Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

The Wood Design Awards 2003

Academic journal article British Journal of Canadian Studies

The Wood Design Awards 2003

Article excerpt

D. Griffith (ed.), The Wood Design Awards 2003 (Halifax: Tuns Press and Janam Publications, 2003), 124pp. Paper. $27.95. ISBN 0-929112-50-4.

If the Louis Sullivan dictum that 'form follows function' still stands then the first of the joint winners of honours awards for the Wood Design of 2003 fits perfectly. The Minneapolis Rowing Club (Vincent James Associate Architects) looks like a boathouse on a grand scale but once inside one appreciates the true nature of its functionality. It is roughly divided 2:1 between storage and utility spaces with boats below and activities above but the choice of materials give it beauty. The roof curve has a wave-like structure created by the 'incremental rotation of inverted glulam and steel cable trusses around a neutral axis' (p. 14) which produces simplicity that undoubtedly swayed the judges in its favour.

The second winner is Maison Goulet (Saia Barbarese Topouzanov Architects) situated in the harsh landscape of the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal. Simplicity is also its strength and the relationship between interior and exterior is maximised with large openings at the southern elevation. Whereas the boathouse had no insulation - hardy chaps these rowers - the house is well protected without loss of window space. Various woods are used with white oak doors and windows and yellow birch flooring at the second level and the jury commended the 'monolithic use of full panels of Douglas fir plywood' (p. …

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