Winners of the 2023 Federation of Chinese CPEF Award in Architecture

March 22, 2023

Two undergraduate students have won the 2023 Federation of Chinese CPEF Award in Architecture for a housing project that aims to shield residents from the noise and bustle of a nearby transit station.


Samuel Cormier and Catalin Bacalu will receive $1,500 for Castle Park Development.


The Federation of Chinese CPEF Award in Architecture is an annual award that goes to one or more outstanding students in the fourth year of the Bachelor of Architectural Studies degree. 


Eligible students have completed the fall semester housing studio and demonstrated design excellence in their project, with particular attention to the social and cultural aspects of building. 


“We are extremely grateful to the Federation of Chinese Professionals for its ongoing support of the next generation of architects,” said studio coordinator Associate Professor Benjamin Gianni.  

Project Description


Castle Park Development is the first step toward living near nature while being linked to the conveniences of city life. Being a resident at Castle Park Development implies strong ties between people through the various common areas, community centres, libraries, coffee shops, boutiques, and other programs.


The design allows inhabitants to retreat from the hectic and noisy metropolitan life through the alcove initiatives — parks, external lounge spaces, and specialized seating areas.


Due to its proximity to Algonquin College, Castle Park Development is positioned near one of Ottawa’s busiest transportation hubs. This position allows Castle Park to provide protection from the sound, traffic, and the hustle and bustle of being close to a future LRT station.


Castle Park employs mid-rise structures to shield the site’s centre, which is peaceful and hidden from the traffic of Baseline Road. The core comprises three skyscrapers, the highest of which has 57 residential stories. Small low-rise residential structures can be found around the core.

The project was nominated by the five professors and instructors who taught the studio in the Fall of 2022: Benjamin Gianni, Sheryl Boyle, Honorata Pienkowska, Eric Archambault, and Piper Bernbaum.


The housing studio brings together students from all three undergraduate majors – Design, Urbanism, Conservation, and Sustainability.


The studio explored the redevelopment of three sites:


•  A city block in Hintonburg bounded by Parkdale Avenue to the east, Armstrong Street to the south, Spencer Street to the north, and Hamilton Avenue to the west;

•  A large complex of rental housing in Ottawa close to an LRT station;

•  A lot at 250 Montreal Road in Vanier.


“As coordinator of the studio, I’m thrilled that we have three sets of prizes available to recognize our students’ work,” said Gianni. 


“The Pella and Chinese Professionals prizes differ from the Hobin Prize to the extent that they are juried by the instructors themselves, who look at all projects produced in the studio, not just a limited number of nominees,” he said. 


“As housing is such a crucial issue in Canada and around the world, we’re delighted that these prizes can be directed to this studio, in which students have the opportunity to explore the architect’s role in the production of housing and the design of the urban and public realms.”