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Design Excellence Awards Finalists Revealed by Ontario Association of Architects

OAA announces its top 20 recent projects by Ontario architects; program now requires green EUI reporting


Toronto, ON The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) is pleased to announce the 20 finalists for the OAA Design Excellence Awards. This year’s short-listed projects comprise a wide variety of building types, ranging from innovative public swimming pools and stunning Ontario homes to sustainably designed education spaces and well-crafted government projects. Chosen by a jury of design and architecture experts, this prestigious selection of projects will be further refined into a list of 10 winners.

The biennial OAA Awards program offers Ontario architects an opportunity to present their work to the public and to a professional audience, demonstrating the excellence of both individual award winners and the profession as a whole. This year, for the first time, the program required Energy Use Intensity (EUI) metrics for all submissions. This reflects the OAA’s belief that sustainable design is no longer a specialty, but rather a critical component of all projects as the architecture profession strives to find ways to ensure the built environment contributes to climate stability.

“I’m excited about the jury’s selections for this year's 2020 Design Excellence Awards, and I am pleased to be able to finally share them with you today. These projects are exemplary of the outstanding work being done by Ontario architects,” says OAA President Kathleen Kurtin. “I was particularly happy to see the quality and innovation in this year’s finalists, given that it was the first time EUI was included as a mandatory requirement of the submission process. Climate stability is a priority for the Association, and these awards demonstrate that Design Excellence is not limited by building responsibly for the future, but rather enriched.”

Selected from 79 eligible submissions, the 20 finalists were judged on a number of criteria, including creativity, context, sustainability, good design/good business, and legacy. The final 10 Design Excellence winners—as well as the recipients of the Best Emerging Practice, G. Randy Roberts Service Award, Lifetime Design Achievement, and Order of da Vinci—will be announced shortly.

2020 OAA Design Excellence Awards Finalists in Alphabetical Order



Photo Credit: Doublespace Photography

Bostwick Community Centre, YMCA and London Public Library
London, Ont.
MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects Ltd. in association with A+LINK Architecture Inc.

Photo Credit: gh3*

Borden Natural Park Natural Swimming Pool
Edmonton, Alta.
gh3 inc.

Photo Credit: Shai Gil

Branksome Hall Athletics and Wellness Centre
Toronto, Ont.
MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects Ltd.

Photo Credit: Doublespace Photography

Essex Centre of Research
Windsor, Ont.
Hariri Pontarini Architects


Photo Credit: Michael Muraz

Gore Meadows Community Ice Rink & Events Pavilion
Brampton, Ont.
ZAS Architects Inc.

Photo Credit: James Brittain

Government of Canada Visitor Welcome Centre
Ottawa, Ont.
IBI Group Architects (Canada) Inc., Prime Consultant
Moriyama & Teshima Architects (Canada), Design Architects
Photo Credit: Tom Arban Photography

Holy Blossom Temple
Toronto, Ont.
Diamond and Schmitt Architects Incorporated

Photo Credit: RDHA

Idea Exchange Old Post Office
Cambridge, Ont.
Rounthwaite, Dick and Hadley Architects Inc.

Photo Credit: Tom Arban Photography

Lazaridis Hall
Waterloo, Ont.
Diamond and Schmitt Architects Incorporated in association with David Thompson Architect Ltd.

Photo Credit: Saucier+Perrotte Architectes / ZAS Architects

River City Phase 3
Toronto, Ont.
Saucier + Perotte Architectes in joint venture with ZAS Architects

Photo Credit: Adrian Williams

Ronald O. Perelman Center for Political Science and Economics, University of Pennsylvania
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
KPMB Architects

Photo Credit: Doublespace Photography

Semi Semi 
Toronto, Ont.
COMN Architects Inc.

Photo Credit: Tom Arban Photography 

Senate of Canada Building
Ottawa, Ont.
Diamond and Schmitt Architects Incorporated and KWC Architects Inc. in joint venture

Photo Credit: Nic Lehoux 

The Brearley School
New York City, New York
KPMB Architects

Photo Credit: Riley Snelling

The Commons, University of British Columbia Okanagan Campus
Kelowna, B.C.
Moriyama & Teshima Architects in association with MQN Architecture & Interior Design

Photo Credit: Tom Arban

The Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building, Schulich School of Business
Toronto, Ont.
Baird Sampson Neuert Architects Inc.

Photo Credit: Andrew Latreille

Trent University Student Centre
Peterborough, Ont.
Teeple Architects Inc.

Photo Credit: Ben Rahn I A-Frame

What Remains to be Seen
Toronto, Ont.
Superkül Inc.

Photo Credit: Alex Fradkin

Singhampton, Ont.
Superkül Inc.

Photo Credit: Adrian Williams

Wilson School of Design, Kwantlen Polytechnic University
Richmond, B.C.
KPMB Architects + Public: Architecture + Communication

Further Information
OAA President Kathleen Kurtin and other architects involved with the OAA Awards Program’s Design Excellence Finalists are available for phone or email interviews. Additional information and high-resolution photos on all finalists are also available from the OAA. Please contact:

Erik Missio, OAA Communications Manager
416-449-6898, ext. 241

About the Ontario Association of Architects
The Ontario Association of Architects is a self-regulating organization under the Architects Act, which is a statute of the Government of Ontario. It is dedicated to promoting and increasing the knowledge, skill and proficiency of its members, and administering the Act, in order that the public interest may be served and protected.