4 Ways Cold-Climate Cities Can Make The Most Of Their Waterfronts

Chaudière Island project in Ottawa. Image © Chris Foyd courtesy of

Urban waterfronts have historically been the center of activity for many cities. They began as economic, transportation and manufacturing hubs, but as most industries changed their shipping patterns and consolidated port facilities, many industrial waterfronts became obsolete. In Europe, smaller historic ports were easily converted to be reused for leisure activities. However, in North America, where the ports were larger, it was more difficult to convert the waterfronts due to logistical and contamination issues.

Over the past 40 years or so, architects and urban planners have started to recognize the redevelopment potential for waterfronts across the United States and Canada, and the impact they can have on the financial and social success of cities. Though cold-climate cities pose a unique challenge for waterfront development, with effective planning waterfront cities with freezing winter months can still take advantage of the spaces year-round.

Hazelton Residence 1 / Batay-Csorba Architects

© Doublespace Photography

Architects: Batay-Csorba Architects
Location: , ON,
Design Team: Jodi Batay-Csorba, Andrew Batay-Csorba
Area: 4000.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Doublespace Photography

Drake Devonshire Inn / +tongtong

© Nikolas Koenig

Designers: +tongtong
Location: 24 Wharf Street, Wellington, ON K0K 3L0,
Designers In Charge: John Tong, Eunice Lam
Area: 1010.0 sqm
Year: 2015
Photographs: Nikolas Koenig

AD Classics: German Pavilion, Expo ’67 / Frei Otto and Rolf Gutbrod

© Frei Otto

The pivotal turning point in the late Frei Otto’s career – capped by last month’s Pritzker announcement – came nearly fifty years ago at the Expo ’67 World’s Fair in , . In collaboration with architect Rolf Gutbrod, Otto was responsible for the exhibition pavilion of the Federal Republic of Germany, a tensile canopy structure that brought his experiments in lightweight architecture to the international stage for the first time. Together with Fuller’s Biosphere and Safdie’s Habitat 67, the German Pavilion was part of the Expo’s late-modern demonstration of the potential of technology, pre-fabrication, and mass production to generate a new humanitarian direction for architecture. This remarkable collection at the Expo was both the zenith of modern meliorism and its tragic swan song; never since has the world seen such a singularly hopeful display of innovative architecture.

STGM Head Office / STGM Architectes

© Stéphane Groleau

Architects: STGM Architectes
Location: 2980 Boulevard Sainte-Anne, Québec, QC G1E 3J5,
Area: 1000.0 sqm
Year: 2014
Photographs: Stéphane Groleau

Counterpoint House / Paul Raff Studio Architects

© Ben Rahn / A-Frame Inc.

Architects: Paul Raff Studio Architects
Location: , ON, Canada
Design Team: Paul Raff, Samantha Scroggie, Sean Solowski, Scott Barker, Ladan Sharifpour
Year: 2014
Photographs: Ben Rahn / A-Frame Inc., Steve Tsai

Clareview Community Recreation Centre / Teeple Architects

© Scott Norsworthy

Architects: Teeple Architects
Location: , AB, Canada
Area: 190000.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Scott Norsworthy, Tom Arban

Tall Wood Building and Self-Supported Steel Structure Win RAIC’s Innovation Award

© Ema Peter

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has awarded two British Columbia projects with the 2015 Innovation in Architecture award for their use of wood and steel: Michael Green Architecture‘s Wood Innovation Design Center in Prince George has been deemed to be an exemplar for tall timber buildings, while Patkau Architects‘ origami-inspired One Fold research project illustrates the structural potential of folding steel sheets. A closer look at both projects, after the break. 

Bar Raval / Partisans

© Jonathan Friedman / Partisans

Architects: Partisans
Location: , ON,
Design Team: Alexander Josephson, Pooya Baktash, Jonathan Friedman, Ivan Vasyliv, Ariel Cooke
Photographs: Jonathan Friedman / Partisans

John M. Harper Branch Library & Stork Family YMCA / Teeple Architects

© Shai Gil

Architects: Teeple Architects
Location: , ON,
Area: 60000.0 ft2
Year: 2011
Photographs: Shai Gil , Scott Norsworthy

KPMB and West 8 Selected to Redesign Toronto Ferry Terminal

Courtesy of West 8

KPMB Architects, West 8 and Greenberg Consultants have been announced as winners of a competition to revitalize Toronto’s Jack Layton Ferry Terminal and Harbor Square Park. The winning proposal, “Harbour Landing” envisions a terminal embedded within the surrounding park and topped with a lush public green space that expands the park.

“The vision for the area will result in a welcoming gateway to the Toronto Islands – one of the City’s most unique and cherished parks – with amenities and infrastructure to support the approximately 1.3 million visitors who use the ferry each year,” said competition organizers, Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto in a press release.

Philip J. Currie Dinosaur Museum / Teeple Architects

© Tom Arban

Architects: Teeple Architects
Location: Wembley, AB T0H,
Area: 42000.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Tom Arban

York House Senior School / Acton Ostry Architects

© Michael Elkan

Architects: Acton Ostry Architects
Location: 4176 Alexandra Street, Vancouver, BC V6J 2V6,
Architect In Charge: Mark Ostry, ARCHITECT AIBC AAA SAA OAA FRAIC
Project Lead: Susan Ockwell, ARCHITECT AIBC LEED AP
Area: 3345.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Michael Elkan

548 Stradbrook Condominiums / 5468796 Architecture

© James Brittain

Architects: 5468796 Architecture
Location: , MB, Canada
Area: 9200.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: James Brittain Photography

Vancouver Island Regional Library / Low Hammond Rowe Architects

© Sama Jim Canzian

Architects: Low Hammond Rowe Architects
Location: Nanaimo, BC,
Contractor: Century Group Constructors
Area: 28950.0 ft2
Year: 2014
Photographs: Sama Jim Canzian

Perkins+Will’s CIRS Building Wins RAIC’s Green Building Award

A pre-existing ‘desire line’ that cuts through the site was retained.. Image © Martin Tessler

Perkins+Will‘s Centre for Interactive Research on Sustainability (CIRS) at the University of British Columbia has been announced as the recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada‘s 2015 Green Building Award. Granted by the RAIC and Canada Green Building Council, the award celebrates stellar architectural designs adhering to responsiveness to occupants’ well-being and environmental responsibility. The CIRS achieved LEED Platinum status and is a regenerative structure, implementing ingenious strategies to sustain net-positive energy, net-zero water, and net-zero carbon in both construction and operation.

Courtyard House / Studio JCI

© Tom Arban

Architects: Studio JCI
Location: , ON,
Structural Engineering: LMS Engineering
Area: 392.0 sqm
Year: 2013
Photographs: Tom Arban

Photographer Chris Forsyth on the Montreal Metro, Going Underground, and Overlooked Architecture

Jean-Drapeau Station. Image © Chris Forsyth

Montreal-based photographer Chris Forsyth doesn’t see his city the way others do — that much is evident from his body of work, which includes rooftop photos of the skyline, nocturnal shots taken from the arm of a crane and now, images from the underground. The Montreal Metro Project is Forsyth’s latest series, documenting the often overlooked architecture of the urban subway since October 2014.

Composed of 68 stations, each designed by a different architect between the 60s and 70s, the Montreal Metro system is as diverse and idiosyncratic as the city it underpins. Forsyth captures the stations empty of passengers, highlighting their architecture and reframing them in a manner rarely experienced.  ArchDaily spoke to Forsyth about the series and the creative process behind it. Read his responses and view selected images from The Montreal Metro project after the break.