LMN Architects wins first ever WAN Sustainable Building of the Year.
The first ever World Architecture News (WAN) Sustainable Building of the Year Award has been awarded to LMN Architects for The Vancouver Convention Centre West. Having considered all characteristics of its context to create an experience that integrates architecture with a new urban fabric, The Vancouver Convention Centre West exhibits impressive sustainability credentials from the ground up.
The jurors’ decision was unanimous, as they had taken a broad understanding of sustainability and were looking for a project which has, in the words of Arup Associates co-group leader Michael Beaven, “taken community, people and environment, and contextualised that for architecture”.
The social relevance and longevity of the project was certified by the extensive involvement of the community in the design process.
Beaven said that there was “a huge amount of engagement during the process, which is important”. Jerry Tate, Principal of Jerry Tate Architects had further praise for the contextual process and overall success of the project, complimenting the “seriousness of intent”, which ultimately draws “a very positive social environment onto the waterfront”.
The socio-economic and environmental context of the site is apparent in the origins of every aspect of The Vancouver Convention Centre West’s architecture. Beaven refers to it as demonstrating rigour and engagement with all its aspects, and creating a building that is striking in its context at the edge of the city.
The Vancouver Convention Centre West incorporates a bioengineered habitat skirt that uses a series of permanent, stepped, pre-cast concrete benches. The five-tiered underwater structure looks like a set of bleachers, consisting of 76 concrete frames weighing more than 36 tons each. The top surface of each bench has a wave pattern of exposed aggregate. A central trough closed at both ends runs along the length of each bench to mimic tide pools.
The panel also praised the technologies and techniques that were applied in the project’s design.
The project’s ultimate goal was to “bring urban ecology to the downtown core”. Beaven speaks of the project as “Architecture of lifting the spirit, not just mechanistic way of addressing environmentalism in architectural design”.
Beaven acknowledged the success of the project and its wider message, concluding that, “for people, for environment, for culture, for cities…it’s a much more serious message about architecture and its place in building cities and the sustainable aspects of them”.
Full thanks and acknowledgement given to World Architecture News and LNM Architects for the information given to write this article.