Awards for Excellence in Design and Execution

The Board of Directors of the Ontario Glass and Metal Association is pleased to announce the winners of the 2024 Awards for Excellence. There are two awards, one for Excellence in Architectural Glass & Metal Design and one for Excellence in Architectural Glass & Metal Execution.

Description of Awards

The Awards for Excellence are annual awards that recognize excellence in the design and execution of a building that incorporates the use of architectural glass and metal. One award will be presented in each category (DESIGN and EXECUTION).

The awards competition opens in January of each year. Any member of the OGMA in good standing may submit as many nominations as they wish. Projects nominated are reviewed by our volunteer panel of judges.

2024 Award Winners

Winner of the 2024 Award for Excellence in Design:

Diamond Schmitt for Robarts Common, Toronto, Ontario

Feedback from the judges: “The Robarts Common provides a very unique, complex and elegant response to the requirement for additional study space adjacent to the John P. Robarts Research Library — an early 1970s brutalist/futurist building predominantly clad in concrete.

The juxtaposition of the new high-performance glass façade with the solidity of the original heritage-listed building is very successfully executed. The design of the triangulated glass façade — a series of faceted planes — pays homage to the triangular geometries which informed the original building design.

Utilization of a unitised aluminum framed glazing system allowed the complex curtain wall to be manufactured in shop and then efficiently installed on site. High-performance IGU are used throughout, complete with a customized ceramic frit. Automatic blinds located on the west façade work to control light spillage into the surrounding neighbourhood and are on sensors activated by sunlight, which work to reduce solar heat gain. There is complex engineering at play here, with the building addition designed as a steel gambrel truss with diagonal braces acting as a five-storey bridge spanning a grade-level loading dock which remained active during construction.

The end result is a new building that provides students and faculty with access to an abundance of collaborative study spaces filled with daylight and strong visual connections back to campus.”

Winner of the 2024 Award for Excellence in Execution:

Applewood Glass for Escarpment House, Niagara Region, Ontario

Feedback from the judges: “To most casual observers, the simple ‘Miesian’ appearance of this project belies the complexity of its design and construction. In contrast to the era of cheap energy that saw the creation of famous mid-twentieth century glass houses, this modern glass house, in using glass as a logical design response to its picturesque and rural setting, has to respond to the contemporary reality of high energy costs and heightened environmental awareness. The solution — large, heavy and fragile triple glazed IGUs — however opens the doors to other significant challenges; namely logistical and installation. The completed project is a clear demonstration of the uncompromised realization of the design while successfully overcoming the challenges of execution.”


2023 Award Winners

Winner of the 2023 Award for Excellence in Design:

Perkins+Will for the York University School of Continuing Studies, Toronto, Ontario

Feedback from the judges: Acting as a new gateway on the south side of the York University campus, the School of Continuing Studies is an elegant and bold building that successfully asserts the School’s identity and culture. At first glance, it presents a complexity in building design, and yet upon further understanding a simple geometric logic is discovered. The building is a twisted series of rectangular floor plates rotated around a common centroid, which is then clad with a façade of seamless triangulated panels composed of “off-the-shelf” components. These panels incorporate either a high-performing IGU or clear anodized aluminum at opaque sections. An abundance of daylight on all floor levels is the end result, enhancing the spatial experience within the School’s various learning and administrative areas.

Winner of the 2023 Award for Excellence in Execution:

Antamex Industries ULC for the New Toronto Courthouse, Toronto, Ontario

Feedback from the judges: To a casual observer, this building could be mistaken for just one more of the myriad of glass-clad towers springing up in Toronto. However, therein is the acknowledgment of the extreme technical challenge of the design of this exterior envelope. The building’s function obligated the design team to address the challenge of the heightened contemporary security concerns. While we certainly hope that it is never actually tested by any such threats, the fact that it has been designed to do so while utilizing a predominantly glazed exterior envelope warrants this recognition for technical execution in glass and metal.

The 2020 to 2022 Awards for Excellence were cancelled due to COVID-19.

2019 Award Winners

Winner of the 2019 Award for Excellence in Design:

CannonDesign for its work on York University Student Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Feedback from the judges: The limited but tasteful application of large vertical wood shade fins juxtaposed against elegant, yet simple expanses of aluminum curtain wall and metal panelling combines to create a visually pleasing and memorable composition. Without question, the very controlled application of the wood injects significant warmth and unique character to the design while serving the very practical function of solar shading.

Winner of the 2019 Award for Excellence in Execution:

Stouffville Glass Inc. for its work on Rob and Cheryl McEwen Graduate Study & Research Building, Schulich School of Business, York University, Toronto, Ontario

Feedback from the judges: The creation of a “Hybrid Passive/Active Environmental Control System” utilizing the entire exterior glazing systems of the building actively demonstrates how glazing design can reach beyond aesthetics and the typical association of low thermal performance to become an integral and necessary component in reducing the carbon footprint of a building. The overall effect of the system’s natural ventilation of the building is firmly a contributor in the contemporary drive towards Green working spaces – the way of the future of energy efficient building design.

2018 Award Winners

Winner of the 2018 Award for Excellence in Design:

Moriyama & Teshima for its work on Humber College Student Welcome & Resource Centre, Toronto, Ontario

Feedback from the judges: The simplicity and elegance of this project belies the fact that no one individual component is used in a non-conventional manner. Nonetheless, the beauty of the composition lies in the sensitive application of these components – the clear glazing, aluminum rod screen and structural steel frame – to create a harmonious, inviting and multi-layered play between interior and exterior.

Winner of the 2018 Award for Excellence in Execution:

Bass Installation for its work on UTSC – Environmental Science & Chemistry Building, Scarborough, Ontario

Feedback from the judges: The technical complexity of this design takes the often understated element of the curtain wall trim cap and makes it the major component of the visual identity of the building. Each vertical fin is a unique micro-design that, together with its neighbours, juxtaposes against the more conventional glazing of the composition to create a very dynamic and memorable façade.

2017 Award Winners

Winner of the 2017 Award for Excellence in Design:

Diamond Schmitt Architects for its work on Lazaridis Hall, Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario

Feedback from the judges: Notwithstanding the impressive cantilevers, the elegant yet somewhat conservative exterior belies an impressive courtyard interior whose character is defined by an awe-inspiring curvilinear skylight. The transparency of the projecting glass-clad bays within the courtyard, juxtaposed against wood-slat clad walls, create visual nodes of activity and interest within the warm yet modern multi-storey space.

Winner of the 2017 Award for Excellence in Execution:

Noram Building Systems for its work on Vaughan Civic Centre Resource Library in Vaughan, Ontario

Feedback from the judges: The curvilinear form of the building’s plan coupled with the vertical cant in two axis of the curtainwall system requires significant design detailing and coordination, and generates construction challenges which are all successfully met. This building is a dynamic and excellent example of the application of standard curtainwall technology to create a very visually distinct façade.

2016 Award Winners

Winner of the 2016 Award for Excellence in Design:

Perkins+Will for its work on Mohawk College’s David Braley Athletic and Recreation Centre in Hamilton, Ontario

Feedback from the judges: While a relatively simple execution of curtain wall, the design of this building elegantly uses the curtain wall as the key aesthetic and functional element for the exterior appearance of the building and in creating the feel of the interior space; blending interior and exterior student life by means of its high transparency, mood lighting and media panel. The curtain wall in this project transcends merely being sculptural by having form effectively follow function and vice versa.

Winner of the 2016 Award for Excellence in Execution:

TAGG Industries for its work on Google’s Canadian headquarters in Kitchener, Ontario

Feedback from the judges: The upper storeys of the building consists of multi-faceted curtain wall panels with both inward and outward projecting planes that make for a very interesting facade. The execution on both the construction of the pre-glazed curtain wall panels and the installation of these complex units to perfectly come together along common non-planar joint lines is done flawlessly here. The juxtaposition of old and new is dealt with in a very elegant manner where both complement one another and create a stronger whole. This project is a wonderful example of how curtain wall can be manipulated to create complex geometric forms which exude a high level of elegance – this can only be carried off successfully if the execution is of the highest level.

Awards Criteria

The following criteria must be met for a project to be considered in either category:

  • Nominations must be made on the official nomination form, which must be filled out completely.
  • The project must be located within the Province of Ontario.
  • For the Award of Excellence in Design, the project architect must be registered with the OAA.
  • For the Award of Excellence in Execution, the glazing contractor must be a member in good standing of the OGMA as of January 1, 2024.
  • The project may be currently under construction or have been completed within the last five years.
  • Nominations must be made by a member in good standing of the OGMA as of January 1, 2024.
  • Members are not restricted in the number of nominations submitted.
  • Preferred projects will incorporate glazing systems or primary components from North American manufacturers.
  • Projects nominated need not be large; nominations can be made for portions of a project.

Judging of the Awards

Nominations will be judged upon:

  • Unique, pleasing, or complex design or features.
  • Level of difficulty in design.
  • Level of difficulty in execution and the quality of fabrication and installation, as indicated in the photos provided.
  • Incorporation of elements of sustainable design.