Top Honors Go to Visiting Professor of Architecture, Robert Church, AIA

Thursday, March 13 2014

The Canadian Wood Council honored University of Idaho visiting professor of architecture Robert Church, AIA, with the 2014 Architect's Award and the 2014 Commercial Wood Design Award for his work on the Salmon Arm Savings and Credit Union (SASCU) Uptown Branch. The project received top honors among 113 provincial, national and international projects nominated. The Canadian Wood Council’s award program showcases projects that feature the inherent and distinct qualities of wood, including: strength, beauty, versatility and cost-effectiveness.

The design of the 20,000 square foot SASCU Uptown Branch subtlety references the unique relationship that SASCU has with the Shuswap region; the natural and manmade characteristics of this location shaped the project’s overall form and materiality. The building is organized around a long sweeping street-front that serves as an extension of the adjacent square, creating interior public spaces and access to a series of contact points for various financial services. Defining this space is a series of turned parallel-strand-lumber columns that formally reference a local landmark pier and support the nail-laminated roof structure and its extensive green roof system.

The design sought to minimize energy usage though high performance envelope design as well as an HVAC system that features floor-by-floor energy recovery and earth-tube tempering of intake air. Robert was the designer and project architect for the SASCU Uptown Branch with Ratio Architecture in Vancouver, BC prior to joining the University of Idaho architecture program as a visiting professor in August of 2012. For more information please contact Robert at