copper awards

Vancouver projects win copper architecture awards

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Two Vancouver projects have received this year’s North American Copper in Architecture Awards. The awards by Copper Development Association (CDA) recognize the excellent use of copper in residential, educational and government buildings, built or renovated within the last three years in the United States or Canada.

The 12 winning projects were selected by leading experts in the use of copper in architecture.

“The 2021 winners have demonstrated the continual evolution of copper in design, showcasing how the metal’s versatility and beauty meets function, while answering the growing demand to meet increasing sustainable building standards,” said Stephen Knapp, the director of the Strip, Sheet, & Plate Council for CDA.

The Vancouver winning projects are:

St. Andrew’s-Wesley United Church

The church is an iconic example of the Gothic Revival style in Vancouver and Western Canada. Originally constructed between 1931 and 1933, it experienced long-term roof leaks that were negatively impacting the interior plaster elements.

This was the catalyst for the project and allowed the church to pay a homage to its heritage through a large-scale restoration, highlighting copper as a featured element. While reviewing roofing material options, copper was selected for its durability, being lightweight (compared to slate-important from a seismic perspective), its elegance and heritage value.

While reviewing roofing material options, copper was selected for its durability, being lightweight, its elegance and heritage value. Staying true to its design, many of the original gutters and downpipes were copper. The new copper roof and flashings show true to its time, reflecting the importance of its heritage while providing quality, durable roofing and flashing systems for decades to come.

Sun Tower

The Sun Tower is a notable landmark of 17 storeys capped by a Beaux-Arts dome and cupola built-in 1912 and designed by architect William Tuff Whiteway.

The tower is topped with a dome and cupola that were originally roofed with terracotta tiles that were painted at a later date to resemble patinated copper. The terracotta tiles had exceeded their practical service life, and it was time to replace the roof.

The fabrication contractor took samples of the original tile and custom-stamped large copper tiles that replicated the terracotta profile.

The restoration journey included replacing the existing terracotta main dome gutter with an exact replica in copper, a standing seam copper roof at the main dome cupola, and a custom copper flashing at the various levels of the tower.


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