May 22, 2015
by Canadian Architect
The Gérin-Lajoie family is saddened to announce the passing of architect Guy Gérin-Lajoie. Gérin-Lajoie was a Fellow of the RAIC and a member of the OAQ and AAPPQ. He was also a fellow of the Royal College of Art. He passed on May 21, 2015 at the age of 87.
A graduate of McGill University, Gérin-Lajoie won numerous competitions, realized projects, and directed architecture offices in Canada, Africa and the Middle East. He was a principal of the firm Papineau Gérin-Lajoie Le Blanc architectes (later PGL), active from 1957-1990, which he established with classmates Louis-Joseph Papineau and Michel Robert Le Blanc.
Gérin-Lajoie was a pioneer in the development of fibreglass composite construction systems, which he used in building schools and airports in the extreme climates of the High Arctic and the Arabian desert. In Quebec, his firm was responsible for many projects including the Quebec Pavilion at Expo 67 in collaboration with architect Luc Durand. They also designed the Peel metro station in Montreal and the Pavilion Thérèse-Casgrain residence at the Université de Montréal, both of which won Massey medals.
The firm subsequently constructed the Mirabel airport and Radisson metro station, all while developing a specialty in prefabricated industrial architecture adapted to extreme climates and difficult-to-access sites. Gérin-Lajoie was responsible for numerous buildings across the North West Territories, Nunavut and Nunavik.
An accomplished athlete, Gérin-Lajoie adored downhill skiing, sailing and golf. He shared his active life with wife Hélène Giroux and their six children, 12 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren, as well as many other relatives and numerous friends.