SURE: Architecture

Click on the title for full description of SURE 2018 projects in Architecture.

ARCH-001: Architecture that Breathes 2.0
Professor:Annmarie Adams & Salmaan Craig
E-mail: annmarie.adams [at] mcgill.ca  |  salmaan.craig [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 2915
Website

Research Area: Thermal sciences, Natural Ventilation of Historic Buildings


Description
This proposed project brings together an architectural historian and engineer to reconsider the historic ventilation system of a significant pavilion plan hospital. It builds on previous work by Professor Annmarie Adams, and takes advantage of the arrival of Assistant Professor Salmaan Craig, an expert in thermal sciences as applied to buildings. Together Adams and Craig will examine hundreds of construction documents related to Montreal’s Royal Victoria Hospital (RVH) to determine how its architect, British specialist Henry Saxon Snell, imagined an early version of what today would be called a buoyancy ventilation system, ie ventilation powered by a heat source. The RVH commission was fraught with conflict from the beginning, mostly over the best way to heat the massive institution, and this new work will thus shed light on a debate that’s now more than a century old: how best to heat Montreal institutions during our bitter winters. More generally, this project contributes to our understanding of the relationship of ventilation to the newly-established germ theory of disease (circa 1870)..

Tasks:
The student will collect and organize archival material related to the ventilation system at the Royal Victoria Hospital, including architectural drawings, meetings minutes, correspondence, and newspaper articles. These materials will allow Adams and Craig to assess how the historic ventilation system was intended to function.

Deliverables:
The student will produce drawings and a water bath model to physically simulate the fluid dynamics of the RVH ventilation system and produce data suitable for publication by Adams and Craig.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: Year 3

ARCH-002: The Architecture of Arthur Erickson: a comprehensive index of the work, built and unbuilt
Professor:David Covo
E-mail: david.covo [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 6763
Website

Research Area: History and theory of contemporary architecture: the work of Canadian Architect Arthur Erickson


Description
The aim of this project is to continue the research initiated with support from the 2016 SURE program on the work of legendary Canadian architect Arthur Erickson (1924-2009). A McGill graduate (B.Arch. ‘50, PhD (Hon) ‘75), Erickson is one of Canada’s greatest architects, with five decades of buildings that have been recognized with countless awards, including the Order of Canada, seven honorary doctorates, and the top awards of professional associations in Canada, the US and France. The main outcomes of the 2016 SURE Project were a detailed Bibliography with approximately 250 references to Erickson’s projects, including books and articles by Erickson himself, and a comprehensive Index of his buildings. The Index currently lists over 700 projects in chronological order, with data on location and ownership, awards received, and links to accessible archives in the three main Erickson collections (Canadian Centre for Architecture, U Calgary and McGill) and other repositories, including the Erickson family. The intention now is to complete the Index, with additional data on the buildings, for example, size, cost, structural information and material palettes, and data compiled from interviews with the ‘alumni’, the interns and architects who worked with Erickson and his partners in Canada, the US and abroad. The Index and Bibliography will make a significant contribution to research on Erickson’s work and will also support the work of the Arthur Erickson Foundation (AEF) and other groups, including owners of Erickson buildings and regulatory agencies, in relation to the ongoing stewardship of Erickson’s legacy of built work..

Tasks:
1. archival and library research: the John Bland Canadian Architecture Collection (McGill), the Canadian Centre for Architecture (Montreal); the Canadian Architectural Archives (University of Calgary); Erickson family archives; professional and scholarly journals; popular media; 2. compilation of oral histories based on interviews with Erickson’s colleagues, collaborators and clients; 3. digitization of selected archival drawings, photography and texts; new photography, where possible, of built work.

Deliverables:
1. An expanded Bibliography of writings about, and authored by, Arthur Erickson, based on archival texts and images, and new oral histories with owners, builders and design collaborators; 2. An improved data base (the Index) of Erickson buildings with the

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: No preference

ARCH-003: Architectural quality for cultural institutions in Canada: shifting definitions within awards of excellence
Professor:David Theodore
E-mail: david.theodore [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 514-398-2862
Website

Research Area: This research looks to improve our historical and theoretical understanding of the representations and assessment of quality in public architecture in Canada.


Description
We are undertaking a scholarly study of the evolution of award processes, awarded projects, and qualitative judgment criteria between 1992 and 2017. The SSHRC grant, entitled Architectural quality for cultural institutions in Canada: shifting definitions within awards of excellence, allows for extensive research on awards of excellence in Canada. By analysing discourses, comparing ensembles of schemes, decoding criteria, and deconstructing judging devices in “awards of excellence,” we propose to catalogue, compare and categorize architectural quality since the mid 1990s in Canada. We are developing mapping diagrams that are historical, theoretical, and critical, in a retrospective and comparative approach that takes into consideration scale, program and function, and the main constitutive dimensions of architectural projects as requested by public institutions in the cultural realm..

Tasks:
Each SURE student will work as part of a team collecting and analyzing information about awards of excellence in architecture across Canada. Students should be able to work well both on their own and as part of a team. Ability in French (read, write, speak) highly desirable.

Deliverables:
Students will contribute to the elaboration of an online database and visualizations of the data.

Number of positions: 2
Academic Level: No preference

ARCH-004: The Deep-Performance Dwelling: Team Montreal's 2018 Solar Decathlon China competition submission.
Professor:Michael Jemtrud
E-mail: michael.jemtrud [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143981619
Website

Research Area: Sustainable design and building practices, architecture and engineering


Description
The 2018 Solar Decathlon China competition will take place in Dezhou China from July 15 to August 15, 2018. Team Montreal has been working on the competition submission including the design and construction of the home sine March 2016 and this is the final stage of the competition..

Tasks:
Student researchers will be tasked with completing project book deliverables in the form of reports, performance simulations, models, construction documents and other collaterals including text based components. SURE researchers will be required to participate in the construction of the house in Dezhou and to participate in the contests during the competition.

Deliverables:
Deliverables include project book components (drawings, models, simulations); logistical documentation and planning; construction of building in Dezhou, China. Responsibilities will be distributed amongst team members in this collaborative effort.

Number of positions: 3
Academic Level: Year 3

ARCH-005: 'Design and the Computer': Design Methods and Computer-Aided Design at the University of Waterloo, 1965-1975
Professor:Theodora Vardouli
E-mail: theodora.vardouli [at] mcgill.ca
Telephone: 5143986709
Website

Research Area: History of architectural computation in Canadian research universities


Description
This SURE project is part of a broader study of the introduction of computation and computers in the teaching and research of architectural design in Canadian universities, 1965-1975. The project focuses on computational (step-wise, algorithmic) perspectives of architectural design advanced in the University of Waterloo during the period. Waterloo was a hub of a larger Anglo-American network of researchers in design, mathematics, and computation, many of whom it attracted as visiting professors. It was also a site of landmark events in the international history of architectural computation, such as the 1966 Design and Planning Seminars -- birthplace of the international Design Methods Group (DMG) and published as the seminal Design Quarterly double issue "Design and the Computer". This SURE project will create a database of courses and research projects in Waterloo, which recast design as computation or included early experiments with computers. It will also visualize links and exchanges between Waterloo and other research institutions that engaged in similar activities. The project will shed light on an important hub of a larger social, technical, and intellectual network that prepared the ground for the introduction of computation and computers to design. The goal is to develop awareness on the historicity and situatedness of architecture's computational transitions and contribute critical views on contemporary debates around the "digital" in architectural education and practice..

Tasks:
The SURE student will help collect information about academic courses and research projects in the University of Waterloo from 1965-1975, which brought together design with computation or computers. The student will also catalog conferences and symposia on the subject held at Waterloo, and track their impact. The goal is to produce a database of activity in computational design at Waterloo that includes thematic, technical, chronological, and geographic dimensions. Using the database, the student will begin to draw maps visualizing mobilities of people, ideas, or techniques during the decade, highlighting Waterloo's position within a larger network of research in architectural computation in the 1960s-1970s.

Deliverables:
The SURE student will create a database and visualize it through maps and diagrams.

Number of positions: 1
Academic Level: No preference