Rouge National Urban Park Visitor, Learning, and Community Centre Wins APR UDAD Award

The Rouge National Urban Park (RNUP) Visitor, Learning, and Community Centre (VLCC) has earned Gold in the Architecture Press Release (APR) Urban Design and Architecture Awards in the Public Building (Concept) Category!

This Parks Canada project, a collaboration between MTA, Six Nations of the Grand River-based Two Row Architect, and Ian Gray Studio, will serve as the park’s primary learning and orientation facility where visitors can learn about Rouge’s natural, cultural, agricultural, and Indigenous heritage. The First Nations Advisory Circle (FNAC), a key consultant who helped shaped the design process, expressed a desire for a seamless transition between building and natural elements; “a need to feel feet on the ground and head in the sky”, having the building integrated with the surrounding landscapes.

The RNUP VLCC will act as a threshold between the city experience and the park experience, welcoming those coming into the Rouge. Parks Canada saw this project as an opportunity to reimagine what a welcome centre could be, by integrating community-based elements and designing an innovative architectural scheme that synchronizes with the surrounding nature. It will be a net-zero carbon emissions building, in alignment with the Greening Government Strategy commitment by 2050. Special features building include a generous central skylight and an undulating mass-timber roof, inspired by the surrounding landscape – the wood roof extends outward from the building’s core, creating overhangs that extend programming into the park while providing year-round protection from the elements

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