Six winners of the Western Red Cedar Architectural Design Awards demonstrated innovation, stylistic range and an aesthetic design that expressed building structures and surfaces across new construction and renovation projects.
For the competition, architects entered commercial, residential and other building projects that included community centers, medical facilities, university buildings, churches and private residences. Projects were judged by a three-member architect jury for their use of Western Red Cedar to reinforce consistent interior and exterior themes in boosting the overall design.
I was most impressed with the many fresh ways Western Red Cedar was reinterpreted as a material— physically and conceptually. It was a joy to see the range of applications, or rather the integration of the material – from thick, dense and structural to wafer thin skins, illuminated.
Alfred Zollinger, jury member and principal at Matter Practice.
Winners of the third edition of the Architectural Design Awards were:
Tahoe City Transit Center, Tahoe City, Calif. – Located in Tahoe City, California, the construction of the Tahoe City Transit Center (TCTC) marks a vital step toward a more sustainable transit network within the region. The structure’s long, low roof clad in Western Red Cedar hovers above the land and is carefully situated among the dramatic features of the site. TCTC responds to all seasons and integrates sustainability wherever possible. Its unique shape is tailored to featuring Western Red Cedar.
Architects: WRNS Studio.
SEMA4, Leucadia, Calif. – The four mixed-use, live-work buildings of SEMA4 are designed to feel and function like live-aboard boats. Western Red Cedar was the ideal material to provide the beauty, warmth and durability of these coastal buildings. The defining feature of the design, the gracefully curved hulls (1×6 WRC) and sails (hand laminated WRC curved members) are only possible because of the wood’s versatility.
Architects: Brian Church Architecture.
Sandy High School, Portland, Ore. – Sandy High School achieved a contemporary yet regional synthesis using heavy timber cedar frames and unpainted cedar board siding coupled with pitched roofs and asymmetrical massing, which exceeded both the City and District expectations. The favorable weathering of the cedar proved to be a recognizable aesthetic element used to meet the City requirements and a benefit for the long-term maintenance issues.
Architects: Dull Olson Weekes – IBI Group.
CUC Admin Campus Center, Claremont, Calif. – The project deploys a series of intertwined elements that transform the existing facility and redefines its public presence. These include a 74 foot-long screen, made of Western Red Cedar. To redefine the building’s character, the continuous cedar surface wraps portions of its north, east and south elevations. When passing over windows, the spacing of the cedar panels is increased to allow light in.
Architects: LTL Architects.
Jungers Culinary Center, Bend, Ore. – Special consideration was given to wood species selection and detailing to accentuate the cottage atmosphere of this project. Exposed wood structure, ceiling and soffits embellish the warm cottage feel expressed throughout the exterior and interior. The materials retain a careful interplay of contrasts, the transparency of glass adjacent to the textural qualities of cedar shingles and horizontal cedar siding.
Architects: Yost Grube Hall Architecture.
Local Church of the Saints, Toronto, ON Canada – The 50 year-old vacant 37,000 sq. ft. industrial building that previously functioned as a furniture factory required a major renovation. The existing brick facade was dilapidated and underwent major deterioration due to extreme winter conditions. The best material choice for the recladding was Western Red Cedar chosen for its warm and welcoming characteristics.
Architects: C.Y. Lee Architect Inc.
The Western Red Cedar Lumber Association (www.realcedar.org) sponsors the Architectural Design Awards “to recognize innovative design using one of the world’s most unique building materials, Western Red Cedar.”
The quality of the projects was very impressive. The award winners, as a whole, successfully explored cladding, wrapping and framing existing or new structures over large expanses.
Jurors were Alfred Zollinger, co-principal at Matter Practice, a New York firm that focuses on architecture and exhibition design; Ed Gaskin, lead architect at the award-winning firm Zaha Hadid Architects; and Richard Gardner, senior project manager at Freeman Fong, a civic and residential projects-based architectural firm.
In the best cases what really piqued my interest was the creative use of cedar integrated with the overall architectural design. What caught my attention and held it was that projects exhibited both simplicity of creative detailing coupled with individual signature elements.
Richard Gardner, senior project manager at Freeman Fong.