Ancaster Creek Receives the 2018 Michael V. and Wanda Plachta Award

We were surprised last Friday evening at the OAA Awards Ceremony to receive the 2018 Michael V. and Wanda Plachta Award. The prize honors architectural excellence for projects in Ontario that cost no more than 8 million dollars. This annual award was established in 1991 by Mrs. Wanda Plachta in honour of her late husband, Michael Plachta’s wish to recognize younger firms that create excellence in smaller projects.

House on Ancaster Creek Nominated for the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize

The Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) recognizes outstanding built works of architecture that acknowledge the altered circumstances of the human condition in our contemporary age. Honoring projects that consider how we might elevate the quality of our built environments by extending our interests beyond the proverbial four walls, the MCHAP process examines the many excellent works realized in the Americas as recommended by an international and interdisciplinary group of nominators.

We are thrilled with this nomination, not only as the architects, but also for the clients (Binh and Michael) and builder (David Bernstein) who together form the team that makes a project like this come to life. After reviewing the nominations, an incredible set of buildings across the Americas, it is clear that Canada is under represented. Given what the rest of the Americas is showing as their best, we can easily think of another two dozen beautifully constructed projects across Canada that have been built with innovative design and forward thinking clients. I don’t know if we are short on nominators up north or if it is our natural modesty coming into play. This is something to work on after this cycle is complete. For now, here are the nominated projects.

House on Ancaster Creek Selected as 2018 OAA Award of Excellence Winner

The House on Ancaster Creek has been named a winner of an Award of Excellence from the Ontario Association of Architects. The Awards of Excellence recognize the innovative skills of Ontario architects in creating spaces, buildings, and communities that respect and enhance the environment and enrich human activity.

“Every year it is a privilege to honour the very best in Canadian architecture and design. The OAA Awards help to champion and encourage a new standard of excellence every year and 2018 has been no exception, “said John Stephenson, OAA President. “Every project submitted for the awards has showcased how architects continue to help build and strengthen communities around the world and is a testament to the strength of our industry.”

Award recipients will be honoured at the Celebration of Excellence Awards Ceremony at the 2018 OAA Annual Conference in May.

Interior Design Best of Year 2017

We are excited to announce that the House on Ancaster Creek has been shortlisted for the annual Interior Design Best of Year Awards, sponsored by Interior Design magazine. Congratulations to all those shortlisted, and we look forward to the announcement and party on December 1st in New York City – and the Michelangelo show is on so it is a win regardless.

House on Ancaster Creek wins Ontario Wood Works Award

Architects, engineers, developers and other construction industry professionals at the forefront of wood design in Ontario came together to celebrate excellence in wood design at the 17th annual Wood WORKS! Awards night in Toronto on November 2, 2017.  The awards program honours people and organizations that, through design excellence, advocacy, and innovation, are advancing the use of wood in all types of construction.

“It is our privilege to celebrate Ontario’s wood design leaders through the Wood Design Award program,” said Marianne Berube, executive director of the Ontario Wood WORKS! program. “Wood is an extraordinary building material, as you can see from the projects that received awards tonight.  It is also a sustainable building solution. Design professionals who understand the need for sustainable development are specifying wood products for innovative, environmentally responsible construction.  Some of those leaders were recognized tonight.”

Ontario Wood WORKS! presented 12 awards at the event. Ten awards went to specific wood projects and two were given to professionals for contributions to the building industry that advance the case for wood design and construction. Please CLICK HERE for the complete list of award winners.

Exchange Brewery receives a 2017 Commendation for Heritage Restoration

The Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake’s annual Celebration of Heritage commemorates Niagara-on-the-Lake’s heritage and pays tribute to those members of the community who have made a significant contribution to the preservation of historical property. The Exchange Brewery is proud to be a recipient of a 2017 Commendation for Heritage Restoration. It is always rewarding to see our clients get recognition for achievements associated with the service we provide the community.

Grange Triple Double Receives a 2016 Innovation in Sustainability Award from the CaGBC Greater Toronto Chapter

Each year the CaGBC Greater Toronto Chapter Chapter hosts its annual Innovation Awards Program which distinguishes  individuals in the green building industry, as well as projects in Southern Ontario which go above and beyond the normal scope of sustainable best practices. Grange Triple Double was selected by the jury as the winner for the Innovation in Sustainability Award. Grange is a project with a story about multi-generational living that we are eager to talk about.  It is a part of a larger conversation focused upon keeping the ageing in their own neighborhoods, and designing for both affordability and long-term programmatic flexibility.

Exchange Brewery receives a 2016 Canadian Interiors Best of Canada Award

The Exchange Brewery has received a 2016 Canadian Interiors Best of Canada Award in the retail category.

Canadian Interiors’ annual Best of Canada Design Competition is the country’s only design competition to focus on interior design projects and products without regard to size, budget or location. Categories for project submissions include: exhibit; hospitality; institutional; marketing; office; residential; and retail. For the past nineteen years, a distinguished industry panel of jurors have awarded exceptional interior design projects, as well as uniquely design products, the prestigious Best of Canada award.

This year’s jury, which included Sue Bennett,  Johnson Chou; Scot Laughton, and Jeremy Vandermeij, vetted 316 entries. An award ceremony will be held on November 30, 2016 at IIDEXCanada.

Grange Triple Double Receives a 2016 Canadian Green Building Award

Grange Triple Double is the recipient of a 2016 Canadian Green Building Award from the Canada Green Building Council [CaGBC]. Winning projects will be published in the Summer issues of SABMag and ecoHouse Canada, and on websites, and

Betsy is a Fellow…

Betsy Williamson has been elected to the College of Fellows of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. The RAIC bestows Fellowship in recognition of outstanding achievement. Criteria include design excellence, exceptional scholarly contribution or distinguished service to the profession or the community.

Representing Canada coast-to-coast, the 41 new Fellows come from Charlottetown, Pokemouche, St. John’s, Dartmouth, Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Winnipeg, Saskatoon, Edmonton, Sherwood Park, Calgary, Burnaby and Vancouver.

Fellows will be inducted at the College of Fellows Convocation, which takes place during the RAIC’s Festival of Architecture in Nanaimo, BC, June 8 to 11.

Grange Triple Double Selected as 2016 OAA Award of Excellence Finalist

Grange Triple Double has been named a finalist for an Award of Excellence from the Ontario Association of Architects. The Awards of Excellence recognize the innovative skills of Ontario architects in creating spaces, buildings, and communities that respect and enhance the environment and enrich human activity. Award recipients will be honoured at the Celebration of Excellence Awards Ceremony at the 2016 OAA Annual Conference in May.

Williamson Chong Selected for Wallpaper Magazine’s 2015 Architects Directory

Ellie Stathaki ed., Wallpaper*, July 2015.

Each year, Wallpaper Magazine publishes a list of 20 firms that they see as the rising star and breakthrough practices from around the globe. We are pleased to announce that the 2015 Architects Directory has been announced and Williamson Chong is featured on the list. A full digital feature is featured on the Wallpaper website.

Betsy Williamson Selected as a Finalist for The Architects’ Journal 2015 Emerging Woman Architect of the Year

The Architects’ Journal, a leading architectural publication in Britain, has revealed the finalists for both the 2015 Woman Architect of the Year and the Emerging Woman Architect of the Year Awards. Ten up-and-coming stars have made it onto the shortlist for the AJ’s fourth Emerging Woman Architect of the Year Award. Betsy Williamson is the only woman from North America on the list.

The winner will be announced at the Women in Architecture Awards Luncheon on Friday, February 27, 2015, at Claridge’s in London. Phyllis Lambert will be speaking at the ceremony along with Sheila O’Donnell from O’Donnell + Tuomey. The winners of the Ada Huxtable Prize and the Jane Drew Prize will also be celebrated at the event.

Emerging Woman Architect of the Year 2015 shortlist:

Laura Highton, architect, Purcell
Jillian Jones, team leader, DRDH Architects
Sally Lewis, founding director, Stitch
Katy Marks, director, Citizen Design Bureau
Marta Pelegrin, co-director, Mediamundo Arcquitectos
Chloe Phelps, deputy team leader, placemaking team, Croydon Council
Tatiana von Preussen, Catherine Pease, and Jessica Reynolds, founders, vPPR
Betsy Williamson, partner, Williamson Chong Architects

The jury for this award is significant. Of the fourteen jury members, the following names are just a few that stand out: Norman Foster and Eva Jiricna are internationally known practitioners. Martha Thorne is the executive director of the Pritzker Architecture Prize and Laura Lee is the chief executive of Maggie’s Centres. Moira Gemmill is the design director of the V&A Museum and Christine Murray is the editor of the Architects’ Journal.

House on Fox Lake Receives a 2014 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence

Canadian Architect has announced that the House on Fox Lake is the recipient of a 2014 Award of Excellence.  One of only two national award programs devoted exclusively to architecture, the Awards of Excellence have recognized significant building projects in Canada on an annual basis since 1968. Awards are given each year to architects  for buildings in the design stage. Jurors considered response to the program, site, geographical and social context, and evaluated physical organization, structure, materials and environmental features.

Six Awards of Excellence were given to the following firms:

Williamson Chong Architects for the House on Fox Lake in Huntsville, Ontario.

5468796 for the Arthur Residence in Regina.

MacLennan Jaunkalns Miller Architects + Acton Ostry Architects””Architects in Association for the University of British Columbia Aquatic Centre.

gh3 Architects and Landscape Architects, Borden Park Natural Swimming Experience in Edmonton.

Atelier Tag + Jodoin Lamarre Pratte Architects in Consortium for the Saint Jerome Performance Hall.

Chevalier Morales Architects for the Maison de la Litterature de l’Institut Canadian de Quebec.

Pilot Coffee Roasters Receives 2014 Interior Design Best of Year Merit Award

Interior design Magazine has just announced the 2014 Best of Year nominees and Pilot Coffee Roasters is a finalist in the Cafe category. We won an Award of Merit and had a wonderful evening cheering on the Toronto offices and their many wins throughout the night!


The House in Frogs Hollow, the Howland Residence, and the Blantyre House Receive 2014 Residential Architect Design Awards

Williamson Chong is honoured to have 3 projects selected for the 2014 Residential Architect Design Awards.  The winning projects were selected from nearly 700 entries and “represent some of the best residential architecture that North America has to offer””from luxurious custom beachside estates, to net-zero prefab infill, to high-density affordable living units.” Jurors included Cary Bernstein, AIA, Gregory Hoss, AIA, Joel Sanders, AIA, and Josh Shelton, AIA.

Williamson Chong was recognized for the following projects:

Custom Home | Under 3,000 Square Feet | Citation
House in Frogs Hollow

“You get this iconography of grasses in the stair,” juror Gregory Hoss said. The exterior cladding of the upper level, stained in iron oxide pigment, blends parametric design with more traditional shiplap siding. Juror Cary Bernstein was impressed with how the architects took commonplace elements such as the cladding as opportunities for “exploring new technologies for fabrication and integrating [them] in a really great way.”

Renovation | Award
Howland Residence

“It has a level of exquisite compositional and material precision that I think really finds a way of blending hard edges and curves,” said Juror Joel Sanders.

Kitchen | Honorable Mention
Blantyre House

“It’s beautifully crafted and the composition is very beautiful,” juror Cary Bernstein said. “It’s a piece of design.” Calling the kitchen wall unit “sculptural,” juror Gregory Hoss noted that “you don’t read any constituent parts; it looks like one big piece. Realizing that all these cabinet doors open and reveal lots of different things is really wonderful.”





Williamson Chong is the Recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s 2014 Emerging Architectural Practice Award

Williamson Chong is honoured to be the recipient of the 2014 Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) Emerging Architectural Practice Award. This award is to recognize the principals of an emerging architectural practice that has consistently produced distinguished architecture. The award recognizes the achievements of the principals for the quality of their built work, service to their clients, innovations in practice and public recognition. Donald, Betsy, and Shane will be in attendance at the Presidents’ Dinner & Awards Gala  at the forthcoming RAIC Festival of Architecture in Winnipeg on May 30th.

Williamson Chong Shortlisted for the 2014 WAN 21 for 21 Awards

The WAN AWARDS 21 for 21 category is a major international competition now in its fourth year. It is an initiative aiming to highlight 21 architects who could be the leading lights of architecture in the 21st century. WAN will be selecting outstanding, forward-thinking people and organizations who have the demonstrable potential to be the next big thing in the architectural world.  We are very pleased to announce that Williamson Chong was selected for the shortlist of World Architecture News (WAN) in 2014, as one of the final architects eligible for the prize.

Williamson Chong Selected for the Architecture League of New York 2014 Emerging Voices Award

Williamson Chong is honoured to have been selected by the Architecture League for it’s Emerging Voices Award.

Each year the League selects eight emerging practitioners through a juried, invited portfolio competition. The Emerging Voices award spotlights individuals and firms based in the United States, Canada, or Mexico with distinct design voices and the potential to influence the disciplines of architecture, landscape design, and urbanism. The jury reviews significant bodies of realized work and considers accomplishments within the design and academic communities. The work of each Emerging Voice represents the best of its kind, and addresses larger issues within architecture, landscape, and the built environment.

Being named an Emerging Voice by The Architectural League is one of the most coveted awards in North American architecture, and the program is notable for its thirty-year history of identifying and nurturing firms that go on to have influential practices. For a complete list of past winners, click here.

This year’s jury included Fred Bernstein, Paul Lewis, Kate Orff, Thomas Phifer, Annabelle Selldorf, and Adam Yarinsky. Emerging Voices is organized by League Program Director Anne Rieselbach.

The 2014 Emerging Voices are:

David Benjamin, The Living, New York City
James Lord, Roderick Wyllie, Geoff di Girolamo, Surfacedesign, San Francisco
Joyce Hwang, Ants of the Prairie, Buffalo
Ronald Rael, Virginia San Fratello, Rael San Fratello Architects, Oakland
Mauricio Rocha, Gabriela Carrillo, TALLER l MauricioRocha+GabrielaCarrillo, Mexico City
Betsy Williamson, Shane Williamson, Donald Chong, Williamson Chong, Toronto
Basar Girit, Aleksey Lukyanov-Cherny, Westley Rozen, Brad Samuels, Situ Studio, Brooklyn
Salvador Macías Corona, Magui Peredo Arenas, Estudio Macías Peredo, Guadalajara

The Architectural League organizes a number of competitions each year to nurture excellence, particularly among younger designers, and to explore ideas of topical note. Each year the League runs two prestigious programs for early and mid-career architects and designers: Emerging Voices, an invited competition for North American firms and individuals with distinct design voices and significant bodies of realized work; and the Architectural League Prize, a juried portfolio competition organized around a yearly theme for young architects and designers ten years or less out of school.

Betsy and Shane Williamson were recipients of the 2006 Architecture League Prize.

2013 Add-on 13 Competition Finalist

Add-on ’13 is a two-phase competition for a freestanding, affordable, accessory dwelling unit on Cape Cod, Massachusetts. Williamson Chong developed a first round proposal that adopted fresh thinking about housing, resource conservation, and the relationship between the natural and built environment. As stated in the design brief, “Add-on is a way to consider the role of affordable housing in a context outside the city and re-envision the relationship between architecture, infrastructure, resources and land.” We look forward to the Wellfleet Forum on May, 26th and developing the proposal further this summer.

Williamson Chong Awarded the 2012 Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture

The Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture is awarded annually to an architectural firm that has completed its first built works and has demonstrated exceptional artistic potential. The prize encourages the development of artistic excellence in contemporary architectural practice by supporting the winner to travel around the world to develop their skills, their creative practice and to strengthen their position in an international architectural milieu.

Our winning proposal, titled Living Wood*, focuses upon innovative wood products and manufacturing technologies in a broad cultural context with the intent of establishing a critical relationship between sustainable buidling practices and emerging architectural design methodologies. The two-year agenda engages international architects, research institutions, and industry leaders in advanced wood construction.

We are all familiar with the economic and political importance of Canada’s export economy of soft wood lumber. New growth timber is the only major building material that grows naturally and is renewable. It is sustainable, acts as a carbon sink, and has a low energy of production. Where steel and concrete were the focus of 20th-century development in the building industry, we believe that technologically-advanced wood products will drive the next wave of innovation. Canadian architecture should be at the forefront of this work.

Cross-laminated timber (CLT) made its debut fifteen years ago in Austria and has gained traction through the green building movement ever since. This emerging industry, based primarily upon new growth timber from Europe, has been identified by the forest products industry and the research and wood design communities in Canada as a new opportunity for wood in non-traditional applications.

While recognizing that engineered wood products offer a strong combination of environmental performance and sustainability, cost-competitiveness and structural integrity, we are also interested in design opportunities afforded through the integration of emerging manufacturing technologies with both cross-laminated timber and traditional large-timber construction.

The proposed travel spans the following countries:

Finland, Denmark, and the Netherlands (Precinct 1: Shared Biomes)

Switzerland and Austria (Precinct 2: Transformative Technologies)

Japan and South Korea (Precinct 3: Craft)

Bon Voyage!

* Living Wood was the title for Alvar Aalto’s design for the Finnish Pavilion at the Paris World Exposition in 1937. In the pavilion, he combined both traditional and modern architecture and showcased his functionalist design sensibilities. 


Natural Light Receives 2012 Interior Design Show Gold Award

Natural Light brought to you by Tiltco Fenestration, Kilbarry Hill Construction, and Williamson Chong Architects, received a Gold Award at the 2012 Interior Design Show. Conceived as a hybrid mock-up of a forthcoming residence designed by Williamson Chong, the booth features an origami like ceiling, walls built from an array of uniquely designed windows, including a 13 foot high curtain wall with a solid wood back box, and a living room space featuring an art installation built from window sections.

Abbey Gardens Receives a 2011 Canadian Architect Award of Excellence

Canadian Architect has announced that Abbey Gardens is the receipient of a 2011 Award of Excellence.  One of only two national award programs devoted exclusively to architecture, the Awards of Excellence have recognized significant building projects in Canada on an annual basis since 1968. Awards are given each year to architects  for buildings in the design stage. Jurors considered response to the program, site, geographical and social context, and evaluated physical organization, structure, materials and environmental features.

Eight Awards of Excellence were given to the following firms:

Williamson Chong Architects for Abbey Gardens in Haliburton County, Ontario

B+H Bunting Coady Architects Inc. for the West Coast Middle School in Anmore, British Columbia

Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects in association with Smith Carter Architects and Engineers for the Remai Art Gallery of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

Patkau Architects Inc. in joint venture with Kearns Mancini Architects Inc. for the Fort York National Historic Site Visitor Centre in Toronto, Ontario

gh3 Architects and Landscape Architects, R.V. Anderson Associates Limited for SWQF in Toronto, Ontario

Zeidler Partnership Architects in joint venture with SNØHETTA for the Ryerson University Student Learning Centre in Toronto, Ontario

 Saucier + Perrotte Architectes in joint venture with Hughes Condon Marler Architects for the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences/CDRD in Vancouver, British Columbia

MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Limited for the Two Hulls House in Port Mouton, Nova Scotia


House in Frogs Hollow Receives a 2011 Wood WORKS! Award

The House in Frogs Hollow has received a 2011 Wood WORKS! Award. The Wood WORKS! Awards recognize the people and organizations pursuing excellence and innovation in wood design, advancing the use of wood in Ontario. The 11th Annual Wood WORKS! Awards evening took place on Thursday November 3, 2011 at the Ottawa Convention Centre.

Aspen Overpass wins a citation award in the Edmonton Park Pavilion Design Competition

Williamson Chong’s design for a new skating pavilion in Edmonton’s Victoria Park has won a citation award in the open design competition sponsored by the city of Edmonton. More information about this award can be found here.

House in Frogs Hollow Receives a 2011 North American Wood Design Award

The House in Frogs Hollow has won a 2011 Wood Design Award. “The Wood Design Awards is the only North American Program to recognize, award and publicize excellence in wood architecture, and to publicly acknowledge the importance of architecture to our society…The selection of the 13 winning projects was challenging for the jury, as all of the projects displayed innovative uses of wood as a building material.  These projects push the boundaries of conventional wood building practices and highlight the special qualities, versatility and sheer beauty of wood as a building material.”

House in Frogs Hollow Receives a 2010 Design Exchange Award

The House in Frogs Hollow has won a 2010 Design Exchange Award for residential architecture.  The project received a bronze award at last night’s ceremony. It was wonderful to spend the evening with friends and colleagues and support Canadian design.

The DX Awards celebrate excellence in Canadian design, successful partnerships between designers and clients, and the importance of design in all organizations. It is the only Canadian design award to judge entries based on results, balancing function, aesthetics, and economic success.

The House in Frogs Hollow will be showcased alongside fellow 2010 DX Award winners at a special exhibit at the Design Exchange, from November 24, 2010 to January 30, 2011.

House in Frogs Hollow Receives a 2010 OAA Design Excellence Award

The House in Frogs Hollow has won a 2010 Award of Excellence from the Ontario Association of Architects. The Awards of Excellence recognize the innovative skills of Ontario architects in creating spaces, buildings, and communities that respect and enhance the environment and enrich human activity. Award recipients will be honoured at the Celebration of Excellence Awards Ceremony at the 2010 OAA Annual Conference May 7, 2010.

Betsy and Shane Williamson Selected for the National Post’s ’40 under 40′

We are honoured to be included in the National Post’s “40 Under 40″ listing of fresh ideas from young Canadian designers. Along with distinguished designers in the fields of fashion, furniture, industrial design and crafts, we are happy to share this honor with our friends and colleagues, superkul inc architect.

Williamson Williamson Receives the 2008 Ronald J. Thom Award for Early Design Achievement

We are honored to receive the Ronald J. Thom Award for Early Design Achievement from the Canada Council for the Arts. The award is given to a candidate who is in the early stages of their career and who demonstrates both outstanding creative talent and exceptional potential in architectural design. The successful candidate must also demonstrate sensitivity to architecture’s allied arts, crafts and professions within the context of an integrated built environment. The Ronald J. Thom Award for Early Design Achievement was established in 1990, in collaboration with the Canada Council for the Arts, by friends and colleagues of this eminent Canadian architect. The award, which honors Mr. Thom’s life and work, reflects the qualities of his legacy to Canada. This legacy includes both his buildings and the encouragement and inspiration he gave his colleagues in architecture and its allied arts and professions.

Williamson Williamson Selected for the Architectural League of New York’s 25th Annual Young Architects Forum

WILLIAMSONWILLIAMSON are winners in the Architectural League of New York’s 25th annual Young Architects Forum Competition. Their work, along with that of the five other winners, will be featured in a book to be published by Princeton Architectural Press. An exhibition of the work will be open to the public on April 27th at the Urban Center Gallery. Shane and Betsy will lecture along with co-winners Yansong Ma and Yosuke Hayano of MAD Office at the Urban Center on the opening night of April 27th at 6:30 PM.

Founded in 1881, The Architectural League of New York is an independent forum for the presentation and discussion of creative and intellectual work in architecture, urbanism, and related design disciplines. Since its inception in 1981, the Architectural League’s Young Architects Forum has provided many of the leading talents of succeeding new generations of architects and designers a valuable opportunity to present their work and ideas.



2004 Burnham Prize Finalist

WILLIAMSONWILLIAMSON was a finalist in the 2004 Burnham Prize Competition, Urban Waterways: The Chicago River Project.

The Burnham Prize is a two-stage biennial competition sponsored by the Chicago Architectural Club, the winner of which is awarded a three month scholarship for study at the American Center in Rome. The program for the 2004 competition was for the design of three water taxi stops along the Chicago River from downtown south to Bridgeport. Jury members include Jesse Reiser, Nanako Umemoto and John Ronan.

Pentagon Memorial Competition Finalist

WILLIAMSONWILLIAMSON are finalists in The Pentagon Memorial Competition, a two-stage, open international design competition for a memorial to the victims of the September 11, 2001 attack on the Pentagon in Arlington, VA.  More than 1,200 architects, artists, designers, school children, and members of the general public from around the world submitted concepts for consideration. Six finalists were chosen by a jury chaired by Reed Kroloff and Mark Robbins and including Terry Riley, Mary Miss, Walter Hood, and Gregg Pasquarelli.

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