The Bank of Canada renewal on Wellington Street, including its new museum, was among the architectural projects honoured at the this year's Ottawa Urban Design Awards. Mike Barry, Centretown News.

High-profile Centretown projects haul in urban design awards

By Natalie Harmsen

Five recently completed Centretown architectural projects, plus a theoretical redesign of the city’s main bus terminal on Catherine Street, have been recognized at this year’s Ottawa Urban Design Awards.

The awards are handed out every two years to commend projects built in the city that demonstrate urban design excellence. This year’s awards were announced on Oct. 17.

Awards of Excellence can be given out in five categories: Urban Infill, which recognizes “efforts to introduce quality built spaces into established neighbourhoods in ways that respect the community”; Public Places and Civic Spaces, which “considers design that creates and enhances special areas in the public realm”; Urban Elements, which is “focused on design elements that bring uniqueness to a neighbourhood”; Visions and Master Plans, “a forward-looking category concerned with inspiring ideas and guiding plans for the future”; and Student Projects, “which recognizes theoretical or studio projects submitted by local university students.”

In all, 28 projects were presented with awards of excellence — the highest level of recognition — or awards of merit.

The awards event took place at the National Arts Centre, “itself an award winner for its rejuvenation project which created new public spaces and had a positive impact on the Elgin streetscape,” noted a City of Ottawa statement announcing this year’s winners.

“The impact of good urban design can be seen and felt throughout the city – in its buildings, its landscapes and in its public spaces,” said Ottawa Mayor Jim Watson. “The City is proud to honour these 28 different projects (that have helped transform) our cityscape. The creativity and design of these projects showcases urban design excellence in Ottawa.”

The NAC renewal project received an award of excellence, honouring Diamond Schmitt Architects, Fast + Epp, ERA Architects, Barry Padolsky Associates Inc., PCL Ottawa and the NAC.

The Bank of Canada Renewal project also received an award of excellence, which recognized the design and construction team of Andrew Frontini; Perkins+Will; John Hillier; DTAH; Tony Cook; PCL Constructors Canada, Bank of Canada.
The Canadian Museum of Nature’s “Landscapes of Canada” project received an award of merit. Its design team included Martha Lush, Sheri Edwards; CSW Landscape Architects Ltd.; William Lishman; Ian Rowbotham, Tim Luker, Exel Contracting Inc.; Meg Beckel, president of the Canadian Museum of Nature.

An award of excellence in the Urban Elements category was presented for the renewal of the North Perimeter Wall on Parliament Hill (Phase 3), honouring the design team of Robert Martin, Cristina Ureche-Trifu, Robertson Martin Architects;
John Mazzarello, Enzo DiChiara, Prestige Design and Construction;; John G. Cooke and Associates; Craig Sims, Trevor Gillingwater, Groupe BC2, McIntosh Perry, Heritage Grade, Smith and Barber, Public Services and Procurement Canada.
An award of merit was given to The Lofts at Tribeca development on Metcalfe Street, honouring Nathan Godlovitch, Dan S. Hanganu Architects; James Lennox, James B. Lennox and Associates Inc.; Peter Goodeve, Goodeve Structural Inc.; John Morton, Quadrant Engineering Ltd.; John Riddell, Novatech Engineering Consultants Ltd.; Bill, Neil, and Shawn Malhotra of Claridge Homes.

An award of excellence was also given to Justin Spec, a McGill University student, for his imagined redeveloped of the Ottawa bus terminal.

The jury included design experts David Leinster, a landscape architect, James Parakh, the manager of urban design for Toronto and East York District and Emmanuelle van Rutten, Moriyama & Teshima Architects in Ottawa office.

The awards were given to outstanding projects built in Ottawa between Sept. 1, 2015 and Sept. 1, 2017.

Winners of awards of excellence are forwarded as Ottawa’s entries to the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s Urban Design Awards competition in 2018.