Denis Lemieux wins Action Award from Order of Architects

June 19, 2009

The Mayor of Montréal, Gérald Tremblay, has underscored the outstanding contribution of architect Denis Lemieux to the advancement of best practices in urban design and architecture, which earned him the Ordre des architectes du Québec’s Prix Action on June 18, 2009. Mr. Lemieux received the award as the main author of the handbooks Imaginer, réaliser la ville du 21e siècle – Cahiers des bonnes pratiques en design, launched jointly in June 2008 by the Ville de Montréal and the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine du Québec.

“Mr. Lemieux accomplished a huge task in documenting best practices in architecture and urban design both here and abroad,” Mayor Tremblay said. “In doing so, he has helped raise awareness among an entire network of ambassadors for good design within the City, and provided them with better tools. We are fortunate indeed to have benefited from Denis Lemieux’s wide-ranging experience.”

The Design Montréal office of the Ville de Montréal submitted the candidacy of Mr. Lemieux, who is a passionate defender of architecture competitions, in recognition of, among other things, his significant contribution to improving the architectural and environmental quality of cultural infrastructure and public-space projects.

“These handbooks of best practices in urban design are exemplary documents that enrich our thinking in terms of architecture and contribute to Montréal’s reach and influence as a UNESCO City of Design,” the Mayor added. “They also reiterate our willingness to ensure the widespread implementation of design competitions, workshops and panels and, in so doing, to promote creativity, innovation and excellence in architecture and design.”

The Prix Action selection committee was made up of the following architects:

  • Guy Leclerc
  • Maggy Apollon
  • Normand Pratte
  • Stéphan Gilbert
  • Rémi Morency

Candidates in the running for the 2009 Prix Action were:

  • Gary Michael Conrath, instigator and author of the commemorative book on the career of architect Norman Slater;
  • Denis Lemieux, main author and co-ordinator of Imaginer, réaliser la ville du 21e siècle – Cahiers des bonnes pratiques en design, with contributors Mario Brodeur and Jacques Lachapelle.
  • Bernard McNamara, founder of Emergency Architects of Canada

The jury particularly appreciated the action led by Mr. Lemieux, for the following reasons:

  • The prior work leading up to the action;
  • The short- and long-term benefits of his action;
  • The recognition and valuing of the profession as part of a broader vision;
  • The fact of promoting architectural design as an opportunity to lend added value to architecture projects;
  • The innovative nature of the action.

The graphic design of the handbooks is by François Beauchamp of the Ville de Montréal’s Centre d'impression mumérique et de communications visuelles. The handbooks comprise three distinct documents:

  • The first profiles inspiring initiatives in cities, regions and countries that are engaged in renewed public action in urban design.
  • The second is a methodological guide to the use of three processes for promoting excellence in design (panels, workshops and competitions).
  • The third handbook presents fact sheets on 21 urban projects in Montréal, highlighting the diversity and the interest of certain practices related to the method of awarding commissions or providing guidance for projects. It was co-ordinated and written by Mario Brodeur, architect, and Jacques Lachapelle, architect and architecture historian.

Imaginer, réaliser la ville du 21e siècle – Cahiers des bonnes pratiques en design is an initial achievement in fulfilling the commitments enshrined in the 2007–2017 Action Plan – Montréal Cultural Metropolis, which aims at enriching the cultural quality of Montrealers’ living environment.