Town praises architecture

Qualicum Beach’s planning panel picks their top uptown buildings

Vila Rosa was one of the buildings honoured by council

Vila Rosa was one of the buildings honoured by council

There are many reasons Qualicum Beach is a considered a highly desirable place to be, and one of those reasons is the actual look of uptown.

That look didn’t come by accident and town council made a point of recognizing five recently-constructed buildings that have added significantly to that look.

The award recipients were selected by the town’s advisory planning commission and were recently presented by Mayor Teunis Westbroek.

“Periodically, we ask our APC to look at the buildings that have been built in the town and come up with a list of those deserving of these prestigious Qualicum Beach design awards,” said planner Paul Butler. “Over the years working with developers,  Qualicum Beach has been fortunate to attract such developers willing to put in the extra effort to build in Qualicum Beach and it really shows in our architecture and quality of our buildings.”

The first Building Design Award went to Qualicum Manor, located at 124 Fourth Ave. and designed by architect Stewart Howard.

“Qualicum Manor is designed in period style with a high degree of competence and care resulting in an elegant and beautifully proportioned building,” said the APC in recommending the site. “The building is constructed with a high level of craftsmanship, setting a high standard for the neighbourhood and the town.”

Next was 672 Beach Road, owned by Karen Bennett and designed by Baylis Architects.

“A modestly scaled commercial/residential infill that elegantly fuses contemporary detailing and materials with context-driven form,” said the APC. “Details, such as box-gutters and reveal-panel siding and clear-stained wood arbors contribute to an engaging but uncluttered public realm. As attractive in the rear as it is on the street front. They could have done a traditional parking bay at back but did not. Windows at lower level are large and give building a floating affect, nicely landscaped. Used every square inch of the lot yet there isn’t a feeling of crowded or overly dense; front of building, windows are flush with street level.”

Bill Vander Zalm’s Villa Rose, designed by Ulrich Laska Architectural Corp and Brian Johnson, also won an award.

“A three storey commercia and residential building that is competently designed in consideration of the character guidelines. Deep arcades at ground level integrate well with the streetscape. Heavy articulation of the roof, dormers and window trims break-up the massing and moderate the scale of the building to the context. The APC has always tried to get builders to soften with landscaping; and Villa Rose has done this, as well as the parking being well done.”

Camelot Homes, located at 122 Second Ave., was also honoured.

“A warehouse make-over ingeniously fuses the business with the architecture in a manner that is both strategic and considerate of its surroundings,” the APC wrote. “Thoughtful placement of landscape treatment is key to the integration of the industrial building with the site and streetscape. Camelot Homes deserves a design award. You don’t get a sense of storage, even though it’s inside; and have to get up close to realize there are bay doors.”

The final award was a new one, a Green Building Design award, presented to Terra Verde, at 670 Memorial Avenue.

Designed by Gary Carniato and owned by Dean Dreger and David Ney, the building, built to replace a structure burned to the ground in a fire, won the award for being extremely energy efficient and low maintenance, using green products and technologies to push the boundaries of progressive construction practices.

This won’t be the first award for the building, which won the Vancouver Island real Estate Board’s top prize for Excellence for Mixed Use Building award, as well as Pacific Home Warranty’s first Builder of the Month award.

Among other environmentally friendly features, the building boasts of a high-efficiency heat pump, LED exterior lights, Energuide-rated kitchen appliances, deck pavers made from 95 per cent recycled rubber and an insulated panel roof system that provides R40 insulation.



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