The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has issued its most prestigious architectural award to Nova Scotia architect, Brian MacKay-Lyons
The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) has issued its most prestigious architectural award, the Gold Medal, to Nova Scotia architect, Brian MacKay-Lyons, whose internationally acclaimed buildings reflect the design and construction traditions of Canadian East Coast architecture.
MacKay-Lyons, whose work was described by the jury as, "[coming] from an intimate connection with his communities," is a founding partner of MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects, and is also a professor of architecture at Dalhousie University. His work, which includes many houses, along with the Canadian Chancery, Official Residence in Dhaka, Bangladesh, the Computer Science Building, and the Architecture School at Dalhousie University, has been recognised by more than 100 awards, 300 publications and 100 exhibitions. He also founded Ghost Lab, an annual two-week event which attracted architects, historians, critics and writers who explored the values of regionalism, craft and design.
"It is a great honour to be recognised by one's peers," said MacKay-Lyons. "In an increasingly globalised world it's nice to reaffirm a way of making architecture about place – its landscape, climate and material culture. The RAIC Gold Medal is all the more meaningful because it recognises a body of work rather than the fashion of the day."
After studying and working around the world MacKay-Lyons returned to his native Nova Scotia, where his ancestors have lived for centuries, to make his own cultural contribution.
The jury called him "an authentic and original voice in the development of a contemporary expression of traditional regional architecture." They also commended his consistent level of excellence.
The Gold Medal is the RAIC's highest honour, which recognises a significant and lasting contribution to Canadian architecture. MacKay-Lyons will be presented with his prize at a ceremony at the RAIC/AAA Festival of Architecture in Calgary, Canada, which takes place 3–6 June.