The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada today announced the recipient of this year's Architectural Firm Award: RDHA, a Toronto-based practice that can look back at a 98-year-long legacy (founded in 1919 as Rounthwaite Dick and Hadley Architects) and, a decade ago, decided to re-emerge as a studio with a redefined office structure, creative design process, and an influx of young talent.
The jury praised the reflection of the firm's renewal in its built work: "There is a remarkable consistency throughout the last 10 to 15 years of work by a younger generation of designers that have taken over the firm and kept the lineage and re-established themselves as a leading designing firm in Toronto. For the successors to rebuild the firm and reputation and deliver a fresh portfolio of completed projects, is exceptionally difficult."
Recent projects include Williams Parkway Operations Centre (2017, Brampton, ON), Surrey Operations Centre (2016, Surrey, BC), Waterdown Library and Civic Centre (2015, Hamilton, ON), Lakeview, Port Credit, and Lorne Park Branch Libraries (2011, Mississauga, ON), Hamilton Central Library and Farmers' Market (2010, Hamilton, ON), and Bloor/Gladstone District Library (2009, Toronto, ON).
The jury, comprising Peter Busby (Perkins + Will), Andrew Batay-Csorba (Batay-Csorba Architects), Johanna Hurme (5468796 architecture), Renée Mailhot (la SHED architecture), and Diogo Burnay (Dalhousie University School of Architecture), also spoke positively about RDHA's commitment to making even ordinary projects, such as industrial buildings, into delightful and visually interesting architecture. "Many of their projects are cost-driven. They make very good architecture with lean budgets."
The RAIC Architectural Firm Award is given in recognition of a firm's quality of architecture, service to clients, innovations in practice, as well as contribution to architectural education and professional organizations.
The award will be officially presented to RDHA at the RAIC/AANB Festival of Architecture in Saint John, NB this spring.
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