If you’ve been to one of Canada’s larger cities in recent years, particularly Toronto or Vancouver, you may have noticed something of a condo craze.According to the 2011 national household survey, 53.5 per cent of the residents of Canada’s three largest cities — Toronto, Montreal and Vancouver — live in condos, and that doesn’t even take into account the last four years of furious construction.So how is Canada’s condo landscape holding up compared to the rest of the world? Well, we certainly aren’t building any of the world’s craziest or loudest condo projects, but we are building some good enough to make the short list of a global architecture competition.
Two Vancouver buildings currently in development — the Nelson on the Park and Vancouver House — have been nominated for best future residential project at the 2015 World Architecture Festival.Vancouver House has certainly gotten attention before, thanks to its unique design (it's wider at top than at bottom) and its location straddling an on-ramp to the Granville Street bridge.But forget Vancouver, the real story in this category is the Union of Architects of Kazakhstan, whoever they are, for being the only architects to land not one but two projects on the WAF’s future residential shortlist.One of the projects, Affordable Box, looks nothing like a box and in fact looks like, well, a gigantic condo-sized Hobbit hole. Or something.The other one, called Slalom House, is designed so that you can ski from the roof to the lobby. You’ll have to see believe it, but assuming weather and snowfall conditions are right, this could be the best place ever for skiers to live.Check out Slalom House and all the other 16 nominees for best future residential project for 2015. All the different categories can be found here, and winners will be announced in Singapore in November.