In Memoriam: Gair Williamson

Vancouver architect Gair Williamson has passed away unexpectedly.

Photo credit: Gair Williamson Architects

Vancouver architect Gair Williamson of Gair Williamson Architects, has passed away unexpectedly.

“Gair lived the most unimaginable and fulfilling life. Those of us who knew him well have had the pleasure to hear him recalling his memories in the most articulate and perfect detail. This sensibility was revealed in his work as an Architect, with the belief that buildings are a repository of our collective cultural memory,” reads a statement from Gair Williamson Architects.

“With that idea, his buildings were designed to relate to context, with materials that endure and age well over time. Their apparent simplicity invites careful investigation and multiple viewings to uncover the details and gestures that make them unique.”

Williamson leaves behind various realized projects, many of them within the City of Vancouver’s Gastown, Chinatown and Downtown Eastside. “This reflected his belief in an Architect’s role and responsibility in rebuilding and giving back to the city. His efforts and contributions were celebrated by his peers in Lieutenant Governor of British Columbia Awards in Architecture for The Keefer, The Stables and his Case Study 547,” continued the statement.

Williamson consistently championed ideas related to heritage preservation and the adaptive reuse of existing buildings within the architectural discourse in Vancouver. This passion was rooted in his early career experiences working alongside architect Barton Myers. His dedication to heritage preservation is recognized in accolades from both Vancouver and BC Heritage Awards.

A significant aspect of Williamson’s legacy lies in his role as a mentor and source of inspiration for young architects. Within his office, he fostered a culture of trust and freedom, offering guidance, inspiration, and generosity to nurture the growth of interns and early-career architects.

Williamson’s memorial will be held on October 14, 2023, at 1:00 p.m. at the Coastal Church Downtown Campus, located at 1160 W. Georgia Street in Vancouver.

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