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May 14, 2014, Toronto, ON – The annual Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) Celebration of Excellence Awards on Friday, May 9, 2014 showcased the best in architectural design and innovation by Ontario architects. Fifteen new buildings in Toronto, Ottawa, Winnipeg, Bracebridge, Hamilton, Brampton, Midhurst, and Halifax were distinguished in this year’s ‘Design Excellence’ category.
The 2014 award-winning projects reflect their environment and surroundings and invite the local community in. “Increasingly it’s becoming important to have a seamless relationship between the interior and exterior of a structure,” says OAA President, Bill Birdsell. “A building should engage with the area in which it is located and it should create spaces for end-users and members of the community to enjoy.”
In addition to the 15 Design Excellence awards announced before the ceremony, three more honours were unveiled during the gala:
  • ‘Best of Show’ was awarded to Centennial College Library and Academic Facility by Diamond Schmitt Architects.
  • ‘Michael V. and Wanda Plachta Award,’ honouring architectural excellence for projects in Ontario that cost no more than eight million dollars, was presented to G. Bruce Stratton Architects for Mount Dennis Library
  • ‘People’s Choice,’ decided by public vote, went to Dubbeldam Architecture + Design for Through House
“We are honoured to receive the OAA’s Best of Show Award,” says Donald Schmitt, principal of Diamond Schmitt Architects, who took home ‘Best of Show’ for the design of the Centennial College Library and Academic Facility. “This project is designed to be a welcoming and versatile place to learn. The central atrium with its four-storey living wall creates that vital social hub where students and faculty can interact. The use of quality materials and detailing – granite and copper cladding on the exterior and custom wood screen panels and limestone stairs for the interior – convey a message that this institution respects students and their pursuit of knowledge. Daylighting is drawn deep inside from a sawtooth glazed façade that lends further distinction to this LEED Gold facility.”
The 2014 OAA awards were presented at the OAA Celebration of Excellence Awards and Dinner at the Fairmont The Queen Elizabeth in Montreal, Quebec on Friday May 9, 2014. The gala was attended by the province’s top architects, building industry guests, clients of the winning projects and those with a passion for architecture. etalk’s Ben Mulroney was the MC for the evening, and the awards were hosted by OAA President, Bill Birdsell.

For full listing of winners, click here