The Governor General’s Medals in Architecture recognize outstanding achievement in recently built projects by Canadian architects.
This program, created by the RAIC, contributes to the development of the discipline and practice of architecture, and increases public awareness of architecture as a vital cultural force in Canadian society. These awards are administered jointly with the Canadian Council for the Arts which is responsible for the adjudication process and contributes to the publication highlighting the medal winners.
Jonathan Kearns and Dan McNeil accepted the award in Winnipeg on behalf of KMAI and Patkau Architects.
A national competition in 2009 resulted in the design and construction of a new visitor centre at the Fort York National Historic Site in downtown Toronto. The joint venture team considered the site as the birthplace of Toronto; the fort is home to one of the oldest collections of fortifications in Canada, dating back to the War of 1812.Today, the Fort York Visitor Centre, completed in 2015, commemorates the historic significance of the site, providing a contemplative opportunity for visitors to reflect as they ascend to the Fort Commons to a final prospect overlooking the fort and the city beyond.
“This building is a powerful and robust intervention that serves as a threshold between the historic and the contemporary. Its linear plan and attenuated promenade builds on that edge condition of the on-site expressway. Its robust materiality and relentlessly repeated forms suggest the ramparts of the original fort. The design unapologetically celebrates the infrastructure around it, and invokes the concept of earth and the idea of fortification. Yet the Corten-steel canopies over the doorways provide both a welcoming entrance to this museum.”