Governor General's Medals in Architecture - 2020 Recipient | Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Governor General's Medals in Architecture - 2020 Recipient

Polygon Gallery
Award Category: 
Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

Patkau Architects

Lead design architect(s): 

John Patkau, FRAIC, Patricia Patkau, FRAIC, Peter Suter with Michael Green, FRAIC, Marc Holland, Jacqueline Ho, Thomas Schroeder

Occupancy: November 11, 2017
Construction Budget: $12 million

The Polygon Gallery is an instrument of transformation. It is an industrial waterfront re-imagined as a cultural hub. It is a mutable scaffold for artistic provocation. It is an assertive figure yielding to flows of people and the diurnal play of skylight.The building is articulated as two bodies; at grade, a warm outward body of light; above grade, a cool inward bearing. Hidden musculature liberates both from static impediments. At grade, uninterrupted glass opens and invites. Above grade, expanded aluminum grills on mirrored stainless steel beget a crisp, animate architectural skin. Within, studio-like art space offers raw potential.

Jury Comment(s): 

“The bold mass and jagged profile of this public gallery hover weightlessly over a glass entry floor. The building creates a generous covered public area on the North Vancouver waterfront, with the form generating interaction between passersby and art-goers, lowering the boundary between elite art activities and daily life. Sensitive to sky and sea, the shimmering façade reflects the changing light, outside, while the inside boasts flexible galleries capped by intimidating skylights.”

Jury members

Click for full version: 
Photograph of Eastern façade across public water feature.

PHOTO: James Dow

Photograph of Northern Façade showing main entrance, lobby, and view to Vancouver Skyline across Burrard Inlet.

PHOTO: James Dow

Photograph of Lobby with temporary exhibit and Vancouver skyline in background.

PHOTO: Ema Peter

Photograph of second floor Main Gallery with north-facing roof monitors and purlins for electrical, lighting, media, and artwork suspension.

PHOTO: Ema Peter

Photograph of Event Gallery with opened panoramic wall to exterior balcony and view to Vancouver Skyline across Burrard Inlet

PHOTO: Ema Peter

Photograph of entire building with public water feature, Seawall walk, Lonsdale Quay, a colossal vessel, the Sea Bus public transportation, and Vancouver Skyline.

PHOTO: Robert Stefanowicz