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05.11.12 – Shim-Sutcliffe Architects recieve a Govenor General's Medal and an AIA award for Integral House

Integral House — a stunning private residence in Toronto designed by Daniels Associate Professor Brigitte Shim and her partner Howard Sutcliffe of the firm Shim-Sutcliffe Architects — recently received two significant awards: The Governor General’s Medal in Architecture and a design award from the American Institute of Architects.

The Governor General’s Medal in Architecture recognizes outstanding achievement in recently built projects by Canadian architects. Created by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and administered jointly with the Canada Council for the Arts, this program contributes to the development of the discipline and practice of architecture, and increases public awareness of architecture as a vital cultural force in Canadian society.

"The recipients of the Governor General’s Medals in Architecture have distinguished themselves as visionary Canadian architects," said The Governor General of Canada David Johnston. "They have designed spaces where communities are forged, memories are enshrined and identity is created in built form. Few architects are able to realize their philosophies so fully in practice and in such diversity of project type and geography."

The RAIC describes Integral house on its website as "a two-storey building with a translucent, gently shaped, etched glass skin sitting on top of a wooden base. These serpentine walls of glass separated by oak fins form the gentle perimeter of the house, echoing the undulating contours of the valley and the winding pathways of the native forest."

In addition to home's beautiful design, the AIA notes the many sustainable features of the site and building: "A field of vertical geothermal pipes supplies heating and cooling for the entire project including the main concert hall/performance space for 150 – 200 people. A lush green roof is centrally located and a visual feature from many parts of the project. The vertical wooden fins provide sun shading from the exterior as well as contributing to the acoustical performance of the concert hall/performance space. Materials have been carefully selected for their aesthetic contribution as well as their enduring qualities based on life cycle costing calculations."

More photos of Integral house can be seen on the RAIC and AIA websites.