1 Tugis

Eberhard Zeidler Scholarship Essays

A two-part symposium examining the work and life of I. M. Pei from multiple vantage points. Organized by the Harvard GSD with M+, Hong Kong, and the Faculty of Architecture, The University of Hong Kong.

Ieoh Ming Pei is one of the most celebrated yet under-theorized architects of the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries. Although Pei’s six-decade career is mostly identified with his unwavering interest in cultural synthesis and the power of pure geometrical form, his modes of practice demand further investigation of their intertwinement with the multiple historical and discursive moments of modern architecture. The two-day symposium will include panel discussions and scholarly presentations that showcase new research on Pei’s manifold contributions to the built environment. Notable alumni from Pei’s office will discuss the emergence of a new kind of architectural practice in the postwar era. Among the topics to be addressed in the paper sessions are technological innovations with concrete, the glass curtain wall, and structural designs; Pei’s longstanding affinities for China’s landscape and vernacular traditions; his legacy on major urban spaces in Boston and other cities around the world; and the increasingly global and transnational conditions of architectural production that Pei successfully navigated. 
Organized with M+, the new museum for visual culture being built in Hong Kong, this symposium is part of a yearlong celebration of the 100th birthday of Ieoh Ming (I. M.) Pei MArch ’46. Both I. M. and his wife, Eileen Pei GSD ’44, studied at the Harvard Graduate School of Design, as did their sons Chien Chung (Didi) Pei, AB ’68, MArch ’72, and Li Chung (Sandi) Pei, AB ’72, MArch ’76. Pei was also an assistant professor of architecture at the GSD. In March the GSD held a panel discussion, led by Harry Cobb AB ’47, MArch ’49, which focused on the formative years of I. M. Pei’s career as well as some of his special friendships, influences, and projects.

A second symposium, co-organized by M+ and the Department of Architecture at the University of Hong Kong, will be held in Hong Kong on December 14-15.

These two symposia are made possible with the generous support of the C Foundation.

Full list of speakers and program schedule:

Thursday, October 12

6:30 pm         Introductions and Opening Remarks

6:45 pm         Roundtable: Emergence of a Modern Practice

Grace La, moderator

William Pedersen

Li Chung (Sandi) Pei

Shohei Shigematsu

Yvonne Szeto

8:00 pm         Conclusion


Friday, October 13

9:30 am         Panel 1: Technology

Eric Höweler, moderator

Janet Adams Strong: “Continuity and Change: Fine-face Concrete in Physical Manifestation of I. M. Pei’s Approach to Architecture”

Annette Fierro: “Effective Depths: Transparent Domains”

Brett Schneider: “Early Tall Structures in Context”

Leslie Robertson: “Bank of China, Miho Museum and Bridge, and Other Projects”

11:30 am       Lunch

12:30 pm       Panel 2: Spatial and Formal Practices I

K. Michael Hays, moderator

Daniel M. Abramson: “Vexing Government Center”

Stuart Leslie: “I. M. Pei's Modern Monastery: the NCAR Mesa Laboratory”

Thomas Leslie: “Brutal Grace: I. M. Pei’s Early Art Centers”

Delin Lai: “Defining the Present Perfect Tense of I. M. Pei’s Space”

2:30 pm         Coffee Break

3:00 pm         Panel 3: Power, Capital, and People

Seng Kuan, moderator

Edward Eigen: “I. M. Pei and the ‘Big Plan’: The Several Lives of the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library & Museum”

André Bideau: “Between the Superblock and the Pyramid. I. M. Pei and Araldo Cossutta at La Défense”

Cole Roskam: “The Fragrant Hill Hotel: Reassessing the Politics of Tradition and Abstraction in China’s Early Reform Era”

Shirley Surya: “Pei's Office and Singapore's Urban Core: Corporate Architecture, Symbolic Aestheticization and Economic Pragmatism”

Kellogg Wong: “I. M. Pei & Partners, the Pei Team, and Singapore”


About the speakers

Daniel M. Abramson is professor of architectural history and director of architectural studies at Boston University. Previously he taught at Tufts University. Abramson is the author of several books, most recently Obsolescence: An Architectural History (University of Chicago Press, 2016). Current work includes projects on the American welfare state and on evidence and narrative in architectural history.

André Bideau’s research targets intersections of architecture production, urbanization and urban governance. A focus of his work lies on the socio-economic dynamics of postmodernism and Post-Fordism where he has lectured and published extensively on German architect O.M.Ungers. His current research involves the early development of the La Défense office district in Paris. Bideau has taught at ENSA Paris-Malaquais and at GSD; currently he teaches at Accademia di Architettura in Mendrisio, Switzerland.

Edward Eigen is a historian and scholar whose work focuses on intersections of the human and natural sciences with the built environment in the long nineteenth century. A selection of his essays, On Accident: Episodes in Architecture and Landscape is forthcoming from the MIT Press. His current research examines the landscapes of the modern American presidency, including studies of the “grassy knoll” and Watergate.

Annette Fierro is an Associate Professor and Associate Chair of Architecture at the University of Pennsylvania, where she teaches in design, technology and urbanism. She is also a registered architect and an engineer by training. In 2003, she published The Glass State: The Technology of the Spectacle, Paris 1981-98 (MIT). Forthcoming is her book on the avant-garde of Britain in the 1960’s and its legacies in the architecture of the British High-Tech.

K. Michael Hays is Eliot Noyes Professor of Architectural Theory at the Harvard University Graduate School of Design and Associate Dean for Academic Affairs, as well as Interim Chair for the Department of Architecture. Hays joined the Faculty of Design in 1988, teaching courses in architectural history and theory. Hays has played a central role in the development of the field of architectural theory and his work is internationally known. His research and scholarship have focused on the areas of European modernism and critical theory as well as on theoretical issues in contemporary architectural practice.

Eric Höweler is Associate Professor of Architecture at the Harvard GSD. He teaches in the core studio sequence and offers courses in other areas, including building assemblies. He is a principal of Höweler + Yoon Architecture LLP (HYA). HYA is a multidisciplinary practice working between architecture, art and media. Their projects include architecture, interactive environments, interiors, installations, furniture, concept clothing and artist books. Prior to forming HYA, Höweler was a Senior Designer at Diller + Scofidio where he worked on the Institute of Contemporary Art and the Juilliard School projects, and an Associate Principal at Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, where he was the senior designer on the 118 story ICC Tower in Hong Kong. He is LEED AP, and a registered architect in state of New York, Massachusetts, Virginia, New Jersey, Rhode Island and the District of Columbia.

Seng Kuan (PhD '11)is an architectural historian and has written extensively on China and Japan’s postwar architectural culture. He is completing an edited volume on Kazuo Shinohara (Lars Müller). Seng served as editor of an extended interview of I. M. Pei by Fumihiko Maki (a+u, special issue 2008:08), which was published on the tenth anniversary of the Miho Museum. Prior to rejoining the GSD as a faculty member he taught at Washington University in St. Louis.

Grace La (MArch '95)is Professor of Architecture, Chair of the Practice Platform, and Coordinator of the second-semester architecture core program at the Harvard GSD. She is also Principal of LA DALLMAN Architects, internationally recognized for the integration of architecture, engineering and landscape. Cofounded with James Dallman, LA DALLMAN is engaged in catalytic projects of diverse scale and type. Noted for works that expand the architect's agency in the civic recalibration of infrastructure, public space and challenging sites, LA DALLMAN was named as an Emerging Voice by the Architectural League of New York in 2010 and received the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence Silver Medal in 2007. In 2011, LA DALLMAN was the first practice in the United States to receive the Rice Design Alliance Prize, an international award recognizing exceptionally gifted architects in the early phase of their career. LA DALLMAN has also been awarded numerous professional honors, including architecture and engineering awards, as well as prizes in international design competitions.

Delin Lai graduated with PhD Degrees from Tsinghua University and the University of Chicago in 1992 and 2007. He is now Professor of Art History at University of Louisville. He specializes in modern Chinese cities and architecture and their relationship with nationalism, modernism, and Western influence. He is the lead editor of the five-volume book Zhongguo Jindai Jianzhushi (History of Modern Chinese Architecture) published in June 2016.

Stuart Leslie teaches the history of science and technology at The Johns Hopkins University. His architectural writing include studies of Eero Saarinen’s corporate laboratories, the healthcare designs of Bertrand Goldberg and Eberhard Zeidler, laboratories by I. M. Pei and Louis Kahn, Edward Durell Stone’s “Nuclear Taj Mahal” for Pakistan, and the aerospace modernism of William Periera and A.C. Martin Jr. in Southern California. He recently served as the Charles Lindbergh Chair at the National Air and Space Museum.

Thomas Leslie, AIA has taught at Iowa State University since 2000. He has degrees from the University of Illinois and Columbia University. Leslie is the author of Louis I. Kahn: Building Art, Building ScienceChicago Skyscrapers, 1871-1934, and Beauty’s Rigor: Patterns of Production in the Work of Pier Luigi Nervi. In 2013 and 2014, Leslie was a Historic Preservation Fellow at the American Academy in Rome. Prior to teaching he was an associate with Foster and Partners, London.

William Pedersen joined Gene Kohn and Sheldon Fox in 1976 to found Kohn Pedersen Fox Architects. Previous to that he graduated from the University of Minnesota and MIT. In 1975 he was awarded the Rome Prize in Architecture by a jury headed by I. M. Pei. Returning from Rome in 1967, he worked at I. M. Pei and Partners for four years, three of which were on the National Gallery in Washington, DC. Since forming Kohn Pedersen Fox, seven of Pedersen's buildings have been awarded National Design Awards from the AIA. In 2013 the AIA of New York awarded him their Medal of Honor.

Li Chung (Sandi) Pei is the founding partner of Pei Partnership Architects, a firm he established with his brother, Chien Chung (Didi) Pei, after working at I. M. Pei & Partners from 1976 until 1992. Since then, he has directed the design of over five million square meters of building and large-scale urban development projects in the United States, Mexico, China, Indonesia, and Singapore. Some of his firm’s notable projects include the Chinese Embassy in Washington, DC, Suzhou Museum, Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center, and The Centurion luxury condominium building in New York City. The firm has designed projects for BMW, Bank of China, China Institute, Creative Artists Agency, Macao Foundation, Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group, and MIT, among others. He serves on Christie’s Advisory Board and is Vice President of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art. Sandi Pei graduated from the Harvard GSD in 1976.

Leslie Robertson

a) Special events

  • In the spring of 2005, the City of Montreal organized an exhibit of innovative design proposals for what has been characterized as the Peel Street Corridor, which runs from Avenue des Pins on Mount Royal to the Peel Street basin of the St. Lawrence River. The thirty-plus proposals on display were prepared by master-level students in McGill’s Schools of Architecture and Urban Planning and the Université de Montréal’s parallel units in Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urbanism. The student project is also part of a three-year entente signed between the two universities and the City in February 2003. The Peel Street Corridor studio had its genesis at the Challenging Cities conference organized by the McGill Institute for the Study of Canada in February 2004, where a half-day charette, featuring students and professionals and animated by architect and planner Aurèle Cardinal, BArch’70, examined problems and opportunities. Some sections are solidly developed, whereas others, like Griffintown, reveal a potential that remains to be developed. The February charrette provided the base material and direction for an exciting joint Master’s level studio with the Université de Montréal in the fall of 2004, led by Professors Derek Drummond and David Brown and a team that included adjunct Professors Lawrence Bird, Michael Carroll and Cameron Charlebois
  • In the fall of 2004, McGill students participated in the Biennale de Montréal; a group of M.Arch. I (professional) students, working under the coordination of Adjunct Professor Howard Davies, worked directly with visiting British Architect Will Alsop and others on a charrette which was featured as one of a series of installations contributing to the celebration of the Biennale.
  • 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. The temperature inside the hotel is between minus two and minus five degrees Celsius at all times. Designing with ice and snow presents its own set of opportunities and challenges. It’s a surprisingly versatile medium: it can be virtually transparent, translucent or opaque; it can be formed like concrete, assembled like brick masonry, carved like stone or wood, and frozen in time, like icicles or laundry on a winter clothesline. It’s a medium that stimulates ideas not only about the space between the massive walls, but also about the space contained within them. This past winter, the hotel featured nine rooms designed by Quebec architecture students - three rooms each from teams of students at McGill, Laval, and Université de Montréal. This is the first time 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. Hanganu put each of the schools in touch with the Ice Hotel’s Artistic Director, Serge Péloquin, and CEO Jacques Desbois, and the students took it from there. The three McGill rooms are the Cranberry Room (designed by Tamara Hains, Nazia Aftab and LeeAnn Croft), the Elliptique Room (designed by Vedanta Balbahadur, Peter Sealy, Po Suen, Mathieu Larouche and David Bédard-Barrette) and the Love Shack (designed by Colin Hanley, Nick Chan, Lisa Allard and Louise Koo), which was selected by public vote as the most successful design.

b) Awards and appointments to staff

  • Annmarie Adams has been awarded a $230,000 grant from the Canadian Institute of Health Research for a project with Patricia McKeever from the University of Toronto and Karen Spalding from Ryerson; they will study the impact of atrium architecture on patients at Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children.
  • Robert Mellin has been named Chair of the Board of Directors of the Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador.
  • Alberto Pérez-Gómez has edited, with Dalhousie’s Stephen Parcell, 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.
  • Derek Drummond, who retired in December 2004 after more than 40 years in the School of Architecture, was appointed William C. Macdonald Emeritus Professor of Architecture.
  • Ricardo Castro was awarded the 2005 Ida and Samuel Fromson Award for Outstanding Teaching in the Faculty of Engineering.
  • Ricardo Castro also coordinated paper selection and chaired a session at the recent Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA) Annual Meeting in Chicago in March.
  • Adjunct Professor David Theodore was the first winner of the new Gerald Sheff Medal for Teaching Excellence in the School of Architecture, which celebrates outstanding teaching by part-time faculty.
  • 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 Murgeitio, Aliki Economides, Patrick Harrop, Robert Kirkbride and Masa Noguchi.

c) Awards to students

  • 2005 Precast-Prestressed Concrete Institute Architectural Design Competition: A team from the McGill School of Architecture was awarded first prize the 2005 Prestressed Concrete Institute Architectural International Design Competition in the student category (Total Precast Solution). The team includes Nicholas Chan (M1) , Helene Boyer, Cynthia Carbonneau and David Clavey (U3). (supervising professor: Pierre Jampen).
  • Archiprix International Competition 2005: Recent graduate Émilie Bédard, M.Arch. I (prof) ‘04, was recognized with one of 6 top awards in the international competition Archprix 2005, sponsored by Hunter-Douglas; the biennial competition celebrates achievement in final design thesis projects, and this year attracted 200 entries from 67 countries (design thesis advisor: Adrian Sheppard).
  • 4th Annual Steel Structures Education Foundation Architectural Student Design Competition 2005: The intention of this design competition is to provide students of architecture in Canada with a unique opportunity to enter into a design process which brings together, of necessity, concept and reality. Students are challenged to design a single span pedestrian bridge, on a site of the designers’ choosing. The structure must be primarily steel, but otherwise, the material palette is open. This year's Award of Merit ($2,000 prize) was presented to McGill U2 student Andrey Dimitrov (faculty sponsor: Pieter Sijpkes).
  • Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation: McGill School of Architecture SSHRC postdoctoral fellow Cynthia Hammond has been awarded a Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation travel grant of $1000 (US) to support her project, "Catherine Bauer: The Interior of Modernism." The BWAF seeks to advance the status of women practitioners in the architecture professions.
  • Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada Martin Eli Weil Prize: The Martin Eli Weil prize is awarded annually by the SSAC to the student who submits the best essay on the role played by the built environment in Canadian society. The $250 prize and certificate will be awarded to McGill M.Arch. (Domestic Environments) graduate Lara Pascali at the Society's Annual Conference (this year in Lethbridge, Alberta, 8 to 12 June 2005), where she will be invited to present her essay, "Two Stoves, Two Refrigerators, Due Cucine: The Italian Immigrant Home with Two Kitchens." The winning essay will also be published by the Society in the Journal.
  • American Folklore Society Mediterranean Studies Section Best Student Paper Prize: The 2004 AFSMSS Paper Prize Committee (Giovanna P. Del Negro, Chair, Sabina Magliocco & Dorothy Noyes) is pleased to announce that McGill M.Arch. (Domestic Environments) graduate Lara Pascali is the winner of the inaugural competition for her paper entitled "Two Stoves, Two Refrigerators, Due Cucine: The Italian Immigrant Home with Two Kitchens." The AFS Mediterranean Studies Section Best Student Paper Prize comes with a $100 cash award.
  • CCA / Power Corporation of Canada Award: The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) is pleased to announce the third year of the Power Corporation of Canada Award. This award provides two fellowships of $10,000 CDN for M.Arch. students in Canada. The annual award has been established to enhance the experience of graduate students in architecture by encouraging their use of the CCA's collection and resources. Congratulations to Peter Sealy (M.Arch. student, professional program), one of two award recipients for 2005, and the second McGill student in a row to win the award. Peter's research proposal is entitled "19th Century Photography and the Architectural Unconscious."
  • Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts / Eberhard Zeidler Scholarship for Architecture: M.Arch. I (prof) student Vedanta Balbahadur won the 2005 Royal Canadian Academy of the Arts / Eberhard Zeidler Scholarship for Architecture, which is worth $2500, in a competition open to senior students in Canadian Schools of Architecture. The award is to be used for formal study abroad.
  • AIA 2004 James J. Souder Fellowship: The American Institute of Architects, Academy of Architecture for Health honours Nirit Pilosof, B.Arch, M.Arch, McGill University, School of Architecture, as the 2004 James J. Souder Fellow. This annual award recognizes the superior achievement of an individual AIA-AHA graduate fellow in healthcare planning and design. The award commemorates the unique contributions of James J. Souder, AIA, AAHC (1911-1999), whose vision led to the creation of the AIA-AHA graduate fellowship in healthcare planning and design, and whose leadership in research and design innovation has inspired generations of hospital and healthcare architects.

d) Professional competitions

The Canada Council for the Arts has awarded the Professional Prix de Rome in Architecture to atelier BUILD, a young architecture firm in Montreal managed by architects Michael Carroll (Adjunct Professor at the McGill University School of Architecture) and Danita Rooyakkers. 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. Atelier BUILD is the first recipient of the new Professional Prix de Rome. Previously, the prize supported a one-year stay in an apartment in Rome, but the new version allows winners to make shorter visits spread over a two-year period, and to choose destinations that best serve the interests of their practice.

e) 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 2004 can be found at www.mcgill.ca/architecture/publications/2004.

f) PhD Program

The PhD program, approved since 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 continues to grow and presently accommodates 28 registered students.

g) 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. Exhibitions held this year included:

  • July 5 to September 16, 2005
    Threshold, Passages and Other Crossings
    An exhibition of History and Theory graduate studio work 2004-2005
  • May 2 to June 3, 2005
    Studio Work 2004-2005
    Highlights of student work from the studios of Fall 2004 and Winter 2005
  • April 18 to 29, 2005
    Design Research & Methodology
    The work of the M1 class from the Winter 2005 term
  • March 29 to April 8, 2005
    Politecnico di Milano: INTERSECTION - Bloor and St. George
    An exhibition from the Facoltà di Architettura Civile, Politecnico di Milano
  • February 28 to March 24, 2005
    Sketching School 2004
    An exhibition of student work from Sketching School 2004 in Bar Harbor, Maine.
  • January 31 to February 18, 2005)
    The Architecture of Italian Cities
    An exhibition of student work from the 2004 Summer Course Abroad in Italy
  • January 10 to 28, 2005
    Italia 2004
    An exhibition of student work from the 2004 Wilfred Truman Shaver Scholarship trip to Tuscany.
  • December 13 to 20, 2004
    M2 Thesis Projects
    Master of Architecture (professional program) design thesis projects.
  • November 22 to December 3, 2004
    Duschenes & Fish
    A century of work by this well-known Canadian firm
  • November 5 to 19, 2004
    Work Architecture Company: A Lot of Work for Nothing?
  • October 18 to 29, 2004
    Ways of Seeing - Petr Franta architect
    Current Projects 1994-2004
  • October 4 to 16, 2004
    David Farley: New Work
  • September 20 to October 1, 2004
    Diamond and Schmitt Architects: Light, Community and Transformation
  • June 16 to September 16, 2004
    Nomadism / Urban Wandering
    An exhibition of History and Theory graduate studio work 2003-04

h) 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. The list of 2004-05 speakers included:

  • Monday, 20 September 2004
    Jack Diamond
    Light, Community and Transformation
  • Friday, 22 October 2004
    Daniel Libeskind
    Breaking Ground
    (David J. Azrieli Lecture in Architecture)
  • Friday, 5 November 2004
    Amale Andraos and Dan Wood
    A Lot of Work for Nothing?
  • Tuesday, 23 November 2004
    Lise Anne Couture
    (Sheila Baillie Lecture)
  • Monday, 10 January 2005
    Barry Bergdoll
    Regionalism in Exile: Marcel Breuer and the discourses of the vernacular from Budapest to Boston
  • Monday, 7 February 2005
    Ken Shuttleworth
    Starting Again: The Launch of Make
    (Sponsors: Steel Structures Education Foundation and the Structural Engineers of Montreal)
  • Tuesday, 1 March 2005
    Mark West
    Heavy-Light: Fabric-Formed Concrete Architecture
    (William Hobart Molson Lecture)
  • Thursday, 17 March 2005
    François Roche
    YLOC: Label d'architectures corrompues
    (Inaugural Siew Fang Chan Lecture)
  • Monday, 11 April 2005
    Mark Z. Danielewski
    Notes from Around the Bend

Twelve additional lectures, or events, a continuation 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 the most successful of the Brown Bag Lectures Series, thanks entirely to the motivation and enthusiasm of two third-year students, Véronique Meunier and Lucie Paquet.

  • Tuesday, 12 October 2004
    Franc D'Ambrosio
    Urban Project
  • Thursday, 21 October 2004
    What's Next?
    PBS video on WTC and Libeskind
  • Tuesday, 2 November 2004
    Frédéric Dubé
    École Nationale de Cirque
  • Tuesday, 9 November 2004
    NIP Paysage
    Current Work
  • Tuesday, 16 November 2004
    Nicolas Reeves
  • Tuesday, 23 November 2004
    Gilles Marty
    Pourquoi le patrimoine?
  • Tuesday, 1 February 2005
    Pierre Thibault
  • Tuesday, 8 February 2005
    Atelier Fabriq (Jean-Christian Koch)
  • Tuesday, 1 March 2005
    Regular or Super?
    Video about Mies by Joseph Hillel and Patrick Demers
  • Tuesday, 8 March 2005
    Integral (Jean Beaudoin)
  • Tuesday, 22 March 2005
    Borkür Bergmann (UQAM School of Design)
  • Tuesday, 29 March 2005
    Claude Cormier, Landscape Architect

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 3 lectures in fall ‘04 and 2 in winter ‘05.

  • Tuesday, 21 September 2004
    Joanne Parent and Anik Shooner
    Nouveau Pavillon Lassonde de l'École Polytechnique de l'Université de Montréal-Bâtiment LEED
  • Tuesday, 19 October 2004
    Jean Pierre Panet
    Écocentre Rivière-des-Prairies: Première interconnexion de micro puissance (photovoltaïque et éolienne) au réseau d'Hydro Québec
  • Tuesday, 16 November 2004
    Alain Compéra and Jacques Benmussa
    Rénovation de l'enveloppe de l'Hôpital Honoré Mercier, problématique de la moissure et prévention
  • Tuesday, 22 February 2005
    Vivian Manasc
    Projets récents des architectes Manasc Issac et un apercu de l'avenir de l'architecture durable
  • Tuesday, 15 March 2005
    Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Marc Blouin and Jacques Plante
    Cirque et environnement: Une même quête d'équilibre - Le nouveau bâtiment LEED de la TOHU

i) 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 first appointment of the new Sheff Professor will be in winter, 2006, and will be dedicated to studio teaching in the M.Arch. (professional) Program. (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 should be complete by September 05.
  • A recent and very generous commitment to an annual gift by Montreal-based developer David Azrieli brought to a total of four our permanently funded public lectures in architecture; it complements the Sheila Baillie Hatch Lecture, which was inaugurated in the spring of 2002, the Structural Steel Educational Fund Lecture, which is part of a program developed by Professor Loraine Dearstyne-Fowlow of the University of Calgary, and the William Hobart Molson Lecture in Architecture, which was endowed by graduate David Molson and inaugurated in the fall of 2002. The inaugural David Azrieli Lecture in Architecture brought distinguished architect Steven Holl to McGill in the fall of 2003. The second David Azrieli Lecture in Architecture introduced an enthusiastic audience of over 750 people to New York-based Architect Daniel Libeskind in October, 2004.
  • A recent commitment by Singapore graduate Siew Fang Chan added a fifth funded lecture to the 2004-05 series; the inaugural Siew Fang Chan Lecture in Architecture was presented by architect François Roche of Paris.

j) Student travel

  • Ten students participated in the 2004 Shaver Traveling Scholarship, which was held in Tuscany in May 2004, under the direction of Adjunct Professor Nadia Meratla. The 2005 Shaver Scholarship returns to Switzerland, with Professor Martin Bressani leading a group of seven students.
  • 16 students participated in the 2005 Summer Course Abroad in Greece, under the direction of Professor Ricardo Castro.

k) 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.

l) Physical resources

  • A recent proposal to renovate 320 square metres of space on the second floor of the School was approved for funding by the Faculty and University, and renovations are underway this summer. The project relocates obsolete darkroom and archive space from the second floor to the basement and ground floors, and develops the liberated space on the second floor as state-of-the-art studio space for the graduate programs, with 4 new offices and 3 new seminar rooms. This project reclaims underutilized space in a prime area of the School and consolidates studio and seminar facilities for students in our post-professional graduate programs. In addition, studio space liberated by one graduate studio on the fifth floor will be allocated to the professional program. The grant from the university and faculty enabling this much-needed transformation is much appreciated. The new space should be ready for occupancy in December 2005.
  • With additional support from the university, we have completed the first phase of the restoration of the new exhibition room on the main floor, in the former premises of the wood and metals workshop. Remaining projects for the space include permanent lighting and a flexible display system.
  • A grant from the Faculty of Engineering enabled the purchase and installation of a new laser cutter, model X-660 Laser Platform from Universal Laser Systems Inc., in the School workshop. The new facility was operational for the fall term, 2003. A compact 3-D prototyping machine, which is shared with the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, was installed in the School Workshop in the fall of 2004 and integrated into a very successful third-year design studio taught by Adjunct Professors David Theodore and Tom Balaban in the winter of 2005.
  • In the summer of 2002, the university installed wireless networks in a number of buildings and departments, including, as a pilot project, the School of Architecture and the Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering. In the School of Architecture, design studios on the first, second, third, fourth and fifth floors of the Macdonald-Harrington Building are now served by strategically distributed wireless access points; other studios, classrooms, seminar rooms, crit rooms and the Architecture Café were added to the wireless network with the installation of additional access points in the fall of 2003.

m) Human resources

  • In the summer of 2002, the Faculty of Engineering approved the School’s proposal for a new support position in Information Technology and multi-media. The position was filled in July, 2003, and the new technician, Carrie Henzie, started in August. The difference between this position and the Photography Technician’s position sacrificed in 1996 is that the new position combines expertise in digital and traditional media with the technical skills necessary to support the variety of equipment and processes required for the successful operation of our teaching and research programs.
  • The School of Architecture was a partner in the Department of Mechanical Engineering’s application to the National Science and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) for a new Faculty Chair in Design for Extreme Environments. The program, which will support new full-time and part-time positions in Mechanical Engineering and Architecture, respectively, was approved by NSERC in February, 2003. Professor Jorge Angeles of Mechanical Engineering is the new NSERC Chair in Design for Extreme Environments, and Professor Julia Bourke has been appointed to a new half-time position in the School of Architecture with teaching and research responsibilities in Architecture and Mechanical Engineering.
  • A number of new adjunct faculty joined the School last year. These include: Emmanuelle Lapointe, Annie Lebel, Masa Noguchi, Carole Scheffer, Marc-André Plasse, Pierina Saia (first year); Tom Balaban, Peter Busby, Stephane Chevalier (third year); Michael Carroll, Cameron Charlebois and Richard Klopp (M1); Eugenio Carelli, Rob Claiborne, Odile Henault and Sudhir Suri (M.Arch. I); and Cynthia Hammond (M.Arch II). Kevin Hydes, Mechanical Engineer and CEO of Keen Engineering, also joined the faculty as an adjunct, with responsibilities in the design studio and in an expanded version of the new required course Energy, Environment and Buildings.

n) New program initiatives: Urban Design

  • On February 25, 2003, the City of Montreal approved a new protocol d’entente with l’Université de Montréal and McGill University. Involving the Schools of Architecture, Landscape Architecture and Urbanism at l’Université de Montréal, and the Schools of Architecture and Urban Planning at McGill, the entente is based on a series of projects in teaching and research in architecture and urban design and is intended to stimulate the exploration and development of strategies to protect and improve the quality of Montreal’s built environment. The City contributed more than $100,000 into the program in the first year, and has committed another $100 000 for 2004-05.
  • Among the six projects anticipated in the first year of the entente, the first was a charrette, in spring 2003, for students in architecture and landscape architecture that examined possibilities for the transformation of a downtown parking lot into a public park. The results of this competition were published in May, 2004, and the city is presently developing the project.
  • Among the projects funded by the entente (total $60 000 over two years) and underway in 2004 was a joint research project with staff and students from McGill and Université de Montréal developing guidelines for architectural and urban design in Montreal. The exercise is a pilot project exploring mechanisms for improving the architectural quality of the urban environment, and is related to the parallel development by the city of Montreal’s Urban Master Plan.
  • The most interesting of the dossiers included in the entente is based on the development of a new joint graduate program in Urban Design between McGill and U de M, involving the two Schools of Architecture and Urban Planning at McGill, and the three Schools of Architecture, Planning and Landscape Architecture at U de M. A working group has completed the proposal for the new program, which should be approved in the fall of 2005.

o) Research activity

A recent survey for the Canadian Design Research Network developed the following summary of funded research activity in the School:

  • 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 Virtual History of Canadian Hospitals (Hannah Educator Grant - $6,500 total for 1 year / and Richard M. Tomlinson Digital Library & Access Award - $8,625 total for 1 year): This project involves the construction of a searchable, web-based data bank of approximately 800 images of Montreal area hospitals.
    • 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)
  • 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) (HRDC - $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.
  • 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.
    • Viollet-le-Duc and the Rise of a Socio-Geography of Architecture (IRHA - $5,000 over 2 years): Viollet-le-Duc participated in the 19th-century re-definition of the locus through his active participation in French preservation institutions but also through his studies on the middle ages and particularly military architecture and the historical form of the house. In these two latter cases, his research begins with geographical classifications and sociological considerations and by way of architecture goes on to consider the structure of the city and the countryside. In this respect, he anticipated the work of social geographers of the later French school of geography and even Henri Focillon’s notion of Gothic landscapes. The research is precisely to establish a genealogy for Viollet-le-Duc’s understanding of architecture as the site of an (often violent) intercourse between landscape (geography) and race (ethnography) through history.
  • Ricardo Castro
    • Design of exhibition on Arthur Erickson's architecture (Vancouver Art Gallery - $7,500 over 2 years): Inclusion of 72 of Castro’s photographs in the show. The show will include models, artifacts, and drawings illustrating AE's prolific architectural career. Curators of the show are Nicholas Olsberg and Grant Arnold. Castro will act as designer and artist (photographs). The show will be accompanied by the publication of a book on AE architecture, edited by Nicholas Olsberg, which will feature 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.
  • 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.
  • Robert Mellin
    • Residential Heritage Conservation in St. John's, Newfoundland (Heritage Foundation of Newfoundland and Labrador [provincial], and the Historic Places Initiative [federal] - $18,000 over 6 months): Research for book.
    • Tilting, Newfoundland (Newfoundland Museum - $5,000 over 2 years): Presentation of an exhibit on research on Tilting, Newfoundland.
  • Alberto Pérez-Gómez
    • Architects on Love (Institut de Récherche en Histoire de l'Architecture- $4,200 for one year / supplemented by the Bronfman Chair ongoing research grant - approx. $10,000.00/ yearly): Seed money to produce a comprehensive philosophy of architecture based on the consideration of eros and philia as fundamental concepts to grasp the nature of form and program, respectively, and thus consider meeting points of poetic and ethical concerns in practice.

p) Studio teaching (Extracted from the introduction to Catalogue 04-05)

The traditional curricula of the design studio sequence have been complemented with some interesting and adventurous initiatives. Working with a team of new faculty coordinated by Professor Howard Davies - Annie Lebel, Marc-André Plasse, Pierina Saia and Carole Scheffer - students in the second semester first year studio produced an extraordinary series of projects that called for a wide range of emerging drawing, modeling, design and presentation skills. In the second year, students working with Professors Castro, Emond and Sijpkes in separate studios came together once again for a joint exercise with students from the Landscape Architecture program of Université de Montréal. Third year students enjoyed a new studio addressing sustainability with new adjunct faculty Stephan Chevalier, Kevin Hydes and Peter Busby, as well as a more experimental studio exploring the potential of new computer-controlled 3D modeling resources with Professors David Theodore and Tom Balaban. Another third-year team - Hélène Boyer, David Clavey, Cynthia Carbonneau and Josianne Tardif - working under Professor Pierre Jampen’s direction, won first prize in the 2005 Prestressed Concrete Institute International Competition.

Professor Derek Drummond, in his last semester before retiring ‘officially’ in December 2004, worked with Richard Klopp, Michael Carroll and newcomer Cameron Charlebois to coordinate a very successful first semester professional Master’s studio addressing urban design in Montreal. The studio examined the Peel Street Corridor in a series of research and design exercises that included a charrette and collaboration with students in Urban Planning as well as Architecture and Landscape Architecture at Université de Montréal. The studio, the charrette and a competition held in April, 2005, to celebrate the work were coordinated under the entente between the City of Montreal, McGill and U de M.

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 leadership of Howard Davies and critics Odile Henault and Robert Claiborne.

Prof. David Covo

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