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Richmond Olympic Oval up for World Building of the Year award

The Richmond Olympic Oval in B.C and George Brown College in Toronto are among the projects on this year's short list for the 2009 World Architecture Festival Awards, organizers announced Tuesday.

The Richmond Olympic Oval in B.C and George Brown College in Toronto are among the projects on this year's short list for the 2009 World Architecture Festival Awards, organizers announced Tuesday.

The structures are among 272 entries competing for the World Building of the Year award.

The award is presented by the World Architecture Festival and given to architects who have shown excellence in design and detail.

Designed by Fast & Epp Structural Engineers, the Olympic Oval venue will host the long-track speedskating events at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Games. The building incorporates several sustainable-design elements, including a six-acre roof made partly from wood damaged by pine beetles and a system for reusing the heat created during the making of ice for the rink.

Kearns Mancini Architects Inc. is the firm behind the renovation that earned George Brown a nomination. The architects redesigned the building housing the college's culinary school.

Some of the other Canadian projects nominated are:

  • Whistler Public Library, Whistler, B.C., by Hughes Condon Marler Architects. The unique L-shaped building has a roof covered in green shrubs.
  • Roy McMurtry Youth Centre, Toronto, by Kleinfeldt Mychajlowycz Architects Inc. Previously a woman's prison, the building is now a centre for youth offenders.
  • 401 Wellington St., Toronto, by Stantec Architecture Ltd. Once the home to McGregor Sock Factory, this historic building was developed in 1905 and was recently renovated as a green office space.
  • Markham Centre Park and Civic Mall, Markham, Ont., by Janet Rosenberg & Associates. A new park that integrates the community and will be used during special events and activities.

Projects from 67 different countries, including Australia, China, South Korea and Iran, are in the running for this year's awards, which will be presented in Barcelona Nov. 4-6.

The nominees include a tree top restaurant in New Zealand, the Wimbledon Centre Court in London and a cultural complex in South Korea.

This year's awards will feature three new categories in addition to the standard Completed Buildings category: Interiors and Fit-out, Structural Design and Future Projects.

Architects will present their projects to a jury of renowned architects and industry figures during the festival.

Last year's winners were the Grafton Architects for their building design for the Luigi Bocconi University in Milan.

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