January 15, 2008
by Canadian Architect
The Canada Council for the Arts has awarded the Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture to Manon Asselin and Katsuhiro Yamazaki of the Montreal firm atelier TAG. The prize will enable Ms. Asselin and Mr. Yamazaki to study how current socio-economic and political environments redefine the activities of young architectural offices.
The Canada Council’s Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture is valued at $50,000 and encourages the development of artistic excellence in contemporary architectural practice. Asselin and Yamazaki will record interviews with young innovative architects and research studio activities, building projects and construction sites underway in Europe, East Asia and New York City. After their research is complete, they will present a multimedia exhibition which will highlight and compare their findings within a Canadian context. The prize presentation will be held at Pointe–Callire Museum, located at 350 Place Royale in Old Montreal, on Tuesday, March 18, at 5:00 pm.
Atelier TAG was chosen by a peer assessment committee made up of Shirley Blumberg (Toronto), Anne Carrier (Lvis, QC), Brian Lilley (Halifax), Graham Livesey (Calgary) and Rhodri Windsor-Liscombe (Vancouver).
Manon Asselin, Ordre des Architectes du Qubec (OAQ), received a Bachelor of Science (1990), Bachelor of Architecture (1992) and a Masters in History and Theory of Architecture (2001) from McGill University. Asselin is adjunct professor of architecture at the Facult de l’amnagement at the University of Montreal. She was born in Quebec City and currently lives in Montreal.
Katsuhiro Yamazaki received a Bachelor of Science (1994) and a Bachelor of Architecture (1996) from McGill University. Yamazaki has been visiting professor and guest critic at the School of Architecture at McGill University over the last few years. Yamazaki was born in San Jos, Costa Rica, and currently lives in Montreal.
As visiting professors in 2007, Asselin and Yamazaki recently concluded an experimental studio in material research in the Master’s program at McGill University’s School of Architecture.
Founded in Montreal in 1997 by Manon Asselin and Katsuhiro Yamazaki, atelier TAG is a young multidisciplinary architecture firm. In recent years, the company has received five prestigious awards for its cultural projects, including two Governor General’s Medals in Architecture, an Award of Excellence in Architecture from the OAQ, the Institute of Design Montreal Award in Architecture and an Award of Excellence from Canadian Architect. The firm has distinguished itself in architectural competitions, and has won accolades for the subtle integration of avant-garde architectural concepts, historical heritage and the natural environment. Showing respect for the environment and the landscape, atelier TAG has developed an approach that makes the landscape an integral aspect of its architectural design.
The $50,000 Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture is awarded annually to an architect or practitioner of architecture, an architecture firm or an architectural design firm that has completed its first buildings and demonstrated an exceptional artistic potential. The prize allows the laureates to travel around the world to hone their skills, develop their creative practice and strengthen their presence in international architecture culture. Applicants must define destinations and activities that will best support the development and recognition of their practice. Proposed activities can include visits to outstanding buildings, participation in biennales, conferences, colloquia, competitions and architecture workshops, and meetings with editors, critics and curators of architecture. The project can involve multiple trips to a number of destinations, spread over a two-year period.
The Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture is one of several initiatives of the Canada Council for the Arts which contribute to the development of Canadian architecture. The Canada Council collaborates on the administration of the Governor General’s Medals in Architecture with the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada. The Canada Council also provides grants in architecture with a view to enhance public awareness and enjoyment of architecture.