Architecture Canada | RAIC will present its 2011 Prix du XXe siecle awards for four buildings that have stood the test of time. The recipients are the Ottawa train station, Vancouver’s Robson Square, the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia and the heating and cooling plant at the University of Regina. “These iconic buildings have stood the test of time and become national landmarks,” said Alex Rankin, chancellor of the RAIC college of fellows. “They are a testament to how architecture can add quality of life to society. They are proof positive that architecture matters.”
The awards were created in 2007 to mark the RAIC’s 100th anniversary. They recognize the enduring excellence of nationally significant architecture such as landmark buildings in the historical context of Canadian architecture. Eligible projects are buildings in Canada designed by an architect from any country or buildings anywhere designed by a Canadian architect.
Designed by John B. Parkin & Associates (successor firm, NORR Ltd.), the Ottawa train station is considered one of the city’s best known “truly modernist” buildings, admired both by the public it serves and design professionals alike. “While it remains a timeless modern interpretation of the ‘grand’ rail terminal, it also reveals the purity of design of the post-war modernist period,” Architecture Canada said.
The station received a 2007 landmark award from the Ontario Association of Architects. Designed by Arthur Erickson, Robson Square is a modern landmark in Vancouver, a “unique” civic complex three blocks long, conceived and designed as a single entity. The project won the president’s award from the American Society of Landscape Architects in 1979. The jury cited the “extraordinary” integration of landscape architecture with architecture.
Envisioned by Erickson and landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander as a “linear urban park, importing nature into the city,” the complex is regarded as a bold and contemplative work of urban design.
Also designed by Erickson, the anthropology museum at UBC “aptly captures” both the landscape of the West Coast and the spirit of the First Nations people, Architecture Canada said. “Erickson has created many poignant buildings in Canada, but none capture the Canadian identity as powerfully as the UBC Museum of Anthropology.”
Designed by Clifford Wiens, the heating and cooling plant at the University of Regina provides heated and chilled water to campus buildings. It is distinguished by a unique A-frame form of exposed pre-cast concrete and corten steel. “The plant has been a landmark in Regina since it was first built 40 years ago and remains an example of innovative and expressive modernist architecture,” Architecture Canada said.
Recognized with a Massey Medal for Architecture (now the Governor General’s Medal for Architecture) the building is the only structure from Saskatchewan included in the Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada publication Built Heritage of the Modern Era. The awards will be presented during the upcoming Festival of Architecture in Vancouver. Architecture Canada/RAIC represents more than 4,300 architects across Canada.