The founders of Saucier + Perrotte Architectes, a Montreal firm that for 30 years has consistently produced refined, elegant and modern buildings – many for the public – are the recipients of the 2018 RAIC Gold Medal.
Gilles Saucier, FIRAC, and André Perrotte, FIRAC, founded Saucier + Perrotte Architectes in 1988. The firm represented Canada at the Venice Architecture Biennale in 2004 and has received more than 100 awards, including eight Governor General’s Medals in Architecture and the Government of Quebec’s Prix Ernest Cormier for lifetime achievement. Their work has been published widely.
They have built and maintained a high quality of work for decades, They are one of the few firms that are recognized both nationally and internationally. The work is always innovative and interesting. It’s timeless, consistently elegant, beautifully detailed. They integrate nature beautifully.
The Gold Medal is the highest honour the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) can bestow. It recognizes a significant and lasting contribution to Canadian architecture. The Gold Medal will be presented at the RAIC/AANB Festival of Architecture, taking place in Saint John from May 30 to June 2.
“They are ambassadors for Canadian architecture,” said the jury. “They don’t compromise. Their work inspires and delights. Their projects are functional, sculptural and beautiful in the landscape. They are spaces that one enjoys being in.”
Saucier+Perrotte have designed theatres (Usine C and Cinémathèque Québécoise in Montreal); commercial spaces, (the Michel Brisson boutiques and Scandinave Les Bains Vieux Montreal); garden pavilions (First Nations Pavilion at the Botanical Garden in Montreal), and the Canadian embassy in Abu Dhabi.
The firm’s university projects include the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics in Waterloo and the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences (with Hughes Condon Marler Architects) in Vancouver. They have also completed sports facilities such as the new Stade de Soccer de Montréal (with HCMA Architecture + Design), as well as private residences, exhibitions and art centres. Ongoing major projects include River City, a 1,000-unit LEED Gold master plan in Toronto.
Mr. Saucier is the firm’s design partner while Mr. Perrotte is the project architect in charge of coordinating the design and construction process. Both are graduates of the Laval University school of architecture in Quebec City, and have lectured and taught across Canada and abroad.
One of their nominators, Martin Bressani, MRAIC, director of the school of architecture at McGill University, noted that Saucier + Perrotte “marked a watershed in Canadian architecture, initiating a second modernist wave, one that risked new experimentation, and displayed a much greater sensibility to atmosphere.“From the start, theirs was a public architecture, at the service of culture and a collective identity,” wrote Bressani.
It is with great honour that we accept this award recognizing 30 years of passionate and dedicated work…We are grateful for the numerous fruitful collaborations that have helped us shape and realize our vision. We proudly receive this medal as a reward for our unyielding commitment to architectural excellence.
The jury members were:
- Peter Busby, FRAIC, partner, Perkins + Will, Vancouver, BC
- Andrew Batay-Csorba, MRAIC, partner, Batay-Csorba Architects, Toronto, ON
- Johanna Hurme, FRAIC, partner, 5468796 architecture Winnipeg, MB
- Renée Mailhot, MIRAC, founder, la SHED architecture, Montreal, QC;
- Diogo Burnay, director, Dalhousie University School of Architecture, Halifax, NS.
Previous Gold Medalists include Peter Busby, FRAIC,His Highness the Aga Khan, Bing Thom, FRAIC, George Baird, FRAIC, John and Patricia Patkau, FRAIC, Dan Hanganu, FIRAC, Bruce Kuwabara, FRAIC, Arthur Erickson, FRAIC, Phyllis Lambert, Moshe Safdie, FRAIC, Raymond Moriyama, FRAIC, and others.
Gilles Saucier and André Perrotte
Gilles Saucier and André Perrotte both studied architecture at Laval University in Quebec City and received their degrees in 1982. They founded Saucier + Perrotte Architectes in Montreal in 1988. As Design Partner, Saucier is responsible for the overall design of each project, ensuring that the work of the firm responds to all design criteria, with specific attention to architecture’s connection to geology and the landscape. As Project Architect, Perrotte is in charge of the coordination of the design and construction process, directing the flow of information, managing multidisciplinary teams, costs, schedules and construction techniques. He is also involved in design with Saucier.
Throughout the firm’s history, Saucier and Perrotte have been active in architectural education. Saucier has taught at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, (MIT) McGill University and University of Montreal, among others, and has lectured at AIA Seattle and AIA San Francisco. Perrotte has taught and been a visiting critic at several schools, including the University of Montreal, University of Waterloo and University of Toronto.
Saucier + Perrotte Architectes
The firm has received more than 100 architecture awards, including eight Governor General’s Medals in Architecture and two International Architecture Awards (presented by the Chicago Athenaeum and the European Centre for Architecture Art Design and Urban Studies). Saucier+Perrotte’s projects have been published widely.
In 2009, Saucier + Perrotte received the RAIC Architectural Firm Award. In 2004, the firm represented Canada at the Venice Architecture Biennale. Saucier + Perrotte have been part of three exhibitions: “Les lieux de la couleur,” at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in 2000; “Childhood Landscapes/Topographical Unfoldings” presented in Montreal, Toronto, Ottawa, and Buffalo between 2002 and 2004; and “Substance Over Spectacle” in Vancouver in 2005.
In 2002, the CCA began archiving architectural drawings and models by Saucier + Perrotte, and in 2007, the CCA selected the firm to design its exhibition on the Oil Crisis of the 1970s, called “1973: Sorry, Out of Gas.”
The list of award-winning projects includes the UBC Faculty of Pharmaceutical Sciences in Vancouver; Scandinave les Bains Vieux Montreal; Private Residence and Guest House in the Laurentian Mountains, and the Communication, Culture and Technology Building (University of Toronto at Mississauga). It also includes the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics (Waterloo, Ontario); the First Nations Exhibition Pavilion in Montreal; the Anne-Marie Edward Science Building at John Abbott College and the Schulich School of Music Building (McGill University).
The firm has also won acclaim for the New College Student Residence (University of Toronto), the School of Architecture and Design for University of Montreal; GeraldGodin College in Ste-Genevieve; the Canadian Embassy in Abu Dhabi; the Michel Brisson stores in Montreal, and the Philippe Dubuc stores in Montreal and Quebec City.
Ongoing major projects include River City, a 1,000-unit, 3.8-acre LEED Gold masterplan in Toronto’s industrial West Don Lands; Thompson Residences, a mixed-use residential project in downtown Toronto; Rack House D, a residence/hotel in Toronto’s Distillery district; Lewis Farms Community Centre in Edmonton; Gabrielle-Roy library in Québec City; and The Musée d’art contemporain de Montréal (MAC) Renewal Project.
Saucier+Perrotte is regularly invited to participate in major international competitions and has been a finalist in several in recent years. The firm was short-listed for the Bogota International Convention Center Competition, the Fallingwater Educational Cottage Competition, the Cantos National Music Centre in Calgary, the New Montreal Concert Hall, the new Montreal Planetarium, the Musée national des beaux-arts du Québec, Grande Bibliothèque du Québec, the Canadian Museum for Human Rights in Winnipeg, and the AIST African Institute of Science and Technology International Competition in Nigeria.
ABOUT THE RAIC
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada is the leading voice for excellence in the built environment in Canada. Representing about 5,000 members the RAIC advocates for excellence, works to demonstrate how design enhances the quality of life and promotes responsible architecture in addressing important issues of society.
Article and images via RAIC