Mark Hentze speaking at PROntario Educational Forum

Mark Hentze will be attending the Parks and Recreation Ontario Educational Forum and Trade Show to present on the topic of how innovation, technology and unstructured play are influencing the design of ice arenas. The presentation will feature the University of Nebraska Omaha’s Baxter Arena, an innovative arena design currently on the boards, and a leisure ice facility.

See him at the forum on Wednesday, April 11 between 3:30 and 4:45 pm (session W23).



Three HDR | CEI Projects Shortlisted for NAIOP 2018 Awards of Excellence

Three HDR | CEI projects have been named finalists for the NAIOP Vancouver and Business in Vancouver Commercial Real Estate Awards of Excellence.

The winners will be announced at an awards gala on Thursday, May 17 at the Fairmont Waterfront. For a full list of finalists, see the NAIOP Vancouver website.



Delbrook Community Recreation Centre receives Advisory Design Panel Award

Congratulations Delbrook Community Recreation Centre! The new facility is the recipient of an Award of Excellence from the District of North Vancouver Advisory Design Panel. The annual awards are presented to encourage excellence in design and recognize projects that significantly contribute to the built environment of the District of North Vancouver.

The new community recreation centre replaces two of North Vancouver’s aging recreation facilities, consolidating the services of the old William Griffin and Delbrook facilities into one modern recreation centre. The project is constructed on the site of the old William Griffin Community Recreation Centre.

The design was inspired by the objective to integrate the facility into its natural surroundings and emphasize a connection to the outdoors, a characteristic of the mountainside community. Three public art installments are incorporated throughout the site, all of which reflect the essence of North Vancouver.



Penticton Lakeside Resort Wins 2018 Commercial Wood Design Award

It’s with great honour and pride that HDR | CEI accepts the WoodWORKS! BC 2018 Commercial Wood Design Award for the Penticton Lakeside Resort, and dedicates the award to the late Nick Bevanda.

As Vice President and Design Principal, Nick was a leader in design from our Penticton studio. Nick had a vision for the project; to show the possibilities in wood construction. While attending the award ceremony in 2016, Nick told Project Manager Robert Cesnik and hotel owner Craig Prystay that the team would be back in a couple of years to accept an award for the new hotel … and he was right.

The Penticton Lakeside Resort expanded its facilities with a six-storey building, adding 70 units to the lakeside property. Cross-laminated timber provided by Structurlam was used in the all-wood construction of the building.

The project received unanimous support from the Penticton City Council, and they were enthusiastic about the addition of a modern, iconic building to Penticton’s waterfront. Upon completion of the resort expansion, a 20-storey wood tower has been proposed for the site next to the resort, which will include luxury-style condominiums and additional hotel space. If approved, it will be the world’s tallest wood building.

A memorial education fund has been set up in honour of Nick to support a graduate student from the Okanagan who is pursuing studies in the architectural and design field. To donate, visit the Nick Bevanda Memorial page.



(VIDEO) Delbrook Community Recreation Centre: Reflecting Community Values

Set against an amazing backdrop, the Delbrook Community Recreation Centre is meant to reflect the community’s health, culture and values. The facility seamlessly emerges from the landscape to celebrate the connections between the interior and the outdoors in this North Vancouver community.

Providing a glimpse into the facility, Mark Hentze talks about the core vision and principles that guided the design of this multi-faceted recreation facility within a park-like setting.




Getting to know Greg Fenske

Greg Fenske is an architectural technologist who joined HDR | CEI in July. Greg recently returned to Vancouver after a six-year stint in Montreal, where he worked for Cannon Design and NEUF architects on the Centre Hospitalier de l’Université de Montréal, or CHUM. We caught up with Greg to learn more about his background and interests.

What drew you to architecture and working as a technologist?

The drawing element of architecture was first thing that attracted me as a boy. I saw the art in architecture from an early age and had a very creative adolescence. Appreciating the design process and construction of the form itself came later.

What are you working on right now?

Recently I’ve been helping Chris Blackie and the team on the Valleyview Mental Health project, on the issued for construction drawings of the shell/core for client review.

Can you tell me a bit about the CHUM project?

CHUM may be the most dynamic project I have contributed to in my career. At 334,172 square metres, it’s one of the largest healthcare facilities in Canada. Three existing healthcare facilities in Montreal will eventually filter in, with the first one hundred patients having been transferred to the 775-bed tower last Sunday, October 8th.

Joining the CHUM team in Montreal shortly after the pursuit phase for the push to “Financial Completion,” continuing into design and coordination, then following through with final construction and project delivery was a six-year rollercoaster education in architecture. I learned a tremendous amount from many different colleagues who were very generous with their time and had so much to share.

How do healthcare projects compare to other types of projects?

There’s a different level of complexity that I have come to appreciate but, in the end, most projects have some quirk that makes them interesting, it’s just a matter of digging.

How did you like living in Montreal?

It was a fascinating cultural experience and an eye-opener to a uniquely cosmopolitan society that is not without its challenges. I made some very dear friends through the project and within the community, some of whom I expect to know for the rest of my days.

Did you see any memorable concerts there?

Way too many to mention. Live music has been a passion since my youth. At the Jazz Festival alone I saw so many (free) shows. Montreal is a music hub and I attended concerts of all scales: big, small, fancy, grimy. True stand-outs were Prince (three times in three different venues), local hero Chilly Gonzalez, Elvis Costello, Jeff Mills, David Byrne, Brad Mehldau and Ty Segall. I could go on and on.

One non-Montreal concert experience that stood out was managing to buy a single ticket for the final Tragically Hip concert in Kingston last year. It turned out to be the day after my birthday and a Saturday. I rented a car, drove to Kingston, ate lunch at a downtown brew pub, said good-bye to The Hip, then slept in my car and drove home at dawn. It was a true Canadian rock and roll experience.

What brought you back to Vancouver?

Phase One was finishing on CHUM, there were some significant changes to the team structure and I needed to look at another building. My relationship with Montreal had become a bit strained and I wanted to better nurture relationships that were both existing and developing back here on the West Coast. The less extreme version of winter is also highly anticipated.




Getting to Know Curtis Knichel

Curtis Knichel is an architect who has been with HDR | CEI since 2008. Working from the Victoria office, he has led projects in many sectors—he’s currently working on several interesting residential projects on Vancouver Island.

What are you working on right now?

Primarily multi-family residential projects here in Victoria. We have three projects in construction, and recently submitted another for rezoning and a development permit, and we’re finishing contract documents on another.

The projects include 1075 Pandora, which is nearing completion. It’s a 13-storey, 134-unit residential rental building. This project is quite unique. The building is divided into three blocks that are separated by a T-shaped breezeway to provide for natural ventilation of the common areas and cross ventilation of the individual units—a primary program requirement of the developer. Suspended walkways will provide access to individual suites on each floor.

The voids between these bridges allow for visual connection between floors. The building

will have three separate outdoor gathering spaces for the residents: an 11th floor, south-facing patio and a children’s play area and art lounge on the second floor. The art lounge will have a stair leading directly to the street and green space along Pandora Ave.

We’re also working on:

  • 989 Victoria, which is located at 989 Johnson Street. It’s a 17-storey, 205-unit residential building that’s under construction.
  • OTTO, a 59-unit wood-frame building that’s under construction in Saanich.
  • 1088 Johnson, a 10-storey, 37-unit strata building in the contract document phase.
  • 932 Pandora, a 150-unit building in the rezoning and development permit phase.

What got you interested in architecture?

Probably my Lego blocks. As a child I would construct the shell of buildings and explain to everyone in great detail how the inside of the building worked. It was inevitable that I would become an architect.

How long have you been with HDR | CEI?

I was hired in 2008, so I’m in my 10th year.

What’s it like working in Victoria?

I enjoy living and working in Victoria. It’s a very community-based city. People are very friendly and personable. The city is growing and evolving, and HDR | CEI has the opportunity to help shape its future. That’s very exciting.

Have you always lived there?

No. I’m a prairie boy. I grew up in Edmonton and studied Architecture in Manitoba. After that I lived in Montreal before moving to B.C. I lived in Vancouver before Victoria.

What types of projects do you most enjoy?

I like working on all building types. For the past five years, I have primarily worked on residential projects, which I quite enjoy. There is a fair bit of freedom with this building type so one can have some fun with the form. There’s a lot of competition in the marketplace, so you have to be budget conscious for the developer, but at the same time you also need to be creative to help the project stand out.

Is it about the project type or the client?

Both. It is up to us what we make of a particular project. The client will play a role in the outcome and success of it, and it’s up to us to engage the client and understand their objectives. Collaboration is essential, and realizing their vision is the end goal.

What do you do in your space time?

What spare time?

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Empathetic by Design: An Inclusive Research-Based Process for Designing Schools for Children with Autism

Designing for children with autism and other special needs requires that designers be attentive to both existing research and user needs. In this article, Bethany DeLine, Bethany Friedow, and Brian Giebink describe how the design of a new school from Spero Academy, a K-6 school for children with autism and other special needs in Minneapolis, MN, was influenced by current research on both sensory-sensitive and neuro-typical design theories and focus groups with educators at the school. The article highlights five key aspects of the design that are targeted at the needs of the student population, including the entry sequence, sensory zoning, lighting, color palette, and furnishings, equipment and building materials. The theoretical basis for these strategies is also shared.

Read the full article on the EDSpaces website.



(VIDEO) Our Charrette Success; Collaborative and Beneficial

At HDR | CEI, we pride ourselves in hosting collaborative charrette sessions that are beneficial to our clients, stakeholders, and communities alike.

Curious about what make our design charettes so successful? Mary Chow, Associate Vice President, provides some insight into our process in the video posted below.



What else is HDR | CEI up to? Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or LinkedIn for news and updates.

Video by Gradio Media.



Remembering Nick Bevanda

Our cherished colleague and friend, Nick Bevanda, passed away on May 7, 2017 after a 10-month battle with cancer. As Vice President and Design Principal, Nick was a leader in design from our Penticton studio. Nick leaves a lasting legacy throughout the Okanagan through the impact he has made on architecture throughout BC. He designed many significant buildings such as the Black Hills Estate Winery, Road 13 Vineyards, Miradoro Restaurant, and Southern Okanagan Secondary School.

Nick joined HDR | CEI as a Partner in 2010 after running his own successful firm, Bevanda Architecture, since 2003. He was widely recognized for his outstanding achievement in the profession, having won the Lieutenant Governor of B.C.’s Award in 2008 for his design of Black Hills Winery, and was also honoured as a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada.

He is survived by his wife Sandy and children Branko, Luka, Carolina and Domenic. Nick touched many lives and will be greatly missed by his family and friends.

Donations can be made in Nick’s memory to the Moog and Friends Hospice House.