Media Releases

One Spadina Crescent project recognized at the 2014 Holcim Awards

September 26, 2014

TORONTO, ON — Nad­er Tehrani and Katie Faulkn­er, Prin­ci­pals at NADAAA, received a Hol­cim Award last week for their design of the Daniels Faculty’s new home at One Spad­i­na Cres­cent, one of Toronto’s most promi­nent and his­toric address­es. Pre­sent­ed by the Hol­cim Foun­da­tion, the awards rec­og­nize “projects and visions that con­tribute to a more sus­tain­able built envi­ron­ment.”

The Hol­cim Awards Jury called the One Spad­i­na project “a rare approach towards bring­ing a her­itage build­ing back to life through new con­struc­tion, one respect­ful of the exist­ing struc­ture, while intro­duc­ing new spa­tial qual­i­ties to the entire ensem­ble.”

The foun­da­tion also com­mend­ed the project’s approach to sus­tain­abil­i­ty: “The project’s basic objec­tives are to reha­bil­i­tate exist­ing urban, land­scape, and archi­tec­tur­al ele­ments — and, to demon­strate the [Uni­ver­si­ty of Toronto’s] aim to fore­ground sus­tain­abil­i­ty as part of its ped­a­gog­ic pro­gram via state-of-the-art con­struc­tion mate­ri­als and ener­gy sys­tems.

The jury fur­ther com­mend­ed the design for cre­at­ing a dia­logue “between the past and the present,” adding that this dia­logue is “most clear­ly expressed in the sequence of spaces at the inter­sec­tion of the ‘new’ and the ‘old’.”

Renew­al of the exist­ing his­toric build­ing on the icon­ic site is now under­way, and work to build the stun­ning mod­ern addi­tion will com­mence this fall. Once com­plete, the project will be a mod­el of sus­tain­able con­struc­tion, with a resilient struc­ture and the abil­i­ty to adapt over time. Fea­tures such as rain­wa­ter har­vest­ing, exten­sive day­light­ing, bicy­cle park­ing and green roofs built to incor­po­rate pho­to­volta­ic tech­nol­o­gy as it evolves are part of a broad­er low-car­bon approach to low­er­ing the project’s envi­ron­men­tal impact.

The Hol­cim jury expressed a par­tic­u­lar respect for “the efforts under­tak­en to inte­grate envi­ron­men­tal prin­ci­ples in the devel­op­ment of the design, with­out falling into the pit­falls and clichés of ‘sus­tain­abil­i­ty’. On the con­trary, new stan­dards for archi­tec­ture are con­fi­dent­ly brought to the fore.

Archi­tec­ture and Urban­ism Pro­fes­sor Richard Som­mer, Dean of the Daniels Fac­ul­ty, joined Bau­douin Nizet, CEO of Hol­cim Cana­da, and jury mem­ber Lola Shep­pard, a part­ner with Lat­er­al Office, to present Tehrani and Faulkn­er with the award on Sep­tem­ber 18th in a cer­e­mo­ny at Toronto’s Ever­green Brick­works.

The Hol­cim prize is one of many awards that NADAAA has received. Ear­li­er this month, the office was named the top design firm in the Unit­ed States for the sec­ond year in a row by Archi­tect, the mag­a­zine of the Amer­i­can Insti­tute of Archi­tects. Tehrani has received fif­teen Pro­gres­sive Archi­tec­ture Awards, the Amer­i­can Acad­e­my of Arts and Let­ters Award in Archi­tec­ture (2002), and the Coop­er Hewitt Award for Archi­tec­ture (2007). Recent com­mis­sions either com­plet­ed or under­way include the Fac­ul­ty of Archi­tec­ture, Build­ing and Plan­ning at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mel­bourne, and the Col­lege of Archi­tec­ture at the Geor­gia Insti­tute of Tech­nol­o­gy.

One Spad­i­na is a $72-mil­lion dol­lar project, which has received sub­stan­tial sup­port from the Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to and lead donors John and Myr­na Daniels. Last year, the Daniels Fac­ul­ty launched a cam­paign to raise $50-mil­lion, $45 mil­lion of which will sup­port the rede­vel­op­ment of One Spad­i­na ($5 mil­lion of John and Myr­na Daniels’ gift is devot­ed to new schol­ar­ships for stu­dents.) The Faculty’s fundrais­ing cam­paign has recent­ly received sev­er­al new land­mark gifts from alum­ni and friends, and con­tin­ues to seek new lev­els of sup­port from a broad spec­trum of donors in the art, design and city build­ing com­mu­ni­ty. The One Spad­i­na project will have a major impact on stu­dents, the pro­fes­sions and the city.

The Hol­cim Foun­da­tion has rec­og­nized the work of sev­er­al mem­bers of the Daniels Fac­ul­ty in recent years. Lec­tur­er Jonathan Enns also received an award at last week’s cer­e­mo­ny. The design­er — whose cur­rent work inves­ti­gates how design sys­tems (dig­i­tal and oth­er­wise) can be used to under­stand, manip­u­late and intel­li­gent­ly intro­duce for­eign ele­ments into design geom­e­try — was award­ed a “Next Gen­er­a­tion” prize for his devel­op­ment of an inter­lock­ing pan­el­ized tim­ber sys­tem. Pro­fes­sor Aziza Chaouni received the Inter­na­tion­al Gold Award in 2009, and Pro­fes­sor Mason White won the North Amer­i­can Gold Award in 2011. Prze­mys­law Latoszek won third prize in the Next Gen­er­a­tion cat­e­go­ry while he was a stu­dent at the Daniels Fac­ul­ty in 2011.

The Hol­cim Foun­da­tion received a total of 211 entries in this year’s North Amer­i­can com­pe­ti­tion. Out of these, the One Spad­i­na project and Jonathan Enns’ work were the only Cana­di­an projects to be rec­og­nized.


For more infor­ma­tion, vis­it or con­tact

Dale Anne Dun­can
Com­mu­ni­ca­tions Offi­cer
John H. Daniels Fac­ul­ty of Archi­tec­ture, Land­scape, and Design
Uni­ver­si­ty of Toron­to
230 Col­lege Street
Toron­to, ON M5T 1R2
Tel: 416–978-2253