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Folklore Meets Design, Architecture and Light Deep in the Canadian Forest

Imagine yourself standing at a glowing threshold between reality and make believe, watching as mythical creatures dash across trees and into other dimensions. Imagine a world where the glimmer of fairies is reflected on a forest floor illuminated by trees of all colours; a world where a sea of stars transforms into an imaginary wolf, standing sentinel over its fairy tale universe. This enchanted world exists, thanks to the creatives at Moment Factory. In their Foresta Lumina video mapping project, they create a narrative installation set in the mysterious backwoods of Quebec, Canada. Find out how they add a little fantasy to ordinary reality after the break.

Inside "Arctic Adaptations" - Special Mention Winner at the Venice Biennale 2014

UPDATE: Our interview with Lateral Office is now up!

For this year's Venice Biennale, the Canadian Pavilion explored the ways modernity was absorbed in the extreme environment of Nunavut, Canada. As Nunavut is the newest, northernmost, and largest territory (with an area of over 2 million square kilometers) in Canada, Lateral Office hoped to shed on light on what Mason White called "modernity at an edge." Wowing the jury with their research and design, Arctic Adaptaptions: Nunavut at 15 garnered Mason White, Lola Sheppard, Matthew Spremulli, and their team a Special Mention during Saturday's awards ceremony. 

The geographic and cultural "edgeness" of Nunavut is examined over different parts of the exhibition in three mediums: a recent past, a current present and a near future. Matthew Spremulli explained that Arctic Adaptions sought to "look beyond standards" to see how the fundamentals of architecture are impacted in an area like Nunavut. Given the specific and acutely unique challenges to building and designing in an environment that, understandably, resists being colonized by southern models, the curators presented a case for adaptation.

© Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh © Nico Saieh

Russet Residence / Splyce Design

  • Architects: Splyce Design
  • Location: West Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Build: Powers Construction
  • Area: 4600.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Ivan Hunter

© Ivan Hunter © Ivan Hunter © Ivan Hunter © Ivan Hunter

South Surrey Recreation & Arts Centre / Taylor Kurtz Architecture+Design

© Ema Peter © Ema Peter © Ema Peter © Ema Peter

Ocean Park House / Campos Leckie Studio

  • Architects: Campos Leckie Studio
  • Location: South Surrey, Surrey, BC V4A, Canada
  • Area: 3200.0 ft2
  • Project Year: 2012
  • Photographs: Ema Peter

© Ema Peter © Ema Peter © Ema Peter © Ema Peter

The Vanglo House / LWPAC

  • Architects: LWPAC
  • Location: Vancouver, BC, Canada
  • Architect and Designer: Oliver Lang, Cynthia Wilson Principal, Thomas Bocahut
  • Area: 172.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2014
  • Photographs: Ema Peter

© Ema Peter © Ema Peter © Ema Peter © Ema Peter

Exhibition: The Mound of Vendôme

On view at the CCA from 19 June to 14 September 2014 and curated by architectural historian David Gissen, The Mound of Vendôme revisits one key episode of French history when the Commune de Paris in 1871 voted to demolish the Vendôme Column, abolishing all allusions to the Napoleonic era. To protect the surrounding architecture during demolition, a radical landscape was erected on Place Vendôme. Informed by the methods of experimental history, Gissen’s ongoing research project and installation at the CCA traces the provocative history of the column and mound, while arguing for its historicisation and reconstruction. 

Revised Design Unveiled for Toronto's Mirvish+Gehry Towers

Frank Gehry and Developer David Mirvish have revealed the latest design iteration in their embattled plan to build a set of mixed-use skyscrapers in Toronto. The new design reduces the number of towers, from three to two, however the remaining towers are taller than before, with one at 82 stories and one at 92.

The buildings will house apartments, a new art gallery and space for OCAD University as previously planned, but the decision to use two towers instead of three means that three of the five existing buildings can be retained - including the Princess of Wales Theatre, and two designated heritage warehouses - sidestepping some of the criticisms of the previous scheme.

Read on after the break for Frank Gehry's take on the design

Courtesy of Mirvish Enterprises, Gehry Partners, LLP and Projectcore Inc. Courtesy of Mirvish Enterprises, Gehry Partners, LLP and Projectcore Inc. Courtesy of Mirvish Enterprises, Gehry Partners, LLP and Projectcore Inc. Courtesy of Mirvish Enterprises, Gehry Partners, LLP and Projectcore Inc.

Campos Leckie Studio: Adapting Materials Across Contexts

In the following interview, presented by ArchDaily Materials and originally published by Sixty7 Architecture Road, Canadian firm Campos Leckie Studio defines their process for designing site-specific, beautiful architecture that speaks for itself. Enjoy the firm's stunning projects and read the full interview after the break. 

We asked Michael Leckie, one of the principals of Vancouver-based Campos Leckie Studio, about the importance of discovery in design and the textural differences between projects. Your website states that your firm is committed to a rigorous process of discovery. How do you explain that to clients?

Process is extremely important in our work. When we meet with clients we do not immediately provide napkin sketches or an indication of what form the work will ultimately take on. Rather, we focus on the formulation of the ‘design problem’ and the conditions that establish the basis for exploration and discovery. These contextual starting points include the site, program, materiality, budget, as well as cultural reference points. This is challenging for some clients, as our culture generally conditions people to expect to see the final product before they commit to something. 

Zacatitos 02. Image © John Sinal Zacatitos 03. Image © John Sinal Zacatitos 04. Image © John Sinal © John Sinal

University of Windsor CEI / B+H

© Tony Hafkenscheid © Tony Hafkenscheid © Dan Reaume © Tony Hafkenscheid

Edmonton Airport Offices and Control Tower / DIALOG

  • Architects: DIALOG
  • Location: 1000 Airport Road, Edmonton International Airport, EDMONTON INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, AB T9E 0V3, Canada
  • Architect in Charge: Stephen Boyd
  • Area: 8410.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Tom Arban

© Tom Arban © Tom Arban © Tom Arban © Tom Arban

Blantyre House / Williamson Chong Architects

© Bob Gundu © Bob Gundu © Bob Gundu © Bob Gundu

The Gambier Island House / Mcfarlane Green Biggar Architecture + Design

  • Architects: Mcfarlane Green Biggar Architecture + Design
  • Location: Gambier Island, Sunshine Coast F, BC, Canada
  • Design Team: Steve McFarlane, Michelle Biggar, Josie Grant, Daniel Marcotte, Lydia Robinson, Tomas Machnikoski
  • Area: 1700.0 sqm
  • Project Year: 2013
  • Photographs: Courtesy of office of mcfarlane biggar (omb)

Courtesy of office of mcfarlane biggar (omb) Courtesy of office of mcfarlane biggar (omb) Courtesy of office of mcfarlane biggar (omb) Courtesy of office of mcfarlane biggar (omb)

Behind the Living Wall: An Interview with Birgit Siber

Material Minds, presented by ArchDaily Materials, is our new series of short interviews with architects, designers, scientists, and others who use architectural materials in innovative ways. Enjoy!

Green, or living, walls have begun popping up and growing across commercial interiors everywhere over the last decade. To understand how a living wall functions, and how to design one, we went straight to a pioneer in the profession: Ms. Birgit Siber of Diamond Schmitt Architects in Toronto. The synthesis of natural systems and building systems had been in her mind since her days as a student, but the major break came in 2000, when her team constructed a massive living wall for The University of Guelph-Humbar. To understand how architects are closing the gap between interior and exterior via the living wall, read the full interview after the break.

© Steven Evans © Tom Arban © Tom Arban © Doublespace Photography

Thunder Bay Courthouse / Adamson Associates Architects

© Shai Gil © Shai Gil © Shai Gil © Shai Gil

Sorel Residence / NatureHumaine

© Adrien Williams © Adrien Williams © Adrien Williams © Adrien Williams