consultation with Elders, staff, and project stakeholders, the renewal project is sympathetic to the original design and the land and provides functionality for staff. The renewal project, completed in December 2020, includes expanding the Interpretive Centre, gallery spaces, meeting rooms, a refreshed restaurant, a new playground, and trail connections.

Jury’s Choice: Travis Price Camp Manitou, 1×1 architecture inc.

The new lodge building includes a 200-person dining hall, commercial kitchen, administrative offices, dormitory rooms and ancillary spaces. The building’s form is simple; two adjacent gabled volumes are formed by using standard trusses that are offset to create views and outdoor spaces. The entrance intersects the building with a pronounced pitched roof pulled back on one side to make a welcoming and cabin-like entrance. Cedar siding provides natural warmth while highlighting entrances and exterior gathering areas. Notable examples include the building’s primary entrance, where the cedar extends seamlessly between exterior and interior and the vaulted ceiling of the dining hall with its cedar-clad scissor trusses and integrated lighting. 

Award winners received a customized wooden trophy to acknowledge their ability to push the boundaries of wood in construction.

“The winning projects go above and beyond in demonstrating design excellence and innovation in their use of wood as a building material,” says Rory Koska, Program Director of Wood WORKS! Alberta. “They are simply spectacular visually and sophisticated in their designs and truly demonstrate the epitome of what construction with wood looks like. They help us to showcase the importance of using wood in construction to embrace sustainable and ethically sound building techniques.”

Check back next week to learn more about the winners in the Commercial, Recreational, and Residential categories, as well as the winner of the Industry Award.

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