April 17, 2012
by Canadian Architect
Vancouver-based architect Peter Cardew has been named as the recipient of the 2012 RAIC Gold Medal. Cardew has built an international reputation for timeless, quality design. While modern materials and technology inspire the forms and volumes of his work, it is the straightforward detailing of vernacular building that enhances their accessibility. He is known to approach all his projects with deep care and a profound understanding of the social and cultural aspirations of the communities they serve and neighbour. Dignity, respect and craft are the key to his work and his legacy to the profession of architecture and urban design.
Prior to opening his own practice in 1980, Cardew worked in his native England where he was educated in architecture, and then in Germany before joining the offices of Rhone & Iredale in Vancouver, where he became a partner and was project team designer for several award-winning buildings.
Among Cardew’s successful projects are the Lignum Forestry Building, the Crown Life Tower, False Creek Townhouses, the Lack Klan School of Industrial Arts, the Stone Band School, the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, and the Kamloops Art Gallery, Civic Library and Regional Government Offices, as well as numerous single-family houses. The Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery at the University of British Columbia is likely the most celebrated of Cardew’s work to date, winning the 1999 Governor General’s Medal of Excellence for Architecture and a Progressive Architecture Award.
Cardew’s work, which spans architecture, furniture design, urban design and teaching, has been featured in several exhibitions as well lectures in both public and academic venues, throughout North and South America, Europe, Australia and China.
Cardew’s dedication to the field of architecture stretches beyond his own work. In 1984 he was elected to the Royal Canadian Academy of Art and he has been a guest critic and teacher at the UBC School of Architecture, Dalhousie University, the University of Calgary, the University of Hong Kong, the University of Sydney Australia, the University of Texas in Austin, and the University of Knoxville in Tennessee.
In choosing to make this award, the Gold Medal Selection Committee noted, “The quality of his work is consistently high, consistently thoughtful, and timeless. His commitment to the fundamental importance of the ‘art’ of architecture is evident in the poetry of the forms of his projects, and his dedication to the broader community and profession is demonstrated through his teaching and design-review-panel work. Peter Cardew is an architect to be admired and emulated.”
Cardew has won both national and international awards for his work, including seven Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence and two Progressive Architecture awards. In addition to winning the RAIC Governor General’s Medal of Excellence for Architecture for the Belkin Art Gallery in 1999, he has received five AIBC Lieutenant Governor Awards.
The RAIC Gold Medal is awarded in recognition of significant contribution to Canadian architecture, and is the highest honour the profession of architecture in Canada can bestow. It recognizes an individual whose personal work has demonstrated exceptional excellence in the design and practice of architecture; and/or, whose work related to architecture, has demonstrated exceptional excellence in research or education.
As part of this recognition, Peter Cardew, MRAIC will be speaking at the Presidents’ Dinner & Awards Gala on Friday, June 15th during the 2012 Architecture Canada | RAIC – NLAA Festival of Architecture taking place from June 13-16, 2012 at the Delta St. John’s Hotel and Conference Centre.
For more information, please visit http://raic.org/honours_and_awards/honours_gold_medal/2012/medalist_e.htm.
peter cardew, MRAIC