Diamond Schmitt Architects Receives Jury's Choice Award for Arts Centre Rejuvination

Diamond Schmitt Architects Receives Jury's Choice Award for Arts Centre RejuvinationThe National Arts Centre rejuvenation in Ottawa received the Jury's Choice Award at the premier event in Ontario dedicated T. Wood design and construction last night.

The expansion of Canada's foremost performing arts centre designed by Diamond Schmitt Architects was recognized for outstanding use of wood in architecture.

Three new wings have been added to the NAC, constructed of a prefabricated exposed wood structure. Laminated triangular wood coffers of western Canada Douglas fir serve as the finished decorative ceiling. "The use of wood and glass provide a contrast to the original Brutalist building," said Jennifer Mallard, Senor Associate, Diamond Schmitt Architects. "The geometry of the fine detailing in the wood coffers is inspired by the original building and adds a layer of texture to the 1969 structure."

Extensive wood application was added to the 2,100-seat Southam Hall to improve room acoustics. Hardwood flooring and wood seat backs replace heavily upholstered surfaces and the flooring is made of engineered white oak stained to match the dark brown of the original building palette. The reflective wood surfaces have brightened the sound and greatly enhanced the acoustic performance of the hall.

Diamond Schmitt also received the Interior Wood Design Award for Lazaridis Hall at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario. This 225,000-square-foot facility features major wood-lined spaces, including the atrium, 1,000-seat auditorium and 300-seat lecture hall.

Diamond Schmitt Architects (www.dsai.ca) is based in Toronto with studios in Vancouver and New York City. Informed by urbanism, driven by design, the firm's extensive portfolio includes performing arts centres, post-secondary facilities, and residential, institutional and commercial buildings. Current projects include the Collection and Conservation Centre at the Canadian Science and Technology Museum in Ottawa, Robarts Common at the University of Toronto and Buddy Holly Hall in Lubbock, Texas.

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