The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada has awarded the 2012 Governor General’s Gold Medal in Architecture to KPMB Architects for The Vaughan City Hall. It is not the first time that a Canadian city hall has made waves internationally. As a student I travelled to Mississauga in the late1980s just to see the Dixon Jones designed city hall. Now it seems I will have to visit Vaughan City, and I can hardly wait.
In recent years the city has sub-urbanized rapidly without much of a unifying urban plan. This development has erased many of the historic buildings and field patterns and produced something of an urban dissipation. The new City Hall will provide a centre to the city both physically as well as administratively, and it is intend that it will provide the former around which the city will develop in future.
The idea is to create a civic campus that will shape a public terrain. The low long buildings with generous landscaping marries well with the ingrained Canadian perception of the vast plains. I would say that very few places could produce such an architecture.
This is the first stage, of the campus and subsequent stages will follow the masterplan. The building has also set high environmental standards aiming at a LEED Gold certification. In part at least, it is hoped local developers will be somehow inspired by this to make their buildings more sustainable. Lets hope so.