In life, architecture was so much more than just a job for Nick Bevanda, a skilled master of design.
“For Nick, architecture was a way of experiencing life, and he felt blessed that he was able to translate what he loved into a fulfilling and rewarding career,” said his wife, Sandy Bevanda, about her soul mate who passed away in 2017, just days before his 55th birthday after a nearly year-long battle with cancer. “You could see his passion for architecture just from walking through our house, from the Le Corbusier prints on our walls, the documentaries about Louis Kahn, Frank Gehry, Norman Foster in our movie collection, the hundreds of architecture books on our shelves, the crumpled pieces of tracing paper that littered the dining room floor, and the endless design magazines occupying our living room.”
This week, the Architectural Institute of B.C. (AIBC) announced that Nick is posthumously receiving its Lifetime Achievement Award at a recognition ceremony in November at the Van Dusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver.
“Nick left a lasting legacy in the Okanagan through his contributions to both the built environment and community, working on projects in all sectors to ensure a standard of excellence and consistency, while respecting the unique attributes of each project and client,” reads the AIBC announcement.
They also included a quote of Nick’s: “Architecture is an art. All buildings are public, whether publicly or privately funded. They contribute to the overall quality and livability of our communities. Only through a responsive design process can we produce buildings that are beautiful, sustainable and representative of our time.”
The passion of Nick’s work can be seen in some of the local buildings he designed, including the recent hotel addition to the Penticton Lakeside Resort, where there is a small plaque on the wall dedicating the building to him as a “great friend and a true visionary. He will not only be remembered for his iconic work but also for his good-hearted nature.”
The Nicholas Bevanda Memorial Education Fund has been set up to honour Nick and continue his legacy of mentoring young people interested in architecture and design.
During his career, the father of four shared and received a number of awards for this work.
“Nick’s passion for architecture even consumed him in his sleep, he often would go to bed with a design challenge in his mind and wake up in the morning with a solution,” said Sandy. “To Nick, architecture was pure joy and he was able to spread this enthusiasm to his clients, who in turn trusted him to produce beautiful and impactful buildings.”
She added he believed that living in the small town he loved should not limit his sense of creativity or sense of purpose.
“It was his life’s work to better the landscape of the Okanagan and enrich the lives of people who lived and worked there through his buildings. Having his peers recognize his accomplishments would have been very meaningful to him as well and a great honour,” said Sandy.
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