Community-oriented projects dominate the 2012 Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

From a housing renovation initiative designed with a Québec off-reserve native community to urban projects including a City Hall and municipal libraries in Ontario and an entry-level condominium project in a postwar Winnipeg neighbourhood, spaces that bring Canadian communities together are among the winners of the Governor General’s Medals in Architecture 2012.

The Canada Council for the Arts and Architecture Canada | RAIC have announced the recipients of the GG Medals in Architecture, recognizing excellence in recently built projects by Canadian architects based on criteria such as sustainable design, innovation and compatibility with the site. The projects selected this year also include a centre for quiet diplomacy in the National Capital, a trade school in the Rockies and a public square designed to host various Montreal festivals.

  • Bloc_10 (Winnipeg, Manitoba) – 5468796 Architecture Inc.
  • Cliff House (Nova Scotia) – MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects Limited
  • College of New Caledonia, Technical Trades Center (Quesnel, British Columbia) – office of mcfarlane biggar ARCHITECTS + DESIGNERS inc.
  • The Delegation of the Ismaili Imamat (Ottawa, Ontario) – Maki and Associates, Moriyama & Teshima Architects
  • The Integral House (Toronto, Ontario) – Shim-Sutcliffe Architects Inc.
  • Linear House (Salt Spring Island, British Columbia) – Patkau Architects Inc.
  • Mission Kitcisakik (Kitcisakik, Québec) – Architectes de l’urgence du Canada
  • The Mississauga Public Library Project (Mississauga, Ontario) – RDH Architects Inc.
  • Newmarket Operations Centre (Newmarket, Ontario) – RDH Architects Inc.
  • Place des Festivals et vitrines habitées, Quartier des Spectacles (Montréal, Québec) – Daoust Lestage Inc.
  • Terrence Donnelly Health Sciences Complex, University of Toronto Mississauga (Mississauga, Ontario) – Kongats Architects
  • Vaughan City Hall (Vaughan, Ontario) – Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects

The Governor General’s Medals in Architecture will be presented at Rideau Hall later this year. Descriptions and downloadable images of the winning projects and biographies of the architects are available at

“Each of these outstanding architects and firms has made remarkable contributions to Canada’s built environment,” said His Excellency the Right Honourable David Johnston, Governor General of Canada. “Demonstrating creativity, daring and sensitivity to our neighbourhoods and communities, the recipients of these medals represent the very best in contemporary Canadian architecture. Their work will inspire us for generations to come.”

“The 2012 winning projects underscore why architecture has been considered one of the fine arts for over 2,000 years,” said Robert Sirman, Director and CEO of the Canada Council. “The spirit soars in their presence, reinforcing the inspirational and nurturing capacity of Canadian design excellence.”

“This year’s recipients showcase truly outstanding contemporary design in the tradition initiated by the Massey Medals in 1950”, said David Craddock, FRAIC, Architecture Canada | RAIC President. “Highlighting this level of excellence enhances our understanding of the nature of Canadian architecture and the regional, cultural and historic forces expressed in our country’s built environment.  It is evidence of how, in society, architecture matters.”

The Governor General’s Medals in Architecture, created by Architecture Canada | RAIC, contribute to the development of the discipline and practice of architecture, and increase public awareness of architecture as a vital cultural force in Canadian society. These awards are administered jointly with the Canada Council for the Arts, which is responsible for the adjudication process and contributes to the publication highlighting the medal winners.

Recipients for 2012 were selected by a jury of the following distinguished architects: Manon Asselin, Joost Bakker, FRAIC, Siamak Hariri, MRAIC, Catherine Slessor, and Alejandro Villarreal De La Garza.


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