Brook McIlroy and Ryan Gorrie receive International Architecture Award

Brook McIlroy and Ryan Gorrie recently received International Architecture Award for 2013 from the Chicago Athenaeum: Museum of Architecture and Design and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Design.

The Gathering Circle will be recognized alongside 60 prestigious new design projects from 20 nations in a special exhibition during the 14th International Biennial of Architecture in Buenos Aires this fall. After Buenos Aires, the exhibition will travel throughout Europe, opening at the European Centre’s Contemporary Space Athens in Greece.
Hundreds of projects were submitted for this year’s Global Awards Program. Christian Narkiewicz-Laine, President of the Chicago Athenaeum, said, “From an impressive and visionary array of new submissions, the New York Jury selected 60 outstanding projects, each of which positively impacts its larger community – sometimes modestly, but most often massively.”
The Gathering Circle occupies a highly visible location on the downtown waterfront overlooking Lake Superior and Thunder Bay’s Sleeping Giant landform. The design reflects Aboriginal concepts of the inclusive circle, peaceful coexistence and respect for nature. It serves as a central landmark in the downtown that grounds residents and visitors in a fuller understanding of the city’s deep origins, while giving expression to its Aboriginal founding culture. Just as importantly, it provides a gateway to the vast beauty of Lake Superior – the world’s largest freshwater sea. 

The Brook McIlroy/Ryan Gorrie concept and design of the Gathering Circle evolved from a series of workshops involving representatives from Fort William First Nation, Robinson Superior Treaty Communities and the Red Sky. The Gathering Circle’s design reflects an adaptation of a traditional Aboriginal bentwood building technique, using modest means of construction and sustainable building practice. The Gathering Circle gives expression to a rich culture and strives to serve as a common ground – a place of meditation, mediation and celebration – gathering together all cultures. 

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