The Governor General of Canada, David Johnston, has bestowed Officer of the Order of Canada – one of Canada’s highest honors – to Toronto architect Marianne McKenna of Kuwabara Payne McKenna Blumberg Architects. Similar to the Order of the British Empire in Britain and the Kennedy Center Honors for artists in the United States, the award recognizes Canadians for a lifetime of outstanding achievement, dedication to the community and service to the nation.
Office of the Secretary to the Governor General stated:
“Marianne McKenna, O.C., has crafted architecture that enriches the public experience. A founding partner of KPMB Architects, she is responsible for a number of innovative structures, including the Royal Conservatory of Music’s acclaimed Koerner Concert Hall, in Toronto. Whether designing an integrated campus for Concordia University in downtown Montreal, or the environmentally sustainable Jackson-Triggs Winery in Niagara-on-the-Lake, she is committed to creating edifices that weave into the fabric of the community.”
Since the founding of KPMB Architects, McKenna has designed and directed diverse range of internationally acclaimed projects in the areas of culture, business, education and science. Some her most notable works include the Royal Conservatory TELUS Centre for Performance and Learning in Toronto and the vertical campus of business, engineering and visual arts at Concordia University’s downtown Montreal campus.
In 2010, the Montreal native and Yale alumni was named as one of Canada’s Top 100 Most Powerful Women. After 25 years of exceptional work, her influence in the world of architecture continues to grow exponentially.
Upon being invested, Marianne McKenna stated, “For every Order of Canada, there are 1,000 people dedicating their lives to making our country better. I am deeply grateful to receive this honor, which will serve as a daily reminder to focus on creating architecture that cultivates innovation, creativity and community building.”
Since the award was established in 1967, recipients of the medal have included Margaret Atwood, Phyllis Lambert, Joni Mitchell, Mordecai Richler, Christopher Plummer, and Frank Gehry, FAIA.
You can view a selection of KPMB Architects’ work here on ArchDaily.