Governor General's Medals in Architecture — 2018 Recipient

Fort York Visitor Centre
Award Category: 
Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

Patkau Architects Inc. / Kearns Mancini Architects Inc. Associated Architects for the Fort York Visitor Centre. 

Lead design architect(s): 

Kearns Mancini Project Team - Jonathan Kearns, FRAIC, Dan McNeil, MRAIC, Lucy O'Connor, Zhivka Hristova, Tony Mancini, FRAIC, Peter Ng

Patkau Project Team - John Patkau, FRAIC, Patricia Patkau, FRAIC, Mike Green, Shane O'Neill, Michael Thorpe

Occupancy: 2015
Construction Budget: $25 million

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.

Jury Comment(s): 

"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." 

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Photo: Tom Arban Photography

Photo: Tom Arban Photography

Photo: Tom Arban Photography

Photo: Tom Arban Photography

Photo: Tom Arban Photography