News / Vancouver

Vancouver grants urban design awards to ‘raise the bar’

Vancouver may be known for its sparkling high rises, but the city wants to celebrate its smaller buildings, too.

Bragging rights were bestowed to the architects and developers that built the city’s best houses, low-rises, towers and parks at Vancouver’s inaugural urban design awards Monday evening.

“By celebrating the best of the best, you’re really helping to raise the bar for architects and owners going, ‘Oh gee, if I do something special I’m going to be recognized by the city for my desire to push the envelope,’” the city’s head planner Brian Jackson said Monday.

Plus, the awards are a good way to show residents all the good things happening in design in the city, Jackson said.

The awards come at a time where development faces increased backlash from many neighbourhoods, some of which perceive the city to be in developers’ pockets.

But the winning buildings were judged partly based on how they fit into their context and how they responded to community concerns, Jackson said.

These architects “took unique approaches and found ways to make those developments fit within the neighbourhoods,” he said.

Most large cities celebrate the design and architecture with some type of award, he added.

Winners included the Cloister House by Measured Architecture Inc. in West Point Grey, the Cactus Club restaurant at English Bay by Acton Ostry Architects Inc., and the Jericho Park Restoration by Sharp & Diamond Landscape Architecture.

These buildings exemplify how “innovative and imaginative design complements Vancouver’s natural beauty,” Mayor Gregor Robertson said in a statement.

Find a full list of winners here.

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