This is the tenth year of the Design Awards. The objective of the Niagara Community Design Awards is to recognize and celebrate excellence in design in the Niagara Region that demonstrates the application of Smart Growth Principles.
This year's awards continue to focus on projects that enhance the built environment, efficiently use land, and demonstrate creativity and vision.
This award recognizes an infill or redevelopment project that is smaller in scale or nature which demonstrates excellence in design. This project creatively and effectively uses the site, complements the existing surroundings, and intensifies or provides additional choice within the area.
|2014 Award Winner: Cardiac Diagnostic Clinic, Niagara Falls|
Architect & Engineer
|Norman Ocampo, Quartek Group Inc|
|Owner||Arlene Goodarzi, Cardiac Diagnostic Clinic|
Located in the historic Drummondville District, Cardiac Diagnostic Clinic was one of the last remaining vacant sites along Main Street. The development enhances the ongoing improvements to the urban fabric along the Main Street corridor and compliments the scale and massing of the surrounding area. This project was noted by the Review Committee for its successful integration with the surrounding buildings and the street and the placement of the accessibility ramp adjacent to the door.
|2014 Honourable Mention: Morse & Son Funeral Home Event Centre, Niagara Falls|
|Michael D. Allen, Principal, ACK Architects Inc.|
|Structural, Mechanical & Electrical Engineer||Jim Halucha, Hallex Engineering Ltd.|
|Interior Design||Terri Scordino, Scordino Design|
|Builder||George Mayer, Mayer General Contracting|
After being vacant for many years, the Morgan family acquired the former public library and utilized it as a Family Bereavement Centre. In 2012, additions and renovations to the existing building began to create a barrier free accessible event centre. The addition to the north side of the building welcomes guests with a covered outdoor entry space, landscape treatments, and an expanded foyer. The Review Committee felt that the building integrates well with the surroundings, has a welcoming entrance and effectively uses the site with a pleasing street presence.
This award recognizes an infill or redevelopment project that is larger in scale or nature which demonstrates excellence in design. This project creatively and effectively uses land, complements existing surroundings, and intensifies and provides additional choice within the area.
|2014 Award Winner: Meridian Centre, St. Catharines|
|Nominated & Nominator||Rick Lane, City of St. Catharines & Albert Paquette, Architecture 49|
|Owner||City of St. Catharines|
|Architect||Albert Paquette, Architecture 49|
|Structural, Mechanical & Electrical Engineer||David Bannister, WSP Canada Inc.|
|Landscape Architect||Glen O'Connor, O'Connor Mokrycke Consultants|
|Builder||Tom Rankin & Jason Ball, Ball-Rankin Construction Ltd.|
|Civil Engineering||Martin Heikoop, Upper Canada Consultants|
|Code Consultant||Jonathon Rubes, Rubes Code Consultants|
|Facility Operator||Ken Noakes, SMG|
Formerly part of the Welland Canal system and later filled in and used as a parking lot, the Meridian Centre has repurposed an underutilized site in the downtown core of St. Catharines. The two bridges, which are integral to the design, provide links to St. Paul Street and contribute to the pedestrian character of the downtown. In combination with the upcoming Brock school of performing arts and the performing arts centre, together these projects are a catalyst for change and downtown revitalization. The Meridian Centre was noted for being pedestrian friendly, creating a connection with the urban core and as a stimulus for improvement and growth in the downtown.
|2014 Award Winner: 26 Wellington Street, St. Catharines|
|Nominated & Nominator||Sunil Bahadoorsingh, Penn Terra Group Limited & Emilio Raimondo, Raimondo + Associates Architects INC.|
|Owner||Sunil Bahadoorsingh, Penn Terra Group Limited|
|Architect||Emilio Raimondo, Raimondo + Associates Architects INC.|
|Engineer||Jim Halucha, Hallex Engineering Ltd.|
|Builder||Al Brouwer, Brouwer Construction (1981) Ltd.|
26 Wellington Street is an urban infill development built on a former underutilized parking lot in downtown St. Catharines. The project offers higher density residential units with amenities, transit, places of employment, and places of worship within walking distance. The massing and design of the building is sensitive to the existing built form surrounding the development. The Review Committee noted that the project exemplifies the smart growth principles and supports the redevelopment of downtown.
|2014 Honourable Mention: Cairns Family Health and Bioscience Research Complex, St. Catharines|
|Nominated & Nominator||Scott Walker, Brock University & Mary K. McIntyre, architectsAlliance|
|Architect||Mary K. McIntyre, architectsAlliance|
|Structural Engineer||Mike Buckley, Parsons Brinckerhoff Halsall Inc.|
|Mechanical and Electrical Engineer||Clive Lacey, Crossey Engineering Ltd.|
|Building Envelope||Sarah Gray, Parsons Brinckerhoff Halsall Inc.|
|Builder||Tim Smith, EllisDon|
|Landscape Design||James Melvin, PMA Landscape Architects Ltd.|
|Phytotron (greenhouse) Design||Alex Turkewitsch, Greenhouse Engineering Ltd.|
|Lab Architect||Robert J. Schaeffner, Payette|
The Complex employs an open, loft-style layout, inspired by 19th century warehouse architecture, that is flexible and highly efficient, and accommodates multidisciplinary, highly technical programming. Flooded with natural light, the Complex is clad in clear and fritted glass, over which is a honeycomb-patterned aluminum screen that references the Centre's focus, and evokes the 'hive' of collaborative research and education within. In addition, the complex links exterior pedestrian routes through the building, providing access north to the east plaza at grade, and into the MacKenzie-Chown complex via a pedestrian bridge. The project was noted for being unique and a development that Brock University and Niagara will continue to talk about as a success.
This award recognizes excellence in design of the spaces between the places, and presents a significant improvement to the public realm. This category may include public art, parking lots, parks, or road realignment that effectively integrates with the surrounding buildings, is accessible, and contributes to the beautification and use of the site.
|2014 Award Winner: Ridgeway Village Square, Fort Erie|
|Nominated & Nominator||Richard Brady, Town of Fort Erie|
|Owner||Town of Fort Erie|
|Consulting Firm||Ian Dance, Partner, Dillon Consulting|
|Architect||Rick Lintack, Lintack Architects Inc.|
|Specialist Consultant||Simon Gardiner, Crystal Fountains|
|Builder||Terry Tykolis, Stevensville Lawn Services|
|Project Partners||Derrick Dea, Ridgeway BIA & Mary Jane Campbell, Ridgeway Community Group|
Ridgeway Village Square was designed to be a formal civic plaza. The space is made up of an interconnection of smaller spaces or 'rooms', contributing to a new public realm and pedestrian space within the community of Ridgeway. The Village Square design creates a sense of place in the downtown. It creates a space for special events, festivals, and ceremonial occasions as well as supporting the existing Farmer's Market. This project is noted for providing a variety of uses, creating a destination point for users of the trail and for having unique design elements that create a sense of excitement, functionality and whimsy.
|2014 Honourable Mention: Lundy's Lane Battlefield Gateway, Niagara Falls|
|Nominated & Nominator||City of Niagara Falls & Jeff Claydon, City of Niagara Falls|
|Owner||City of Niagara Falls|
|Consulting Firm||IBI Group|
|Landscape Architect||Jeff Claydon, City of Niagara Falls|
|Engineer||Tom Rankin, Rankin Construction|
|Design/ Engineering Consultant||Derek Costello, Costello Productions|
|Builder||Tom Rankin, Rankin Construction|
The Lundy's Lane Battlefield Gateway Feature project commemorates the bicentennial of the War of 1812-1814 and has significantly enhanced the public realm of this area. As part of the ongoing revitalization efforts in the Historic Drummondville area, the Lundy's Lane Battlefield Gateway project provides a visual landmark and focal point that attracts attention from both directions. The landscaping around the gateway feature beautifies the public realm in the area. The project was noted for creating a sense of place for the battlefield and announcing the site of many War of 1812 features to visitors.
|2014 Honourable Mention: Canal Terrace, Welland|
& Consulting Firm
|Todd Barber, Forestgreen Creations Inc.|
|Owner||Welland Recreational Canal Corporation, City of Welland|
|Engineer||Mark Shoalts, Shoalts Engineering|
|Builder||Serianni Construction Inc.|
The Canal Terrace project converted a parking lot into a public park along the historic Welland Canal for visitors, residents and those working in downtown Welland. The project was built to showcase the heritage of the canal and the people that contributed to building it throughout the years. Canal Terrace is unique and offers a distinctive sense of place in the downtown. The Review Committee noted that the project is a distinctive re-use of the former parking space and provides a welcoming feature to this section of the recreational canal.
This award recognizes architectural excellence by a Niagara architect accomplished in a project with a construction cost of up to $2 million CAD. The project may be a new building, the alteration of an existing building or the restoration of a heritage building. Candidate projects should demonstrate a high degree of creativity and manifest all three Vitruvian principles of architecture: Firmatis - Utilitas - Venustatis. This award is proudly sponsored by the Niagara Society of Architects.
|2014 Award Winner: Parks Canada Agora on the Commons, Niagara-on-the-Lake|
Architect & Engineer
|Norman Ocampo, Quartek Group Inc.|
Parks Canada Agora on the Commons provides a gateway to the Old Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. This contemporary project creates a new dramatic foreground to the historic fort, focused on enhancing the visitor experience. The projectâ€™s intention is to contrast the historical construct while respecting the natural setting. The covered rooftop area provides a venue for public performances or display, while the crowd gathers in the field. This project was noted for being a dramatic destination place for people to gather, entertain or educate that complements the nearby Fort.
|2014 Honourable Mention: Niagara Region Council Chamber Renovation, Thorold|
|Nominated & Nominator||Regional Municipality of Niagara & Harald Ensslen, Macdonald Zuberec Ensslen Architects Inc.|
|Owner||Regional Municipality of Niagara|
|Architect||Harald Ensslen, Macdondald Zuberec Ensslen Architects Inc.||Engineer||David Stacey, WSP Group Inc.|
|Specialist Consultant||Christian Bechard, Novita Techne Ltd.|
|Builder||Todd Rittenhouse, Merit Contractors Niagara|
The Niagara Region Council Chamber Renovation project has vastly improved the functionality, accessibility and overall appearance of the Region's Council Chamber. The space has been renovated to meet the principles and standards of the Region's Facility Access Design Standards (FADS). The Council chambers features a new Parliamentary-style seating layout, where Councillors face each other, with the public and the Regional Chair positioned at either end of this new axis. This creates a more accessible and transparent Regional government. This project was noted for improving the interaction between council and the public, the efforts to make the space accessible and approachable, and for the integration of the design and technology.
This award recognizes projects that meet a higher standard of environmental efficiency, such as LEED certification. The award could be for residential, commercial, institutional, or industrial buildings; may be public or private; and could be within urban or rural/agricultural areas. Included in consideration of this award is site design, building materials, a sense of place within Niagara, and/or environmental efficiency.
|2014 Award Winner: 235 Fitch Street Seniors Residence East Building, Welland|
|Nominator & Nominated||Mira Fearnside, Niagara Regional Housing & Harald Ensslen, Macdonald Zuberec Ensslen Architects Inc.|
|Owner||Niagara Regional Housing|
|Architect||Harald Ensslen, Macdonald Zurberec Ensslen Architects Inc.|
|Engineer||David Stacey, WSP Group Inc.|
|LEED Consultant||Greg Redden, Macdonald Zuberec Ensslen Architects Inc.|
|Specialist Consultant||Jason Schooley, Upper Canada Consultants|
|Specialist Consultant||Tom Yung, Lee Yung & Associates Inc.|
|Specialist Consultant||Paula Berketo, PB Landscape Architect|
|Builder||Al Brouwer, Brouwer Construction Ltd.|
235 Fitch Street Seniors Residence - East Building is an excellent example of urban intensification integrating affordable housing into a community on an existing underdeveloped parcel of land. The new building is on target to be Niagara's first LEED Gold affordable housing building. Located in a mature neighbourhood, the building is adjacent to many existing services, including a bus stop at the front door, shopping across the street, and over ten community services in total within walking distance. Residents have direct visual access to mature trees and extensive landscaping throughout the property. This project was noted for exemplifying the smart growth principles through site location and attractive design features.
This award recognizes an improvement to the façade of a building that may or may not have internal improvements. The primary feature of this award is the revitalization of the street face of the building which demonstrates creativity. This award may recognize heritage restoration or a more modern approach.
|2014 Award Winner: THE UPHOUSE, St. Catharines|
& Consulting Firm
|Todd Barber, Forestgreen Creations Inc.|
|Engineer||Mark Shoalts, Shoalts Engineering|
|Builder||Brandon Kendall, Kendall Group|
THE UPHOUSE, an urban intensification project, is located in downtown St. Catharines and was designed as a mixed-use building with an office on the main floor where entrepreneurs can rent a desk and share facilities and a two bedroom apartment on the second floor. The footprint of the building remained the same allowing for mass plantings and gardens that provide natural beauty and complement the adjacent parkette. Natural and noble materials were used to give the modern façade permanence and place and a metal roof was installed to provide longevity and clean line aesthetics. This project was noted for its use of a variety of materials and its strong connections with the street and adjacent parkette.
|2014 Honourable Mention: Harmony Jewellers, Grimsby|
|Nominated & Nominator||Kevin Luttjehuizen, Harmony Jewellers & Michael J. Seaman, Town of Grimsby|
|Builder||Jonathan Tucker, Tucker Design Build Inc.|
|Engineer||Dean Glennie, KLS Engineering|
|Specialist Consultant||Florence Alfieri, Décor 19|
The Harmony Jewellers façade improvement has helped to improve the streetscape in the commercial core of Grimsby. The project included the restoration of the old Bank of Commerce sign and insignia located on the top floor of the building's front face. On the ground floor, the stucco was torn down and replaced with limestone bricks, beautiful granite signage, pot lights, and glass doors. This project was noted for its consideration and re-establishment of heritage aspects of the building and their integration with the needs of the modern business.
|2014 Honourable Mention: 5-11 Main Street East, Grimsby|
|Nominated & Nominator||Domenic and Rose Magro & Michael J. Seaman, Town of Grimsby|
|Owner||Domenic and Rose Magro|
|Electrician||Tom MetCalfe, Metcalfe Electric|
|Jr. Estimator / Draftsman||Mario D'Abate Jr., Niagara Glass Ltd.|
|Brick Layer||Charles Lovell, Complimentary Brick|
|Sign Construction||Clayton Latourneau, Vinylocity Signs|
5-11 Main Street East in downtown Grimsby has undergone significant façade improvements to help restore the façade to its original appearance. The historic details of the building were restored, the brick cleaned and new store front signs installed. The building has been designated a heritage site under the Ontario Heritage Act. The Review Committee noted that the façade improvements are a faithful reproduction of the original building, and the overall result is a pleasing façade that connects the existing businesses.
This award recognizes the re-use of an existing building or buildings, and possible intensification of a site. The primary feature of this project is the re-use of the former building(s) in a manner that demonstrates creativity, reintegrates the site into the community, and provides a mix of uses and choice into the surrounding neighbourhood.
|2014 Award Winner: Station 1 Coffeehouse, Grimsby|
|Nominator & Architect||Laurie Didyk-Mindorff, Station 1 Coffee House & Michael J. Seaman, Town of Grimsby|
|Project Manager||Roger Abiss|
|Architect||David Carrothers, Carrothers & Associates Architecture|
|Engineer||Mihala, MM & Associates Ltd.|
The adaptive re-use of 28 Main Street East is very creative in nature, transforming its original use as a Fire Station into its current use as a Coffee Shop. During the summer, Station 1 opens their bay doors so guests may enjoy the weather regardless if they are sitting inside or outside of the building. The coffeehouse is a hub for business people, students, artists and more and is wheelchair accessible. This project, along with many others is helping to transform the downtown of Grimsby. This project was noted for its warm, fun and efficient use of the available space, including the use of the upstairs for community gatherings.
|2014 Honourable Mention: Community Living Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln, Grimsby|
|Nominated & Nominated||Sarina Labonte, Community Living Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln & Larisa Brodsky, Larisa Brodsky Architect Inc.|
|Owner||Community Living Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln|
|Prime Consultants, Interior & Landscape Design||Lex Parker Design Consultants Ltd.|
|Architect||Larisa Brodsky, Larisa Brodsky Architect Inc.|
|Structural & Civil Engineer||Chris Turner Associates Inc.|
|Mechanical Engineer||Pen Engineering Ltd.|
|Electrical Engineer||MPC Consulting Engineering|
|Builder & Project Manager||Kevin Brown, King Contractors of Niagara Ltd.|
In March of 2012, Community Living Grimsby, Lincoln and West Lincoln, a not-for-profit charitable organization, purchased an existing warehouse on the South Service Road in Grimsby to enable the expansion of several programs. The warehouse was redesigned, rebuilt and transformed into a multi-purpose professional office and program site for the community. The coordinated team of experts were instrumental in solidifying a vision for the transformation of the old warehouse and former basket factory into a multi-purpose professional and vibrant Community Resource Centre. This project was noted for being a great re-use of an old industrial building site and for modern treatments of the façade that create an open and inviting presence.
This award recognizes the revitalization of a former brownfield site into one that once again integrates with the fabric of the community. The winning project demonstrates smart growth principles through creativity, site development, utilization of existing servicing, creation of a mix and/or intensification of uses, and integration with the surroundings.
|2014 Award Winner: Lakemount Worship Centre, Grimsby|
|Nominated & Nominator||Matt and Lisa Tapley & Cathy Brown|
|Architect||David Parker, Parker Architects||Builder||Al Brouwer, Brouwer Construction|
The Lakemount Worship Centre project was initiated due to an increased need for additional space for the church's growing congregation. When the project broke ground, it was discovered that methane gas was below the proposed expansion and the removal of contaminated soil was required. As part of the project, a methane gas release system was installed. The church also worked with its nearby neighbours, and has an agreement with the adjacent school to allow shared used of the parking lot for school activities with a connecting walkway between the two uses. This project was noted for its interesting stormwater management treatment methods, sharing of the facilities and for the front façade treatments.
This award recognizes an approved Official Plan, Neighbourhood/ Secondary Plan, Design Guidelines, Community Improvement Plan, Master Plan or development plan that focuses on the smart growth principles such as a mix of uses, walkability, and compact development. Also considered important to this award is an effective public consultation process.
|2014 Award Winner: East Fonthill Secondary Plan and Urban Design Guidelines, Pelham|
|Nominated & Nominator||Darren Ottaway, Town of Pelham & Julie Hannah, Town of Pelham|
|Consulting Firm||Ron Palmer, The Planning Partnership||Consulting Firm||Upper Canada Consultants||Specialist Consultant||Chris Jones, Meridian Planning Consultants Inc.||Engineer||Totten Sims Hubicki Associates||Specialist Consultant||Earth Tech Canada||Specialist Consultant||LCA Environmental Consultants|
The East Fonthill Secondary Plan is a good example of the latest thinking in community design achieving innovation in quality urban design, sustainability and public health initiatives. The Plan has been designed to provide for a future transit route that will allow a majority of residents to access it within a 5-minute walk and a 2-minute walk in higher density areas thereby reducing the need for car dependence and supporting a higher transit ridership. The Plan is in a "smart location" that provides proximity to the existing downtown core area while providing complementary diversity and compact form within the boundaries of the Fonthill community. This project was noted for addressing multiple issues and for its pedestrian oriented design.
|2014 Honourable Mention: Downtown Thorold Streetscape Master Plan, Thorold|
|Nominated & Nominator||Eldon Darbyson, City of Thorold & Kevin Muir, GSP Group Inc.|
|Consulting Firm||Kevin Muir, GSP Group Inc.||Engineer||Scott Llewellyn, S. Llewellyn & Associates Ltd.||Specialist Consultant||Bob Martindale, Martindale Planning Services|
The Downtown Thorold Streetscape Master Plan supports the vision of Downtown Thorold as a mixed-use, complete, active, and vibrant centre of the municipality by improving the public realm to set the back-drop for further investment, re-investment and intensification within the core. The Plan recommends a number of improvements including simple, easily maintainable and durable surfaces for pedestrians, accessibility improvements from the sidewalk to building entrances and new pedestrian infrastructure and amenities among other improvements, as well as consideration for a new linear open space through the downtown. The Review Committee noted that this project is an inspiration for other communities and it builds on the many recent private developments in the downtown and considers how the public space can further enhance them.
All photos courtesy of nominees
The sculpture is titled Transformation. Just as the moon goes through many stages before it becomes the complete image, so too does a community go through stages as it revitalizes itself as a thriving place for people to live, work, go to school, shop, play and gather. The cyclical nature of our communities and their ability to transform are the essential reasons this sculpture so well defines the concept of the Niagara Community Design Awards and its objectives.
The weight of the sculpture signifies the dramatic and powerful effect good design can have on a place. Similarly the balance demonstrated in the Award sculpture portrays the desire for creative approaches that are balanced with the needs of the neighbourhood and community.
Appreciation for both the natural environment and the need for growth create the conditions for sustainable prosperity. Finally the variety of textures and colours symbolizes the very essence of good design. Creativity, imagination and innovation combined with passion and a commitment to excellence are all necessary elements of Transformation.
Mark Griffis is a resident of Fort Erie, a renowned sculptor and an art/ drama teacher at St. Paul High School in Niagara Falls. He is the President of Griffis Studios, and a director of the Ashford Hollow Foundation which oversees the operation of a 25 studio art complex in Buffalo, and Griffis Sculpture Park, a 400-acre nature and art preserve with 10 miles of hiking trails and over 200 monumental sculptures. Mark is the creative force in the production and installation of monumental sculpture projects for clients such as Roswell Park, St. Josephâ€™s Hospital and the University of Buffalo. His works have been featured in numerous art shows and design magazines.
John Barnsley - Manager of Policy Planning, City of Niagara Falls
Glenn Barr - President, Barr Associates
Dr. Hugh Gayler - Professor, Brock University (retired)
John Gittings - Architect
Paula Berketo - Landscape Architect
Ken Gonyou - Vice President, Land Development, Phelps Homes Ltd.
Douglas McNaughton - Commercial Sales Rep., Royal LePage Niagara Real Estate Centre
David Parker - Architect, Parker Architects Inc.
Barbara Wiens - Senior Planner, Quartek Group Inc.