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2005-2006

a) CACB Accreditation

The School was visited by a Team from the Canadian Architectural Certification Board between March 11 and March 15, 2006. The M.Arch. (professional) Program was fully accredited for a six-year term, to December 31, 2011. The Visiting Team evaluated all 11 Conditions and all 37 Student Performance Criteria as Met, and made a number of highly constructive observations and recommendations regarding course content and program structure. For further details and photos, please see www.mcgill.ca/architecture/cacb.

b) New program initiatives: Urban Design

There are two initiatives underway that will develop an essential opportunity for teaching and research in Urban Design: the first is a proposal for a new option in Urban Design in the Master of Architecture Program, and the second is a proposal for a new Master of Urban Design program.

The first initiative is a new 12-month option in the M. Arch. (Post-professional) program; it is designed for professionals with degrees in architecture, landscape architecture, urban planning and related fields wishing to acquire a specialization in urban design. The option combines theory and practice and emphasizes project-based learning, primarily with the two studio courses and the supervised research project. It uses the city of Montréal as its laboratory and will benefit from the support of the municipal administration and its professional staff.

The second of these initiatives is a new, separate Master of Urban Design program which has been designed as a collaboration between the Schools of Architecture and Urban Planning at McGill and the Schools of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at Université de Montréal. The City of Montreal will also participate in this exercise, and has already contributed significant research funding to support collaborative work in Urban Design under an entente signed with McGill and U de M.

The two proposals have been approved by the Faculty of Engineering and are in process of development. The intention is to offer both programs in 2007.

c) New student initiatives: BuildAid

In 2005, a group of third year students formed a new organization, BuildAid, in response to the need for specialized on-site assistance in housing upgrading and construction in various areas of the world. The group, galvanized into action by the Tsunami disaster of December 2004, approached the Director of the School with a request for assistance in assembling a team to travel to Indonesia to work in the reconstruction program. The school responded by organizing a new seminar course in Post-disaster Reconstruction, which was designed to meet two objectives:

1. sensitize students to the many architectural and non-architectural issues associated with disaster response, and
2. prepare a small group for an eight-week summer internship in Indonesia or the Philippines.

In preparation, the students launched an ambitious, innovative and extremely productive series of fund-raising initiatives, including special parties, the public performance in the School of a play by Oren Safdie, and a web-based silent auction of paintings and drawings donated by fellow students. They were equally successful in securing grants from the Faculty and the University.

The group also built a demonstration shelter on the campus in front of the Macdonald-Harrington Building as part of the course requirements for the seminar. This was a simulation of what an unskilled family could build over a 3 or 4 day period with hand tools and recycled materials. It wasn’t long before the ‘shack’ on the main campus took on a life of its own, and it quickly became clear that although the project involved only nine students directly, the entire School had become implicated in its successful development. The group’s fund-raising and sensitization initiatives were so effective that it is fair to say that they will become part of the culture of the School.

The group - Andrea Chynoweth, Yan Claprood, Emanuel Cyr, Omar Farid, Jillian Fernandes, Hans Larsson, Danielle Vroom, Cindy Williams and Matt Wiviott, all 2006 graduates of McGill’s B.Sc. (Arch.) Program - is at this moment working in the Philippines, in Quezon City, with two local NGO’s involved in housing upgrading and construction. The NGO’s are ISACC (Institute for Studies in Asian Church and Culture) and CCT (Center for Community Transformation). Adjunct Professor Freeman Chan, an architect and McGill graduate based in Hong Kong who has been involved in housing construction in Indonesia and Manila, has worked with the NGO’s in Manila; he has been instrumental in the establishment of our links with these organizations and is coordinating the integration of the student team within the local housing upgrading programs.

To visit the BuildAid blog please see www.buildaidonline.blogspot.com.

d) Awards and achievements of staff

  • Professor Annmarie Adams was appointed William C. Macdonald Professor of Architecture in the winter of 2006.
  • Professor Robert Mellin received the 2006 Paul E. Buchanan Award for Excellence in Field Work and Interpretation from the Vernacular Architecture Forum at the VAF annual conference in New York City on June 17, 2006. The award was for his recent heritage conservation work, an exhibition, and heritage conservation planning in Tilting, Fogo Island, Newfoundland. The Tilting Recreation and Cultural Society was a co-recipient of the award. Initiated by the VAF in 1993, the Buchanan Award recognizes excellence in field work and interpretative projects that contribute significantly to our knowledge of vernacular architecture and landscape studies.
  • The Award of Merit in the Annual Steel Structures Education Foundation Architectural Student Design Competition 2006 came with a $2,000 prize for the student team and a $1,000 prize for the faculty supervisor, Professor Pieter Sijpkes.
  • The Governor General’s Medals in Architecture are Canada’s most prestigious national architectural awards program; it is held every second year and recognizes a maximum of 12 buildings over the two-year period. The jury is international, and this year included architects from Canada, the US, Great Britain and Denmark. Six of the twelve buildings recognized with medals in the 2006 round are by firms directed by McGill graduates, and four of these six winning buildings are by Adjunct Professors in the School:
    • Adjunct Prof. Manon Asselin, who practices with her husband Katsu Yamazaki (both are grads), and who will be receiving medals for two projects;
    • Adjunct Prof. Howard Davies, who practices with Anne Cormier and Randy Cohen (all three are grads), and
    • Adjunct Prof. Annie Lebel, who practices with McGill grad Stephane Pratte.
    For full details please see www.mcgill.ca/architecture/announcements/#GG06.
  • Professor Alberto Pérez-Gómez has co-edited, with Stephen Parcell of Dalhousie, Chora IV: Intervals in the Philosophy of Architecture, published by McGill-Queen’s Press. The very successful Chora series, conceived by Pérez-Gómez, has been internationally acclaimed for its contributions to critical writing on the history and theory of architecture. Professor Pérez-Gómez also published this year Built Upon Love: Architectural Longing after Ethics and Aesthetics (MIT Press).
  • Professor Ricardo Castro designed the exhibition Arthur Erickson: Critical Works, held at the Vancouver Art Gallery, May 27 to September 10, 2006. He also co-wrote (with Nicholas Olsberg) the book of the same name. He produced the theme photograph used for all media promotion, invitations, posters and banners for the exhibition; produced the 70 photographs used in the exhibition; and designed the furniture prototypes (74 pieces) for the show. He co-wrote the descriptions that complement the photographs with David Theodore, research associate and course lecturer at the School.
  • Professor David Covo and Dr. Gabriel Merigo Basurto of the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México, Mexico City, were co-chairs of the 2005 ACSA International Conference, which took place in Mexico City in June, 2005. Vikram Bhatt chaired the paper review and selection process for the session on urban housing at the same conference.
  • The 2005 ACSA International Conference in Mexico also saw a number of our graduate students and recent graduates participate as session chairs, moderators or presenters: Jean-Pierre Chupin, Marc Neveu, Clara Murgueitio, Aliki Economides, Patrick Harrop, Robert Kirkbride and Masa Noguchi.
  • In the last two years, the winners of the Canada Council Prix de Rome in Architecture have been McGill faculty – adjunct professor Michael Carroll – or McGill graduates – Eric Bunge. The presentation ceremonies were actually held on campus in the Redpath Museum. The Canada Council for the Arts Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture is valued at $50,000 and encourages the development of artistic excellence in contemporary architectural practice.

 

e) Awards to students

  • Annual Ice Hotel Competition: In Quebec City, the Ice Hotel is the seasonal accommodation of choice for the rich and hardy. The Ice Hotel has been built every winter since 2000. It is constructed out of 12 000 tons of snow, 400 tons of ice and has 32 rooms and theme suites. This winter, the hotel featured four rooms designed by Quebec architecture students at McGill, Laval, UQAM and Université de Montréal. This is the second time that Quebec’s Schools of Architecture have been asked to contribute to the design, thanks to the initiative of well-known Montreal Architect, Dan Hanganu, who is an Adjunct Professor at McGill, and the second time that the McGill team’s design (David Bédard-Barrette and Nick Chan, authors) won the inter-university competition.
  • Awards of Excellence, Canadian Architect Journal: Recent graduate Kinan Khatib (M.Arch. I, 2005) was one of three students in Canada recognized for high achievement in their professional design thesis in the 2005 Canadian Architect Journal Awards of Excellence.
  • 5th Annual Steel Structures Education Foundation Architectural Student Design Competition 2006: For the second year in a row, McGill students have won the Award of Merit in the SSEF Architectural Student Design Competition. Students were challenged to design a single span pedestrian bridge on a site of the designers’ choosing. The structure had to be primarily steel, but otherwise the material palette was open. The winning team was composed of Architecture U2 students Jessica Thatcher and Jennifer Thorogood and Civil Engineering students Mellisa Ouellet and Yunlu (Lulu) Shen. The Award of Merit comes with a $2,000 prize for the team and a $1,000 prize for the faculty supervisor (Pieter Sijpkes). U3 student Andrey Dimitrov, winner of last year’s Award of Merit in this competition, volunteered his time and expertise in structures to this year's submission.
  • Lyceum Competition 3: Third year student Erin Halpin, working under the supervision of studio teachers David Theodore and Tom Balaban, was awarded a Mention in the prestigious International Lyceum Competition.
  • CCA / Power Corporation of Canada Award: The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) / Power Corporation of Canada Award provides three annual fellowships of $10,000 CDN for M.Arch. students in Canada. The award has been established to enhance the experience of graduate students in architecture by encouraging their use of the CCA's collection and resources. Catherine S. Vandermeulen, a student in our M.Arch. II Program, was one of three winners in the national competition of 2006. This is actually the third year in a row that a McGill student has been recognized in this national competition. It's also interesting that the three students, Lian Chang in 2004, Peter Sealy in 2005, and now Catherine, represent three different academic streams within the Master of Architecture program; Lian was a student in the History and Theory of Architecture program, Peter was a student in the professional M.Arch. program, and Catherine is studying in the Minimum Cost Housing program.

 

f) Professional studio teaching in 2005-2006

In the B.Sc.(Arch.) program, the first year studio sequence - managed by a collegial and effective team that included Michael Carroll, Ricardo Castro, Carole Scheffer, Pierina Saia and David Covo - was very elegantly complemented by two new courses, Architectural Structures, which was offered for the first time by Pieter Sijpkes, and Digital Representation, which was developed and taught by Sam Yip and Roland Ulfig.

The second year studio was slightly re-organized around studio modules exploring specific themes in sustainable design (Simon Jones and Julia Bourke), landscape (Francois Emond), structure (Pieter Sijpkes), and design methodology (Rad Zuk).

The third year studio sequence continues to address larger and more complex projects that challenge students to engage issues related to program and building form, conservation, housing, sustainability, and modeling, and benefited from the ideas and commitment of Tom Balaban and David Theodore, Martin Bressani, Raouf Boutros and Pierre Jampen, Rob Claiborne, Richard Klopp and Adrian Sheppard, and Julia Gersovitz, Rosanne Moss and Georges Drolet.

The first term design studio of the professional Master of Architecture program explores problems related to landscape, urban design and architecture; last fall, this studio was structured for the first time as a comprehensive studio, involving the coordinated participation of a long list of experts in urban design, landscape, structure, building envelope, and other areas. The studio was directed by Professors Adrian Sheppard and Annie Lebel, with the very able assistance of Professor Richard Klopp.

The second term of the professional M.Arch. program has also been re-organized, in this case around the revised version of Design Research and Methodology, which is still web-based but now structured as a design studio. Howard Davies and Manon Asselin coordinated this new and expanded pre-thesis studio; the studio included, in March, a very successful exercise directed by the inaugural Gerald Sheff Visiting Professor - Dan Hanganu - and reviewed by 2006 Sheff Critics Kenneth Frampton and Bruce Kuwabara.

These new initiatives succeed because they are carried out in the fertile ground of a studio culture that thrives on the enthusiasm and dedication of a great student body and a long list of other full-time and part-time teaching faculty. The thesis class is in many ways symbolic of the School, and continues to enjoy the support of all full-time staff and many part-time faculty; this year the group flourished under the inspired direction of Howard Davies, assisted this year by Manon Asselin.

g) M.Arch. (post-professional) Programs

The Minimum Cost Housing Group (MCHG) directed by Vikram Bhatt was active on both the international and the national scenes. The Making the Edible Landscape project was successfully showcased during the third World Urban Forum held in Vancouver from June 19-23, 2006, through a networking event and an outstanding pavilion which was the result of the winter collaborative studio; seven McGill students all attended the forum. Professor Bhatt also addressed French academic society by holding a conference entitled Genèse de villes durables: pratiques de l’agriculture urbaine on May 15, 2006 during the ACFAS Congress at McGill. As part of the North American Sustainability, Housing and Community Consortium (NASHCC), funded by HRSDC, the MCHG welcomed two Mexican students and enabled one McGill student to study in Mexico. Dr Rod Hackney, Past President of RIBA and UIA, and Dr. Suha Özkan, Secretary General of the Aga Khan Award for Architecture, were invited as guest critics for the housing studio. On the national and local scene, Catherine Vandermeulen was awarded the Power Corporation Prize by the CCA and is currently researching sustainable solutions for Montreal; Leila-Marie Farah was awarded the Dean’s Doctoral Student Research Recruitment Award to peruse a PhD in the department. For further information, please visit the MCHG website at www.mcgill.ca/mchg.

The History and Theory Master's program directed by Alberto Pérez-Gómez accepted eleven students, ten into the Master's proper and one Ph.D.1 student that took the same courses. Since Prof. Louise Pelletier was on sabbatical, the project component of the program was taught by a Ph.D. student, Ms. Tsz Yan Ng. Visitors and reviewers included Dr. Jose Jacob, Mr. Louis Brillant, Dr. Louise Pelletier, Ms. Christina Contandriopoulos, Mr. Peter Olshavsky, Ms. Lian Chang and Mr. Howard Davies. For further information, please visit the History and Theory website at www.mcgill.ca/architecture-theory.

The Affordable Homes Program directed by Avi Friedman saw an increase in the number of applicants and, as a result, attracted high-calibre students (eight students were admitted out of approximately 50 applicants). Research collaboration with several Canadian municipalities on urban renewal and affordable housing design launched the program into new sources of revenue. It also embarked on the path of merging research in affordability with sustainability as a promising new direction and source of funding. There has also been a marked improvement in the quality of the research reports that are submitted as a result of experience gained in previous years. For further information, please visit the Affordable Homes website at www.homes.mcgill.ca.

Students in the Domestic Environments option directed by Annmarie Adams had a busy and productive year. The program’s emphasis on primary field research inspired several students to travel abroad to observe their subjects firsthand and to attend conferences. Gaston Castano, for example, visited several U.S. healthcare centres to document how they accommodate the growing problem of obesity; Nazli Salehi attended both the RAIC Festival and the World Urban Forum III while visiting purpose-built residences for people with HIV-AIDS in Vancouver. Lamis Behehani is now in Kuwait to document family life and domestic architecture. Julie Desrochers participated in the school’s Summer Course Abroad in Venice to further understand issues in historic preservation; she presented a paper at the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada conference in Prince Edward Island, drawn from an exhibition at the school on architect Max Kalman she helped to curate as an elective course. François-Xavier Caron is gaining experience in the world of academic publishing this summer, as he is employed by Prof. Adams to work on illustrations for her forthcoming book. For further information, please visit the Domestic Environments website at www.mcgill.ca/domestic-environments.

h) PhD Program

The PhD program, first approved in 1997, continues to attract outstanding scholars exploring a broad range of research topics. Despite the lack of significant financial support available to incoming students, the program continued to grow. As of June 30, 2006, 27 students are enrolled, ranging from Ph.D.1 to Ph.D. 6. Seven more are expected in the Fall of 2006. The School continues to run a Ph.D. research seminar open to all interested students. The seminar held bi-weekly meetings throughout the year and ran two mini-conferences (at the end of the Fall and Winter terms) with distinguished visitors. This year guests included Mr. Roger Conover, Dr. Jose Cabral, Dr. Marco Frascari, Dr. David Letherbarrow, Dr. Louise Pelletier and Mr. Louis Brillant.

i) Post-doctoral fellows

Post-doctoral fellows continue to play important roles in the school. Dr. Cynthia Hammond finished a two-year SSHRC fellowship with Prof. Adams exploring women and philanthropy. She accepted a position as Assistant Professor at Concordia University beginning July 2006. Dr. Yuji Katsuki, a post-doctoral research fellow from the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, is studying the westernization of the Japanese hospital in the modernizing period. Both Hammond and Katsuki produced several papers this year.

j) Recent publications

Faculty members continue to publish on an international scale, in professional and scholarly journals as well as in the popular press. A complete listing of publications for 2005 can be found at www.mcgill.ca/architecture/publications/2005.

k) Exhibitions

Exhibitions form an integral part of the School’s strategy to frame a social and professional context for studies in architecture. The list below identifies public exhibitions that include the work of staff and students of the School, distinguished practitioners, and artists whose work attempts to develop links with architectural and urban issues. The exhibition seasons are coordinated by Administrative Officer David Krawitz, ably assisted by students Jessica Thatcher, Andi Struga, Hans Larrson, and Peter Sealy. For full details and to view the posters, please see www.mcgill.ca/architecture/exhibitions. Exhibitions held this year included:

  • Threshold, Passages and Other Crossings (July 5 to Sept, 16, 2005)
    An exhibition of History and Theory graduate studio work 2005.
  • Cabin, Cottage & Camp (Sept. 26 to Oct. 14, 2005)
    New designs on the Canadian landscape. With projects from BattersbyHowat, Peter Cardew, Patkau Architects, Florian Maurer, Herbert Enns, Peter Prangnell and Anthony Belcher, Ian MacDonald, Shim-Sutcliffe, Pierre Thibault, and Brian MacKay-Lyons. Curated by Chris Macdonald at UBC.
  • Lateral Architecture: Formatting (Oct. 17 to 28, 2005)
    An exhibition of recent work by Lola Sheppard and Mason White.
  • Un monastère contemporain: Variations architecturales (Oct. 31 to Nov. 18, 2005)
    Finalists and winner in the competition for a Cistercian Abbey.
  • Mystery Boxes and Framed Phenomena (Nov. 21 to Dec. 2, 2005)
    Collages by Arthur Schaller.
  • M2 Final Thesis Projects (Dec. 14 to 21, 2005)
    Master of Architecture professional program final thesis projects.
  • Summer Course Abroad (Jan. 10 to 20, 2006)
    An exhibition of student work from the Summer Course Abroad 2005 in Greece.
  • Sketching School 2005 (Jan. 23 to Feb. 10, 2006)
    An exhibition of student work from Sketching School 2005 in Baie Saint-Paul, Quebec.
  • Shaver 2005 (Feb. 13 to 24, 2006)
    An exhibition of student work from the Summer 2005 Wilfred Truman Shaver Scholarship trip to Switzerland.
  • Accreditation Exhibition (Feb. 27 to March 17, 2006)
    Featuring highlights of student work from the past five years.
  • The New Schoolhouse in Vienna (April 3 to 14, 2006)
    An exhibition from the Cultural Forum of the Austrian Embassy in Ottawa.
  • Design Research & Methodology (April 17 to 28, 2006)
    The work of the M1 class from the Winter 2006 term.
  • Studio Work 2005-2006 (May 1 to June 2, 2006)
    Highlights of student work from the studios of Fall 2005 and Winter 2006.
  • Maxwell M. Kalman: A Centennial Retrospective (May 30 to June 16, 2006)
    The diverse architectural practice of Maxwell M. Kalman (B.Arch. 1931) who turns 100 on May 30.

 

l) Lecture Series

Lectures by visitors continue to provide an important point of contact for students with academics and practitioners. The most important of these is our regular Fall and Winter evening program, which is coordinated by Professor Martin Bressani and a team of active and committed students: Peter Sealy, Rami Abou Khalil, Vedanta Balbahadur, Véronique Meunier, Lucie Paquet, as well as U3 studio teacher David Theodore. For full details and to view the posters, please see www.mcgill.ca/architecture/lectures. The list of 2005-06 speakers included:

  • Eyal Weizman (Sept. 13, 2005)
    The nature of walls, the state of architecture and the Israeli/Palestinian conflict
  • Glenn Murcutt (Oct. 14, 2005)
    (David J. Azrieli Lecture in Architecture)
  • Rod Hackney (Oct. 25, 2005)
    The good, the bad and the ugly
  • Gilles Saucier (Nov. 3, 2005)
    Recent Projects
  • Arthur Schaller (Nov. 21, 2005)
    Mystery Boxes and Framed Phenomena
  • Julien De Smedt (Jan. 13, 2006)
    (Siew Fang Chan Lecture)
  • Matt Grady (Jan. 17, 2006)
    Atelier Jean Nouvel
  • Patricia Patkau (Jan. 31, 2006)
    (Sheila Baillie Lecture)
  • Christian Kerez (Feb. 13, 2006)
  • Massimiliano Fuksas (March 1, 2006)
    (William Hobart Molson Lecture)
  • Suha Ozkan (March 6, 2006)
    Contemporary Architecture in the Muslim World
  • Della Valle + Bernheimer (March 20, 2006)
    (Steel Structures Education Foundation Lecture)
  • Katsuhiro Yamazaki (March 28, 2006)
    Inchoate

 

Additional lectures, part of the Architectural Students’ Association’s very successful lunchtime Brownbag Lectures, were presented by prominent Montreal architects in the fall and winter. This has been one of the most successful of the Brown Bag Lectures Series, thanks entirely to the motivation and enthusiasm of a team of undergraduate students directed by Anh Minh Ngo and Sanaz Shirshekar.

  • Vincent Asselin (Oct. 4, 2005)
    Landscape and People
  • Patrick Evans (Oct. 11, 2005)
    Making and Mistaking
  • Katherine Lapierre, Pierre Gendron, Stephan Kowal (Oct. 18, 2005)
    Did You Mean Planner?
  • Cornelia Oberlander (Oct. 21, 2005)
    Green Roofs and Sustainable Design: Ideas into Action
  • Rod Hackney (Oct. 26, 2005)
    Arne Jacobsen: The Complete Designer
  • Jean Beaudoin (Nov. 1, 2005)
  • Marc-André Plasse (Nov. 8, 2005)
  • Mark Poddubiuk (Nov. 15, 2005)
  • Peter Fianu (Nov. 22, 2005)
  • Raefer Wallis (Jan. 10, 2006)
    Building Stories / The China Myth
  • Trevor Butler (Feb. 6, 2006)
    Sustainable shared infrastructure at the MUCS scale (a five-acre site)
  • Roger Shepherd (Feb. 14, 2006)
    The Dialogue of Attraction

 

The School continues to host the lecture series “Mardis verts” (Green Tuesdays), which is sponsored by Public Works and Government Services Canada and a number of building product manufacturers and suppliers, and organized by the Order of Architects of Quebec Committee on Environment and Architecture. The OAQ presented three lectures in fall ‘05 and four in winter ‘06.

  • Lyse M. Tremblay, Steve Poulin, Chérine Nounou, André Cazelais, Guy Favreau and André Bourassa (Sept. 20, 2005)
    Bâtiments Verts: Où en sommes-nous? Le point sur le développement durable chez les architectes au Québec
  • Daniel Pearl and Sudhir Suri (Oct. 18, 2005)
    Énergie Verte Benny Farm, de l'idée à la construction d'un projet communautaire écologique
  • Vladimir Topouzanov, Vivian Irschick and Jacques Lagacé (Nov. 15, 2005)
    Le Pavillon des sciences biologiques dans le campus ouest de l'UQAM, premier bâtiment vert pour l'université
  • Marc Sabourin, Claude Bourbeau, Alain Bergeron, Jacques De Grâce, Stéphane Blais (Feb. 21, 2006)
    Design intégré, l'exemple du 740 Bel-Air
  • Jean-Yves Montminy and Stéphan Langevin (Mar. 21, 2006)
    Nouveau poste frontalier de Armstrong
  • Alexandre Turgeon, Marie-Ève Sirois, Martin Brière (April 18, 2006)
    Centre Culture et Environnement Frédéric Back
  • Donald Potvin and Patricia Sarrazin-Sullivan (May 23, 2006)
    Reconstruction du pavillon principal de Cammac au Lac MacDonald

 

m) Fundraising and alumni donations

  • A generous gift by graduate Gerald Sheff, B.Arch. 64, has endowed a new faculty position, the Gerald Sheff Distinguished Visiting Professor of Architecture. This is an academic appointment that will enable the School to recruit a leading architectural scholar/practitioner to teach in the School for a period of one or two semesters. The candidate will give at least one public lecture while at McGill and will contribute his or her leadership, vision and expertise to teaching and research in the School of Architecture. The gift will be phased over a maximum of five years, at the end of which time the university will match the total to endow a new full-time faculty position in the School. The inaugural Gerald Sheff Professor was Architect Dan Hanganu, Montreal, who enthusiastically accepted the challenge and the commitment to work with the School in the pre-thesis studio of the professional M.Arch. program in the Winter 2006 term. The exercise was coordinated by Adjunct Professor Howard Davies, who was responsible for the course. For additional details, please see www.mcgill.ca/architecture/sheffprofessor. (A previous gift by Gerald Sheff and his partner Ira Gluskin supports the Gluskin Sheff Scholarship, which provides $12,500 in annual support for student exchanges.)
  • In 2003, the Class of 1977, under the joint leadership of Carole Scheffer and Alan Orton, pledged a class gift of $50,000 to the School of Architecture, and in 2004, the Class of 1979, under the leadership of Ian Macburnie, pledged an additional gift of $20,000. These donations complement and stimulate annual giving by graduates and friends to the School, which continues to grow every year.
  • In 2005, the Class of 1977 agreed to allocate their gift of $50,000 toward the complete replacement of the traditional furniture in the first year design studio, an eclectic ‘landscape’ of 45 workstations. Negotiations with suppliers and manufacturers have developed significant additional donations and discounts, and the new studio was complete by September 2005.

 

n) Student travel

  • The 2005 Shaver Scholarship returned to Switzerland, with Professor Martin Bressani leading a group of seven students on a study tour of contemporary Swiss architecture.
  • 16 students participated in the 2005 Summer Course Abroad in Greece, under the direction of Professor Ricardo Castro.
  • 16 students participated in the May, 2006, Summer Course Abroad in Italy, under the direction of Professors Annmarie Adams and Radoslav Zuk.
  • McGill participated in an international workshop in Urban Conservation in Nantucket, in August 2005. The workshop included students from Canada, the US and Mexico, and was led by David Covo and colleagues from UNAM, Dalhousie, Virginia Tech and University of Florida, under the auspices of the North American Mobility in Education Program (HRSDC).

 

o) Student governance and participation

The Architecture Students’ Association (ASA) remains extremely active in the School and in the university community. The ASA Council and other student volunteers contribute enormously to the academic and social life of the School. Their enthusiastic participation in the Annual Phonathon, Open House, Orientation, Reunion, Recruiting and other activities, including a number of regular and spectacularly successful parties, is pivotal. The president of the ASA during the Fall 2005 term was graduating M2 student Colin Hanley; during the Winter 2006 semester, Jean-Francois Champoux-Lemay (U3) was president.

p) Physical resources

A recent proposal to renovate 320 square metres of space on the second floor of the School was completed in January 2006. The project relocated obsolete darkroom and archive space from the second floor to the basement and ground floors, and developed the liberated space on the second floor (Room 215) as state-of-the-art studio space for the M.Arch.II graduate programs, with 4 new offices and 3 new seminar rooms (including Room 207, the former media lab, relocated to Room G-12). This project reclaimed underutilized space in a prime area of the School and consolidated studio and seminar facilities for students in our post-professional graduate programs. In addition, studio space liberated by one post-professional graduate studio on the fifth floor (Room 500) will be allocated to the professional program, while another room vacated by the professional program (Room 505) has been allocated for use by PhD students. The grant from the university and faculty enabling this much-needed transformation is much appreciated. The new space was ready for occupancy in January 2006. For a day-by-day photo record of construction, please see www.mcgill.ca/architecture/newstudio.

Design of the renovation project was by Marosi + Troy Architectes (working drawings by School graduate Michelle Chan). Construction was by BTL Construction Inc. Mechanical-electrical work was by BPR Groupe-Conseil. The lighting design was by Novus who subsidized the fixtures and their installation. Workstations were by Artopex (who also provided the new studio furniture in the first-year studio).

q) Human resources

A number of new adjunct faculty joined the School last year. These include: Cassidy Johnson and Gonzalo Lizarralde, who taught the post-disaster reconstruction course to U3 students; Raouf Boutros (U3 studio); Louis Pretty and Miguel Escobar (M.Arch. II); Roland Ulfig (Digital Representation, with Sam Yip), and Conor Sampson, Christoph Reinhart and Frank MacMahon (ARCH 447, Electrical Services, formerly taught by the late Gordon Edwards).

r) Research activity

  • Annmarie Adams
    • Medicine by Design: A Hospital for the 21st Century (CIHR/SSHRC/NHRDP Health Career Award - $105,000 per year for 5 yrs.): “Medicine by Design” is a five-year project exploring the spatial order of late twentieth-century medicine through the architecture of Canadian hospitals constructed since World War II. The project exploits non-traditional interdisciplinary sources to uncover the relationships people believe exist between their bodies and the spaces they inhabit, a methodology forged in Adams’ first book (Architecture in the Family Way: Women, Houses, and Doctors, 1870-1900 (1996). The project emphasizes the “how-to” of contemporary hospital architecture, and includes educational initiatives such as an interactive website and a symposium (hosted in association with the International Network for the History of Hospitals in June 2003).
    • Design and Practice: Tuberculosis in Montreal, 1880-2002 (SSHRC Standard Research Grant - $72,254 total for 3 years): “Design and Practice” explores the relationship of tuberculosis and space at four key moments in Montreal between 1880 and 2002. This multi-disciplinary investigation situates design as a fulcrum at which various practices come to bear on defining the problem of tuberculosis and the practical remedies called for in its solution. Whereas other scholars have often used houses and hospitals as passive illustrations for their social and medical histories, this project, instead, posits design as an active force in the practice of medicine. The design of houses, hospitals, neighbourhoods, cities, and legislation, this study argues, contributes directly to the ways experts and ordinary people have attempted to comprehend and counter disease transmission. This project embraces both design and practice in broad terms: architectural, urban, legislative, social, material, technological, textual, and medical.
    • The Pediatric Hospital Atrium: Designers' Intentions versus Children's Experiences (CIHR Operating Grant - $228,597 for 2 years): This study of the Hospital for Sick Children (HSC), Toronto, explores the ways in which designers and patients understand and use the eight-storey 1993 addition, The Atrium. Open 24/7, hundreds of children pass through the namesake public entrance atrium everyday. The building is one of the earliest and most influential of hundreds of atrium-based healthcare centres in North America. The study features a highly original interdisciplinary focus on children’s agency in hospital environments. Directed by an architectural historian and a health sociologist who specialize in health and place, the research team will use qualitative methods together with historical and spatial analyses to examine the intentions and uses of central aspects of the atrium, collecting data from systematic observations, focused interviews, and textual and visual documents.
    • Medicine by Design (McGill/Dawson Program - $75,000 total for 5 years)
    • William C. Macdonald Chair (McGill University Research Grant - $105,000 total for 7 years)
    • Health Care, Technology and Place: An Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement Team (co-applicant) (CIHR Interdisciplinary Capacity Enhancement Teams Grant - $1,000,000 total for 5 years)
  • Vikram Bhatt
    • Making the Edible Landscape (IDRC and UNHabitat - $567,000 over 3 years): A global partnership with three cities in three continents to develop urban agriculture projects to show how growing food in the cities, particularly in poor residential areas and squatter settlements, can be made a permanent feature. The results of these initiatives will be shared with 200 mayors at the World Urban Forum of the UN habitat in 2007 in Vancouver.
    • North American Sustainability, Housing and Community Consortium (NASHCC) (HRSDC - $160,000 over 4 years): A four-year continental exchange program in architecture to expose students from Mexico, the US, and Canada to urgent problems of urban housing and sustainable development in North American cities; students will engage in hands-on design and problem-solving situations that demand community-based multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural professional skills, in order to help create borderless working space and professionals.
  • Julia Bourke
    • Design for Extreme Environments (NSERC Research grant - $75,000 over 5 years): Sustainable design theory and practice, focusing on the integrated design process, with particular emphasis on the rapprochement of architects and mechanical/electrical engineers. Coursework includes a sustainable design studio taught with “natural systems” engineer Kevin Hydes of Keen Engineering, and an inter-disciplinary sustainable design seminar.
    • Solar Decathlon in Washington, DC (with ETS and Université de Montréal), with Simon Jones (US Department of Energy - $100,000 US for 2 years)
  • Martin Bressani
    • The Fictive and the Decorative: Architecture, "Possible Worlds," and the Synthesis of the Arts in France (1715-1905) and in Canada (1715-1925) (SSHRC - $63,500 over 3 years, with co-Investigator, Professor Marc Grignon, Laval University): As an “add on” to architectural form, decor has often had bad press within the discipline of architectural history: historians tend to assume that the decor is of minor importance, interesting only to the connoisseur or the dealer in objets d'art and antiques. The key objective of this research program is to reach an understanding of the decorative dimension of architecture commensurate with its real importance in experience. Our primary hypothesis is that the decor, understood as the "sensible layer" of a building, allows architecture into the domain of the fiction usually associated with literary experience. Studying the development of architectural decor in France from the Rococo to the late-19th-century notion of Gesamtkunstwerk, the researchers examine the ways in which appearances in architecture partook of the cultural transformations broadly labeled as modern.
  • Ricardo Castro
    • Design of exhibition on Arthur Erickson's architecture (Vancouver Art Gallery - $7,000 over 2 years): Inclusion of 70 of Castro’s photographs in the show. The show includes models, artifacts, and drawings illustrating AE's prolific architectural career. Curators of the show were Nicholas Olsberg and Grant Arnold. Castro acted as designer and artist (photographs). The show was accompanied by the publication of a book on AE architecture, edited by Nicholas Olsberg and Castro, which features Castro’s photographs as part of 12 portfolios on 12 concrete buildings as well a collaboration with David Theodore of 12 essays on each one of the buildings.
    • LOI Development grant application on MCRI Competition (member of research team) (SSHRC - $20,000)
  • David Covo
    • Architecture in Urban Conservation (HRSDC International Academic Mobility Initiative - $160,000 over 5 years): The main objective of the project is to introduce students to planning, documentation and research methodologies that support conservation strategies appropriate for use by all six international participants (McGill and Dalhousie in Canada, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and the University of Florida in the US, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de Mexico and Instituto Tecnológico y de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey in Mexico). Other goals include the creation of community-wide dialogue, education and public awareness of the value of historic sites, guidance for implementation incentives, and funding for conservation projects.
    • Design as an instrument of public policy (Asia Pacific Foundation of Canada Research Grants Program - $18,000)
  • Avi Friedman
    • Affordable Housing Research (City of Fredericton - $15,000)
    • Strategies for Downtown Revitalization (City of Drayton Valley - $20,000)

 

Prof. David Covo
Director