Associate Professor Thün and Assistant Professor Velikov Receive 2011 RAIC Award of Excellence for Innovation in Architecture

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has recognized the work of Taubman College associate and assistant professors and founding partners of the professional practice RVTR Geoffrey Thün and Kathy Velikov with a 2011 Innovation in Architecture Award of Excellence for the Practice of Architecture. The biannual prize was awarded to Team North / RVTR Inc. for the North House Responsive Envelope System. The award will be presented at the AIBC/RAIC Awards in Vancouver BC, May 24-27, 2011.

North House is a prototype prefabricated solar powered home designed for northern climates (42°-55° latitude) that advances responsive envelope design through the pairing of hybrid integrated active and passive envelope systems with interactive controls. In combining these technologies, the prototype delivers a net energy-producing dwelling that sponsors new relationships between occupants, their surrounding environment and building systems. Design research was undertaken by an interdisciplinary, inter-institutional team engaging faculty and graduate students from the University of Waterloo, Ryerson University, and Simon Fraser University’s School of Interactive Art and Technology, working through intensive collaboration with professional and industry partners. Negotiations are currently being finalized to install the North House Project on a permanent site in Cambridge ON where it will continue to undergo long term post- occupancy testing of its systems, and function as a locus for building public awareness around the potential of high performance residential design.

Jury Comments:

“This is a unique house which integrates the latest in building technologies making it specifically designed for northern climates. It combines such things as solar energy, systems automation and natural light diffusion to produce an energy – positive home. The ceiling system is also quite innovative and provides a compelling atmosphere within this unique house. This type of experimental home is very much in line with work being conducted at the National Research Council and would warrant possible collaboration in the future.”

“This is “aggressive design research” at its very best! The university and the architects should be congratulated in creating a true “living laboratory” to help us better understand what it means to dwell in the Canadian north.”

For more Information, on the RAIC Awards Program, click here.