The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has named RDHA, a Toronto-based architecture studio, the recipient of its 2018 Architectural Firm Award.
RDHA, one of Canada’s oldest practices, has specialized in public buildings since it was founded in 1919 as Rounthwaite Dick and Hadley Architects. Over the last century, the firm has produced a wide range of work, including corporate headquarters, industrial facilities, academic buildings and both academic and public libraries, to name a few.
In 2005, the firm underwent a successful renewal to be known as a studio striving to produce architecture of the highest calibre. The current partners, Tyler Sharp, Geoff Miller, Bob Goyeche, Rob Boyko and Momin Hoq, redefined the office structure and creative design process to attract an influx of young talent.
“There is a remarkable consistency throughout the last 10 to 15 years of work by a younger generation of designers that have taken over the firm and kept the lineage and re-established themselves as a leading designing firm in Toronto,” said the five members of the selection jury, in a press release.
“For the successors to rebuild the firm and reputation and deliver a fresh portfolio of completed projects is exceptionally difficult,” continued the jury, adding that many Canadian architecture firms are currently in transition, with some being bought out or consolidated.
The RAIC Architectural Firm Award recognizes a firm’s achievements in quality of architecture, service to clients and innovations in practice. It also takes into account the firm’s contribution to architectural education and professional organizations, as well as public recognition. The jury praised RDHA’s commitment to elevating ordinary projects, such as industrial buildings, into visually interesting architecture, as well as the firm’s creativity, even on a lean budget.
Some of RDHA’s recent projects include Waterdown Library and Civic Centre in Hamilton, Ont.; Lakeview, Port Credit, and Lorne Park Branch Libraries in Mississauga, Ont.; Hamilton Central Library and Farmers’ Market in Hamilton, Ont.; Bloor/Gladstone District Library in Toronto, Ont.; Williams Parkway Operations Centre in Brampton, Ont.; and Surrey Operations Centre in Surrey, B.C.
Since the firm’s rebranding, it has achieved significant recognition, including three Governor General’s Medals for Architecture, and the RAIC Young Architect Medal for partner Tyler Sharp.
“We are truly delighted to accept this prestigious award which validates our commitment to the creation of clear, sustainable and progressive public architecture,” said RDHA managing principal Bob Goyeche. “We thank all of the dedicated and talented colleagues who have been essential to our ongoing evolution.”
The award will be presented at the RAIC/AANB Festival of Architecture, which takes place from May 30 to June 2 in Saint John, N.B.