City’s best architecture honoured

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The 2012 Mississauga Urban Design Awards were handed out last night at City Hall, and — probably to no one’s surprise — Absolute World Phase IV was one of the big winners.

Better known as the “Marilyn Monroe” towers, after the curvy Hollywood siren, the project picked up an Award of Excellence, joining the renovated Lakeview, Lorne Park and Port Credit libraries (nominated as a group) and Scholars’ Green at the City Centre campus of Sheridan College on the podium.

Winning an Award of Merit were O’Connor Park in Churchill Meadows and private residences at 860 and 864 Goodwin Rd.

The awards ceremony, part of the city’s Culture Days events this year, included a celebration of the 25th anniversary of the Civic Centre.

Absolute World was cited by the jury as “a highly significant addition to the City of Mississauga (that) has earned its place as an important landmark and centrepiece in the downtown.”

“(It’s) a very fine example of a building that demonstrates innovation, progress and execution in tall building design,” said the jury, comprised of architect James M. Wright, landscape architect Brad Fleisher, student poster winner David Ferro, the City’s commissioner of planning and building Ed Sajecki, Ward 1 Councillor Jim Tovey and architect/professor George Baird.

Baird, the éminence grise of the jury (he was the professional advisor to the selection jury of the 1987 national design competition for the Civic Centre), noted that jurors had some reservations about Absolute World, despite the myriad accolades it has received nationally and internationally. The street-level design still needs to be dealt with moving forward, he said, speaking for the jury.

Baird, however, commended the overall project.

“I was in the waiting lounge (at Pearson airport) and there it was — hovering on the horizon, almost hypnotizing me,” he said.

Absolute World was designed by MAD Architects, Burka Architects and NAK Design Group.
The trio of libraries was designed by Rounthwaite Dick and Hadley Architects and NAK Design Group.

Scholars’ Green was designed by gh3 and Terraplan Landscape Architects.

O’Connor Park was designed by PMA Landscape Architects.

860 and 864 Goodwin Road was designed by En2 Development Corporation.

The Mississauga Urban Design Awards, now in its 31st year, is the longest such competition in Canada.