Governor General's Medals in Architecture — 2014 Recipient | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Governor General's Medals in Architecture — 2014 Recipient

Conversion of Mies van der Rohe gas station
Award Category: 
Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

Les architectes FABG

Lead design architect(s): 

Éric Gauthier, FIRAC

The Mies van der Rohe gas station on Nuns’ Island ceased commercial operation in 2008. The City of Montreal listed it as a heritage building in 2009 before initiating the project of a youth and senior activity centre. This simple program requires an open space for each group to congregate and participate in communal activities.

The project is not about the faithful restoration of a monument. It is an interpretation. It tries to communicate the essence of an artistic vision, formulated by someone else in response to a world that is no longer the same. Musicians do this every day.

Jury Comment(s): 

"This superb reinterpretation of Mies van der Rohe’s prototype gas station brings an end to years of relative neglect. The precise, essential reinvention of this structure as a community space is quite beautiful, right down to the mechanical servicing that reprises the gas pumps of the original. One might imagine that Mies would be happily surprised. It is a restoration without being a slavish reconstruction."

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Photos: Steve  Montpetit