Pure gold

The Royal Architectural Institute of Canada recently announced Mario Saia as the recipient of the RAIC Gold Medal for 2007. Saia earned his degree in architecture in his hometown at Universit de Montral in 1963, continued his studies at the University of Edinburgh in Scotland, then apprenticed for a year in Copenhagen. He now directs the Montreal firm he co-founded in 1968: Saia Barbarese Topouzanov architectes.

In choosing Saia, the selection committee noted: “Of the slate of significant and literate architects in Canada, there is little doubt that Mario Saia is one of the most provocative. His buildings depart from the realm of the familiar, the comfortable, the conservative. He pushes the frontiers of conventional design and incites both users and passersby to reflect on the meaning and purpose of architecture, of city planning and of milieu. He consistently addresses context with concern and innovation, resulting in a body of work that is diverse, creative and meaningful.”