Gordon Edwards

April 20, 1930 – May 19, 2005

I write, once again, with sad news. As some of you may already know, our friend and colleague Gordon Edwards died on Thursday, May 19, 2005.

Gordon’s relationship with McGill spans more than five decades. A Montrealer by birth, he graduated from the School of Architecture in 1954 and soon after joined the firm of Rother Bland Trudeau Architects, where he remained until 1966. In this period he co-founded the very successful and highly respected partnerships of Lemoyne Shine Edwards and Charles Elliot Trudeau, Architects, as well as Bland Lemoyne Edwards, Architects and Town Planning Consultants. In 1966 he continued his studies at the University of Grenoble and in 1968-69, he taught at Laval University. From 1969 to 1973 he worked with Papineau Gerin-Lajoie Leblanc Edwards and then in 1973, founded the firm of Gordon Edwards Architects. Significant buildings in which he played a major role during these years include a new Law Building for McGill, with Bland Lemoyne Edwards, and Mirabel Airport, with PGLE. From 1973 to the present, he practiced on his own and in joint ventures with other colleagues, and in the years since 1976, when he teamed up with William Lam, built the successful practice in lighting design for which he became so well known.

His teaching career at McGill began when John Bland invited him to teach a design studio in 1968, and took an interesting turn in 1985 when he was appointed Adjunct Professor responsible for our core course in lighting design, which he has taught every year since then. Student work from this course – a number of working prototypes for interesting and occasionally adventurous lighting fixtures – continues to illuminate some of the darker corners of the Macdonald-Harrington Building.

Gordon was a highly talented architect who balanced his dedication to the profession with equally passionate commitments to classical music and the game of squash. He will be remembered by his family and friends, colleagues and students, in many ways, but first and foremost as a tireless advocate for excellence and accountability in the design of the built environment.

David Covo, 31 May 2005