August 2023


In our August issue

Our August issue opens with an editorial on the Ontario government’s proposal to redevelop Ontario Place, and opposition to the current plans.

While debate continues over the intertwined futures of Ontario Place and the Ontario Science Centre, Trevor Boddy reports on the successful revitalization of a West Coast architectural masterwork: Arthur Erickson and Geoffrey Massey’s Simon Fraser University. His review considers the positive impact of two recent developments on the Burnaby mountain campus: a comprehensive public realm renovation by Public Architecture, and a new Student Union Building by Perkins&Will.

Coverage of big-picture issues continues in two articles. First up: the findings of a decade-long report on the state of the architecture profession in Canada. The Rise for Architecture report asks: How can architecture continue to be relevant? What are the profession’s duties in addressing the intertwined crises of global climate change and social inequity? The report includes calls to action for architects, professional organizations, and schools of architecture.

What are architecture’s limits in tackling wider issues? Adele Weder reports on the attempt of a large group of architecture academics, practitioners, and activists to address the housing crisis in the exhibition Not for Sale! at the Venice Biennale.

In this month’s RAIC Journal, scholar Jean-Pierre Chupin reports on another effort underway to understand the social impact of architecture: a multi-nodal research project involving schools or architecture, municipal agencies, and community groups across Canada. The study asks: How can our definitions of architectural quality expand to include the social dimension and lived experience of everyday people?

Three exceptional office buildings are part of this month’s reviews. Bruce Haden visits Focal on Third, a terracotta-clad building in Vancouver by PH5 that raises the bar for spec office developments. Odile Hénault reports on Anne Carrier Architecture’s 1500 rue Métivier, the unexpectedly urbane headquarters for a collective of poultry farmers in Lévis, Quebec. And Jason Brijraj reports on the Wellesley Institute’s new home in Toronto, a pair of townhouses adaptively reused in a design by AGATHOM.

Our issue closes out with a look at a new take on an old design: the original scheme for Safdie’s Habitat 67, now rendered in virtual reality, and as futuristic a vision today as it was over 50 years ago.

-Elsa Lam, editor