The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) has announced the 10 winners of its 2024 Design Excellence Awards. They will be celebrated at this year’s OAA Conference, Housing: Pushing the Envelope, which will be held in Niagara Falls this May.

The OAA’s biennial Design Excellence Awards program celebrates the work of Ontario practices anywhere in the world. This year’s collection features a diverse range of building types, including awe-inspiring community centres and learning institutions, a striking lakeside residence, and performing arts venues in Sudbury and New York City.

An esteemed panel of design experts selected 10 winning projects for this year’s Design Excellence Awards, first narrowing down from 100 submissions to 20 finalists. Winning projects were carefully evaluated based on criteria including creativity, context, sustainability, good design/good business, and legacy.

Submissions also required inclusion of Energy Use Intensity (EUI) metrics, reflecting the OAA’s commitment to pursuing climate stability in the public interest and ensuring sustainable, resilient design is a critical component of any successful project.

“We are incredibly proud to announce the winners of the 2024 Design Excellence Awards,” says OAA President Settimo Vilardi. “This year’s recipients exemplify the apex of creativity, sustainability, and community impact. Their achievements not only emphasize the versatile potential of architecture in beauty and function, but also highlight an ongoing commitment to climate stability and sustainable design.”

The 10 winners, in alphabetical order, are:

  • Canadian Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation (St. Peter’s Bay, Prince Edward Island) by Baird Sampson Neuert (now part of WF Group Inc.), in association with SableARC Studio;
  • Centennial College A-Building Expansion (Toronto, Ontario) by DIALOG Ontario Inc.;
  • Center for Computing & Data Sciences at Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts) by KPMB Architects;
  • Churchill Meadows Community Centre and Sports Park (Mississauga, Ontario) by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, Ltd. (MJMA);
  • David Geffen Hall, Lincoln Center(New York City, New York) by Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. (Master Plan and Concert Theatre) and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects | Partners (Public Spaces);
  • Neil Campbell Rowing Centre (St. Catherines, Ontario) by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, Ltd. (MJMA) in association with Raimondo + Associates Architects Inc.;
  • Ontario Court of Justice Toronto (Toronto, Ontario) by NORR Architects & Engineers Ltd. in association with Renzo Piano Building Workshop S.A.S;
  • Place des Arts (Greater Sudbury, Ontario) by Moriyama Teshima Architects and Bélanger Salach Architecture in a joint venture;
  • Toronto Public Library—Albert Campbell Branch (Scarborough, Ontario) by LGA Architectural Partners Ltd.; and
  • Virgin Vineyard House (North Hatley, Quebec) by LAMAS Architecture Ltd.
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These projects, and the teams behind them, will be celebrated at the Celebration of Excellence held at the Niagara Falls Convention Centre on May 23.

At the event, the OAA will also reveal which projects won the Michael V. and Wanda Plachta Award, the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Design Excellence in Architecture, and the People’s Choice Award.

The Celebration of Excellence will also showcase Lanescape Architecture Inc., as the winner of Best Emerging Practice—a biennial award for a newer firm that demonstrates a clear vision, well-articulated goals, and proven effective strategies.

Earlier in the day, the following additional OAA Award winners will be honoured at a special Recognition Lunch:

  • Deborah Wang, architect, curator, and artistic director of the DesignTO Festival, will be presented with the Medal of Service. This award acknowledges her outstanding dedication and leadership as an OAA member, contributing significantly to the profession and the public through promotion, advocacy, and education. Her impactful leadership with the DesignTO initiative has left a profound impact; and
  • Barry J. Hobin, who will receive Lifetime Design Achievement, as an Ottawa architect who spent half a century committed to building a successful practice based on design excellence, workplace equity, creative collaboration, social responsibility and, above all, a sense of belonging to and contributing to a wider community.

Featured image: Center for Computing & Data Sciences at Boston Universityby KPMB Architects. (Nic Lehoux)

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