The Heritage Canada Foundation (HCF), in partnership with Architecture Canada | RAIC, is honouring the Hemingway Fitness and Leisure Centre with the Prix du XXe siècle “for its enduring excellence and the mark it makes as nationally significant architecture.”
The Hemingway Fitness & Leisure Centre by Peter Hemingway was commissioned by the City of Edmonton as a project to mark Canada’s centennial. The facility, completed in 1970, reflects the modern architecture movement of the 1960s in Canada’s Prairie Provinces, but is unique in its referencing of the Rocky Mountains, the foothills and the rolling flatlands of the prairies through the flowing-wave in its roof structure and bold mix of materials.
The jury noted it is nationally significant as an example of the architectural creativity and confidence engendered by Canada’s centennial celebrations. “It expresses a delight in the potential of new technologies, with its inventive mix of glass, steel, heavy timber, and concrete. The flowing wave form, reflecting the pool within, gives a certain uniqueness within the more prevalent rectilinear Modernism of the time.”
“This prize recognizes the Hemingway Fitness &Leisure Centre as a modern landmark,” said Natalie Bull, executive director of the Heritage Canada Foundation. “The Prix du XXe siècle helps bring national attention to the heritage of the modern movement and in the process broadens the public perception of heritage.”
With this award, HCF and RAIC have joined forces to promote and raise awareness about nationally significant 20th-century architecture in Canada. Buildings in Canada designed by architects from any country, or buildings anywhere designed by Canadian architects are eligible for the award.
The Jury was comprised of Susan Bronson, Harold D. Kalman, and Julian Smith. The Prix du XXe siècle will be presented jointly by the chair of HCF and the president of RAIC at the Presidents’ Dinner & Awards Gala, June 15 at the Delta St. John’s Hotel and Conference Centre, St. John’s, NL as part of the 2012 Architecture Canada | RAIC Festival of Architecture.