September 11, 2003
by Canadian Architect
Guy Desbarats, OAQ, FRAIC of Montreal’s ARCOP (Architects in Co-Partnership) firm died last Thursday in hospital in Sherbrooke,, Quebec, of a cerebral haemorrhage at the age of 78. The last surviving founding member of ARCOP, Desbarats was instrumental in the design of the theme buildings at Expo in Montreal, the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, the Place des Arts Complex in Montreal, Charlottetown’s Fathers of Confederation Centre, the Queen Elizabeth Playhouse in Vancouver and Calgary’s Centre for the Performing Arts, and the Massey Medal-winning McGill University Student Union building.
He was born in 1925 in Montreal, and held a position beginning in 1954 at the School of Architecture at McGill University. He helped form Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Michaud, Sise in 1955, winning a competition in 1958 for the design of the Queen Elizabeth Playhouse on the basis of student drawings by Dimakopoulos. The architects eventually called themselves Architects in Co-Partnership beginning in 1969. In 1976, he took up the post of Assistant Deputy Minister for Design and Construction with Public Works Canada.