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Vaughan City Hall Awarded Governor General's Medal in Architecture
May 08, 2012
Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB) is delighted to announce that the Vaughan City Hall is the recipient of a 2012 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture. Awarded biannually, the Governor General’s Medals celebrate outstanding achievement in recently completed projects built by Canadian architects. The awards, created by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and jointly administered by the Canada Council for the Arts, support the discipline and practice of architecture, and increase awareness of its vital contribution to Canadian culture.

“We have cultivated a new civic landscape for Vaughan that achieves a fine balance between the building and the square, generating new public rooms – inside and out – that act as significant figures of open and transparent space.” – Bruce Kuwabara, partner at KPMB Architects and Design Architect for the project.

The 2012 Governor General’s Medals for Architecture were selected by a jury of the following eminent architects:
• Manon Asselin – Founding Partner, atelier TAG / Adjunct Professor, University of Montreal
• Joost Bakker, FRAIC – Principal, Dialog (Vancouver)
• Siamak Hariri, MRAIC – Founding Partner, Hariri Pontarini (Toronto)
• Catherine Slessor – Editor, The Architectural Review (London, UK)
• Alejandro Villarreal – Director, Hierve Diseòeria (Mexico City, London)

The City of Vaughan was once a rural township north of Metropolitan Toronto. Today, it is one of Canada’s fastest growing municipalities. However, rapid suburbanization and the absence of a unifying urban plan have consequently erased the local farmland and its historic architecture. The new City Hall marks the first phase of a long term vision to set Vaughan on a new course for environmentally responsible and civic-minded development. The design is based on the idea of a civic campus of low-rise buildings to shape a public terrain. The buildings are sited according to the east-west bands characteristic of the regional pattern of land cultivation and its concession grid. The first building, the City Hall, anchors the composition and establishes the order from which future phases will be carried out. Since opening in the Fall of 2011, the City Hall has already set a benchmark for green building in Vaughan and, in the process of pursuing LEED Gold certification, is also sending a strong message to the local developer industry to embrace sustainable principles of design and building.

The architectural team for the Vaughan City Hall project included Bruce Kuwabara (design partner), Shirley Blumberg (partner-in-charge), Goran Milosevic (principal), Kevin Bridgman (associate/project architect), Garth Zimmer (project architect), Walter Gaudet, Andrea Macaroun, Artur Kobylanski, George Bizios, Shane O’Neil, Carla Munoz, Bill Colaco, Richard Wong, Safdar Abidi, Ramon Janer, Dave Smythe, Lilly Liaukus, Jacki Chapel, and Armine Tadevosyan.

Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects was founded in 1987 by Bruce Kuwabara, Thomas Payne, Marianne McKenna, and Shirley Blumberg, and has since risen to become one of Canada’s leading architectural practices. The diversity of the partnership and its commitment to excellence is reflected in its portfolio of work. This is KPMB’s 12th Governor General’s Medal and its third for civic architecture after Kitchener City Hall and Richmond City Hall in Richmond, BC (in association with Dialog – formerly Hotson Bakker Architects). KPMB’s projects have earned over 100 awards for architectural excellence.

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