Max Wolfe Roth fonds
The Max Wolfe Roth fonds, 1933-2000, documents the professional career of architect Max Wolfe Roth. The fonds comprises of materials related to 15 student projects, 1933-1937, that Roth designed during his architecture studies at McGill University and 333 professional projects, 1937-2000, that he produced as principal of the office Max W. Roth, Architect. These built projects are primarily located in Montréal, Sherbrooke, Québec City, Thetford Mines, and several towns in the Laurentian areas; other Canadian projects are sited in Ontario, Alberta, Newfoundland, and Nova Scotia. The fonds also includes several projects built in the United States and one that was planned for Israel.
In addition to completing a wide range of building types, such as commercial, residential, cultural, institutional, religious, and industrial buildings, Roth also produced interior designs and custom furniture. The fonds holds an extensive number of architectural drawings, consisting of concept sketches and surveys, design development, working, consultant, presentation and publication drawings. Designs for interior spaces and furniture are also included in this fonds. Presentation panels show architecture drawings, models and the exterior views of completed buildings from various perspectives. Photographic materials comprise of a portrait of Max Roth showcasing the interior of one of his residences as well as various photographs and slides of models, drawings, details, construction sites, buildings before their renovation, and the interior and exterior of completed buildings.
Textual documentation consists of correspondence, meeting minutes, contracts, estimates, bills, certificates of payments, statements, calculations, specifications, schedules, project notes, memos, notebooks, product information, presentation brochures, business cards, periodical clippings, and architecture journals.
Objects in the archive include stamps, a slide rule and a presentation model of the Canadian Jewish Congress Headquarters Building – the Samuel Bronfman House.
Max Wolfe Roth (1913-2001) was born in Montréal, Québec. In 1933, Roth began his studies at McGill University’s School of Architecture and four years later, he graduated with a Bachelor of Architecture. In 1938, Roth established the Montréal office of Max W. Roth, Architect, and in 1962, he became a member of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada. In 1970, he founded an interior design studio, Roth Designs Limited. From 1984- 2001, Roth worked in partnership with William D’Onofrio – the firm operated as Roth+D’Onofrio, Architectes.
Throughout his extensive career, Roth designed over 1500 architectural projects. From the late 1950s and onwards, Roth collaborated with a number of Montréal firms on various projects, including Greenspoon, Friedlander & Dunne for the reconstruction of Temple Emanu-El Synagogue (Montréal, 1959), Ian Martin for the Pont Viau Shopping Centre (Laval, 1960), and the office of Eliasoph & Berkowitz for an unrealized headquarters for the Canadian Jewish Congress (Montréal, 1963). Roth also employed artists for modern sculptures and murals in his buildings; the Leon Adler Office Building in Ville St. Laurent (1954), for example, incorporated artworks by Joseph Iliu and Robert Roussil.
Roth produced a number of well-known projects for the Canadian World Exposition (Expo’ 67) in Montréal: La Ronde’s Garden of Stars, the bookstore in the British Pavilion, and the interior of the Pavilion of Judaism. Roth also submitted a design for the Québec Pavilion competition in 1964, which received a jury mention.
Other built projects designed by Roth in Montréal include the St. Regis Tavern (1951), the Ruby Foo’s hotel (1962, with hotel addition, 1986), the Beth-El Synagogue (1956, alterations to addition, 1968-69), the Dominion Lock Factory (extended and altered from 1959-1972), and the Canada Park Pavilion (1973-1974, Israel) for the Canadian Jewish National Fund.
Max Wolfe Roth fonds was donated to the Canadian Centre for Architecture on December 12, 2003 by William D’Onofrio. A subsequent addition was made in 2012 by Sharon Lichtman.
Montréal Island of Montréal Québec Canada
When citing the collection as a whole, use the following citation:
Max Wolfe Roth fonds
Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal
When citing specific collection material, please refer to the object’s specific credit line.
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