Diamond and Schmitt Architects wins two CISC Steel Awards

The Canadian Institute of Steel Construction (CISC) presented Diamond and Schmitt Architects with two awards at the 21st Ontario Steel Design Awards.

In the Green Buildings category, the Centre for Green Cities at Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto received the Award of Excellence. The project involved renovating a group of heritage industrial buildings and constructing a five-storey administrative centre on top of the existing ground floor brick structure.

“Steel and micropiles made it possible to retain the existing brick walls that make up the building’s perimeter,” noted the CISC. The client was also very interested in sustainability to produce the most efficient product possible. In this case, the lightest weight structure that could be built, integrating mechanical and architectural systems was a steel-framed building supporting precast concrete floor slabs.

Project architect Michael Leckman said steel allowed a visual connection to be made between the retained heritage elements and the new building. “Steel was exposed wherever possible by using intumescent paint and overlapping perforated steel panels in the guard rails added a dramatic dimension.” The Centre incorporates a visitor welcome centre, retail and amenity space, administrative offices, and workspace for the program partners. Structural Engineer on the project was Halsall Associates, General Contractor was Eastern Construction and Norak Steel Construction Ltd. was the steel fabricator and detailer.

In the Architectural category, the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael’s Hospital received the Award of Merit for innovative use of steel. The nine-storey building features a choreographed series of connected public spaces, culminating in a series of three stacked, double-height lounges. An elegant wishbone stair connects these lounges and provides a sculptural embodiment of the aspirations of the building to promote interaction between two disciplines of research and education.

“The aesthetic impact of the stair, its lightness, transparency and sculptural power is made possible through the use of steel.” noted the judges at CISC.

Project architect Matt Smith said “single bent tube stringers provided high strength to weight ratio which in combination with a fine stainless steel mesh created a light and near transparent dimension when viewed against the adjacent windows.” Structural Engineer was exp. Services Inc., General Contractor was Eastern Construction and Core Architectural Metal was steel fabricator, detailer and erector.

At an event earlier in May, the CISC Quebec chapter awarded Diamond and Schmitt Architects and AEdifica Architects the Award of Excellence in the Commercial/Institutional category for use of steel on the new Montreal Concert Hall, to open September 7th this year.

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