Niagara Biennial Design Awards

Now Accepting Submissions

Submit your project online to the Niagara Biennial Design Awards program by Friday, Jan. 24 at noon

Niagara Biennial is a new, bi-annual design awards program that builds on the former Niagara Community Design Awards, which ran annually from 2005 to 2016. The new program celebrates the role of design toward the enhancement of our unique and diverse environments in Niagara.

Eligibility

Project submissions are open to owners, developers, architects, landscape architects, urban designers, planners, engineers, interior designers, artists and makers involved with a specific design project.

Students enrolled in a post-secondary program in Niagara are eligible for the student category.

Your projects must be:

  • Physically located within the geographical boundaries of Niagara
  • Completed between Jan. 1, 2016 and Dec. 31, 2019
  • Urban design, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture and outdoor art projects must be ready for occupancy / use, and the building or site must be accessible to the public

Projects previously submitted to the Niagara Community Design Awards are not eligible.

Contact

Julia van der Laan de Vries
Urban Designer
905-980-6000 ext. 3590

Khaldoon Ahmad
Manager of Urban Design and Landscape Architecture
905-980-6000 ext. 3324

Email Niagara Biennial Awards

Important Dates

Nov. 1, 2019
Awards launch event and call for submissions opens

Jan. 24, 2020 at noon
Submission deadline

March 2020
Jury day

May 2020
Awards ceremony

Award Categories

  • Visionary Design

    Unbuilt projects, such as a plan, study or vision of an area that proposes a development or redevelopment strategy for an inspired urban environment.

    Submission types: urban design studies, master plans, secondary plans, district plans and community plans

    Project must be completed and endorsed by the local municipality in which the project is located.

    Judging criteria

    • Comprehensiveness - Demonstrates a multi-layered approach to the evolution of the design and its integration into the given context or site
    • Innovation - Highlights new ideas, approaches and technologies towards the conceptualization of design of the built environment
    • Stakeholder engagement - Degree to which stakeholders were involved in the shaping of the project
  • Urban Design

    Complete Communities

    Large-scale built projects providing places for people to live, work, play and learn. Includes multi-modal options and a diversity of land use and built form.

    Submission types: communities such as mixed-use developments, subdivisions, large infill projects, greenfield and brownfield redevelopments

    Judging criteria

    • Comprehensiveness - Project is informed by Niagara Region’s Model Urban Design Guidelines, Complete Street Guidelines, other relevant guidelines and demonstrates best practices in urban design
    • Innovation - Highlights new ideas and approaches to the design of the built environment
    • Vibrancy - Project evokes a sense of place and successfully invites people to enter and experience the community

    Urban Interventions

    Small-scale, outdoor projects that are temporary in nature. Located on public or private land, they are designed to improve an urban space or condition.

    Submission types: streetscape elements, pop-up spaces, urban amenities and seasonal installations

    Judging criteria

    • Quality of execution - Project exhibits design excellence through use of materials, composition and installation to enhance the surrounding built environment
    • Innovation - Highlights new ideas and approaches to the design of the built environment
    • Vibrancy - Project successfully invites people to enter and experience the space
  • Architecture

    New Buildings

    New building (or group of buildings) of high architectural standards which achieves design excellence through its relationship with its immediate surroundings and the urban fabric.

    Submission types: projects will be grouped together by type and evaluated within their respective group, such as civic, institutional; office, commercial, industrial; mixed-use; residential (single unit, multi unit); Niagara's tourism and hospitality (restaurants, hotels, wineries, cideries, distilleries, attractions)

    Judging criteria

    • Quality of execution - Project exhibits architectural excellence through massing, orientation, scale, materiality and composition
    • Contextual response - Project is well-integrated into the surrounding context and contributes to the urban fabric
    • Sustainability - Includes features such as sustainable design elements, practices and green infrastructure

    Building Alterations

    Additions or renovations to existing buildings. Similar to new buildings, the projects will achieve design excellence through its relationship with the existing built form and its immediate surroundings.

    Submission types: projects will be grouped together by type and evaluated within their respective group, such as facade improvements, adaptive re-use, building restoration (historical elements) and building additions

    Judging criteria

    • Quality of execution - Project exhibits architectural excellence through massing, orientation, scale, materiality, composition and contextual response
    • Sustainability - Includes features such as sustainable design elements, practices and green infrastructure
  • Interior Design

    New Interiors

    Installation of an interior design project within a newly constructed building.

    Submission types: projects will be grouped together by type and evaluated within their respective group, such as civic, institutional; office, commercial, industrial; mixed-use; residential (single unit, multi unit); Niagara's tourism and hospitality (restaurants, hotels, wineries, cideries, distilleries, attractions)

    Judging criteria

    • Quality of execution - Project exhibits interior design excellence through functionality, materiality and creativity
    • Innovation - Highlights new ideas and approaches to the design of building interiors
    • Sustainability - Includes features such as sustainable design elements, practices and green infrastructure

    Interior Renovations

    Installation of an interior design project within an existing building.

    Submission types: projects will be grouped together by type and evaluated within their respective group, such as adaptive re-use and building restoration

    Judging criteria

    • Quality of execution - Project exhibits interior design excellence through functionality, materiality and creativity
    • Innovation - Highlights new ideas and approaches to the design of building interiors
    • Sustainability - Includes features such as sustainable design elements, practices and green infrastructure
  • Landscape Architecture

    Public Realm

    Outdoor landscape spaces ranging in character, such as urban, suburban and rural. Spaces are located on municipal lands, such as streets, parks, trails and community facilities.

    Submission types: projects will be grouped together by type and evaluated within their respective group, such as streetscapes, gateways, civic markers; urban plazas, civic squares, commemorative spaces; parks, parkettes, trails, linear open spaces; landscape structures and elements; landscape restoration; green infrastructure, green roofs, green walls; and stormwater management features

    Judging criteria

    • Quality of execution - Project exhibits landscape architectural excellence through materiality, functionality, integration with the immediate surroundings and positive contributions to civic life
    • Vibrancy - Project successfully invites people to explore and experience the space in a variety of ways
    • Sustainability - Includes features such as bio-diversity, low-impact development and other sustainable design elements and practices

    Private Realm

    Outdoor landscape spaces associated with a specific built form, including landscape areas both at grade and on structures.

    Submission types: projects will be grouped together by type and evaluated within their respective group, such as civic, institutional; office, commercial, industrial; mixed-use; residential (single unit, multi unit); Niagara's tourism and hospitality (restaurants, hotels, wineries, cideries, distilleries, attractions)

    Judging criteria

    • Quality of execution - Project exhibits landscape architectural excellence through functionality, materiality and positive relationship with the public realm
    • Vibrancy - Project contributes to positive experiences of an outdoor space
    • Sustainability - Includes features such as bio-diversity, low-impact development and other sustainable design elements and practices
  • Outdoor Art

    Permanent outdoor art installations located on either private or public land.

    Submission types: murals, sculptures, permanent art, light or digital installations, custom street furniture and utility wraps

    Judging criteria

    • Quality of execution - Project exhibits design excellence through creativity, execution and positive contributions to the public realm
    • Vibrancy - Project successfully invites people to experience the art piece
  • Student Designs

    Student design projects that seek to provide a design solution specific to the Niagara context.

    Submission types: visionary design, urban design, architecture, interior design, landscape architecture, outdoor art

    Project must be prepared by a student attending a Canadian post-secondary institution and be part of a course curriculum. Projects must be completed and evaluated by the respective post-secondary institution.

    Judging criteria

    • Comprehensiveness - Addresses factors including contextual integration, and contributions to public realm and sustainability
    • Innovation - Highlights new ideas and approaches to the design of the built environment

Submissions

Deadline to apply is Jan. 24, 2020 at noon

All submissions must be in a digital format and may include text, images, graphics, drawings and PowerPoint slides. All submissions become the property of Niagara Region.

Review Process and Jury Panel

Submissions will be evaluated based on the information provided in the online submission package. The jury panel:

  • Will adjudicate all categories of awards for completeness
  • May choose to tour a short list of submissions for a better understanding of the project
  • May change the category of any submission if appropriate
  • May not grant an award in any given category if there's a lack of submissions or if the submissions don't meet the judging criteria

Apply to Niagara Biennial Awards

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