More than brick and mortar

Tegan Truss

The most recent winner of the Governor General Medal (2014), CIGI is home to innovation both in the school and within the architecture of the school itself. The building contemporizes a traditional academic quad, with the centre of the campus focusing on a landscaped courtyard. Within the courtyard is a public art installation, designed by Rhode Island artist Richard Fleischner. The building incorporates wood, glass and stone, as well as a bell tower and 250-seat auditorium for hosting large public or academic events. The building is most notable for incorporating modern elements into the historic Seagram Distillery. Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects (KPMB).

The Perimeter Institute has been recognized internationally for its contributions, so it is no surprise that it was given the Governor General Medal for Architecture in 2006. The building was created with input from scientists who would be using the facilities for research, training and outreach. Since receiving the medal, in 2011 Perimeter grew to include the new Stephen Hawking Centre. This new centre took the green approach to building, using locally sourced building materials, energy conservation measures, and green roofs, along with other methods classing the building as a leader in environmental stewardship. Saucier + Perrotte Architects. 

Having received the Governor General Medal in 1997, the Clay and Glass Gallery continues to shine as a modern piece of architecture. From its vast open gallery space, to the massive windows offering extensive natural light, the building creates a wonderful backdrop for the contemporary works it houses. Incorporating wood, glass, stone, and brick, there is means of ignoring the presence of this building within Waterloo. From the moment a visitor approaches the building and is greeted by large cylindrical columns, steps that seem made for giants, and the green space hugging the contours of the knife like corners, there is an immensity of purpose displayed. Patkau Architects. 

The first of these four buildings to receive the Governor General Medal, in 1986, Seagram Museum offered a glimpse into past architectural marvels. The museum was built within the old Distillery and had done little to change the actual building. Quite a few of the oldest buildings in the plant remained intact. The entry to the museum was through a 19th century barrel warehouse, whose heavy timber racks for storing the barrels extend through five stories. Portiona of the timber racks were removed to create a skylit courtyard. In 2002 the City sold the building to CIGI, for them to create their new office space and the CIGI Campus. Barton Myers Architects

A real child of the nineties, Tegan’s interests are rooted in anime, lame kids movies/shows, and graphic novels. Looking through old photos also confirms her fashion sense included many a neon colour or floral print (read: still does). She aspires to have her own wall to wall, ceiling to floor library; where she can hunker down in a comfy chair by a fire, close off the world, and read a few good books.