Atlantic WoodWORKS! 2016 Wood Design Award Winners Announced


(Halifax, November 8, 2016)  A select group of Atlantic Canada’s leading architects, engineers, and project teams received Wood Design Awards at the 2nd Atlantic WoodWORKS! celebration in Halifax on Tuesday afternoon.  The Atlantic WoodWORKS! awards program recognizes people and organizations that, through design excellence, advocacy, and innovation, are advancing the use of wood in all types of construction.


Jury member, Steven Street of Ontario WoodWORKS! said: “The quality of this year’s entries was exceptional. Many of the projects had a clear sensitivity to the culture of the Maritimes – especially some winning entries that emphasized regional materials and methods. The varied uses of the buildings really show the versatility that wood can bring to a project- producing sustainable, innovative, cost-effective building solutions – while significantly lowering the carbon footprint.”


Atlantic WoodWORKS! handed out nine awards at the event; seven went to specific wood projects and two were given to professionals whose contributions to the design/build community made them stand out as wood design experts and advocates.  Among the winning projects were the new Cabot Links Lodge, Cobb’s Pond Rotary Park Building, the qplex and the Harris East condo building.


“The inspirational projects showed how adaptable wood can be for buildings ranging in scale from single family homes to sports facilities with long-span wood trusses. We saw wood being used in its purest raw form and wood incorporated in hybrid systems with other materials,” explains Jury member, David Moses of Moses Structural Engineers. “This second year of the Wood Design Awards exemplifies the emerging trend of using local, sustainable wood in construction and I have no doubt this is just the beginning of a movement throughout Atlantic Canada to expand the innovative and creative use of wood in design.”


Wood WORKS! is a national, industry-led initiative of the Canadian Wood Council that promotes and supports the use of wood in all types of construction. Working with the design community, Wood WORKS! connects practitioners with resources related to the use of wood in commercial, industrial, institutional and multi-unit residential construction, assists in product sourcing, and delivers educational seminars and training opportunities to existing and future practitioners.




2016 Atlantic WoodWORKS! Award Winners


Award Winner
New Brunswick Non-residential Project Award



Project:  qplex (Quispamsis, NB)

Architect:  Murdock & Boyd Architects

Engineer:  Eastern Designers Company Limited


Located in Quispamsis, the arena project is a great example of using wood trusses in a long span creating a great looking modern hybrid roof system. Arched glulam wood trusses were used to create a sense of warmth in a cooler ice rink setting. This warmth significantly adds to the atmosphere of the building. Wood is used in combination with other materials which contrast and also complement each other. The wood lends a very natural element to the ambient conditions of the arena.


Nova Scotia Non-residential Project Award



Project: Cabot Links Lodge (Inverness, NS)     

Architect: Fowler Bauld & Mitchell Ltd.

Engineer: BMR Structural Engineering


The Cabot Links lodge in Inverness Cape Breton was divided into a series of buildings, linked by a heavy timber walkway allowed for the use of conventional wood construction facilitating the use of local contractors and embedding the project more fully within the local consciousness of rural Cape Breton.


The heavy timber post and beam walkway has galvanized steel connections, floating the posts above the walkway. The 2×4 Nail Laminated Timber structural decking follows the grid of the building turning with the curve of the structure, with the structural grid clearly marked.


The Cabot Links Lodge grows out of both its landscape and cultural conditions. Wood construction is very much part of the vernacular of rural Cape Breton.


Newfoundland and Labrador Non-residential Project Award



Project:  Cobb’s Pond Rotary Park Building (Gander, NL)     

Architect: Chris Woodford of Woodford Sheppard Architecture

Prime Consultant: Tract Consulting Ltd


Situated as the gateway to the redeveloped Cobb’s Pond Rotary Park in Gander the design of this new community building was focused on creating a structure that both complimented the surrounding landscaping while providing an interesting and dynamic experience for the park users. With this in mind wood was the natural choice material.


The building is framed and clad completely in wood. While in some aspects the building seems quite traditional with respect to how it’s constructed the wood cladding is detailed in a very modern fashion. The wood cladding and the wood scissor truss roofing system both extend beyond the length of the building to provide covered spaces for users while highlighting the entrances. The centre piece of the design is a slatted wood framed canopy around the building’s main entry. This canopy contrasts the shape of the main building in a very non-traditional way. The canopy emphasizes how flexible wood construction can be and how simply it can be used to create unique design.


Atlantic Hybrid Award



Project:  Simpson Landing (Dartmouth, NS)     

Architect:  William Nycum & Associates Ltd.

Engineer: CBCL Limited


This project has a great story- it illustrates how an institutional care facility can be designed to fit its purpose but also to fit the landscape and ensure the comfort of its clients. Simpson Landing provides transitional mental health services for people moving from inpatient care to independent living situations.

The potential for the building to appear as a large institutional facility was mitigated by introducing traditional peak-roofed “house” forms to dissolve the large facility into smaller units. Each “house” is home to ten residents, and all of the houses are linked together to allow support and care staff access to individuals and groups and encourage healthy socialization among the residents.

The client wanted the exterior of the building to relate to the adjacent residential community, helping the project to fit in with its neighbourhood, and greatly reducing the stigma for people entering a “hospital” for mental health care.


Atlantic Multi-Unit Residential Award



Project:  Harris East (Halifax, NS)

Architect:  Michael Napier Architecture

Engineer:  Pinto Engineering Ltd.


The Harris East condos are located in an increasingly vibrant neighborhood in central Halifax.

Wood frame construction was chosen for both speed of erection and economic reasons.

Structurally, the designers were able to choose a variety of wood products that minimized the need for interior bearing walls which aided in achieving the open plan concept characteristic of these smaller urban suites. Through massing, scale and materiality the building was able to blend in with the more traditional housing units in the neighbourhood while also addressing the area’s industrial mixed-use components. The harder and brighter materials, such as corrugated galvalume and HPL panels were inspired by the industrial context. The use of wood speaks more to the residential context and softens the facade. All outdoor living areas are backed by vertical walls of stained shiplap siding, while all soffits above these spaces seamlessly incorporate the same wood product. Thus the areas most frequented by residents benefit from the warmth and texture of this native, natural product.


Atlantic Residential Award



Project:  Rabbit Snare Gorge (Inverness, NS)

Architect:  Omar Gandhi Architect   

Engineer:  Andrea Doncaster Engineering


Nominal sized lumber materials, bought and supplied locally were used for the framing of the cabin – engineered to withstand the extreme Cape Breton winds. The exterior cladding is made up entirely of eastern white cedar boards. The interior material palette is composed of birch plywood.


The end result is a tall gabled building resembling a solid block of local wood. This house is very striking due to its unusual proportions and over-all minimalistic approach.

Jury’s Choice Award



Project:  St. John Ambulance Headquarters (Dartmouth, NS)   

Architect:   William Nycum & Associates Ltd.

Engineer:   Pinto Engineering Ltd.


The St. John Ambulance Headquarters building is a one storey building that combines several functions under one roof.


Wood provided a familiar building material and economical choice for smaller-scaled portions of the building. The Administration wing of the project is primarily standard dimensional framing – easily adaptable and configurable for a standard office layout for private and shared workspaces. The wood trusses in the classroom wing provide column-free learning spaces and enhance the aesthetics of the exposed tongue and groove structural pine decking in these spaces. Clerestory windows are spaced between each of the classrooms’ trusses with light fixtures integrated into the truss forms themselves, providing an integrated approach to daylighting and artificial lighting strategies.


Wood, expressed as an interior finish in classroom spaces, provides a warm natural material, creating engaging spaces in which to teach and learn.


Atlantic Engineer Award



Engineer Award:  Andrea Doncaster (Andrea Doncaster Engineering) (Dartmouth, NS)   


Working on projects that highlight wood with exposed structure, and sharing the beautiful images of the finished projects helps Andrea contribute to the creation of a wood culture. Also, as an instructor who teaches Dalhousie Engineering students about wood construction, Andrea makes sure to be proactive with the latest developments, code changes and new products available in the wood industry. She brings this knowledge into her structural engineering practice where she can make recommendations to the clients and designers. Andrea continues to bring new and creative wood solutions to the local market.


Atlantic Architect Award



Architect Award:  Tom Emodi (TEAL Architects+Planners) (Halifax, NS)  


Tom Emodi and his team at TEAL architects and planners work to contribute to the creation of wood culture by trying to ‘push the envelope’ for the use of six storey wood, and eventually taller buildings. TEAL and its consulting team are applying for a building permit under the 2010 National Building Code using alternative compliance path. Tom continues to use wood wherever possible to demonstrate its qualities. Tom has been instrumental in the design and implementation of Atlantic Canada’s first 6-storey wood project and has played a very important role in increasing awareness and excitement concerning the new building code changes.





For additional information, photos, or to arrange interviews contact Carole Blenkhorn:

1-902-667-3889 (best)   •    1-902-664-6189    •     cblenkhorn@mlb.ca