Perkins+Will Canada Wins Three Prestigious Architectural Institute of British Columbia Awards

Marks the firm's best-ever showing in a single year

On Friday May 11, Perkins+Will Canada was awarded two Lieutenant Governor (LG) Awards of Merit and one Innovation Award at the Architectural Institute of British Columbia’s (AIBC) Annual President’s Dinner & Awards Gala. The Awards Gala concluded the Annual AIBC Conference at which five members of Perkins+Will presented their work. The firm was also represented in the AIBC’s gallery exhibit on the theme of this year’s conference ‘Elevation: Reaching Higher Ground.’

Peter Busby confirmed 2011 was a big year for the Vancouver office. “This year, we completed several milestone projects, including these award winners. While they range across project types, each one is representative of the culture of design and innovation that is central to our practice."

The LG Merit Award Winners were the VanDusen Botanical Garden Visitor Centre in Vancouver, BC and Samuel Brighouse Elementary School in Richmond, BC. VanDusen’s new Visitor Centre is designed to create a harmonious balance between architecture and landscape from a visual and ecological perspective. Targeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Platinum status, the Visitor Centre is also the first project in Canada to be registered with the International Living Future Institute’s Living Building Challenge, which promotes the most advanced measurement of sustainability in the built environment to date. Samuel Brighouse Elementary School is the result of a collaborative design process that emphasized student involvement, which included a student committee and community blog. Based on goals of transparency and collaborative learning, the school creates connections between internal programs elements in addition to the surrounding community. Targeting LEED Gold status, Brighouse is the physical manifestation of the district’s environmental stewardship policies and serves as an educational tool for both teachers and students.

The Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) at the University of British Columbia was honoured with the AIBC Innovation Award. Going beyond LEED Platinum, CIRS was designed to put sustainable systems on display and to be ‘net positive’ in seven different ways—net-positive energy; structural carbon neutrality; operational carbon; net-zero water; turning passive occupants into active inhabitants; promoting health and productivity; and promoting well-being. More than a building, CIRS is a research tool that demonstrates the possibilities in sustainable design, serving as a catalyst for change. A Technical Manual and project website further disseminate information with lesson learned, on-going updates, and actual performance data from the project.

It is the first time in several years that one firm has taken home three prestigious awards, and the first time Perkins+Will has been honoured with three awards in the same year. “This year’s selections would seem to confirm that the bar for architectural excellence in this province has been raised,” says AIBC President Gordon Richards MAIBC FRAIC CP. “BC architects continue to be world leaders in sustainability, restoration, innovation and design. The quality of the work being done across the board is truly impressive, but these seven projects were seen to stand out from the rest.”

“We are so proud to win these awards,” added Susan Gushe, recently appointed Managing Director of the Vancouver office. “To be recognized amongst our peers in Vancouver is a great honour. All three projects offered us significant opportunities to push the boundaries of design excellence in British Columbia and we are so pleased to be able to work with clients that inspire us to seize the challenge to go Gold, Platinum and beyond.”

These awards add to the 11 Lieutenant Governor awards the firm has previously won for projects such as the Dockside Green LEED Platinum Development and the Brentwood Skytrain Station.