Carleton University’s new Hobin Prize in Architecture and City Building recognizes outstanding work produced by students attending its Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism. Students will receive the first awards in January 2020.
The Ottawa firm Hobin Architecture, whose founder Barry Hobin graduated from the school in 1974, is endowing the prize. Three of his partners, Wendy Brawley, Gordon Lorimer and Sandy Davis, are also alumni of the school.
“We are grateful for this extraordinarily generous gift which strengthens a longstanding and deep relationship between Hobin Architecture and the Azrieli School of Architecture and Urbanism,” said Jill Stoner, the school’s director. “The Hobin Prize will continue to affirm and emphasize the importance of city building as a crucial dimension in architectural education.”
Each year, the endowment will award several monetary prizes to students in the fourth-year undergraduate studio, which focuses on housing and community building. Conceived by Prof. Benjamin Gianni, the studio brings together students from all three undergraduate majors – Design, Urbanism and Conservation – to explore redevelopment of relatively large sites in the city.
Hobin said he wants to support the work of the studio because it prepares students for real-life situations and delves into topics such as housing affordability, unusual housing types and community engagement.
“These are the themes of our times,” he said. “Architecture has a more complex role than it ever has in the past. It’s not just about buildings. It’s about building places and trying to respond to things like the LRT (light-rail transit) and how we plan to live around it.”
Since 2015, the studio has received sponsorships from local developers who join architects, city staff and community members in spirited discussions about student work. Beyond the exceptional learning experience it provides for students, these interactions facilitate broader engagement between the school, the professional community and the city at large.