Radoslav Zuk

It is with sadness that we announce the death on February 25, 2024, of our colleague Emeritus Professor Radoslav Zuk, B.Arch. ’56 (McGill), M.Arch. ’60 (MIT), D.Sc. ’92 Hon (Ukrainian Academy of Art). Ukrainian born, Radoslav completed high school and music studies in Austria before starting in architecture at McGill. Following internships and graduate study at MIT, he taught at the University of Manitoba and then returned to McGill as an Assistant Professor in 1966. Although he retired officially in 2003, he continued to teach until 2020, ending a career at McGill that spanned 54 years.

Radoslav was an outstanding teacher, imaginative, passionate, and active across the curriculum. His courses were legendary, especially his ‘9-systems’ design studio, his seminar on architectural theory, and his Summer Course Abroad in Venice. The Faculty recognized his students’ appreciation of his teaching with the Ida and Samuel Fromson Award for Outstanding Teaching in 2001, and with the creation of the Radoslav Zuk Travel Award in Architecture in 2016.

He was also one of those rare academics who managed to preserve an association with practice that was not only active but celebrated. His work was intelligent and beautiful. Churches that he designed for the Ukrainian Catholic Church drew international acclaim and have been recognized with numerous prizes, including the Governor General's Medal for Architecture in 1986 (shared with Hugh McMillan Architects Ltd) for St. Stephen’s Byzantine Ukrainian Catholic Church in Calgary. Radoslav was as well known for his buildings as he was for his ideas about the theoretical foundations on which they were designed.

His teaching, professional work, and background in classical music shaped his research. Theory and practice, design methodology, geometry, architecture and music, and the cultural determinants of architectural form comprised the broad spectrum of his research interests. His writings and his buildings were widely published and regularly presented at conferences in Canada, the US, and throughout Europe.

Radoslav’s generosity and intellectual versatility were also highly valued by the wider university community. His many administrative contributions included, in addition to continuing responsibility for curriculum development and scholarships in Architecture and Engineering, participation in university task forces on the creative and performing arts and on the music libraries.

The list of his academic and professional honours reflects the sparkling diversity of his interests and achievements: the D.Sc. (Hon) from the Ukrainian Academy of Art, and Fellowship in the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, the Society for the Arts, Religion and Contemporary Culture, the Royal Society of Arts, the Ukrainian Academy of Architecture, and the International Institute for Advanced Studies in Systems Research and Cybernetics.

We will remember Radoslav Zuk as an inspiring teacher, an accomplished scholar, a brilliant architect, and as a gentle and cultured man who changed the lives of generations of students and colleagues all over the world.

Radoslav is survived by his sister, Professor Luba Zuk, and his younger brother, Professor Ireneus Zuk, to whom we extend our condolences.

By David Covo


Canadian Architect article (7 March 2024)

Canadian Architect article by David Covo (1 May 2024)

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