OAA Announces Landscape Design Competition for its Headquarters

The landscape design competition for the OAA's headquarters encourages entrants to explore how to sustainably adapt its headquarters building and its site contexts.

The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) has announced the launch of a landscape design competition for its headquarters.

The competition is a key project to put the themes and priorities of the OAA’s five-year Strategic Plan into action such as climate action and equity, diversity, inclusion, and reconciliation.

The landscape design competition will also explore how buildings and their site contexts can be designed and adapted sustainably, while also considering the land of users and Indigenous communities on which the building is situated.

Along with acknowledging the Don River ravine context, participants will be asked to create a welcoming arrival experience, enhance the building, and recognize the role of sustainability and water use in the health of the environment.

The Association also has a goal of furthering its Renew + Refresh initiative, which made the Toronto building a model of net-zero design.

The winning project of the anonymous competition will be awarded the contract to redesign the landscaping at the OAA property, located at at 111 Moatfield Drive.

The OAA’s primary mandate is to serve and protect the public interest and seeks to take a leadership role in celebrating sensitive, responsible, and innovative design while emphasizing the role the architecture profession and design professionals have in building for resiliency and inclusivity.

The competition will be overseen by Ontario architect Joe Lobko, and will be open to teams led by a licensed member of the OAA or a Full Member of the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects (OALA) able to conduct the work through a Certificate of Practice or landscape architecture firm. All participating teams must include an OALA landscape architect and a civil engineer.

Eligible applicants will have their designs reviewed anonymously by a panel of esteemed jurors including Susan Speigel, architect with SSA Studio and OAA vice president, Sheila Boudreau, landscape architect with Spruce Lab, Michelle Longlade, lieutenant governor-appointed member of the OAA’s governing Council, Marc Ryan, landscape architect with Public Work, and Liz Wreford, landscape architect with Public City.

Submissions will be anonymously showcased as part of a public exhibition at the OAA Headquarters and will be on display for viewing during the annual Doors Open Toronto event in May. The winning design will be awarded a prize of $20,000 and be selected to lead the landscape redesign project. Two honourable mentions will also be selected with an award of $5,000 each.

“This competition is a natural extension and continuation of the ethos underpinning the Renew + Refresh project,” says Lara McKendrick, OAA vice president and chair of the Building Committee. “We see this competition as an opportunity to think about how we can take steps to heal our relationship with the land and its original caretakers. The key consideration underpinning all of this is what constitutes responsible landscape interventions in a time of climate change and reconciliation.”

The competition will officially launch on March 20, with final submissions due on May 16.

More information about the competition will be made available in the coming weeks on the OAA website.

You might also like