Governor General's Medals in Architecture — 2012 Recipient

Mission Kitcisakik
Award Category: 
Governor General’s Medals in Architecture

Architectes de l’Urgence du Canada

Lead design architect(s): 

Guillaume Lévesque, MRAIC

Emergency Architects of Canada and Frontiers Foundation, with the initiative of architect Guillaume Lévesque, have used their knowledge and professionalism to improve the off reservation dwellings of the Native community of Kitcisakik. This project has been undertaken in close consultation with the Anishnabe (Algonquin) Nation, with the goal of developing the skills, confidence and autonomy of the people. The intervention focuses on improving the quality of life, children’s health; overcrowded dwellings; salvaging materials; sustainable forest management; self-sufficiency for construction lumber with a saw mill; renewable energies; and reinforcing expertise as well as the transfer of knowledge. 

Jury Comment(s): 

"Though not a conventional architectural project, this imaginative and pioneering initiative to improve physical conditions in First Nation communities deserves wider recognition. At its heart and with searing clarity, it embodies the most fundamental aspect of architecture, which is to transform human life for the better. It responds bravely to real and urgent needs, and applies technical skill with energy and dedication. In recognising the value and significance of this process, it is to be hoped such initiatives will become more widely emulated."

Click for full version: 

photo: Guillaume Lévesque

photo: Guillaume Lévesque

photo: Guillaume Lévesque

photo: Guillaume Lévesque

photo: Peter Papatie