Royal Architectural Institute of Canada

Prix du XXe siècle — 2015 Recipient

Fathers of Confederation Buildings Trust (Confederation Centre of the Arts) (1964)
Architect(s): 

Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Sise
(later ARCOP, now Architecture | 49)

Charlottetown
PEI
Award Category: 
Prix du XXe siècle

Photo: Confederation Centre of the Arts

The design by architect Dimitri Dimakopoulos, of the Montreal firm Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Sise, was selected by a national competition that included submissions from a broad spectrum of Canada’s leading designers.

Built in 1964 as the first of Canada’s Centennial buildings, the Centre was founded to commemorate the anniversary of the 1864 Charlottetown Confederation Conference and the Fathers of Confederation.

The jury citation noted how the project served as a catalyst for the establishment of funding programs that would see more than 800 building projects undertaken as part of the Centennial celebrations of 1967.

Jury Comment(s): 

“The Confederation Centre of the Arts is an exceptional architectural tour de force of the mid-20th century.”

“Fifty years on, lovingly maintained …Confederation Centre remains both a key fixture of the daily life of Charlottetown, and an icon of the optimistic spirit of Canada's centennial era.”

“The Centre’s novel combination of uses – theatre, library, gallery, memorial hall – expresses the cultural awakening that characterized the Centennial spirit of the mid-1960s.”

“The mix of cultural spaces and the abstract architectural composition were deeply influential in many Centennial projects to follow across Canada.”

“Known for its innovations in stage design, the Centre enjoys layered spaces that effortlessly balance monumentality and intimacy evident in few other places in Canada.”

“It subtly integrates the neighbouring historic Province House into one unified block perfectly scaled to Charlottetown’s urban core.”

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Photos: Arthur James, Canadian Architect