LMN Architects + MCM/DA wins first ever WAN Sustainable Building of the Year
Having considered all characteristics of its context to create an experience that integrates architecture with a new urban fabric, The Vancouver Convention Centre West in Vancouver by LMN Architects + MCM/DA became the first ever winner of the WAN Sustainable Building of the Year Award. From the topography to the natural ecosystem and social involvement, The Vancouver Convention Centre West exhibits aspects of sustainability far beyond its commendable energy performance data.
All of our jurors agreed that in their decision they had taken a broad understanding of sustainability and were looking for a project which has in the words of Arup Associates co-group leader Michael Beaven, ‘taken community, people and environment, and contextualised that for architecture’. As the panel studied stunning images, impressive statistical data and eloquent diagrams, it became clear that The Vancouver Centre West stood out in the way that it comprehensively fulfilled this criteria.
The social relevance and longevity of the project was ensured by the extensive involvement of the community in the Convention Centre’s design process. The project’s continuity of engagement throughout the design to operational processes was examined and admired by the whole panel. Beaven noted that there was ‘a huge amount of engagement during the process which is important’. Jerry Tate, Principal of Jerry Tate Architects had further praise for the contextual process and overall success of the project, complimenting the ‘seriousness of intent’ which ultimately draws ‘a very positive social environment onto the waterfront’.
As a result of the design process, the social, economic and environmental context of the site is manifested in the origins of every aspect of the Vancouver Convention Centre West’s architecture, inside and out. Remote judge and Principal of Alan Ford Architects, Alan Ford recognised the success of the project as a ‘solution that integrates naturally into its environment’. For Michael Beaven it ‘demonstrates its rigour and engagement with all those (contextual) aspects and creates a building that is striking in its context at the edge of the city’.
Our panel was also enthusiastic about the adopted technologies and innovative techniques present in the design. These once again embraced and complimented the resources of the context. Michael Beaven recognised that it ‘seriously addressed biodiversity in the city which was particularly interesting on the edge of the river environment’.
The stated goal for the project was to ‘bring urban ecology to the downtown core’. Jerry Tate was taken by the single building and new urban district as ‘one of the most transformative schemes’. Chartered Architect and Environmental Designer Sophie Pelsmakers commented on the urgency of the project. Further compliments of ‘fun’ and ‘radical’ were thrown around as the innovative and transformative moves of the project maintained the intrigue of the whole panel.
‘Architecture of lifting the spirit, not just mechanistic way of addressing environmentalism in architectural design’, mused Michael Beaven. For our panel of experts, The Vancouver Convention Centre West in Vancouver by LMN Architects is an exemplary display of environmental architecture which had them enthusiastic for the future of sustainability in architecture. Michael Beaven acknowledged the success of the project and its wider message, concluding ‘for people, for environment, for culture, for cities…it’s a much more serious message about architecture and its place in building cities and the sustainable aspects of them’.
Congratulations to LMN Architects + MCM/DA - the first ever winners of the WAN Sustainable Building of the Year Award!