VANCOUVER — Inspired architecture and innovative structural engineering using wood in a remarkable diversity of building types, sizes and purposes were in the spotlight at the 15th annual 2019 Wood Design Awards in BC, sponsored by Wood WORKS! BC.

More than 400 distinguished architects, structural engineers, developers, project teams together with industry sponsors and guests, gathered this evening to celebrate excellence in contemporary wood design and building. The annual awards event at the Vancouver Convention Centre recognizes innovation and leadership in advancing wood use in design and building while honoring structural and architectural achievement using wood. There were 103 nominations in 14 categories from many locations in BC as well as the US and Asia, with international projects in China, Korea, and Tajikistan.

“Over the last 15 years of the Wood Design Awards, and through involvement in hundreds of projects, Wood WORKS! BC has been privileged to observe remarkable leaps forward in wood building and design in BC. The advances have been truly transformative,” said Lynn Embury-Williams, executive director of Wood WORKS! BC. “We’re seeing much larger, taller and more complex structures and new building types that have been made possible with wood product research and development, advanced engineering and construction practices. The bold visionaries and early adopters in the BC design community have made BC a global leader in wood design and construction.”

“The leading designers and builders with us here this evening are the agents of change needed to meet the challenges of the 21st century in our urban built environment,” she continued. “They are using wood to enhance the speed of construction, reduce costs and deliver improved building performance with a lower carbon impact. Their passion and ingenuity with wood are evident, and every year they amaze us by exploring new frontiers in building and design using wood.”

Jury members for the 2019 Wood Design Awards in BC:

  • Ethan Martin, PE, Northwest Regional Director, WoodWorks, Portland, OR
  • Kimberly Johnston, Architect AIBC, MRAIC, LEED AP, Principal, Johnston Davidson Architecture + Planning, Vancouver, BC
  • Angelique Pilon, Director, Urban Innovation Research, UBC Sustainability Initiative, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC
  • Trevor Hedstrom, Design Manager, Winton Homes & Cottages, Prince George, BC

The 2019 Wood Champion Award was presented to Shelley Craig, principal at Urban Arts Architecture in Vancouver, BC. Ms. Craig’s many years of dedication to sustainable wood design, her commitment to innovative wood solutions and her ongoing contributions to wood advancement and advocacy make her a standout in her field. Her seminal work includes the UBC Engineering Student Centre and the Radium Hot Springs Community Hall and Library.

A champion and leader in wood construction for four decades, Darryl Bowers, principal at Weiler Smith Bowers Structural Engineers in Burnaby, BC is the 2019 Engineer Award winner. Mr. Bowers is recognized for his considerable contributions to the development and advancement of five- and six-storey mid-rise construction. Award-winning projects such as Sail and Remy Richmond are prime examples of Mr. Bowers’ skills and dedication to wood construction.

An eye for detail and a commitment to using wood as a structural and design element is apparent in the varied portfolio of the 2019 Architect Award winner James Tuer, principal of JWT Architecture and Planning on Bowen Island, BC. Tuer embraces the warmth of wood in his architectural and landscape designs while drawing inspiration from the surroundings, cultural heritage and client’s vision. He has garnered various awards for his residential projects, but his work also includes commercial and institutional projects including the Buddhist International Society Retreat.

The Wood Innovation Award recognizes creative and innovative approaches in the use of wood in building design, product design and/ or processes. The winner of this category was Patkau Architects, Vancouver, BC for Temple of Light, Kootenay Bay, BC. Calling it an “experience out of wood,” the jury noted the project’s complex, curvilinear geometry, and the diversity and flexibility of using wood.

The Environmental Performance Award winner demonstrates a significant contribution to improving the overall environmental performance of all buildings. The 2019 award went to Stantec Architecture Ltd., Vancouver, BC for the UNBC Wood Innovation Research Laboratory, Prince George, BC. The Passive House certified building features wood throughout the interior as both structural and cladding material. The jury noted the building is a showcase for using wood in an industrial setting in a highly efficient way. Winners in the wood design categories include:

  • Residential Wood Design: Measured Architecture, Vancouver, BC Shift House, Vancouver, BC
  • Multi-Unit Residential Wood Design: Adera Development Corporation, Vancouver, BC Virtuoso, Vancouver, BC
  • Commercial Wood Design: Asher deGroot, MOTIV Architects Inc., Vancouver, BC Swallowfield Barn, Langley, BC
  • Interior Beauty Design: Unison Architecture Ltd., Vancouver, BC Ts’kw’aylaxw Cultural, and Community Health Centre, Lillooet, BC
  • Institutional Wood Design – Small: Formline Architecture, West Vancouver, BC Indian Residential School History and Dialogue Centre, Vancouver, BC
  • Institutional Wood Design – Large: DIALOG, Vancouver, BC UBC Campus Energy Centre, Vancouver, BC
  • Western Red Cedar: Lubor Trubka Architects, Vancouver, BC Kwakiutl Wagalus School, Port Hardy, BC
  • Prefabricated Structural Wood: Evan Williams, Victoria Truss 2007 Ltd., Cobble Hill, BC Curved Trusses for Tyron Road, Victoria, BC
  • International Wood Design: Jie Lee, Challenge Design Pte. Ltd., Shanghai, China Chongqing Yuanlu Community Center, Chongqing, China

The Jury’s Choice award was presented to UBC Vancouver for Wander Wood at UBC in Vancouver. The jury gave the project high accolades, observing that it invokes movement, detail, and texture.

A long-time BCIT civil and structural engineering faculty member and distinguished leader in wood engineering and construction curriculum development, Thomas Abbuhl was the recipient of the prestigious Technologist Award.

Photo Courtesy of Wood WORKS!