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Nic Lehoux

SiMoN Scott

Marc craMer


20 rememBering arthur erickson PoigNaNt MeMorieS reveaL Much about oNe of thiS couNtry’S fiNeSt architectS, aNd hiS MaSSive coNtributioN to gLobaL architecturaL cuLture. teXt PhyLLiS LaMbert, abrahaM rogatNick, corNeLia hahN oberLaNder, MichaeL ProkoPow, JaMeS cheNg, barry JohNS aNd adeLe weder

37 st-germain sewers and aqueducts acdf* architecture achieve the SubLiMe with New headquarterS for a Sewer PiPe aNd draiN MaNufacturer iN SaiNt-hubert, quebec. teXt iaN chodikoff

42 mountain View cemetery

Hariri Pontarini Architects design the new Richard Ivey School of Business at the University Of Western Ontario; the Acre Collective win Saint John Transit public art commission.

48 calendar useums of the 21st Century: Concepts, ProM jects, Buildings at the Art Gallery of Alberta; Design Week in Saskatoon.

50 Backpage Cheryl Cooper offers a poetic remembrance of a great friend, Arthur Erickson.

SiMoN Scott

SiMoN Scott

birMiNghaM & wood’S New buiLdiNgS for a ceMetery iN vaNcouver eNgage the regioNaL LaNdScaPe aNd viewS, aNd heLP to diSPeLL the Shrouded MyStique SurrouNdiNg death. teXt Matthew SouLeS

13 news

october 2009, v.54 N.10

The NaTioNal Review of DesigN aND PRacTice/ The JouRNal of RecoRD of The Raic

the façade of the MacMiLLaN bLoedeL buiLdiNg (1970) iN vaNcouver, deSigNed by arthur erickSoN aNd geoffrey MaSSey. Photo by SiMoN Scott.


10/09 canadian architect


erIC fruhauf


editor Ian ChodIkoff, OAA, MRAIC associate editor LesLIe Jen, MRAIC editorial advisors John MCMInn, AADIpl. MarCo PoLo, OAA, MRAIC contributing editors GavIn affLeCk, OAQ, MRAIC herbert enns, MAA, MRAIC douGLas MaCLeod, nCARb

above unduLatInG oak strIPs are susPended froM the CeILInG above the staGe of the newLy oPened koerner haLL In toronto. the fLuIdIty of the CeILInG’s desIGn enhanCes the haLL’s aCoustICaL PerforManCe and Its dynaMIC exPressIon.

In this issue, we offer a modest homage to Arthur Erickson, an architect who passed away in May and who influenced the careers of generations of architects. Part of Erickson’s legacy is that his love for architecture may not have as much to do with the aesthetics of design as it does with his desire to create a richer world of culture and humanity. Not to undermine the importance of aesthetics, but we have an obligation as designers to create architecture that contains a level of authenticity and beauty to inspire the human spirit. The Royal Conservatory of Music’s Telus Centre for Performance and Learning, which officially opened in Toronto on September 25th, is an example of a recent building that achieves what Erickson sought in his career. During its gala premiere, the 1,139-seat Koerner Hall, the new facility’s showpiece, hosted a roomful of Toronto’s elite for a concert experience that offered an important lesson—demonstrating the importance of architecture as a facilitator for art, culture and the human experience. Designed by Marianne McKenna, one of the partners at Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects, this intimately scaled concert hall and renovated music school took almost 20 years to realize, having initially won a Canadian Architect Award of Excellence in 1991 for its conceptual merits. Upon entering the classic shoebox-shaped concert hall, one is immediately overcome by the rich fragrance of white oak panelling. The rhythmically expressed undulating oak ceiling—designed to reflect and project sound—literally sets the stage for music. As patrons settled into their seats on opening night, McKenna sat in the first balcony, surrounded by members of her immediate design team, while her partners were seated nearby. Beginning with the world premiere of R. Murray Schafer’s Spirits of the House followed by Mieczyslaw Weinberg’s piano quintet, pieces by Leonard Bernstein and György Ligeti, then glori10 canadian architect 10/09

ously ending with Beethoven’s Choral Fantasy, the evening’s program was an impressive demonstration of the diverse talent associated with the Royal Conservatory of Music. Moreover, it demonstrated Koerner Hall’s suitability as a venue for a wide range of musical performances. With each note, patrons, architects and music lovers alike faded into the background as the concert hall did what it was designed to do—allow the music to ultimately shape the space and captivate the audience. It is during moments like this when we realize the higher aspirations of design. All those years that McKenna continually refined the building’s massing, oversaw innumerable versions of the wooden ceiling, and endured thousands of hours of specifying and modifying the hundreds of details used throughout—culminated in the building’s gala premiere. Architects aspire to be the artist, the craftsperson and the polemicist, all at the same time. However, perhaps the greatest value that an architect can offer is to elevate the human spirit through built form. Devising an elegant plan, resolving every detail, and ensuring that a design is tactile and beautiful is what we ultimately aspire to achieve, but none of this really matters unless we can inspire beauty in others. Certainly, Royal Conservatory Orchestra conductor Jean-Philippe Tremblay, Austrian-born Canadian pianist Anton Kuerti, the Toronto Mendelssohn Choir and others knew the true value of Koerner Hall’s architecture during the opening gala. And certainly, Marianne McKenna and her core design team— Bob Sims, Dave Smythe, Meika McCunn and Carolyn Lee—knew this as well. Maybe this is the kind of experience that Arthur Erickson yearned for in his lifelong pursuit of humanity, truth and beauty. Perhaps it is why he loved to travel so much and why he enjoyed listening to Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier. It is through art that we can best appreciate design. Ian ChodIkoff


regional correspondents halifax ChrIstIne MaCy, OAA regina bernard fLaMan, SAA montreal davId theodore calgary davId a. down, AAA Winnipeg herbert enns, MAA vancouver adeLe weder publisher toM arkeLL 416-510-6806 associate publisher GreG PaLIouras 416-510-6808 circulation Manager beata oLeChnowICz 416-442-5600 ext. 3543 custoMer service MaLkIt Chana 416-442-5600 ext. 3539 production JessICa Jubb graphic design sue wILLIaMson vice president of canadian publishing aLex PaPanou president of business inforMation group bruCe CreIGhton head office 12 ConCorde PLaCe, suIte 800, toronto, on M3C 4J2 telephone 416-510-6845 facsimile 416-510-5140 e-mail edItors@CanadIanarChIteCt.CoM Web site www.CanadIanarChIteCt.CoM Canadian architect is published monthly by business Information Group, a division of bIG Magazines LP, a leading Canadian information company with interests in daily and community newspapers and business-to-business information services. the editors have made every reasonable effort to provide accurate and authoritative information, but they assume no liability for the accuracy or completeness of the text, or its fitness for any particular purpose. subscription rates Canada: $52.95 PLus aPPLICabLe taxes for one year; $83.95 PLus aPPLICabLe taxes for two years (Gst – #809751274rt0001). PrICe Per sInGLe CoPy: $6.95. students (PrePaId wIth student I.d., InCLudes taxes): $32.50 for one year. usa: $101.95 u.s. for one year. aLL other foreIGn: $103.95 u.s. Per year. us office of publication: 2424 niagara falls blvd, niagara falls, ny 143045709. Periodicals Postage Paid at niagara falls, ny. usPs #009-192. us postmaster: send address changes to Canadian architect, Po box 1118, niagara falls, ny 14304. return undeliverable Canadian addresses to: Circulation dept., Canadian architect, 12 Concorde Place, suite 800, toronto, on Canada M3C 4J2. PostMaster: PLease forward forMs 29b and 67b to 12 ConCorde PLaCe, suIte 800, toronto, on Canada M3C 4J2. PrInted In Canada. aLL rIGhts reserved. the Contents of thIs PubLICatIon May not be reProduCed eIther In Part or In fuLL wIthout the Consent of the CoPyrIGht owner. from time to time we make our subscription list available to select companies and organizations whose product or service may interest you. If you do not wish your contact information to be made available, please contact us via one of the following methods: telephone 1-800-668-2374 facsimile 416-442-2191 e-mail mail Privacy officer, business Information Group, 12 Concorde Place, suite 800, toronto, on Canada M3C 4J2 member of the canadian business press member of the audit bureau of circulations publications mail agreement #40069240 issn 0008-2872

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news PrOjects

The Cantos Music Foundation has announced that Allied Works Architecture and local partner BKDI have been selected to design Cantos’s new national music centre at the King Eddy site in Calgary’s East Village. Brad Cloepfil founded Allied Works Architecture in his native Portland, Oregon, and the firm’s recently completed projects include the Museum of Arts and Design in Manhattan, the Contemporary Art Museum in St. Louis, a major addition to the Seattle Art Museum, the Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts in Dallas, and the recently completed expansion of the University of Michigan Museum of Art. On July 23rd, five world-renowned architects were asked to develop and present a bold vision for the future of the Cantos Music Foundation and the national music centre. The request included the public presentation of concepts honouring the iconic King Eddy Hotel while creating over 80,000 square feet of space for programs and exhibitions. The centre was required to house an education research centre, museum, collection of instruments and memorabilia, recording studios, a radio station, a seven-days-a-week live music venue and a suite of innovative and creative programs for people of all ages. The four other competing architects were: Studio Pali Fekete Architects from Los Angeles; Diller Scofidio and Renfro from New York; Jean Nouvel Workshop from Paris; and Saucier + Perrotte from Montreal. The submissions were reviewed by a selection advisory committee comprised of musicians, architects, business experts, museum experts and others. The Cantos Music Foundation is to be a national catalyst for discovery, innovation and renewal through music. hariri Pontarini architects design new richard ivey school of Business at the University of western Ontario.

The University of Western Ontario has selected Toronto-based architecture firm Hariri Pontarini Architects to design a new 234,000-square-foot building for its renowned Richard Ivey School of Business in London, Ontario. Completion of Phase I of construction is targeted for March 2011. The design is informed by the knowledge that Ivey must foster and support the lifelong networks and strong communities that are the foundation of global leadership in business. In the tradition of collegiate gothic architecture for which the University of Western Ontario is known, the design takes the form of an archetypal quadrangle building, with the exterior skin

CanTos MusiC FoundaTion

allied works architecture selected to design cantos Music centre project in calgary.

The CanTos MusiC FoundaTion reCenTly announCed ThaT allied Works arChiTeCTure and loCal parTner Bkdi have Been seleCTed To design Their neW naTional MusiC CenTre aT The king eddy siTe in Calgary’s easT village.


of the building expressing the timeless quality of stone. The classrooms anchor the outer perimeter, with the study rooms for smaller group discussions disposed around the quadrangle like glowing gems. Special program elements—dining hall, library, amphitheatre—are afforded distinctive treatment as pavilions, attached to the main circulation. These pavilions extend into the surrounding landscape as distinct objects with unique social and spatial experiences. The project broke ground in September 2009, with anticipated occupancy of Phase I in March 2011. The construction budget for Phase I is $40 million; for both phases of the project it is $75 million.

awards call for submissions for the 2010 Governor General’s Medals in architecture.

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) and the Canada Council for the Arts (CCA) are pleased to invite architects to participate in the competition for the 2010 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture. The objective is to recognize and celebrate outstanding design in recently completed built projects by Canadian architects. Projects built in and outside of Canada, which were completed between January 1, 2003 and September 1, 2009 and for which licensed/registered architects who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents of Canada were the lead design architects, are eligible to be submitted. The 2010 competition will result in the awarding of up to 12 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture. The primary criterion will be the architectural, artistic merit of the design, including such elements as: conceptual clarity; compat-

ibility with the site; detailing; innovation and uniqueness; and sustainable design. Submissions are due by 4:00pm on November 19, 2009. medals/2010call/gg-submission_e.htm richmond Olympic Oval shortlisted for world architecture Festival award.

The Richmond Olympic Oval, designed by Cannon Design Architecture Inc. for the XXI Olympic Winter Games in Vancouver has been shortlisted for the World Architecture Festival’s Structural Design Award. Award recipients will be announced at the World Architecture Festival in Barcelona which takes place from November 4-6, 2009. Cannon Design’s BC-led sport practice assembled a team that included the structural engineering firm Fast + Epp for the project. the cca study centre awards 12 research fellowships for 2009.

The Study Centre of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) has awarded 12 research fellowships as part of its 2009 Visiting Scholars Program. The program—created for scholars and architects from around the world who are conducting research at a post-doctoral level—particularly welcomes historical and critical research proposals that are prompted by, or refer to, the theory and practice of contemporary design culture and related social issues. During residencies of one to eight months, scholars pursue individual research projects and participate in Study Centre seminars. The Study Centre’s consultative committee awarded fellowships to the following researchers: Esra Akcan, University of Illinois at 10/09 canadian architect


The aCre ColleCTive

Chicago; Christopher Drew Armstrong, University of Pittsburgh; Christina Cogdell, College of Santa Fe; Maaike Lauwaert, Mondriaan Foundation; David Monteyne, University of Calgary; Katherine Romba, Queen’s University; and Volker M. Welter, University of California at Santa Barbara. Additionally, the consultative committee has invited the following researchers to be in residence: Marco Frascari, Carleton University; Samantha Hardingham McLean, University of Westminster; Robert Levine, California State University; and Sina Najafi, editor in chief and co-founder, Cabinet Magazine.

cOMPetitiOns the acre collective win saint john transit public art commission. The aCre ColleCTive FroM neW BrunsWiCk reCenTly Won a puBliC arT CoMMission To insTall 85 panels and 10 BenChes ouTside sainT John TransiT’s neW operaTions CenTre along MaCdonald sTreeT.


Road. Earlier this year, Saint John Transit invited professional artists across Canada to submit formal proposals to create permanent public artwork. The Acre Collective, selected as one of this year’s young emerging designers in Canada for the Twenty + Change exhibition, poises itself as a practice of emerging artists and designers whose work seeks to broaden the field of art, architecture and design.


guage of the road—that have been reinterpreted to create a vibrant foreground and streetscape to the terminal. Ten of the panels will be sculpted into benches whose form is inspired by the simplicity of the bus seat. Each panel will be anchored to the existing retaining wall, creating a new landscape of colour that will run along MacDonald Street and will also be readily visible from Loch Lomond

With City Multi, it’s what’s inside that counts the most. That’s why the spirit of innovation continues for 2009. Introducing a new line of intelligently designed modular outdoor units which now allow for more flexible designs. And with a reputation for exceeding industry efficiency standards, like VRF technology, it’s only natural to find City Multi at the forefront of geothermal HVAC installations. We put a lot into City Multi because we want you to get a lot out of it.

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Saint John Transit has announced that in conjunction with the construction of its new Operations Centre, it has implemented the City of Saint John’s One Percent for Art Program. The selected artists from this prestigious national competition are Monica Adair and Stephen Kopp, founders of design group The Acre Collective, based in Saint John, New Brunswick. The selected work is entitled in transit, and will be installed outside the new headquarters building along the concrete retaining wall, consisting of 85 unique aluminum panels, each one depicting traffic signs—the lan-

Pamphlet architecture 30 competition winners announced.

Pamphlet Architecture, Ltd. announced the winner of the Pamphlet Architecture 30 competition, an international competition that called for “proposals aimed at inventive new infrastructure for the United States.” The winning entry, entitled “Coupling: Strategies for Infrastructural Opportunism,” was submitted by InfraNet Lab/ Lateral Office and will be published as number 30 in the critically acclaimed Pamphlet Architecture series of publications. InfraNet Lab/ Lateral Office—a nonprofit research collective— is composed of Canadians Mason White, Lola Sheppard, Neeraj Bhatia and Maya Przybylski. Founded in 1977 by architects Steven Holl and William Stout to promote the work and ideas of up-and-coming architects, Pamphlet Architecture has served as a laboratory for such notable architects and theorists as Lebbeus Woods, Zaha Hadid, Steven Holl, Lars Lerup, Mark Mack and Michael Sorkin.

architects, designers and artists from Canada and abroad, who are encouraged to form multidisciplinary teams. The deadline is November 6, 2009.

novative, implementable proposals that place infrastructure at the heart of rebuilding American cities during this next era of metropolitan recovery. The six finalists’ work includes proposals to use automobile emissions in tunnels for alternative-fuel production, to transform neglected city streets into neighbourhood parks, to rethink US-Mexico border infrastructure to address the energy crisis and other critical issues, and to creatively use water resources to help revitalize depopulated cities, undo ecological damage, and develop urban beaches and pools. The goal of the WPA 2.0 is to refocus the national discussion about, and encourage investment in, infrastructure as part of the big picture of urban and architectural renewal.

Make it right architects introduce pioneer­ ing duplex designs for families impacted by hurricane Katrina.

The green, affordable multi-family home designs of 14 acclaimed local, national and international architects were released by Make It Right, the foundation founded by actor Brad Pitt to help rebuild the Lower 9th Ward after Hurricane Katrina. The Make It Right Foundation is committed to building 150 energy-efficient, solar-powered, storm-resistant homes in New Orleans’ Lower 9th Ward, a neighbourhood wiped out by Hurricane Katrina and the breach of the Industrial Canal levee. The foundation began in December 2007 as a collaboration between Pitt, Graft Architects, Cherokee Gives Back and William McDonough + Partners. Today, 32 families are either living in a Make It Right home or have one under construction, while another 50 families are in the process of becoming Make It Right homeowners.

what’s new call for proposals for the 11th inter­ national Garden Festival.

The International Garden Festival is preparing for its 11th edition and is issuing a call for proposals to select designers to create contemporary gardens around the theme of “Paradise.” The Ucla citylaB announces finalists for wPa Festival will be held from June 26 to October 3, 2.0 competition. 2010 at Les Jardins de Métis/Reford Gardens, UCLA’s cityLAB has announced the finalists for in Grand-Métis, Québec. This international call WPA 2.0: Working Public Architecture, the Vicwest ad 03-butterfly:Layout 1 1/21/09 9:36 AM Page 1 urban think tank’s open competition seeking in- for proposals is open to all landscape architects,

A metamorphosis of beauty and excellence

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10/09 canadian architect



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ISSuE 31. 4 FALL 2009

Governor General’s Medals in Architecture – the search begins Call for Submissions Deadline: 16:00, November 19, 2009 RAIC and the Canada Council for the Arts invite architects to participate in the competition for the 2010 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture, the highest award given in Canada to recognize and celebrate outstanding design in recently completed built projects by Canadian architects.

The RAIC, with the RAIC College of Fellows, is proud to organize and administer the competition in partnership with the CCA. CCA is responsible for selecting and administering the peer assessment committee. Information about the 2010 medals is now available on RAIC’s web site.

2009-2010 RAIC Board Members President Ranjit (Randy) K. Dhar, FRAIC 1st Vice-President and President-Elect Stuart Howard, FRAIC 2nd Vice-President and Treasurer David Craddock, MRAIC

There’s still time for RAIC Courses

Immediate Past President Paule Boutin, AP/FIRAC

Check the web site for dates and availability for October, November and December

Regional Directors

Continuing education courses fulfilling core credit requirements are offered each year by RAIC and coming to a city near you. RAIC Interns and members can register at a discount.

Wayne Guy, FRAIC (Alberta/NWT)

Vacant (British Columbia/Yukon)

Charles Olfert, MRAIC (Saskatchewan/Manitoba) David Craddock, MRAIC (Ontario Southwest)

Restoration Services Centre, Toronto and Region Conservation Authority | Montgomery Sisam Architects SDCB 325: Integrating Sustainability: Selecting and Designing Concrete Thinking (7 Core credits) for Low-Energy Comfort Systems (or getting mechDeveloped by the Canadian Precast/Prestressed Conanical engineers back to designing, rather than simply crete Institute and the Cement Association of Canada, sizing, building systems) (7 Core credits) this one-day seminar offers practical details to maxiThis full-day course includes a brief overview of the mize the benefits concrete has to offer in sustainability, principles and theory behind the movement of fluids energy efficiency, strength, fire/sound resistance and and air and a review of HVAC systems. The course building envelope performance. A copy of PCI Architecthen focuses on how to achieve human comfort in tural Design Manual 3rd Edition will be provided to each buildings using natural ventilation and energy-efficient recipient and course work will follow sections provided mechanical systems. Several case studies and a group from CAC Design and Control of Concrete Mixtures exercise are included. Seventh Edition. has all the details.

Ralph Wiesbrock, FRAIC (Ontario North and East/Nunavut) Claude Hamelin Lalonde, FIRAC (Quebec) Paul E. Frank, FRAIC (Atlantic) Chancellor of College of Fellows Alexander Rankin, FRAIC Council of Canadian University Schools of Architecture (CCUSA) Eric Haldenby, FRAIC Editorial Liaison Ralph Wiesbrock, FRAIC

Call for Presenters Planning for the joint 2010 Saskatchewan Association of Architects – RAIC Conference and Festival of Architecture from June 23 to 26 in Saskatoon is already underway. Designed to provide architects from across Canada with top-notch continuing education sessions, both core and self-directed, conference organizers are now inviting proposals for professional development presentations. The deadline for proposals is Nov. 27, 2009. Please see RAIC’s web site for submission instructions.

A Guide to Determining Appropriate Fees for the Services of an Architect RAIC launched its national fee guidelines during the Festival of Architecture and Forum in Montreal last June. Intended for use by both clients and architects, the Guide includes updated recommendations for percentage-based fees and is free for download for RAIC members. The cost to non-members is $25.

Executive Director Jon Hobbs, FRAIC Editor Sylvie Powell The national office of the RAIC is located at: 330-55 Murray St. Ottawa ON K1N 5M3 Tel.: 613-241-3600 Fax: 613-241-5750 E-mail: MASThEAD PhoTo: LANGuAGE TECHNOLOGIES RESEARCH CENTRE AT uNIVERSITy OF QuEBEC IN OuTAOuAIS | MENKèS SHOONER DAGENAIS LETOuRNEux ARCHITECTS / FORTIN CORRIVEAu SALVAIL ARCHITECTuRE + DESIGN | PHOTO: MICHEL BRuNELLE

NuM éRO 31. 4 AuT OM NE 2009

Médaille du Gouverneur général en architecture – le concours est lancé Conseil d’administration de l’IRAC de 2009-2010 Président Ranjit (Randy) K. Dhar, FRAIC Premier vice-président et président élu Stuart Howard, FRAIC Deuxième vice-président et trésorier David Craddock, MRAIC Présidente sortante de charge Paule Boutin, AP/FIRAC Administrateurs régionaux Poste vacant (Colombie-Britannique/Yukon) Wayne Guy, FRAIC (Alberta/T.N.-O.) Charles Olfert, MRAIC (Saskatchewan/Manitoba) David Craddock, MRAIC (Sud et Ouest de l’Ontario) Ralph Wiesbrock, FRAIC (Est et Nord de l’Ontario/Nunavut) Claude Hamelin Lalonde, FIRAC (Québec) Paul E. Frank, FRAIC (Atlantique) Chancelier du Collège des fellows Alexander Rankin, FRAIC Conseil canadien des écoles universitaires d’architecture (CCÉUA) Eric Haldenby, FRAIC Conseiller à la rédaction Ralph Wiesbrock, FRAIC Directeur général Jon Hobbs, FRAIC Rédactrice en chef Sylvie Powell Le siège social de l’IRAC est situé au : 55, rue Murray, bureau 330 Ottawa (Ontario) K1N 5M3 Tél. : 613-241-3600 Téléc. : 613-241-5750 Courriel : PhoTo EN CARToUChE DE TITRE : CENTRE DE RECHERCHE EN TECHNOLOGIES LANGAGIèRES DE L’uNIVERSITé Du QuéBEC EN OuTAOuAIS | MENKèS SHOONER DAGENAIS LETOuRNEux ARCHITECTES / FORTIN CORRIVEAu SALVAIL ARCHITECTuRE + DESIGN | PHOTO : MICHEL BRuNELLE

Date limite du dépôt des candidatures : le 19 novembre 2009 à 16 heures L’IRAC et le Conseil des Arts du Canada (CAC) ont le plaisir d’inviter les architectes à participer au concours des Médailles du Gouverneur général en architecture 2010. Ces prix sont les plus importants accordés au Canada et ils visent à reconnaître et à célébrer la qualité exceptionnelle d’œuvres récentes réalisées par des architectes canadiens.

L’IRAC, avec la collaboration du Collège des fellows de l’IRAC, est fier d’organiser et de gérer ce concours en partenariat avec le CAC, qui est responsable pour sa part de constituer et d’administrer le comité d’évaluation par des pairs. Les renseignements sur les Médailles 2010 sont maintenant affichés sur le site Web de l’IRAC.

Il est encore possible de s’inscrire aux cours de l’IRAC Consultez le site Web pour connaître l’horaire des cours d’octobre, novembre et décembre et savoir s’il reste des places Chaque année, l’IRAC offre dans plusieurs villes des cours reconnus comme activités de formation dirigée par la plupart des ordres professionnels. Les membres et les membres stagiaires de l’IRAC ont droit à un tarif d’inscription réduit. DDBC 325 : Intégrer la durabilité : sélectionner et concevoir des systèmes de confort thermique éconergétiques (ou amener les ingénieurs en mécanique à concevoir les systèmes du bâtiment plutôt qu’à simplement en calculer la capacité) (7 heures de formation dirigée) Ce cours d’une journée comprendra une brève présentation des principes et de la théorie relatifs au mouvement des fluides et de l’air et un aperçu des divers systèmes de CVCA. Le cours expliquera ensuite comment assurer le confort des occupants des bâtiments à l’aide de la ventilation naturelle et de systèmes mécaniques éconergétiques. Les formateurs présenteront plusieurs exemples concrets et les participants feront un exercice de groupe. Penser béton (7 heures de formation dirigée) Développé par l’Institut canadien du béton préfabriqué/ précontraint et l’Association canadienne du ciment, ce séminaire d’une journée permettra notamment aux participants de connaître certaines données pratiques qui les aideront à maximiser les avantages du béton par rapport à la durabilité, l’efficacité énergétique, la force, la résistance au feu et au bruit et la performance de l’enveloppe du bâtiment. Chaque participant recevra un exemplaire

Appel de présentations La planification du Congrès de la Saskatchewan Association of Architects jumelé au Festival de l’IRAC, qui aura lieu du 23 au 26 juin à Saskatoon, va bon train. Dans l’objectif d’offrir aux architectes de toutes les régions du Canada des activités de formation continue de première qualité, reconnues comme activités de formation dirigée ou de formation libre, les organisateurs de l’événement sollicitent des propositions pour des séances de perfectionnement professionnel. La date limite de remise des propositions est le 27 novembre 2009. Consultez le site Web de l’IRAC pour un supplément d’information.

Pavillon Desmarais, Université d’ottawa | Moriyama & Teshima Architects | Photo : John Fowler, P.Eng.

de l’ouvrage Béton préfabriqué architectural, brochure technique, troisième édition, et les travaux pratiques du cours suivront les sections de Dosage et contrôle des mélanges de béton, septième édition. Pour un supplément d’information, veuillez consulter le site

Un guide aidant à déterminer les honoraires appropriés pour les services d’un architecte L’IRAC a lancé son guide national sur les honoraires dans le cadre du Festival d’architecture et Forum des architectes qui a eu lieu à Montréal, en juin dernier. Ce guide s’adresse à la fois aux clients et aux architectes et il comprend notamment des recommandations actualisées quant aux honoraires à pourcentage. Les membres de l’IRAC peuvent le télécharger gratuitement. Les non-membres peuvent se le procurer au coût de 25 $.

roBert kenneY

remembering erickson articles by close friends and former colleagues of the late, great arthur erickson offer insight into canada’s most influential architect of the 20th century.

DelivereD at the erickson memorial last June, PhYllis lamBert—architect, activist, Philan­ throPist anD the FounDing Director oF the canaDian centre For architecture (cca) in montreal—sPeaks aBout the Death oF one oF her Dearest FrienDs anD conFiDantes.


PhYllis lamBert

On the day before he died, I told Arthur how beautiful he was. He was beautiful in mind and spirit. His elegance was in his mind, his bearing, in his clothes. Brigitte Shim told me that she was with him and Adrienne Clarkson in Iceland, and when he did not show up for a tour, he explained that he was ironing his shirt. To me this is consistent with the coherent wholeness of his work, his sense of propriety, and his humour. Arthur Erickson is acknowledged as Canada’s greatest architect. He was deeply connected to 20 canadian architect 10/09

the land in a way that is particularly Canadian. As Pierre Trudeau famously said, “The land is strong.” Born when Vancouver was just 38 years old, Arthur’s culture lay in the vast forests of ancient firs and cedars, the rivers and ocean of this mountainous Pacific Northwest—the context that grounded him in the “profound communion between building and site.”1 After military service, Arthur plunged himself into architecture, inspired by images of Frank Lloyd Wright’s Taliesin West. On graduating from

McGill University, rather than working in Wright’s office, he accepted a travelling fellowship to study world cultures—always through the lens of his belief that there is no more poignant source of meaning in architecture “than the act of setting a structure in its environment.”2 This experience gave him, as Adrienne Clarkson has said, “an understanding of a world beyond his world.” Erickson’s canonic works of the 1960s and ’70s integrate landscape and what is built in it. The massive wooden beams of his early houses

simon scott

grow from and are symbolically of the earth. He was highly innovative: in his first major work achieved with Geoffrey Massey—the Simon Fraser University campus—academic departments are interlinked around a vast greensward, achieving a translation into architecture of the expanding fields of knowledge, and encouraging crossfertilization through physical proximity and sharing of spaces. Living spaces are embedded in the terraced landscape. The University of Lethbridge in Alberta (1968) is more extreme, with

academic and living spaces contained in one powerful building, a bridge across the ravine of an otherwise barren landscape. Embracing Marshall McLuhan’s view that humans will return to the tribe, Arthur concluded as early as 1965 that individual buildings were things of the past: “We are already dealing with the building complex, where buildings are only important as contributors to the total experience of moving through a vast complex. It is both a step forward as well as a return to the total build-

arthur erickson stanDs outsiDe the museum oF anthroPologY at uBc, one oF his most iconic BuilDings. aboVe With a conical rooF structure exhiBit­ ing inFluences From roY thomson hall in toronto, the museum oF glass in tacoma, Washington is a Poetic exam­ Ple oF architecture DevoteD to one oF erickson’s Favourite BuilDing materials.


continues on page 34 10/09 canadian architect


a Poem on arthur’s life the FolloWing text Was Written anD reaD BY aBraham JeDiDiah rogatnick at the memorial For arthur erickson at simon Fraser universitY’s convocation mall on June 14, 2009.


aBraham rogatnick

Alas! Arthur is gone. The word “alas,” so prevalent in the English of Shakespeare’s time, sadly has no equivalent in our language today. I can’t imagine what Shakespeare’s poetry would have been like without that word, which so succinctly expresses the deep groan of grief, of loss, of regret, and of sorrow. When I think of Arthur Erickson, as when I think of Shakespeare, I think of poetry. Arthur was eloquent with words, but he became most renowned as an artist/architect whose life and whose work can be seen as a long, lyrical, but silent poem, a song without words. The first person to greet me upon my arrival in Vancouver 54 years ago was Arthur Erickson. Immediately I knew I was in the presence of someone rare, and over the years I marvelled at the absence of self-importance he demonstrated, even as his creative vision brought triumph after triumph. To him, it was the poetry, not the poet that mattered. I also came to recognize the nobility, courage and stoicism with which he faced the trials, sorrows and ironies of his public and private life. How appropriate it is that we meet in this space, an example of one of Arthur’s many masterworks, although it would have been an amusing irony for this celebration to have taken place, as was first intended, in Christ Church Cathedral in Vancouver, a building Arthur had once been commissioned to demolish. His design for the site was a delicate, modest tower in the bowels of which a new, bright, modern church was to be ensconced. Since I was already known as a devoted fan of Arthur’s work, I was asked to appear on CBC television to support the scheme against the explosive opposition to it that had erupted in the city. When the program was over, the cameraman informed me that if he hadn’t been stuck behind the camera, he could have punched me in the nose. When I returned to the dressing room, I was accosted by a furious young actor who screamed a similar intention at me. But the irony doesn’t end there. Many years later, I became an actor, and was thrilled to have had the opportunity to perform in several Shakespeare plays in that fine, still intact 22 canadian architect 10/09

theatrical space. Journeys to as many parts of the world as possible were Arthur’s most joyful means of education. I soon began to see the romance of a poetic journey as an underlying theme in his creative vision. Fifty years ago, I was asked to write an account of the Filberg House near Comox. As I was walking the path to the house through dense trees dappling the forest floor with muted light, catching intermittent glimpses of the sparkling waters of Georgia Strait, I knew, even before reaching the crescendo of the house itself, that I was moving through a poem by Arthur Erickson. When preparing to write an article on this great space, achieved together with his partner Geoff Massey, I experienced a similar journey in the sinuous climb up the tree-lined road, again with brief flashes of glistening water, and finally, suddenly coming into the presence of the building stretching serenely over the summit of the mountain. In David Stouck’s remembrance of Arthur published in The Globe and Mail, he quoted Arthur’s own description of his Museum of Anthropology at UBC as “a walk through the forest to the beach.” And Nancy Southam, in another article in The Globe, quoted Arthur as saying, “Whatever you build should enhance the surroundings.” I’m sure he might have added, “Because the surroundings create and enhance the building.” The game of seven stones, which Arthur taught his students to play, was another evocation of a passage through time and space. Each player was given a small stone to be located in harmony with the shape of an existing field. Each placement influenced the judgement of where to site the subsequent one. The resulting pattern could not be planned in advance, but was the outcome of an organic series of decisions determined along the way. Arthur, the conjurer of a poetic world, was epitomized in the design of his own garden. Here, in miniature, he created an enticing fragment of nature with a path around its periphery, which passes under trees through a shadowed series of woodland experiences at the same time that it affords a myriad of surprising views of the garden itself. But the enchanted world with which Arthur imbued the garden truly came to life with the brilliant parties he held there, full of spellbound guests moving dreamily about as the gentle music of a string quartet or the soft bell-like tones of a Jamaican steel band wafted from across the pond dotted with flickering candles floating on its surface. For nearly 30 years I lived near the garden

and, while I wallowed in the celestial sounds that emanated from it, some of our neighbours were incensed by what they considered noise, which often continued until two or four in the morning. They also resented the cars parked in front of their houses during those stupendous soirées, not to mention the deployment of an army of plainclothes policemen blocking the intersection when Pierre Trudeau was one of the guests. I loved living close to Arthur’s paradise. I loved to see the heron perched on one of his tall trees, pausing on her trip to the water to find food to feed her fledgelings nesting in the nearby woods. I loved the colourful Japanese carp that drifted languorously in the shallow pool, and the two black swans that for a time glided silently, elegantly, across its surface. I even loved the raccoons that invaded the garden, to Arthur’s dismay, since the brazen creatures dined on his luxurious carp. I found the peeping of the frogs that colonized the pond bucolically romantic. Again I was in the minority among our neighbours who complained bitterly of their croaking, which they claimed interfered with their sleep. To discourage the raccoons, Arthur set a large cage trap hidden strategically under the foliage beside the pond. He never caught any, but once, one of my cats disappeared for several days. So one evening I asked Arthur to take me to the trap to check it out, and, sure enough, from the dark there emerged an exhausted, pathetic meow. This touching story was published by Edith Iglauer in her book on Arthur, entitled Seven Stones: A Portrait of Arthur Erickson. The story was also featured in The New Yorker magazine. But what was never published was the sequel, which reflected a more melancholy aspect of the saga of Arthur’s life and that of his Arcadian garden. One day, a couple of good Samaritans brought to the garden a carton containing a clutch of tiny ducklings which had hatched on their property, far from any body of water. They thought of Arthur’s pond, and, with my help, slipped the aBe rogatinick Delivers his last, anD quite PossiBlY most memoraBle PerFormance at the erickson/masseY­ DesigneD simon Fraser universitY. oPPosite bottom architectural PhotograPher simon scott caPtures the stoic rhYthm oF simon Fraser universitY’s oPen court­ YarD Design—a ProJect WiDelY con­ siDereD erickson’s most accomPlisheD contriBution to PostWar universitY architecture in canaDa. oPPosite toP

roBert kenneY simon scott 10/09 canadian architect


allan manDell

ducklings under a hole at the bottom of the fence. The desperately quacking mother flew over it and instantly took up tranquil residence in the garden together with her brood, guests which Arthur welcomed. But as time passed the ducklings began to disappear, several of which were brought to me in the jaws of my previously trapped cat. Perhaps it was her revenge, but, to me, it was a memento mori of the brutal indifference of nature and the hovering presence of death, who in Poussin’s painting of a tomb in Arcadia, reminded the inhabitants of that idyllic sphere: Et in Arcadia ego. Even in Arcadia, I am here. I marvelled at Arthur’s calm nobility, which I saw over the years as he lost one close friend after another to various untimely deaths. I am sure that privately he grieved, but outwardly he seemed to accept each difficult loss as an unavoidable acquiescence to the will of nature and the inescapable darker passages in the poem of all our lives. Arthur possessed an inner dignity, together with an innate kindness and compassion. The first person whom he invited to grace a modest structure that he added a few feet from the garage in which he made his home, was Gordon Webber, his teacher and inspirer at McGill.

He told the city it was to be a garden shed, but to his friends he called it a guest house, which he later attached to the humble garage to become his tiny bedroom and studio overlooking his magical garden. Gordon, a victim of polio, was disfigured, lame, an almost Quasimodo-like figure in his misshapen body. The reverence, affection and tenderness with which Arthur cared for him before he too died was utterly moving. I thought of Arthur and Don’s father Oscar, a double-amputee World War One veteran, whom the two brothers carried in his wheelchair up a painfully long and steep staircase to visit Alvin Balkind and me when we were running a gallery over some shops in West Vancouver back in 1955. Many years later, Arthur and I were judges on a jury to select a design for the Terry Fox monument at the end of Robson Street. We knew that the public was expecting us to choose a statue of Terry struggling to hike across Canada on his prosthetic leg. Arthur objected to such a statue. He insisted that the handicapped don’t want to be remembered for their disability, but for their triumph in overcoming it. He opted for an arch leading to the stadium behind it, an arch of triumph, and influenced others and me to vote with him.

The public response was overwhelmingly negative, noses were out of joint and, O cursed spite, I was chosen to set them right and to defend the choice to the press. Once again I suffered slings and arrows in the newspapers and on the radio. I was portrayed as an addled professor who foisted the design on the public who saw it as a monstrosity and an insult to Terry Fox. Yes, I sometimes suffered in my defense of Arthur’s sensitive wisdom, but I don’t regret a minute of it. Arthur Charles Erickson, whose initials appropriately spell “ACE”—and what an ace he was—a prince and a poet among us. We still walk the many poetic paths that he created. Alas! The poet is gone, but the poem of his long life’s journey lives on. Abraham Jedidiah Rogatnick died on August 28, 2009. He was 85. During the Second World War, Rogatnick fought as a US army combat infantryman and was part of the major offensive against the Germans—the Battle of the Bulge. He studied under Walter Gropius and graduated with his Masters in Architecture from Harvard University in 1953. In 1955, Rogatnick arrived in Vancouver with Alvin Balkind, his lifetime partner with whom he almost immediately established the New Design Gallery, one of the first galleries in Canada devoted to contemporary art. Rogatnick lectured at the Vancouver Art Gallery before becoming a professor at the University of British Columbia in 1959, where he became a famous scholar who specialized in the architectural history of Venice. In 1969, he established the university’s Studies Abroad program. He retired from UBC in 1985, having earned the university’s Master Teacher Award. It was then that he officially took up acting and co-founded the Arts Club Theatre on Granville Island in Vancouver.

nature anD lanDscaPe Figure Promin­ entlY in manY oF erickson’s BuilDings anD in his oWn Private BackYarD gar­ Den. oPPosite the Post­anD­Beam Design For the smith house helPeD Position erickson as a veneraBle West coast architect While liBerating his creative Potential to Work With the PlasticitY oF manY tYPes oF structural materials, not Just steel anD concrete.


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Building Envelope Solutions From Coast to Coast

Project : Art Gallery of Ontario Products : Angel Hair Finish Stainless Steel Stair Case and Anodized Titanium Flat Lock Tiles

Project : Ontario College of Art & Design Products : Aluminum Profiled Metal Cladding and 2-Ply Modified Roofing System

Project : Vancouver Convention Centre Products : Extensive Green Roof and Various Architectural Cladding Systems

CirCle reply Card 24

Project : Eaton Centre, Toronto Products : Barrel Vault Skylights System, Curtain Wall and Entrance

the world through your eyes cornelia hahn oBerlanDer Delivers an oDe to 35 Years oF collaB­ oration With arthur erickson, anD to more than 40 ProJects.


cornelia hahn oBerlanDer

simon scott

It was 1954 when we met at the Vancouver Art Gallery, where you gave a lecture showing us the most beautiful slides of your travels around the world, seen through your keen eyes. It was truly uplifting, and we all felt that you had brought to us in Vancouver a new way of looking at the world. You talked to us about the city as the greatest achievement of mankind, and spoke of your dreams to improve our places of work, learning and leisure in the city. You stimulated new thoughts of how we should live and socialize in the city, which culminated in the teamwork of Group 58 showing us new ideas for our city dominated by high-rises. You wished us to shoulder social responsibility for the betterment of all in the city. Your travels brought back new ideas such as the discovery of the gardens of Japan, which express the totality of all arts and architecture. You were inspired to implement these in your own garden, which became a sanctuary for your inspiration and contemplation for all your projects. It became a garden of viewing, reflection and discovery. Over the years, the preservation of this special garden was made possible by your friends and colleagues. Your first dictum to any building is the site. All your projects show your commitment to nature and the deep understanding of it. You demanded achieving a fit in all your buildings, and instinctively you understood the importance of nature and bringing it into harmony with glass and concrete. Thus, it was easy to interpret this relationship of building and site as a team. In all your thoughts you were innovative and you expected the team to perform with excellence. You challenged all of us to interpret new concepts, such as at Simon Fraser University, the UBC Museum of Anthropology, the BC Provincial Courthouse Complex, the Chancery in Washington, DC, and many houses in the forests of the Pacific Northwest. In your writings, you eloquently observed that the dialogue between a building and its setting is the essence of architecture. One of your first major contributions in the world of architecture was winning the competition for Simon Fraser University in association with Geoffrey Massey in 1963. Here, you created new cultural significance for an educational institution. You challenged the site on this mountaintop and came up with new so-

lutions that enabled students to learn and socialize, and you achieved an integration of activities within the buildings on different levels. The Provincial Courthouse Complex was your next landmark project. Instead of building a 55-storey high-rise you put the building on its side, thereby making it possible to have a green roof over three city blocks. You saw to it that we built a linear park for all citizens to enjoy throughout the seasons, day and night, and that we could traverse from one street to the other surrounded by greenery. It took many years of research, risk-taking and responsibility for the team to make this possible. Today, visitors to Robson Square do not realize the learning curve for greening roofs in 1974. The team had to analyze the loads on the roof, research lightweight growing medium, and choose plant material that could withstand pollution. You challenged us to bring biomass into the city 30 years ago. All this grew out of your deep love for the forest and the ecology of the Pacific Northwest, which you explored early in your life. This project is a work of art and must be retained in its entirety as your legacy. The Museum of Anthropology at UBC embodies your spirit of land and sea. The Haida houses are placed at the edge of the shell-and-shingle beaches, and tell about the life of our native people. One day you called me into your office to see the first sketches of the museum and the site, and asked, “What would you do, Cornelia?” I replied that we should echo the landscape of the Queen Charlotte Islands with the grasses and plants used by our native people, as depicted in the book This is Haida. Thirty-five years later, this is still a work in progess. We hope that by next year, at your birthday, there will be water in the pond to complete your vision for the museum. The Portland Hotel in Downtown Eastside Vancouver is one of your most important contributions to the city—a home for drug-afflicted people. A roof garden with blueberry bushes and apple trees, as well as cushions of lawn, allow the residents to soothe their spirits. Alternatively, they might find solace in the contemplative courtyard garden on a lower level. How is it possible that we could do all these projects together? Although we grew up in different parts of the continent, we had similar backgrounds. We both roamed the woods, loved the mountains and the sea, and learned to appreciate nature early in life. Instinctively we both understood ecology and were taught design by those trained in the Bauhaus method. From you, Arthur, I learned so much. When I presented you with the architectural plant for all the planter boxes—namely Taxus Media (Hicksii Yew), you gently commented, “But Cornelia, there are many greens.” What is Arthur talking about, I wondered. Oh ... I guess I don’t know too many plants. This started my mind spinning, and I then took a crash course at UBC in plant material so I could bring different greens to Robson Square. Your gentle guidance will never be forgotten. Arthur, I sing an ode to 35 years of collaboration with you. We all miss you and your constantly inquiring mind. Cornelia Hahn Oberlander launched her career as a landscape architect in 1950. Her Robson Square development, designed in collaboration with Arthur Erickson in 1974, marked a turning point for the profession of landscape architecture when the concept of the rooftop garden was virtually unknown. She has worked with leading architects in Canada and around the world, continuing to contribute greatly to the profession of landscape architecture. nature anD lanDscaPe Figure ProminentlY in manY oF erick­ son’s BuilDings such as in ePPich house ii. oPPosite the stunning natural BackDroP BehinD erickson’s totemic museum oF anthroPologY in vancouver. left

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a scenic tour a historian anD FrienD oF arthur erickson Discusses a couPle oF insPirational moments that have inFluenceD his aPPrecia­ tion oF the value oF architecture anD the collegialitY that it engenDers.


michael J. ProkoPoW

Among my many memories of Arthur—of countless meals, looking at buildings, looking at art, walking in gardens, listening to Richard Strauss’s Der Rosenkavalier (Arthur’s favourite piece of music, it should be noted), and talking about his life (that amazing adventurous and fully lived life)—two stand out. My first memory is of a two-part afternoon spent with Arthur, Harry Seidler and his wife Penelope. In Australia for a December holiday, Harry had invited his old friend to his light-filled and poetic studio at Milson’s Point in North Sydney with its expansive views of the Harbour Bridge and the financial district for what Arthur called a “long overdue reunion.” There were several of us with him and when Arthur extended Harry’s invitation to us, we happily tagged along, honoured as much to meet Australia’s great architect as to be included in what was obviously a personal occasion. They had not seen each other in a number of years, and, after hugging each other upon meeting and then hugging again, simply picked up a conversation where it had last been left off—in Singapore, Arthur believed. Over lunch, with good wine flowing, Arthur and Harry and Penelope Seidler talked about everything:

about their long friendship, about projects, about lost friends, about engineers (a particularly popular topic with Arthur) and about the work of making buildings and the obligations that attended what Arthur always called the “gift” of practicing architecture. In the middle of dessert— a pound cake with cream and a bowl of native fruits, the colours of which appealed to Arthur— Harry got up from the table and said that we should go for a ride. Penelope quickly said she would forgo the “tour” and soon we were in the elevator descending to the underground garage. When the elevator door opened, Harry told three of us to wedge ourselves into the back of his car—a sleek, new silver-grey Mercedes convertible—and Arthur to get in the front. The top was down and we stormed out of the garage into that brilliant sunlight so typical of Sydney in high summer. As we drove over the Harbour Bridge, Harry explained in what was necessarily a very loud voice that he wanted to show Arthur “a few projects,” old and new. We saw the MLC building from 1977, careened past the landmark Australia Square tower of ten years earlier and ended up at the Horizon, Seidler’s celebrated 43-storey luxury apartment building in Darlinghurst, which was completed in 1996, and which was an experiment in form that Harry said soon became a reference in much of his more recent work. It was a whirlwind tour with Harry gesturing enthusiastically and driving extraordinarily fast, and Arthur agreeing and pointing at things, and the both of them smiling the entire time. Too soon it seemed that Harry was dropping us off at our hotel. Harry

and Arthur got out of the car at the same time and they embraced again, grabbing each other’s arms and nodding at each other. My second memory of Arthur was having lunch together in his house on the day before his 84th birthday. Seated at his chrome dining table, beneath the chrome planter that had long been filled with philodendrons and which framed an arched skylight, we resumed what was an evercontinuing conversation about architecture—his architecture and that of others—and about how his interests in designing buildings had evolved. He talked that day about his early investigations of domestic spaces, speaking in detail about the commission for the first Smith House and the design of the Ruth Massey House. He talked about how his and Geoffrey Massey’s winning of the Simon Fraser University competition in 1963 set in motion his interest and career in public architecture. He talked about how the design of museums was particularly challenging because of how the requisites of program had to accommodate—to serve—the collection. Such a building should never overwhelm what was going on inside, he said. Somehow we ended up talking about regrets. And while Arthur could and did continues on page 34

DaPPleD sunlight enhances the zen amBience oF the Washroom in the ePPich 1 house.


a few words on simon scott throughout this issue, several images—­manY PreviouslY unPuBlisheD—­have Been useD BY the PhotograPhic artist simon scott. aDele WeDer exPlains WhY.


aDele WeDer

As the primary photographer of Arthur Erickson’s architecture, Simon Scott reveals a symbiotic aspect to his own work, as suggested by the title of his recent exhibition at the West Vancouver Museum. Simon Scott: The Architecture of Photography syntactically inverts the usual deferential relationship of camera and building, wherein the former is no more than a visual recording device of the latter. What we see here is an artistic partnership. The work of Scott, who trained in architecture and runs his own architectural consulting firm, is itself a strand of architecture, defined by strong lines, poetic construction, and an overwhelmingly powerful visual unity. Like that of Erickson, Scott’s work bespeaks an idealism that seems at odds with the vagaries of commercial life. Created

30 canadian architect 10/09

largely during Erickson’s glory years of the mid-1960s to the mid-1980s, the images suggest an idealism that looks almost anachronistic today: ethereal crispness and clarity; deep and brilliant colours; the artful swoop of the horizon line; and always the sun. Most notably, the land itself fills up much of the composition, in tandem with Erickson’s own values, but in a manner that is largely avoided by the more common anthropocentric and media-oriented architectural photography. “I have never really believed that nature and man need to be separated,” Scott told the assembled crowd on opening night. “What man does is part of nature. The critical issue is how well he does it.”

simon scott 10/09 canadian architect


simon scott

a bigger world an erickson aPPrentice From DecaDes Past contemPlates a FeW imPortant lessons learneD earlY on in his career.


James cheng

courtesY BarrY Johns

Arthur Erickson was well-known for his extensive travels and his wide circle of influential friends. When he returned from his trips abroad, which included China with former Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau, we were treated to a show of his gorgeous slides taken with his Hasselblad camera. From Iran, he introduced us to the photographic work of Roloff Beny in the book Pleasure of Ruins; from Japan, he brought the new GA Architect series by the legendary photographer Yukio Futagawa—with the initial publication profiling the work of Kevin Roche and John Dinkeloo. I still recall the excitement this generated and everyone scrambling to order the latest volumes. Unlike today’s easy access to information via the Internet, books were rare, information was hard to come by, and travel was expensive and time-consuming. Often, Arthur would speak of the quality of light specific to a region. He was deeply interested in the culture of the various countries in which he worked, and in giving it expression in his designs. Once, when we were discussing Simon Fraser University, he brought out a rare limited edition photographic survey of Fatehpur Sikri in India, going on to explain the spatial and spiritual nature of the courtyard spaces. On another occassion, when we were talking about the siting of a building, he shared images of the Alhambra in Granada, with its spectacular placement above the southern Spanish town. And he would continue to inspire us with the prints of Josef Albers and Frank Stella. It was during those moments that we appreciated his interest in travelling widely and his commitment to pursuing international work. Vancouver was a small and insular place in the early ’70s, but through his excursions and his circle of worldly friends, Arthur managed to steadily expand his professional perspective. Sometime around the mid-1970s, Arthur was invited to participate in a limited competition to design the General Services Administration Building for the City of Portland. Postmodernism was the flavour of the day, and Michael Graves was Arthur’s chief competitor while his friend Philip Johnson was the deciding judge. We knew that a Postmodern design would win, and the office struggled with the competition design. Arthur was a Modernist and the scheme we submitted certainly reflected that compromise. As expected, Graves’s scheme for the Portland Building (with the famous statue of Portlandia) won. Arthur never looked back. I was just three years out of architectural school when I worked for Arthur—from 1973 to 1976. He helped me appreciate that there is a much bigger world out there, and he taught me the lesson of being true to one’s convictions—and to never be swayed by fads and fashion.

a circular rooF structure at simon Fraser universitY Forms an oculus to the skY. left an enormous moDel in Pro­ gress oF roBson square, erickson’s magnum opus. oPPosite emerging From the glorious coulees oF lethBriDge, alBerta, one Discovers the magniFicent universitY oF lethBriDge stretch­ ing elegantlY across the Prairie lanDscaPe.

toP left

32 canadian architect 10/09

order and simPlicity teXt

BarrY Johns

“Space has always been the spiritual dimension of architecture. It is not the physical statement of the structure so much as what it contains that moves us.” This quote from Arthur, as everyone called him, illustrates his unique way of seeing. Consumed by the need to create meaningful buildings through a life’s study of human culture and an affinity with light and landscape—his influence is original and profoundly Canadian. Arthur’s tenets of site, light and cadence continue to inspire our own Alberta practice in its quest for authenticity and environmental harmony. We have learned to work with the wet, milky horizons at sea level and the intense prairie sky at much higher altitudes. Arthur taught me, among other things, to see light as a building material. Order and simplicity define the characteristics of Arthur’s most compelling work, and have become our practice’s fundamental design principles. From the parallel planes of the Hillborn House so beautifully nested into the landscape, to the integration of Robson Square into the city of Vancouver, the best of Arthur’s work is found in structural cadence from a distance

and a spatial enrichment up close. He decried structural expression when it was based on engineering calculation—preferring to sculpt it instead by defining or framing the space with elegant proportions. So many of the houses—from Smith to Eppich to Fire Island—use the same dimensions for columnar width as beam depth, his signature structural order to create calm, subtle and beautiful compositions. From crisp edges (never chamfer a corner) to honest expression (never patch a surface), raw structural concrete was saluted as the “noble stone” of the 20th century. Years later, we are still learning to keep it simple. Within the didactic culture of his studio, I fondly remember our five orders: the slip/slide; never turn a corner but terminate on a point of natural light; plant it; structural cadence; and always be unique. These were starting points to the endless options we explored, although Arthur would derive yet another solution in the end. At the best of times, we were in the presence of a genius who, through his architecture, is ample testimony to Canada’s worldwide identity as a “gracious” culture. Barry Johns lives and practices in Edmonton. He worked closely with Arthur Erickson on Robson Square and other projects from 1974-1980.

simon scott

FunDamental tenets oF architecture as esPouseD BY a master architect are DiscusseD.

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martin tessler

remembering erickson—continued from page 21

arthur erickson Poses comFortaBlY For the camera amiDst his Books anD Jour­ nals in his home oFFice.


a scenic tour—continued from page 30

talk freely about many things he regretted in life, his biggest regret professionally was that he never had the opportunity to design an airport. Airports, he said, were the emblematic structures of advanced society. As transportation hubs, national showcases, and meeting places, airports— in all their complexity—were sites of intersection: of people and cultures, of technology and possibility. Having spent a good deal of time in airports all around the world, he said that the task of designing an airport was a particularly challenging one. He talked in that conversation about Saarinen’s Dulles airport, about Piano’s tour de 34 canadian architect 10/09

force in Kyoto Bay, about the old and rather beloved airport in Hong Kong, and about his friend Norman Foster’s remarkable replacement at Chek Lap Kok. And he talked admiringly about Foster’s recently completed terminal in Beijing. The conversation, while happy, possessed a decidedly wistful tone. It was, in truth, simply Arthur’s acknowledgment at a particular point in his life, of the vast and rich possibilities of the art he loved and the one he long sought to serve. Michael J. Prokopow is a faculty member at the Ontario College of Art and Design.

ing of the medieval city: the streets of Orvieto, the façades of Florence, the squares of Venice.”3 Arthur’s Robson Square is to me one of the great innovative and canonic works of the 20th century. In this low-profile, three-block-long complex in downtown Vancouver, government offices are interwoven with a richly planted landscape—designed with Cornelia Oberlander—that is reminiscent of the terrain of the province. Under a huge tilted glass roof, the adjacent Law Courts building marks a profound innovation in courthouse design, inducing an optimistic concept of justice in opposition to the grim traditional assumption of guilt. It was visionary in the 1970s as an example of sustainable and humane concepts of government and urban planning, and today, it points the way for world cities. And so with the Museum of Anthropology (1971), which relates to Kwaikiutl construction, the totemic poles within the glazed enclosure inferring the village in the forest as they rise against the pond (that should be there) to connect to the sea beyond Oberlander’s landscape. Erickson challenged museum typology by opening the storage, thus encouraging autonomous learning about aboriginal cultures. The extraordinary garden of his own house dissolves the boundaries of two ordinary suburban lots to create the illusion of infinite space. And he could wittily and wickedly comment on governmental ethics. In 1980 in Washington, DC, the span of his Canadian Chancery’s enormous architrave beam confronting the street implies the expanse of Canada. The inclusion of Bill Reid’s major work entitled The Ship of Fools, in which each Northwest Coast animal bites the tail of its neighbour, is a political statement. So are Arthur’s tongue-in-cheek nods to de rigueur Neoclassicism in the US capital—hollow metal columns that support only a plastic canopy, and in response to Reid’s black sculpture, a small, white columnated rotunda. Arthur Erickson invented unsurpassed urban schemes and building types that were well ahead of their time both socially and environmentally, yet the dynamic evolution of his work still waits to be assessed. The full extent of Arthur’s body of work, together with his impressive writings and photographic records, will be a real discovery. Phyllis Lambert is the Founding Director and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal. 1 Arthur Erickson, “The Design of a House,” Canadian Art

(November 1960): 98. 2 Arthur Erickson, “The Weight of Heaven,” The Canadian Architect 8:3 (March 1964): 48. 3 Arthur Erickson, Habitation: Space, Dilemma and Design, 1965 Canadian Housing Design Council Lecture (Ottawa: Canadian Housing Design Council, 1966), 3.


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Go with the flow a newly formed montreal architecture firm has desiGned a remarkable headquarters for a manufacturer of sewer pipe and sanitary drains. Saint-Germain SewerS and aqueductS, Saint-Hubert, quebec acdf* arcHitecture (allaire courcHeSne dupuiS frappier_arcHitecture_urbaniSme_intérieur) teXt ian cHodikoff photos marc cramer proJect


Designing a facility to manufacture and warehouse sewer pipe is not one of the most compelling design commissions that comes to mind for an architecture firm. But here, a clear architectural vision has resulted in a successful industrial building in a semi-industrial landscape. The new headquarters for St-Germain Égouts et Aqueducs (Saint-Germain Sewers and Aqueducts) was completed in the fall of 2008 by

ACDF* architecture, a Montreal-based firm that was formed in September 2006. Comprised of wunderkind architects along with more experienced practitioners of the Montreal architecture scene, ACDF* is a firm whose name is derived from the initials of its founding partners: Sylvain Allaire, Guy Courchesne, Benoit Dupuis and Maxime-Alexis Frappier. Since the firm was established, it has already grown to over 45 people.

beautifully mirrored by itS reflectinG pool, tHe utilitarian qualitieS of tHe new wareHouSe facility are elevated to an unuSual level of Grace and eleGance.


Much of Sylvain Allaire’s experience comes from an even larger Quebec architecture firm that is virtually unknown in the rest of Canada— 10/09 canadian architect


4 9





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5 6

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boisé anthropique bois


site plan 1 2 3 4 5

warehouse offices reflecting pool courtyard high grass

0 6 7 8 9



parking area storage area factory (phase 2) earth berm

200’ 0

Ground floor 1 warehouse 2 entrance 3 exposition hall 4 reflecting pool–catch basin

5 6 7 8







courtyard conference room executive offices dining room


transparency of the warehouse to the outside warehouse

catch basin - reflecting pool


north eleVation 0

ABCP architecture. Along with Serge Perras, Guy Courchesne was one of the founders of ABCP architecture and was responsible for business development before moving over to ACDF*. The third founding partner, Benoit Dupuis, earned many design accolades with his then-partner Jean-Pierre LeTourneux while at Dupuis LeTourneux architectes, a firm which dissolved in 2006. The fourth and youngest member of ACDF* is Maxime-Alexis Frappier. Frappier, 32, graduated in 2000 from Université de Montréal with Dupuis as his thesis advisor. He worked with 38 canadian architect 10/09




50’ 35

lonGitudinal section


Saucier + Perrotte architectes before founding ACDF*. Frappier was the partner in charge for the Saint-Germain commission. His team’s challenge was to design an industrial building that would reflect the sublime qualities of the surrounding landscape. Established in 1953, the family-run manufacturing company is wellknown throughout Quebec for its sanitary pipes and guttering. Requiring larger facilities, they purchased a site in Saint-Hubert, located just east of Montreal, in June 2007. Situated between

0 0




50’ 35


a highway to the north, a railway to the south, and wedged between ex-urban farmland and single-family residential houses, the site offers very good access to highways to keep the merchandise flowing to their customers on a regular basis. The new facilities stretch the entire length of the site. Addressing the wind conditions from the northeast led to “eroding” one area of the façade to allow breezeways into a semi-protected courtyard, a gesture resulting in a more contemplative sense of place within this challenging in-

clockwise from opposite top a view of the entire facility illustrates the contrast between the wood and steel used in the structure; the layered composition of the north elevation transitions from a permeable screened courtyard to a crisply detailed steel and glass volume; the subtle play between the overhangs and recesses can be seen in these two views of the building.

dustrial landscape. Other initiatives to help entrench the building in its site include the reintroduction of locally found wild grasses and the use of reclaimed wood for the exterior siding. According to the architects, incorporating wood into the design provided an opportunity to acknowledge the forest that once existed on the site. While inventing such a narrative could be considered frivolous, the attempt to imbue a sense of natural history into what is essentially a banal suburban industrial site is certainly an effort worthy of recognition. One of the most striking features in this building is the large rainwater catch basin (water is fed by rainwater run-off from both the site and the building’s roof) which acts as an elegant reflecting pond, further emphasizing the company’s connection to the large-scale treatment of water. Because the building is sited adjacent to the reflecting pool, various reflections—both during day and night—help modulate the visual appearance of the large expanses of glass, wood and metal, communicating an aesthetic variability to this otherwise prosaic industrial shed-type building. The program for the new operations can be divided into four key areas: management and administration, warehousing, external storage areas, and manufacturing. Staff and visitors enter the building by means of a concrete walkway that

extends over the basin. The walkway is thin and planar, emphasizing the depth of the reflecting pool. It is at the building’s entry where there is a visual convergence of the metal-clad warehouse with a view into the storage facility and the wooden administration wing. Maintaining consistency in materiality throughout the building helps to blur the distinction between inside and outside spaces, which is accentuated by the openness in plan, sliding interior walls, and the addition of windows wherever possible. Furthermore, large overhangs and recesses, complete with wood soffits, help define the entrances and glazed openings while providing protection from sun and wind. As one would expect, the aesthetic of the warehousing operations is thoroughly utilitarian—wide aisles, concrete flooring, giant shelf structures, and forklifts. What makes this warehouse different is the addition of large floor-toceiling glass walls offering natural light and views to the landscape beyond, thereby creating a display window to visually showcase its products to anyone driving past on the nearby highway. The manufacturing facility has yet to be fully completed, but in time, it will provide an anchor to the southern component of the site, unifying manufacturing with product distribution and the functions of the company’s corporate manage10/09 canadian architect


ment. But the precedent on the site has been dutifully set. The linear shape of the building, combined with the modification of the landscape, evocatively expresses the company’s corporate identity. This project presents the sublime possibilities of industrial architecture, and oddly enough, the visual identity of a company whose primary business is to bury its products underground. ca 40 canadian architect 10/09

client st-germain Égouts et aqueducs architect team maxime-alexis frappier, benoît dupuis, sylvain allaire, guy courchesne, Joan renaud, gabriel villeneuve, robert dequoy, mathieu st-hilaire, denis dupuis, luis maria arias duque, marc-olivier dion, denis lavigne, sophie leborgne structural mÉtaux-spec inc. mechanical l&p lavallÉe inc./aÉro-mÉcanique turcotte inc./ gicleurs acme inc. electrical groupe sermax inc./dimension plus landscape acdf* architecture + entreprise michaudville inc. interiors acdf* architecture contractor construction tigre inc. area 50,000 ft2 total (10,000 ft2 admin) budGet $5.5 m completion fall 2008

the screened-in courtyard affords a sublime view of the landscape beyond. aboVe left the brightly lit warehousing facility. aboVe riGht, top to bottom the open plan of the facility allows long views to exist throughout the building; continuing the dark-brown wood detailing in the administration areas provides continuity from the external cladding to the interior finishes. top

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respite and ritual three new buildings at a VancouVer cemetery respond to the contextual specificity of site while offering respite and healing for mourners. Mountain View CeMetery BirMinghaM & wood text Matthew SouleS photos niC lehoux proJect


If the current preoccupation with youthfulness, the vast array of consumer anti-aging products, and the billions flowing into longevity research are any indication, society may well be more concerned with stalling death than ever before. While attitudes about death vary widely, the obvious and predominant one is that it is the end—a final closure from the space and time of life. Never a pleasant concept, this especially doesn’t sit well with contemporary culture, and as such, death is super-segregated and hidden—itself closed off from the world at large. Birmingham & Wood’s new work at Vancouver’s Mountain View Cemetery is a remarkably sensitive and exquisitely

42 canadian architect 10/09

realized foil to these prevailing attitudes. Through carefully calibrated design, it offers a welcome and optimistic “opening up” of our rituals, and therefore our thoughts surrounding death. Mountain View Cemetery has been in operation since 1887 and is the only cemetery inside the City of Vancouver. It covers roughly 106 acres on a gently sloping site in the southeast portion of the city and, as its name declares, offers expansive views of the mountains. The grounds include subtly linear, monumental tree plantings that—in combination with the rolling slope, openness, and big-scale view—amount to a magical moment in the city. There is a telescopic scale to the site; it is

simultaneously vast and intimate. Birmingham & Wood’s prescience resides in so clearly identifying this fundamental quality of the site and recognizing that it harbours profound resonance with the rituals surrounding death. The immeasurable pain that often surrounds the loss of life is nothing other than an anguish born of the cruel collision of isolated emotional vertigo and the universe’s cold disregard for it. It is both way too close, and way too far away. The firm’s scope of work covers three new buildings—the Customer Service Centre, Celebration Hall, and the Operations Yard. The former two illustrate where architectural

emphasis is placed in a manner that amplifies the intimate and expansive qualities of the site, and thereby offer respite and healing within the context of mourning. The site slopes down from south to north towards the mountains and the Customer Service Centre and Celebration Hall are oriented along this axis in a gentle cascade of interlocking spaces. Commencing with the Service Centre, a series of rooms that support the planning and provision of funeral and interment services are arranged along a processional walkway. Moving from south to north, one experiences a slow transition from relative enclosure to openness through increased glazing and transparency to the landscape of mourning. The moment at which one exits the Service Centre is marked by an incredibly explosive, yet absolutely serene view of the mountains. In a city so blessed and preoccupied with views as Vancouver, it is easy to find nothing significant in the architectural provision of them. In fact, in the academic architecture circles of Vancouver, the idea of the “view� is pretty much a bad word. However, as practitioners, Birmingham & Wood are certainly able to position, frame, and control meaningful views of the mountains beyond, offering sublime connections to the city and its relationship to such an overwhelmingly natural context. Extending north from the Service Centre lays Celebration Hall, where a seven-metre-high gathering room is the primary anchoring space. Its ample dimension commands respect but its edges promote softness. At its southern face, a long horizontal window frames, again, a striking vista. But in contrast to those preceding it, it frames a more intimate view of the exterior, a middle ground. As Sandra Moore, the partner in charge explains, Birmingham & Wood worked closely with the contractor during construction to test various window positions to get it just right. The aperture frames a cherry tree and a subsequent row of trees with a precision reminiscent of a painstakingly staged Jeff Wall photograph. More significant than this primary room’s relationship to its view is its associated ancillary spaces which exist in plan as an orbit of carefully considered interior and exterior spaces that support a range of possible intimacies. A private family room and private family garden sit alongBuBBle-like pendant lights suBtly animate the serenely austere interior of the CaradoC room. top right mature trees and a BuColiC landsCape are evident in this view of the north elevation of the operations yard. middle right visitors Convene in the enClosed Courtyard garden formed By the l-shaped form of CeleBration hall. right looking north over the pond and garden adjaCent to the CaradoC room. opposite

10/09 canadian architect


part of CeleBration hall, the CaradoC room exudes a warm and inviting glow at dusk. aboVe, left to right with tomBstones in the foreground, the western elevation of the main administration Building—Comprised of Customer serviCe Centre and CeleBration hall—is awash in late-day sun; the south elevation of CeleBration hall expresses a high degree of preCision in the detailing of its site-Cast ConCrete.


side larger interior and exterior spaces, all of which are framed within a series of concrete walls that run from inside to outside, allowing the whole facility to function as a fluid yet differentiated collection of interior and exterior spaces that serve to at once merge the complex with its surroundings yet powerfully assert itself. The overall result is a group of spaces that can respond to the particularities of varying cultural, familial, and individual desires. Like the commonplace banality of the view, it is easy to dismiss wood and concrete as a material default. But again Birmingham & Wood exceed 44 canadian architect 10/09

expectations. Gratuitous displays of wood are kept to a minimum; oiled and waxed fir is juxtaposed with the emphatically reinforced concrete to combine perceptual softness and warmth with solidity and permanence befitting the program. It is not hard to perceive in the precision of the concrete walls an expression of the infinite sublimity that may exist beyond death. To visit Birmingham & Wood’s buildings at Mountain View Cemetery is to experience a polyvalent positioning of the intimate and the expansive that synthetically enlists site, program and materials. This comprehensive elasticity at a

cemetery has potentially large implications. By gently unenclosing the rituals surrounding death, Birmingham & Wood make a claim about life. Fittingly, Celebration Hall has become a popular venue for a myriad of cultural events—their deft design has enabled a reassuring vitality in the centre of a cemetery. ca Matthew Soules is the founding director of the Vancouver Design Firm MSD and teaches at the School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA) at the University of British Columbia.




3 1

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3 customer serVice centre 7 support staff 8 offiCe 9 garden 10 family room 11 produCt display 12 kitChen

entry proCessional walkway loBBy administration offiCe supply room kitChen/staff lunCh

4 4 celebration hall 1 2 3 4 5

entry gates entry Courtyard Cloakroom loBBy CaradoC room N

1 2 3 4 5 6



6 private family room 7 kitChen 8 garden 9 private family garden 10 pond




7 9

client City of vanCouver architect team sandra moore, annaBel vaughan, andre asselin, anthea ho structural Bush Bohlman + partners mechanical perez engineering ltd. electrical mmm group landscape lees + assoCiates, phillips farevaag smallenBerg fountain vinCent helton + assoCiates contractor smith Brothers + wilson area 495 m2 (Cs), 340 m2 (Ch), 415 m2 (oy) budget $8.9 m completion july 2009



operations yard 1 2 3 4 5

entry gate fuel station soils vehiCle storage stone engraving



6 workshop 7 tool storage 8 first aid 9 loCker room 10 drying room

1 2 3

the proCessional walkway in the Customer serviCe Centre terminates with a Carefully framed view of the landsCape; a view north towards CeleBration hall Captures a Beautifully Blue sky and the mountain ridge Beyond.

below, left to right 1 operations yard 2 CeleBration hall 3 Customer serviCe Centre site plan



10/09 canadian architect


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10/09 canadian architect


calendar Building a Vision: Art Gallery of Alberta and Randall Stout Architects

September 5-December 13, 2009 This exhibition at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton charts the imagining and construction of Randall Stout Architects’ new Art Gallery of Alberta. From the Gallery’s history to Stout’s design inspiration found in our city’s urban grid and North Saskatchewan River valley, this compilation of materials gives insight into the evolution of the new AGA building. See the progression of the building from initial conceptual sketches and diagrams to pictures, models and photographs captured throughout construction.

the Brion family’s mausoleum in Italy, considered to be architect Carlo Scarpa’s masterpiece. Museums of the 21st Century: Concepts, Projects, Buildings

September 19-December 13, 2009 This exhibition at the Art Gallery of Alberta in Edmonton is a survey of 27 of the most important museum projects that have been conceived, planned and built in the early part of the 21st century in four continents. Represented by sketches, architectural plans, photographs and models, these projects highlight the diverse personalities and limitless imaginations of the world’s leading architects.

Carlo Scarpa’s Tomba Brion: Photographs by Guido Guidi, 1997-2007

4th international architecture Biennale rotterdam

September 11, 2009-January 10, 2010 This exhibition at the Canadian Centre for Architecture captures soprema_canadian_architect.pdf notions of time, space and light in

September 24, 2009-January 10, 2010 The International Architecture Biennale Rotterdam (IABR) takes place 7/7/09 9:34:00 AM primarily at the Netherlands Archi-

tecture Institute (NAI) under the theme of “Open City: Designing Coexistence.” This international event presents a variety of exhibitions, conferences, lectures, debates, theatre performances and film screenings, all devoted to themes in the field of architecture and urbanism. Question of Place

September 26, 2009-January 3, 2010 This exhibition takes place at Harbourfront Centre’s Architecture Gallery in Toronto. The work of three Canadian firms will be featured: Atelier Big City from Montreal, Richard Kroeker Design Incorporated from Halifax, and Urban Arts Architecture from Vancouver. All three firms were invited to create installations in response to how they would define the architectural typology of their city. The exhibition also features an installation of paintings by artist Mike Bayne. visualarts/architecture_summer09.cfm









48 canadian architect 10/09

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design Week in Saskatoon

October 26-30, 2009 Design Week includes a week-long evening lecture series in which leading architects, landscape architects, urban planners, engineers and graphic designers will participate. Organized by the Design Council of Saskatchewan and Great Places, Design Week focuses on current issues related to the built environment in Saskatoon as shaped by architecture, urban planning, public art and landscape design. richard Sommer lecture

October 27, 2009 Richard Sommer delivers the Dean’s Inaugural Lecture at 6:30pm in Room 103 of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. Patrick Stewart lecture

October 28, 2009 BC-based Patrick Stewart, Nisga’a architect and former President of the Architectural

Institute of British Columbia (2005/2006), will deliver a lecture at the Roxy Theatre in Saskatoon. david rokeby lecture

October 29, 2009 David Rokeby, Toronto-based multi-media artist, will lecture at 6:30pm in Room ARC202 of the Ryerson Architecture Building in Toronto. territorial anamorphosis: topographic Perspective and land institutions in 17thcentury France

November 3, 2009 Georges Farhat of the École nationale supérieure d’architecture de Versailles delivers this lecture at 6:30pm in Room 103 of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. retrofitting and Planning Sustainable Suburbs Summit

November 3-4, 2009 This event takes place at the Toronto Marriott Bloor

Yorkville in Toronto, and is designed to help municipalities, provinces, architects, and planners develop and improve the urban quality of life by bringing together key knowledge leaders from around the world. Earn 15 OAA core learning credits while hearing from: Ellen Dunham-Jones, Associate Professor at the Georgia Institute of Technology and author of Retrofitting Suburbia; David Sisam, Principal, Montgomery Sisam; Ralph Giannone, Partner, Giannone Petricone Associates; and many others. rpss/dsp.php hernan diaz alonso lecture

November 5, 2009 Hernan Diaz Alonso will deliver a lecture at The Uptown in Calgary as part of the University of Calgary’s Faculty of Environmental Design’s (EVDS) Design Matters lecture series, which intends to engage the Calgary community in thoughtful discussions on how the design of our material cul-

ture impacts our daily lives and the well-being of the environment we inhabit.

will lecture at 6:30pm in Room ARC202 of the Ryerson Architecture Building in Toronto.

hydrocity: a Symposium on hydrology and Urbanism

Brian healy lecture

November 6, 2009 Presented alongside Alphabet City and Cities Centre, University of Toronto, this symposium takes place at the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. Sampling landscapes

November 10, 2009 Walter J. Hood of the University of California Berkeley and Hood Design in Oakland delivers this lecture at 6:30pm in Room 103 of the John H. Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape and Design at the University of Toronto. Philip Beesley lecture

November 12, 2009 Philip Beesley, Toronto-based artist and architect,

November 16, 2009 Brian Healy of Brian Healy Architects in Boston and Gerald Sheff Visiting Professor in Architecture delivers this lecture at 6:00pm in Room G10 of the Macdonald-Harrington Building at McGill University in Montreal. losing Site: architecture, Memory and Place

November 17, 2009 Architectural historian and York University visual arts professor Shelley Hornstein delivers a free public lecture at 12:00 noon in Room 1009 of the Technology-Enhanced Learning Building at York University. For more inFormation about these, and additional listings oF Canadian and international events, please visit

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the Quintessential garden

a close friend of arthur erickson reMinds us of the legacy of a great Man.

teXt + PhOtO

cheryl cooper

When I am asked what architecture is, I can only answer that that’s the question you ask yourself in the beginning, and finding the answer takes a lifetime. —Arthur Erickson As nearly a thousand souls gathered in SFU’s Con­ vocation Mall at the Memorial for Arthur Erickson, a certain quietude prevailed. Some wondered if it would be possible to convey the feeling of that oc­ casion in words. Yet it was that glorious space that so eloquently spoke of Arthur’s vision and courage, a space a Renaissance poet might have described as “enthralled.” The SFU Mall is one of those magic places that is both there and not there at the same time, enclosed and yet open, as much about space— and what Arthur called “the common ground”—as it is about structure. And the structure evidences that “juxtaposition of constraint and freedom” that Arthur found so haunting in Japanese art. We felt contained and yet not contained, both held and as free as the air. As Arthur has said, “every object is only space and all space is only one.” 50 canadian architect 10/09

Mutability is the true subject of arthur’s wondrously conteMplative garden, a living essay in relationships and MoMents.

There is always this sense of limitless possi­ bility in Arthur’s most significant works, whether large or small, and an abiding sense of the infi­ nite. Perhaps this is one of the reasons why his spaces convey a sense of the sacred. A bird flew through. We remembered the gentleness of Arthur, his boldness and curiosity, together with the sensuali­ ty and humanism of his engagement with the world and his Buddhist contemplation of mutabil­ ity. Nowhere is that contemplation more quint­ essential—and now more poignant—than in his Vancouver garden. Like much of the Erickson oeuvre, from the complex civic projects to the poet­ ic houses, the garden is a living essay in relation­ ships and moments and movements experienced in time. As the garden aged, and Arthur with it, its contemplative nature became increasingly re­ vealed, and mutability its true subject. Photographs cannot convey the experience of Erickson’s architecture. At the heart of his greatest works, as if on a journey—one discovers a sense of serenity, a serenity achieved through his profound physical and philosophical understanding of line, scale, context, culture and purpose, and the ephe­

meral nature of all things. Therein also lies the sacred. That sense of the sacred and the infinite are among Arthur’s lega­ cies, imparting the wisdom that anything is possi­ ble. Great buildings are honest, simple and stirring. They look like they belong; their presence enhances the beauty and meaning of place. The genealogy of his influence through genera­ tions of architects, artists, and citizens will be traced. Those of us fortunate enough to have known him will miss his resonant voice and capti­ vating smile, his grace and humility, and his insis­ tence on questioning everything. Arthur urged us to attend to place—to climate, topography and cul­ ture—and to “the city as dwelling.” He inspired us to engage more respectfully, joyfully and freely in the world, and to embrace the challenges of archi­ tecture and citizenship in the human community and natural world. ca Cheryl Cooper is an arts consultant and Founding Director of the Arthur Erickson Conservancy (AEC). The AEC’s mission is to preserve the Erickson legacy through advocacy, education and conservation. Please send inquiries to


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Canadian Architect October 2009 Edition  

Canadian Architect October 2009 Edition

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