College of Architecture Professor and Director of Ph.D. program Michelangelo Sabatino has been awarded the Canada Council for the Arts Grant for his forthcoming publication, Canada – Modern Architectures in History. The Canada Council for the Arts provides grants to architecture professionals to advance public conversation about contemporary Canadian architecture. It supports projects that engage the public, such as events, books, lectures, exhibitions, films, web-based initiatives, radio or television programs, articles, competitions, festivals, architecture guidebooks and walking tours, among others, in Canada or abroad. These projects must be produced in association with professional organizations such as museums, galleries, publishers, magazines, event producers, or others.
Sabatino’s book reveals how the country has contributed in no small measure to the spread of architectural modernity in the Americas and beyond. During the twentieth century, a distinct Canadian design attitude coalesced: a liberal, hybrid, pragmatic mindset intent less upon the dogma of architectural language than thinking about the formation of inclusive spaces and places. Taking a fresh perspective on design production and its context, Canada maps the unfolding of architectural modernity across the country, from the completion of the transcontinental railway in 1886-87 to the tumultuous interwar decades, the period of Reconstruction post-1945, and the politically conflicted era of the late 1960s and 70s. It also examines the broad pattern of Canadian political, industrial and socio-cultural evolution, urban–suburban expansion, and the technology of building. A wide array of buildings and architects, from ARCOP, Eric Arthur and Ernest Cormier, to Brigitte Shim and Howard Sutcliffe, helps to bring to life this chronologically and thematically driven story. Concluding with an examination of the more recent revisionist and regenerative decades, Canada is a unique critical account of modern and contemporary architecture in a country once dismissed by Voltaire as ‘a few acres of snow’.