The New Vic at McGill University receives Canadian Architect Award of Excellence 

For more information, please contact:
Andrea Chin, Communications Director

Martin Davidson, Principal

December 1, 2023

Toronto, ON, December 1, 2023 – The New Vic at McGill University has received a Canadian Architect Award of Excellence.

Designed by Diamond Schmitt/LemayMichaud, the New Vic transforms the historic Royal Victoria Hospital site in Montreal, which has been a place of healing the body and mind, into a place for helping to heal the planet as well as the new home of Sustainability Systems and Public Policy at McGill.

The reinvention of the historic site reveals terraced volumes that follow the sloping topography and provide lookouts to the city beyond. The cascading roofscapes of the new wings extend the landscape of the adjacent Mount Royal into an active space for research and gathering. A new pavilion is introduced within the historic forecourt, shaped by the three primary heritage buildings. Visible at the forefront of the site, this entry pavilion signals the renewal and reinvention of the Royal Vic as part of the wider McGill community.

The new architecture is held back from the old, separated by internal courtyards and atriums usually programmed as gathering spaces. Here, new skylights emphasize these voids and bring light deep into the interior, illuminating the richly textured heritage stonework, with bridges connecting the two. A pair of large skylit atriums also define the major crossroads within the new architecture, centred around opportunities to collaborate and spontaneously engage outside of the labs and classrooms.

On acknowledging New Vic, juror Omar Ghandi commented, "A brilliant interwoven intervention to the existing campus building which delicately weaves light, texture and material innovation. The overall composition is a masterful palette of natural light, material innovation, sustainable approaches and Indigenous knowledge."

Now in its 56th year, the Canadian Architect Awards of Excellence are the highest recognition for Canadian architectural projects in the design stage. The panel of jurors reviewed over 200 submissions this year and recognized the New Vic as one of five projects to receive an Award of Excellence for its meticulous and thoughtful, adaptive reuse of historic institutional buildings, enhancing their accessibility to the community.

Read more about the award-winning New Vic here.