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Montrose Cultural Centre design earns award

The Art Gallery of Grande Prairie would like to congratulate Teeple Architects Inc. for winning the 2010 Prairie Design Award of Excellence.  The Montrose Cultural Centre is home to the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie, the Grande Prairie Public Library, and Esquires Coffee House.  Read the following article published July 7, 2010 in the Daily Herald-Tribune, for more information.

Montrose Cultural Centre design earns award
JOSEPHINE LIM – Daily Herald-Tribune staff

Grande Prairie’s Montrose Cultural Centre building design has been recognized with the 2010 Prairie Design Award of Excellence.

The award was presented to Toronto-architectural firm Teeple Architects Inc. at the Festival of Architecture in Saskatoon in late June which was held by the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and the Saskatchewan Association of Architects.

It celebrates “new standards in creativity and skills” and is presented every two years by the Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba Association of Architects.

The 60,000-square foot building opened in June 2009 and houses the Grande Prairie Public Library and Art Gallery of Grande Prairie as well as, community meeting rooms and a café.

“We’re very pleased about it,” said Lois Harper, the city’s culture, grants and awards manager. “We think the building is a benchmark for the city of Grande Prairie and certainly one that will draw people to that site.

“I just think it’s unique and contemporary and new to Grande Prairie.”

Harper said she also thinks the building won because it’s built towards a LEED silver standard, which means that it’s very sustainable.

The ranking is determined by a third-party certification program which looks at the building’s water and energy efficiency, materials selection, indoor environmental quality and sustainable site development.

She added the Toronto firm’s reputation for winning architecture awards was one of the reasons the city chose them to build the centre.

It was the architect’s decision to submit the building for the award, she said.

Stephen Teeple, the principal architect at the company, said that jurors chose the building based on its regional qualities.

“That’s a nice thing you know because we’re really trying to get the quality of light and the sense of being on the Prairie and that kind of the aspect,” he said.

Teeple added that buildings are chosen based on their design quality, urban design, sustainability and the contribution they make to the community.

But this criteria changes from year to year based on the jury, he said.

The company will continue working in Grande Prairie as they work on restoring the old Art Gallery of Grande Prairie building on the west side of the Montrose Cultural Centre.

Teeple calls this the second half of the project since they’re right beside each other.

Construction is expected to be complete by 2012.

Harper can’t wait until it’s done.

“I’m looking forward to the completion of the existing gallery which would give us another opportunity to seek other awards,” she said.

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