Lieutenant Governor’s Award, People’s Choice, and Plachta Award Recipients Named
On Thursday, October 1, the OAA held its first-ever digital Celebration of Excellence, honouring the recipients of its 2020 Design Excellence and Service Awards. The 45-minute event, which is fully accessible on the OAA YouTube channel in its entirety or as individual segments, also featured two special appearances by Her Honour the Honourable Elizabeth Dowdeswell, Lieutenant Governor of Ontario. This included the presentation of the Lieutenant Governor's Award for Design Excellence in Architecture—considered to be “the best of the best” for projects in Ontario—to the Senate of Canada Building (Ottawa) by Diamond and Schmitt Architects Incorporated and KWC Architects Inc. in joint venture.
During the event, in addition to celebrating the previously announced winners, two other award recipients were announced.
COMN Architects Inc. received the Michael V. and Wanda Plachta Award for the Toronto project, Semi Semi. This award honours architectural excellence for Ontario projects that cost no more than $8 million.
The People’s Choice Award went to Hariri Pontarini Architects for Essex Centre of Research (CORe) at the University of Windsor. Members of the public voted online for their favourite project among this year’s Design Excellence winners.
Traditionally, the biennial Celebration of Excellence is held during the OAA’s annual Conference. This year, the in-person event was cancelled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Shifting the Celebration to an online experience allowed greater accessibility for both members of the architecture profession as well as the public.