Recipients of the Governor General’s Medals in Architecture announced

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the Canada Council for the Arts are proud to announce the recipients of the Governor General’s Medals in Architecture.

The biennial awards recognize and celebrate excellence in recently built projects by Canadian architects. The 2020 competition continues a tradition initiated by the Massey Medals in 1950, providing an important source of understanding of the nature of Canadian architecture and the regional, cultural, and historic forces expressed in the built environment.

University of British Columbia Aquatic Centre, Vancouver, BC, MJMA and Acton Ostry Architects (South Elevation)
Photo credit: Shai Gil

The 12 projects represent a variety of building types and sizes—from a natural swimming pool to a performance hall. They include a Baha’i temple, a waterfront art gallery, libraries, and a centre for remembrance.

Winning projects come from across the country—with an international recipient as well—and they include Vancouver, BC, Edmonton, AB, Saskatoon, SK, Brampton, ON, Haliburton, ON, Drummondville, QC, St. Jérôme, QC, and Santiago, Chile.

The 2020 winners are:

  • Remai Modern, Saskatoon, SK, KPMB Architects and Architecture49
  • South Haven Centre for Remembrance, Edmonton, AB, SHAPE Architecture with PETCHET Studio and Group 2 Architects
  • The Dock Building, Vancouver, BC, MGA | Michael Green Architecture
  • Polygon Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Patkau Architects
  • Borden Park Natural Swimming Pool, Edmonton, AB, gh3 architecture
  • Bahá’íTemple of South America, Santiago, Chile, Hariri Pontarini Architects
  • Drummondville Library, Drummondville, QC, Chevalier Morales in consortium with DMA architects
  • University of British Columbia Aquatic Centre, Vancouver, BC, MJMA and Acton Ostry Architects
  • The Springdale Library & Komagata Maru Park, Brampton, ON, RDH Architects (RDHA)
  • Gilles-Vigneault Performance Hall, St. Jérôme, QC, Atelier TAG  in consortium with Jodoin Lamarre Pratte Architects
  • Lake Kawagama Retreat, Kawagama Lake, ON, Shim-Sutcliffe Architects Inc.
  • RTC 03, Edmonton, AB, gh3 architecture

The Dock Building, Vancouver, BC, MGA | Michael Green Architecture (Exterior)
Photo credit: Ema Peter

Remai Modern, Saskatoon, SK, KPMB Architects and Architecture49 (View from River Landing)
Photo credit: Nic Lehoux

“The 2020 Governor General’s Medal in Architecture represent the best in contemporary Canadian architecture—and the projects explore unique aspects of culture, context, and materiality across the vast expanse of our country,” said RAIC President John Brown, FRAIC. “They are a testament to the skill of the award-winning architectural firms and the tenacity of their clients who helped bring the poetic vision into reality. The RAIC is proud to advocate for the quality of Canada’s built environment by celebrating the work of these talented architects.”

“On behalf of everyone at the Canada Council, I salute this year’s recipients of the Governor General’s Medals in Architecture,” said Simon Brault, Director and CEO of the Canada Council for the Arts. “Even more so than ever before, the excellence of these winning projects is a necessary inspiration and important reminder of the unifying nature of architecture to our daily lives in 2020 and beyond.”

Photograph of Eastern façade across public water feature. Polygon Gallery, Vancouver, BC, Patkau Architects
Photo credit: James Dow

Dusk perspective illustrating the southwest corner of the building at the main intersection adjacent to Bramalea. The Springdale Library & Komagata Maru Park, Brampton, ON, RDH Architects (RDHA)
Photo credit: Nic Lehoux

The Governor General’s Medals in Architecture, created by the RAIC, contribute to the development of the discipline and practice of architecture and increase public awareness of architecture as a vital cultural force in Canadian society.

Medals are awarded for excellence in the art of architecture. The jury considers elements such as conceptual clarity, compatibility with the site, detailing, innovation and uniqueness, and sustainable design.

The awards are administered jointly with the Canada Council for the Arts, which is responsible for the adjudication process and contributes to the publication highlighting the medal winners.

The composition of the 2020 Jury is:

  • Alison Brooks, Principal and Creative Director, Alison Brooks Architects, London, UK
  • Johanna Hurme, FRAIC, Architect and Co-founder, 5468796 Architecture, Winnipeg, MB
  • Renée Mailhot, MIRAC, Architect and Co-founder, La SHED architecture, Montreal, QC
  • David Theodore, MRAIC, Canada Research Chair in Architecture, Health, and Computation at the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, McGill University, Montreal, QC
  • Isay Weinfeld, Head Architect, Isay Weinfeld Arquitetura, Sao Paulo, Brazil

Profiles of the winning projects can be viewed here.