Feeling at home can sometimes be one of the hardest things college students have to do, and it can be difficult even for those who live off-campus. The University of British Columbia’s campus in Vancouver is close enough for some students to commute to class from their homes in the city, but far enough away from the city to make it difficult for them to return home between classes. Rather than stake out a table in the dining hall or wait out the long hours between classes in the library, the university took it upon itself to create spaces that could serve as hubs for students and faculty to mingle and collaborate as well as give commuting students a place to get comfortable.
Unique architectural designs – say, with slanted columns or cantilevered façades – wouldn’t be possible without the ingenuity of structural engineering, especially where seismic events have to be taken into account. Glotman Simpson, a structural engineering firm with headquarters in Vancouver, B.C., has been offering innovative solutions to its clients for almost half-a-century, and providing cost-conscious structural engineering services for commercial, institutional, industrial and residential projects.
Six-storey wood-frame construction reflects a recent 2009 British Columbia building code change. Previously, four storeys were the maximum allowed height permitted in a wood frame. But that is quickly changing, Integra Architecture Inc. Principal Dale Staples says. “They’re just starting to become more common,” he says.
Integra recently designed two projects to be built with this material in British Columbia: Dominion, an apartment building with 118 units in New Westminster, and The Shore, an community in North Vancouver that will consist of five buildings with 375 units. Dominion will be ready for occupancy at the end of this year, and The Shore will start construction soon.
RAFII Architects Inc. strives to make developers and end-users smile, owner Foad Rafii says. “We like to see them both happy,” he says. “That’s our goal and we work hard towards that.
“RAFII excels at meeting the developer’s budget as closely as possible without sacrificing quality, which makes them smile, while also producing beautiful, quality homes and commercial spaces for the homebuyers and end-users,” he states. “We never claim that we are the best architects.
Celebrating a century of success isn’t something every company gets to do. That is why 2012 is a big milestone for NFOE et associés architectes, a Montreal-based architectural practice. NFOE has become a full-service architectural firm providing clients with creative and innovative design solutions in response to functional and highly technical challenges and requirements.
Rubin and Rotman Associates have designed a great variety of structures for all types of functions and clients. Currently, the architectural firm has two different multifamily residential projects under construction. One is the rehabilitation of a 120-year-old, four-storey solid masonry industrial building in a historic section of downtown Montreal that is being converted to high-end residential lofts and condominiums. The other is a suburban project consisting of three condominium buildings being constructed around a park that is above an underground municipal pumping station.
In geology, strata are a sequence of rock layers. In cooking, strata are a type of layered casseroles. In Burlington, Ontario, however, Strata is a new residential tower of condominiums that layers modern urban design, environmentally sensitive construction and features, as well as healthful-living amenities to attract buyers looking for a luxurious waterfront development in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).
Although Hossack & Associates Architects has a depth of experience in K-12 education projects, the company’s ability to effectively drive down costs and eliminate potential pitfalls in a structure’s design has the Ontario architecture firm looking into new markets. Principal Peter Hossack says higher education is his firm’s next target, and he sees no reason why Hossack & Associates will not succeed in Ontario’s burgeoning college and university sector.