In their latest 2017 award announcement, the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada along with the National Trust for Canada presented the honorable 2017 Prix du XXe siècle to two of the country's architectural icons: Toronto's CN Tower and the Ontario Place Cinesphere and Pods. The prize distinguishes outstanding 20th-century Canadian architecture and landmarks for their enduring excellence and national significance through the years.
“This year the Prix du XXe Siècle celebrates combined achievements in both architecture and engineering design quality,” said RAIC President Ewa Bieniecka in a statement. “For the past four decades, these iconic places have captured the imagination and provided joy to their visitors”.
Read on for more.
Webb Zerafa Menkes Housden Architects and John Andrews Architects International worked alongside Roger du Toit — to build Toronto's CN Tower, which was completed in 1976.and contractors — like posthumous 2017 RAIC Gold Medalist
Standing at 553.33 meters above the city, the CN Tower was originally designed as a telecommunications facility to serve Toronto and its surrounding regions. It was formerly the world's tallest free-standing structure from 1976-2010. Today, the tower attracts over 1.5 million visitors from around the globe every year.
“The CN Tower is an incredible achievement of Canadian engineering and construction that pushed the boundaries of concrete technology,” noted the distinguished jury (listed below).
Ontario Place Cinesphere and Pods
Toronto architect Eberhard Zeidler completed the Cinesphere (a.k.a. the Bubble) and Pods at Ontario Place in 1971. Built from steel and aluminum tubes, the 35-meter-wide Cinesphere dome housed the world's first permanent IMAX theater. Suspended over Lake Ontario, the five interconnected Pods — at three stories each and 743 square meters — were initially used to host a multimedia exhibition and other functions.
The jury praised the Cinesphere and Pods as examples of the architectural and social success of the Montreal Expo ’67. “While the Cinesphere and Pods no longer house the functions they were originally designed for, they still exhibit the strong design presence they did when first completed,” they said. “They realize, in tangible physical form, some of the most ambitious Utopian architectural ideas from Europe and the United States of the 1960s.”
The Prix will be presented during the RAIC/OAA Festival of Architecture in Ottawa on May 24 to 27. The recipients will also be acknowledged at the National Trust for Canada’s national conference and awards event in Ottawa on October 13.
Julia Gersovitz, FRAIC, founding partner of EVOQ and adjunct professor at McGill University School of Architecture
George Baird, FRAIC, architect and former Dean of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design at the University of Toronto
Michael Heeney, FRAIC, principal architect for Bing Thom Architects in Vancouver
Check out more 2017 RAIC Award winners in the links below.
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