Sunday, October 17

The Home Front: Vancouver Architects Receive Prestigious International Award

Patkau Architects received a 2021 RIBA International Award for Excellence for Design from Polygon Gallery

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Vancouver Firm Patkau Architects were recently awarded a 2021 RIBA International Award of Excellence, awarded by the prestigious Royal Institutes of British Architects, for their design from the Polygon Gallery in North Vancouver.

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The Polygon Gallery was previously called the Presentation House Gallery and operated in North Vancouver for more than 40 years. Its design and location, at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue in the newly developed industrial area of ​​Lonsdale Quay, offers incredible views of the water and downtown Vancouver.

“It’s a little gem of a building adjacent to a public square,” says Patkau co-founder John Patkau, adding that winning this award feels quite important because it is considered a serious one in his industry. Only 16 awards were given, and Patkau Architects were the only Canadian winners.

Members of the award jury visit the buildings they are considering for this award rather than just viewing the submitted images, says Patkau.

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“It is based on important architectural concepts. Things like public accessibility, amenities, sustainability, and many important social and environmental values ​​play a role. It is also an award that emphasizes the quality of the design, which I think makes it special, ”says Patkau.

Interior view of Polygon Gallery.
Interior view of Polygon Gallery. Photo by Ema Peter /PNG

One of the design elements that sets Polygon Gallery apart is its interior, designed with a north-facing sawtooth-shaped glass roof, says Patkau. This allows for daylight when exhibits benefit from light, along with a blackout system for those that don’t. Another element is how the electrical wiring of the infrastructure allows temporary partitions, suspended installations and lighting. This flexible use of space makes the interior easy to reconfigure from a gallery to a studio feel.

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The gallery exterior has an unusual cladding system made of mirror-finished stainless steel overlaid with perforated aluminum planks. “Perforated planks are used in pier and walkway structures as non-slip surfaces,” says Patkau. “They are quite transparent. So you look through this twisted, platform-like surface to see a polished mirror behind and the combination of these two gives us a lot of unusual effects. “

The exterior reflects the time of day, changes in light, and the surrounding colors. When the weather is cloudy, the Polygon can appear gloomy and with the right weather it is almost striking, explains Patkau.

When you look at the building for the first time, it is difficult to understand what is happening, due to the two layers. “The gallery spaces tend to be introverted, closed spaces, so this animation turns a blank frame into something much more attractive,” he says.

Patkau is in regular contact with the people who run Polygon Gallery and run programs there. Feedback is that visitors and the community love this space and feel it is a positive addition to the North Vancouver cityscape. “I would say that it has helped transform North Vancouver from a residential suburb into something that is becoming a complete urban environment on its own,” he says.

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Reference-vancouversun.com

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