Ontario Association of Architects announces 2024 Design Excellence Awards finalists

The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) has announced the 2024 Design Excellence Awards finalists.

The Ontario Association of Architects (OAA) has announced the 20 finalists for its 2024 Design Excellence Awards.

The biennial OAA Design Excellence Awards program provides Ontario practices with the opportunity to display the influence of architecture and promote broader public recognition and appreciation for the field.

This year’s collection, which was chosen by a jury of design experts, features a variety of building types, including sustainably designed community centres, schools and learning facilities, residences, an indoor horticultural attraction, and performing arts venues in Sudbury and New York City.

These finalists serve as the shortlist for the OAA’s Design Excellence Awards category. The 10 winners will be announced next month and honoured at the OAA Conference in Niagara Falls in May.

“I am delighted to be able to share these stunning projects with the public,” said OAA president Settimo Vilardi. “Our architecture community is truly exceptional, pushing boundaries and shaping the landscape of the built environment in Ontario and beyond. Congratulations to the 20 Design Excellence Awards Finalists—your work serves as an inspiring testament to the exceptional talent within our industry.”

The 20 Finalists, which were selected from 100 eligible submissions, were judged on criteria such as creativity, context, sustainability, good design/good business, and legacy. Submissions also required disclosure of Energy Use Intensity (EUI) metrics, which reflect the OAA’s dedication to advance climate action in the public’s interest as well as ensuring sustainable, resilient design remains an important aspect of every successful project.

The following is a list of the 20 finalists in alphabetical order.

8 Spadina at the Well (Toronto, Ontario) by Hariri Pontarini Architects (Design Architect), Adamson Associates Architects (Architect of Record)

Photo credit: Doublespace Photography


Canadian Centre for Climate Change and Adaptation (St. Peter’s Bay, Prince Edward Island) by Baird Sampson Neuert Architects (now a part of WF Group Inc.), in association with SableARC Studio

Photo credit: Brady McCloskey

Centennial College A-Building Expansion (Toronto, Ontario) by DIALOG Ontario Inc.
Photo credit: James Brittain

Center for Computing & Data Sciences at Boston University (Boston, Massachusetts) by KPMB Architects
Photo credit: Nic Lehoux


Churchill Meadows Community Centre and Sports Park (Mississauga, Ontario) by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, Ltd. (MJMA)
Photo credit: Scott Norsworthy


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)
Photo credit: Chris Lee


Drake Hotel Modern Wing (Toronto, Ontario) by Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc.

Photo credit: Doublespace Photography


Harrison McCain Pavilion at Beaverbrook Art Gallery (Fredericton, New Brunswick) by KPMB Architects
Photo credit: Doublespace Photography 


Historians’ Library (Cambridge, Ontario) by Dowling Architects
Photo credit: Henry Dowling
House in High Park (Toronto, Ontario) by Ian MacDonald Architect Inc.
Photo credit: Tom Arban


Lawrence Orton Early Learning & Child Care Centre (Toronto, Ontario) by SvN Architects + Planners with E.R.A. Architects Inc.
Photo credit: Scott Norsworthy


The Leaf at Assiniboine Park (Winnipeg, Manitoba) by KPMB Architects (Design Architect) in association with Architecture49
Photo credit: Ema Peter Photography


Manitou a bi Bii daziigae (Winnipeg, Manitoba) by Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc. and Number TEN Architectural Group
Photo credit: Lindsay Reid/Diamond Schmitt


Neil Campbell Rowing Centre (St. Catherines, Ontario) by MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects, Ltd. (MJMA) in association with Raimondo + Associates Architects Inc.
Photo credit: Scott Norsworthy


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

Photo credit: Tom Arban Photography
Toronto Public Library–Albert Campbell Branch (Scarborough, Ontario) LGA Architectural Partners Ltd.
Photo credit: Doublespace Photography


University of Toronto Schools (Toronto, Ontario) by Diamond Schmitt Architects Inc.
Photo credit: Tom Arban Photography
Virgin Vineyard House (North Hatley, Quebec) by LAMAS Architecture Ltd.
Photo credit: Felix Michaud


Whistling Wind Island (Pointe au Baril, Ontario) by Atelier Kastelic Buffey Inc.

Photo credit: Doublespace Photography


Profiles of all 20 finalists will be posted on the OAA Website later this month, published in the forthcoming Awards 2024 book, and shared on social media.

The ultimate 10 Winners will be announced in early April. They will be celebrated at the 2024 OAA Conference in Niagara Falls this May, along with three other Design Excellence awards: the Michael V. and Wanda Plachta Award, the Lieutenant Governor’s Award for Design Excellence in Architecture, and the People’s Choice Award, which asks members of the public to vote for their favourite.

In April, the OAA will also announce the 2024 recipients of the biennial Best Emerging Practice, Medal of Service, and Lifetime Design Achievement Award, as well as the new inductees for the Honour Roll, which acknowledges the impact of members of the profession.

To see the 2022 Design Excellence Awards winners, you can read the Awards 2022 book or watch that year’s Celebration of Excellence.

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