In our May issue
Our May issue celebrates the winners of the RAIC’s 2023 annual awards. These prestigious national awards recognize architectural practices, people, research, and initiatives that make significant contributions to Canadian architecture.
The Gold Medal—the RAIC’s highest honour—goes to the late Claude Provencher, FRAIC. Co-founder of one of Canada’s most significant architecture firms, Provencher has long been recognized for the quality of his realized projects, as well as for his trailblazing work as part of the new urban architecture movement of the late 1970s in Canada.
Patkau Architects is the recipient of the RAIC Architectural Practice Award. “Patkau Architects has remained a north star for over forty years: providing practitioners and the academy alike with a model for the authentic pursuit of design excellence in a range of building typologies and budgets,” writes the jury.
Two practices received the RAIC’s Emerging Architectural Practice Award: Toronto-based Studio of Contemporary Architecture (SOCA) was noted as “a new voice in Canadian architecture that is approaching a wide range of projects with an acute sensitivity to social justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion.” Dartmouth-based Fathom Studio was seen as “differentiating itself by confidently curating an interdisciplinary approach, seamlessly integrated within one studio, which resets the way architects collaborate and engage with their teams, clients, communities, and contexts.”
Carol Bélanger received an Advocate for Architecture Award, recognizing the work he has done in revamping architectural procurement for the City of Edmonton to prioritize quality designs. As City Architect, Bélanger has facilitated the design and construction of public spaces and facilities that have improved the daily lives of many Edmontonians, and in doing so, garnered excitement and respect for what good architecture can mean for a growing city.
A second Advocate for Architecture Award was given to Kollectif, a Québec-based entity that is a key resource for the province’s architectural community. “This outward-focused organization was conceived to spotlight, advocate for, promote, and raise the profile of architects both to the public and to one another,” writes the jury. “Through their various campaigns, they have played a unique role in the promotion of architectural practice across Québec, making it accessible to the public while connecting practices to each other.”
The RAIC’s new Research & Innovation Award recognized Limberlost Place by Moriyama & Teshima Architects and Acton Ostry Architects. Under construction in Toronto, the mass timber project combines design and structural innovation with advanced prefabricated, tall-building façade systems, as well as an optimized use of decentralized mechanical systems working in consort with passive systems. The result is a building that provides the healthiest environment for both its users and for the planet.
Two RAIC Architectural Journalism and Media Award recipients were named. ᐊᖏᕐᕋᒧᑦ / Ruovttu Guvlui / Towards Home, is an Indigenous-led exhibition and publication project hosted by the CCA that explores how Inuit, Sámi, and other communities across the Arctic are creating self-determined spaces. Dalhousie Architectural Press was recognized as Canada’s most prolific and dedicated publisher of books on our country’s modern and contemporary architecture.
Finally, our May issue also visits Polymétis’ Pergola Garden in Richmond, BC, and celebrates all of our mothers—especially those who followed a path in architecture before us. Happy Mother’s Day!
-Elsa Lam, editor