Urban Design & Architecture Awards 2011 Winners

The City received 36 submissions (PDF, 13 MB)  from architects, planners, landscape architects, owners, and members of the public. All were evaluated by a volunteer jury and thirteen awards were awarded in six categories.

Project Description
The C Hotel by Carmen’s is a six-storey, 52 suite luxury boutique hotel that is located next door to the Carmen’s Banquet Centre on Stone Church Road East. The architecture of the Hotel is uniquely “Carmen’s” with an entrance design that features a wing like canopy inviting visitors into the lobby.

Leading the way, this hotel introduces a number of sustainable features such has energy saving elevators and digitally automated heating and cooling systems for every hotel room. 

Jury Comments
Most hotels follow a set formula for the interior layout that dictates the outside appearance of the building and generates a predictable façade – but not the C Hotel By Carmen’s. This project is awarded in recognition of the innovative approach to design achieved by the architecture of this hotel. The C Hotel By Carmen’s carves its own brand with an architectural style that promotes variation in the form and exterior materials of the building to create visually interesting building forms that are stepped with varying cornice lines. The architectural design includes stone and large areas of glazing that are highlighted by a bold canopy and entrance feature that draws visitors directly to the main 
entrance.

C Hotels by Carmens

Address: 1530 Stone Church Road East, Hamilton
Owner: Mercanti Banquet and Convention Centre
Architects & Contractors:

  • Romanov and Romanov Architects Incorporated
  • Edwards Design
  • Mulas Construction Ltd

Project Description
Schools are once again landmarks and destinations within the communities they serve. Situated within a residential community and next to a public park, this school building is located at the corner of the site creating extensive areas for landscaping and play and for trees and shade. Parking and drop-off areas are placed at the side and rear of the building. The exterior of the building is brick and stone, and notably the location of the entrance is expressed by the two-storey portico. The flat roof at the corner provides a green roof with an outdoor classroom, bringing a new standard of design to inspire learning.

This school is a LEED Silver candidate. Since the design employs a range of sustainable elements such as: deeply recessed windows, overhead canopies and sunshades, and the use of indirect sunlight for interior lighting. These elements are complemented by technological features such: as computer controlled heating and cooling, classroom meters that let students monitor power consumption, and lighting that adjust automatically to daylight conditions. 

Jury Comments
As it has been achieved here, the design of schools is an opportunity for schools to lead by demonstrating to the community the importance of architectural design in achieving a sustainable approach to healthier learning environments and thereby healthy communities. This school is awarded in recognition of the role of architecture in leading and facilitating the program of sustainability employed by the School Board. The green roof and outdoor classroom is a bold feature that students will enjoy and is to be commended for providing.

St Matthews Catholic School

Address: 200 Winwood Drive, Binbrook
Owner: Hamilton-Wentworth Catholic District School Board
Architects & Contractors:

  • Lintack Architects Inc./li>
  • G. O’Conner Consultants Inc.
  • Bondfield Construction Co. Ltd.

Project Description
The Cummings Library and Collaboratory are part of Mohawk College’s new “Learning Exchange”. This state-of-the-art addition to the college boasts a modern take on the “library” by providing numerous resources to students in digital formats. Architecturally, the most notable features of the building include the three-storey curtain wall of coloured glass that is visible from Fennell Avenue, and the long enclosed corridor that begins with a projecting entrance canopy. In the new landscaped courtyard, large red letters that spell “MOHAWK” promoting the campus’ new orientation to the street. The design of the Learning Exchange includes environmental technologies such as solar and wind energy.

Jury Comments
Most impressive is the view of this building at night, bustling with students working on their projects. A new wave of campus design at Mohawk gives emphasis to the orientation of buildings to the street. The facade facing Fennell Avenue promotes this new design philosophy appearing at night as a lit mural of vibrant colours and shapes. This is an exciting building that stirs a new vitality of design on campus. The Jury recognizes the transformative role architecture has had on the design of buildings on this campus and recommends that this design direction continue for future buildings with a comprehensive approach of integrating architecture and sustainability to achieve even greater design and environmental goals./p>

Mohawk College The Learning Annex

Address: 123 Fennell Avenue, Hamilton
Owner:  Mohawk College

  • Architects & Contractors:
  • Zeidler Partnership Architects
  • IBI Group
  • Halcrow Yolles
  • Lintack Architects Inc.
  • Oakridge Landscaping

Project Description
In response to the need for affordable housing, the City of Hamilton initiated the construction of 45 housing units on the Stoney Creek Mountain near the Felker Creek waterway. Located within an established residential area the development is also near a large commercial development along Paramount Drive and Mud Street where access to public transit is available. 

Jury Comments
One of the successful elements of this project is the sense of entry that is created by the configuration of the townhouse blocks and the large passive green space which greets visitors. The backdrop of front porches is particularly successful behind the large green common space. 

Triangular sites are usually very difficult to layout and design – yet this project superbly demonstrates how parking and other functional requirements can be located discreetly at the sides and rear of the townhouse blocks. Overall, the effect is a successfully planned development where the automobile is not a dominate driver of the design. 

The architecture of the townhouses, particularly the porch and the front door, are designed as prominent elements of the facade. The architecture of the housing blocks is contemporary and composed of rectangular planes 

Bridgewater Court

Address: 4 Bridgewater Court, Stoney Creek
Owner: City Housing
Architects & Contractors:

  • Cynthia Zahoruk Architect Inc. 
  • Ron Kourdys Landscape Architect
  • Spallacci Construction Ltd. 

Project Description
The Good Shepherd Women’s Services Centre is a temporary refuge home for women in crisis. The layout of this building is formed by two separate shelters around a central garden courtyard creating a space for safe outdoor gatherings in a tight urban setting. 

Merging with the character of the community, the Centre works to enhance the dignity, self-respect and confidence of its residents. Its understated street facade is modulated into five unique elements designed to mimic the massing of adjacent houses with their familiar urban rhythm. This development is part of the Good Shepherd Square which also includes two contemporary eight-storey residential buildings arranged around a landscaped courtyard. 

Jury Comments
The design of this Centre demonstrates that a sensitive approach was taken with respect to scaling and fitting this facility into the existing context. Although only one building, the façade facing the public street is divided to resemble a row of houses much like those that are found in the area. The exterior materials of the building and the peaked gables are forms that respond to the context around this development. The project is awarded in recognition of a successful urban design strategy that is aware and sensitive of the surrounding context yet subtly explores a contemporary architectural identity. In doing this, this building does not standout, as might a typical institution of this type. The overall project is a successful example of a large development divided into buildings and forms that allow the transitioning in scale to the eight-storey towers located along King Street West.

Good Shepherd Women's Services Centre

Address: 30 Pearl Street North, Hamilton
Owner: Good Shepherd Centres
Architects & Contractors:

  • TCA / Their + Curran Architects Inc.
  • PMA Landscape Architects Ltd.
  • Maple Reinders Constructors Ltd

Project Description
The aim of this project was to adaptively reuse a church in Waterdown converting it into seven residential units. The St. 
Thomas Catholic Church is a designated heritage building and its conversion had to be sensitive to the heritage features 
of the building. The principal changes to the exterior of the building was the replacement of exterior windows and doors 
and the addition of six dormers to provide light into the new loft spaces inside. 

Jury Comments
Buildings that are no longer used as originally intended should be adaptively reused where possible. Adaptive reuse of churches is a considerable design challenge due to the architecture and interior layout of the building. The conversion of this former church, allows the building to continue to contribute to the local history and character of the community. The interior configuration has created unique residential units with distinctive interior architectural character. This project is awarded in recognition of the conservation of the building and especially the sensitive approach taken to conserve key design features of the building.

St. Thomas Lofts

Address: 40 Flamboro Street, Flamborough
Owner: Halton Heritage Realty Inc.
Architects & Contractors:

  • Cynthia Zahoruk Architect Inc.
  • Ron Kourdys Landscape Architect
  • Schilthuis and Sons Ltd.
  • Hallex Engineering Ltd.

Project Description
Hamilton City Hall was originally designed by Stanley Roscoe, a well known Hamilton Architect responsible for numerous modern buildings in Hamilton. The building first opened in 1960 showcasing a new modern spirit expressed by the “International Style” of the architecture. The building is an iconic symbol in Hamilton, yet after 46 years of service the building needed a total interior and xterior renovation to support the needs of Hamiltonians today and into the future. The building is a designated heritage building and the renovations had to be sensitive to its many heritage features such as the interior murals, glass tile, and uniquely designed interior stairs.

Jury Comments
This project is awarded in recognition of the extensive renovation that was carried out for the conservation of this building. The many interior features and design details of the building that give the building its architectural identity were protected during the restoration. New energy efficient mechanical and plumbing systems, new insulated windows and walls, a new green roof, and new electrical and data systems are all integrated into the building with great thought and sensitivity to the modern design aesthetic of the original building.

Hamilton City Hall

Address: 71 Main Street West, Hamilton
Owner: City of Hamilton, Public Works Department
Architects & Contractors:

  • Garwood-Jones & Hanham Architects 
  • MHBC Planning/Wendy Shearer Landscape Architect
  • McCallum Sather Architects Inc.
  • Ellis Don Corporation 
  • +VG Architects The Ventin Group Ltd.
  • Black & McDonald

Project Description
The new MacNab Transit Terminal between King Street West and Main Street West provides an important upgrade to the public transportation network in the City, while at the same time contributing a valuable new public urban space. The design is contemporary and utilizes minimal, clean-lined components to convey a sense of lightness and transparency throughout. Long linear canopies provide continuous shelter and shade over the passenger platforms, which are enlivened by punchy primary accent colours on signage and graphics, warmly stained cedar soffits, and green hues of natural plantings. Both the terminal building and canopies feature green roofs to reduce the urban heat island effect and enhance views from nearby tall buildings.

Jury Comments
This project sets a higher standard for the design of bus terminal environments within the public realm that has too often in the past been designed purely to suit functional needs. Good urban design should and can play an integral role in encouraging more people to use and enjoy transit facilities. The design of this terminal rewards the transit rider with well functioning and a visually pleasing high quality environment. This investment in transit is focused on promoting healthy communities to increase transit usage and foster inclusive mobility and as a result we have awarded its merits.

MacNab Transit Terminal

Address: 7 MacNab Street South, Hamilton 
Owner: City of Hamilton, Public Works Department
Architects & Contractors:

  • Du Toit Architects Limited
  • Sona Construction Ltd.
  • McCormick Rankin Corporation
  • MMM Group

Project Description
The Branthaven Beach House development includes 36 townhouses, 16 maisonettes and four apartment units above a commercial space. This mixed-use development has a crescent street design with two entrances off Beach Boulevard. Vistas of the lake from the street are possible due to the layout of the development and the pedestrian promenade in the centre.

Jury Comments
This project is awarded in recognition of the role urban design has played in achieving excellence throughout the development. A pedestrian promenade is publicly accessible and located prominently in the centre of the development linking the beach and trail to the street. The promenade is an inviting feature visually framed by townhouse blocks and lined by trees, painted pergolas, enhanced paving, and seating. The scale of the development is sensitive to the Hamilton Beach Neighbourhood with an exterior design that borrows from nautical styles such as New England Cape Cod architecture. All building facades are constructed from quality building materials. This development has two publicly visible frontages. The orientation of the townhouse blocks perpendicular to the street creates a visually interesting streetscape of four separate buildings also minimizing the visual impact of garages. The units facing the lake are designed with lots of windows and decks creating a lively and animated setting.

Branthaven Beach House

Address: 315, 337 and 351 Beach Boulevard, Hamilton 
Owner: Branthaven Homes
Architects & Contractors:

  • Orchard Design 
  • IBI Group
  • MTE Consultants Inc.

Project Description
The adaptive reuse of this former school contributes to the revitalization of the Barton West neighbourhood, an area in transition as demonstrated by recent investments such as the David Braley Cardiac Vascular and Stroke Research Institute, renovations to the Hamilton General Hospital, the Mark Preece Family House, and other developments. The West Avenue School is a designated heritage building and is potentially the first major renovation of a Canadian heritage building to obtain LEED Gold certification. The original 1885 portion of the school, 1921 addition, and 1952 gymnasium have been converted into 27 affordable apartment units.

Jury Comments
One of only four nineteenth century Hamilton public schools left, the adaptive reuse of this heritage building allows the architectural splendour of Hamilton’s past to be conserved. The Jury is impressed by the integration of the residential units into the school building, but especially by the adaptation, incorporation, and enhancement of the former unsympathetic additions to the overall program. For instance, the east facade of the old gymnasium was removed to re-establish the prominence of the main building entrance facing West Avenue now visually reinforced by a metal pergola marking the connection to the street. The old gymnasium, once a blank wall facing West Avenue, is articulated with openings in the facade for windows and doors that face the street. The adaptive reuse of the old gym has formed an elegant courtyard facing Barton Street.

West Avenue Residences

Address: 255 West Avenue North, Hamilton
Owner: Spallacci Group
Architects & Contractors:

  • Cynthia Zahoruk Architect Inc.
  • Ron Kourdys Landscape Architect
  • Hallex Engineering Ltd.

Project Description
As the second building on the McMaster Innovation Park campus fronting Longwood Road South, brought this Federal Government agency closer to the steel and manufacturing sectors it serves. The three-storey, 174,300 square foot building incorporates state of-the-art industrial labs designed to foster relationships between government, academic research, and industry. The building is a showpiece of sustainable design rehabilitating a brownfield site and targeting LEEDTM Platinum. This building is a tour-de-force of passive and active sustainable technologies such as geothermal heating and cooling, radiating in floor heating, photovoltaic cells, solar walls, solar shades, and light reflecting materials. 

Jury Comments
Great architecture is the poetics of art and technology paired to deliver a meaningful product. This building is awarded in recognition of the excellence of integrating the many technologies into the fabric of the building yet expertly balancing these technologies to create a meaningful architecture that celebrates the industrial heritage of the site. 

The architecture cannot be separated from the sustainable technologies that gives it form. It is clear that the form and design of these technologies, in particular the solar walls echo the peaked silhouettes of the former industrial buildings that once occupied the site.

Albeit a large and complex building, the design has warmth and human scale. There is ample glazing in the front facade and a long perch invites pedestrians to sit thereby enlivening the streetscape. The many windows and projecting bays along Frid Street divide the long facade to create visual interest and human scale. 

Canmet Materials Technology Laboratory

Address: 183 Longwood Road South, Hamilton
Owner: McMaster Innovation Park
Architects & Contractors:

  • Natural Resources Canada
  • Diamond + Schmitt Architects Incorporated
  • GSP Group Inc.
  • Ellis Don Corporation

Project Description
Located in the forecourt of Hamilton City Hall, this project demonstrates how a municipal garden promotes healthy communities by exhibiting urban agriculture and urban sustainability through the effective use of edible plants. Since gardening, cooking, and eating are universal experiences the project resonates with passers by and the display of large leafy plants creates an attractive environment for those who work and visit City Hall. Several hundred pounds of produce has been harvested and supplied to Foodshare Hamilton to provide nutritious meals for many. This garden exhibits the City’s commitment to the environment and to the health of its residents. 

Jury Comments
The design pallet of this landscape consists of kale, red cabbage, rhubarb swiss chard, cardoon, parsley, sage, dill and 
marigolds. It is a visible way to raise awareness about growing food and promoting the consumption of local produce. Seen 
from nearby office towers, a careful composition of plant types, colours, textures, and scents creates a constantly 
changing composition and forms patterns to symbolize the agrarian landscape and promote healthy living.

This project is awarded for the creative approach to landscape architecture in raising awareness about our food. By using edible plants to create the design this project is also a critique of traditional landscape architecture which uses a plant material pallet that is often focused on visual appearance without providing nutrition and not necessarily engaging the other senses. 

Urban Sustainability 'The Edible Landscape'

Address: 71 Main Street West, Hamilton
Owner: City of Hamilton, Public Works Department, Environmental Services Section

Project Description
Built in 1924 by Bernard Prack and Piggott Construction, the Lister Block was a thriving interior mall with two internal floors of retail and four floors of offices above. After being closed in the 1990’s, the building went into serious decline and after years of redevelopment discussion, it was decided that the building would be adaptively reused, serving as a catalyst for the revitalization of the City’s Downtown core.

In 2008, work began to restore and rehabilitate the building after more than 20 years of vacancy resulting in significant damage to the interior of the building. A designated heritage building, the plan was to restore key features of the building such as the terra cotta glazed façade, the copper window spandrels, restoration of the interior ornate plaster work and skylights, and the marble and terrazzo to list just a few. At the same time, new mechanical and electrical systems and life safety components had to be incorporated without affecting the protected interior features. 

Jury Comments
The Jury is most impressed with the Lister Block submission and is unanimous about choosing this project above all for special recognition in the category of Restoration. The collaboration of many disciplines, this project is an outstanding achievement and showcases the fulfilment of several different objectives regarding urban design, conservation, restoration, adaptive reuse, downtown revitalization and community renewal. With tremendous effort, the project team brought back to life this important symbol of Hamilton which stands as a testament to the enduring value of great buildings but especially to the resilience and will of this community. The Jury congratulates the Lister Block Team on a job well done. 

The Lister Block

Address: 28-50 James Street North, Hamilton
Owner: Labourers’ International Union of North America Local 837
Architects & Contractors:

  • Hi-Rise Group
  • City of Hamilton
  • WGD Architects Inc.
  • Julian Smith & Associates Architects 
  • Greenferd Construction Incorporated