June 11, 2009
One St. Thomas
Art Gallery of Ontario wins acclaim in Pug awards
The transformation of the Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) won big in the fifth annual Pug Awards, taking home top honours in the commercial/institutional category.
Designed by Frank Gehry of Gehry International Architects Inc. and constructed by EllisDon, the revitalized facility reopened to the public in November, 2008. One of the highlights is a new Dundas Street entrance.
Honourable mentions went to Max Gluskin House, Department of Economics at the University of Toronto and the Four Seasons corporate headquarters on suburban Leslie Street. The respective architects were Hariri Pontarini and Page + Steele/IBI Group Architects. Contractors were Steelcase Construction and Vanbots.
Winning projects were chosen in an online poll from among eight commercial or institutional projects and 24 residential developments that were completed in 2008, located in the city of Toronto and have an area greater than 50,000 square feet.
Some 45,000 votes were cast this year.
The project which garnered the least votes in the commercial/institutional sector was the Mount Sinai Joseph & Wolf Lebovic Centre.
Voted best new building in the residential category is One St. Thomas, a 29-storey stepped, point tower designed by New York’s Robert A.M. Stern Architects in conjunction with Young + Wright Architects. General contractor was Veisman Consulting Ltd.
“For the fifth consecutive year, the people of Toronto have embraced the Pug Awards as a platform from which to voice their opinions, thereby heightening awareness of urban planning and architecture in our city,” said Anna Simone, co-founder of the awards and a principal at interior design firm Cecconi Simone.
“As developers, architects and designers, we can only benefit from this feedback as a guide to improve future developments.”
Awards co-founder Gary Berman, managing director of real estate financier Tricon Capital Group, said the winners in both categories “are on a par with the highest quality buildings in any major city.”
Winners were presented with certificates and engraved plaques. Formerly known as the Pugly Awards, the awards program gives the public an opportunity to vote on the best and worst of Toronto’s newest real estate developments.
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