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James Dow


The Biophilic Response to Wood: Can it Promote the Wellbeing of Building Occupants?

Although the term may seem recent, the concept of biophilia has been used for decades in architecture and design. The guiding principle is quite simple: connect people inside with nature to promote their well-being and quality of life. With all the ongoing design trends that have consolidated as a result, the demand has focused on organic materials that emulate outdoor environments. Among all the options, wood is one of the most popular materials to bring nature indoors, not only because of its functionality, but also due to its multiple physiological and psychological benefits.

Polygon Gallery / Patkau Architects

© Ema Peter© Ema Peter© James Dow© James Dow+ 18

North Vancouver, Canada

Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe win the 2021 RAIC Gold Medal

The Royal Architecture Institute of Canada awarded the 2021 Gold Medal to the architectural duo Brigitte Shim and A. Howard Sutcliffe. The distinction is a recognition of the architects' long-lasting and pivotal contribution to Canadian architecture.

Muskoka Boathouse. Image Courtesy of Shim SutcliffeIntegral House. Image © Ed BurtynskyIntegral House. Image © Ed BurtynskyGarden Pavilion and Reflecting Pool. Image Courtesy of Shim Sutcliffe+ 73

Northwest Native: Homes of the Salish Sea

The Pacific Northwest is synonymous with rainy mountains, expansive coastlines and dense forests. Known for its majestic landscapes, the region has innate connections to the waterfront. Over time, these channels were referred to as the Salish Sea. Encompassing the Strait of Georgia, the Strait of Juan de Fuca, and Puget Sound, the intricate network of bays and inlets is bounded by British Columbia and Washington. Dotted with a number of major port cities, including Bellingham, Vancouver, and Seattle, the Salish Sea has also been home to many indigenous peoples.

© Andrew Pogue© Tim Bies© Kevin Scott© Kevin Scott+ 11

10 Unconventional Plywood Projects That Show The Bright Future of 20th Century Materials

Courtesy of PRODUCE WorkshopCourtesy of AREA and Electrotexture Lab© Rien van RijthovenCourtesy of TOMA!+ 27

Sold in standard 4 foot wide sheets since 1928, plywood has been a staple of conventional construction for nearly a century. Dimensionally strong, easily cut, lightweight and capable of creating an effective barrier, plywood and other engineered panels like OSB, particle board, and MDF is ubiquitous, particularly for their use as sheathing material in balloon and timber frame construction systems. Boats, airplanes and even automobile frames have historically been built out of plywood, predating (or replacing) steel, aluminum, and fiberglass. As a simple material capable of being manipulated and shaped in a wide variety of ways, sheet ply was also favored in furniture and architectural designs by modernists including Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarinen, Alvar Aalto, and Marcel Breuer.

Draw Inspiration From These 21st Century Bathroom Designs

The bathroom is one of the most static and traditional spaces in any residence. However, in recent times, this space has gained an identity that relates directly to the interior and exterior design of the house. As architects, we strive to create a warm, dynamic and attractive space for users.

Today, bathrooms that include new technologies, clean projects, integrating new materials with an emphatic use of color are highlighted. Next, we compiled a selection of 34 toilets that reflect this trend. 

Wong Dai Sin Temple / Shim-Sutcliffe Architects

© James Dow© James Dow© James Dow© James Dow+ 15

Markham, Canada

Art or Architecture? 13 Projects That Blur The Boundary

Whether architecture is a form of art or not has often been a controversial topic of conversation within the architecture world. If one goes by the general definition of the word "art," architecture could potentially fit within the umbrella term: "the expression or application of human creative skill and imagination, typically in a visual form such as painting or sculpture, producing works to be appreciated primarily for their beauty or emotional power." As anyone involved in the architectural discipline probably knows, there is an abundance of varying definitions of the word "architecture," so whether its primary purpose is to achieve beauty or to organize space is evidently up for discussion.

Ask Jay A. Pritzker, founder of the Pritzker Prize, and he may say that "architecture is intended to transcend the simple need for shelter and security by becoming an expression of artistry." Ask The Guardian's Jonathan Jones and he may tell you that "architecture is the art we all encounter most often, most intimately, yet precisely because it is functional and necessary to life, it's hard to be clear about where the 'art' in a building begins." But this ambiguity is part of what makes the field of architecture challenging and exciting. To celebrate this complicated aspect of architecture, below we have collected a list of just some of the works that could be seen as art, architecture or both, depending on who’s looking, to provide some context to those blurry boundaries.

© James Dow© Florian HolzherrCourtesy of Studio Olafur Eliasson© Anders Sune Berg+ 14

ARTlab / Patkau Architects + LM Architectural Group

© Patkau Architects © Patkau Architects © Patkau Architects © Patkau Architects + 22

Winnipeg, Canada

Tula House / Patkau Architects

© James Dow© James Dow© James Dow© James Dow+ 61

Strathcona, Canada

Material Inspiration: 10 Projects Inspired by Wood

To celebrate the launch of ArchDaily Materials, our new product catalog, we've rounded up 10 awesome projects from around the world that were inspired by one material: wood. Check out the projects after the break...

Beaty Biodiversity Center and Aquatic Ecosystems Research Laboratory / Patkau Architects

© James Dow© James Dow© James Dow© James Dow+ 26

Beaty Biodiversity Centre - Aquatic Ecosystems Research Labor​atory / Patkau Architects

© James Dow© James Dow© James Dow© James Dow+ 23

Linear House / Patkau Architects

© James Dow© James Dow© James Dow© James Dow+ 17

Salt Spring Island, Canada

Winnipeg Skating Shelters / Patkau Architects

© James Dow© James Dow© James Dow© James Dow+ 6

Grand Library of Québec / Patkau Architects + Menkès Shooner Dagenais Le Tourneux Architectes + Croft Pelletier

© Bernard Fougeres© James Dow© James Dow© James Dow+ 34

Montreal, Canada

Winnipeg Library Addition / Patkau Architects + LM Architectural Group

© James Dow© James Dow© James Dow© James Dow+ 24

Gleneagles Community Center / Patkau Architects

Gleneagles Community Center / Patkau ArchitectsGleneagles Community Center / Patkau ArchitectsGleneagles Community Center / Patkau ArchitectsGleneagles Community Center / Patkau Architects+ 19

West Vancouver, Canada