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Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Sise fonds

Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Sise fonds

Part of

People

  • Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Sise (creator)
  • Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Sise (archive creator)

Title

Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Sise fonds

Dates of creation

1955, 1957-1969

Form

  • archives

Level of archival description

Fonds 137

Extent and Medium

  • 10,455 drawings (including 3170 reprographic copies)
  • 41 exhibition panels
  • 14 negatives

Scope and Content

The fonds documents the work of Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Sise, architects, from 1955-1969. The 44 architectural projects span the existence of the Montréal-based firm, from the early years of the office (as Affleck, Desbarats, Lebensold, Michaud & Sise until 1959), to the dissolution of the partnership in 1968. Major projects that are documented include the Vancouver Civic Auditorium (Queen Elizabeth Theatre, 1957-62); Place Ville Marie, Montréal (in association with I.M. Pei & Associates, 1958-64); Place des Arts, Montréal (1959-63); Fathers of Confederation Memorial Building, Charlottetown (1962-64); Place Bonaventure, Montreal (1964-68); St. John's Arts and Culture Centre (1964-67); Theme Pavilions for Expo '67, Montreal (1964-67); and the National Arts Centre, Ottawa (1964-68). Also included in the fonds are projects for churches, municipal and provincial government buildings, multiple-dwelling residential buildings, commercial and industrial projects, a library building, and a series of projects for McGill University, including the Stephen Leacock Building (1962-64) and the Student Union Centre (1962-66). All of the projects are located in Canada, except for motel cabins and a private residence in Alassio, Italy, and a proposal for an exhibition pavilion for Expo '70 in Osaka, Japan. The fonds consists of architectural drawings - design development, presentation and working - and presentation panels. The fonds is arranged into one series of building projects corresponding to project numbers assigned by the firm.

Reference Number

AP137

Arrangement

The fonds is composed of 44 files arranged chronologically.

Administrative history

The architectural office of Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Sise originated in Montréal, Québec in 1953 when a co-operative partnership was formed by three McGill University School of Architecture graduates - Raymond Tait Affleck (1922-1989), Guy Desbarats (1925-2003) and Jean Michaud (1919-1995) - and two McGill architecture professors - Fred David Lebensold (1917-1985) and, joining in 1954, Hazen Edward Sise (1906-1974). The concept of individual architects pooling their knowledge and experience on specific projects began with the The Architects' Collaborative, founded by Walter Gropius and seven other architects in Cambridge, Massachusetts in 1945. The Montréal group referred to itself as Arcop (Architects in Co-Partnership), but the acronym was not used as an official business name until much later.

Some examples of early projects in which the architects worked as a team are: The Home '53 Competition for the Canadian Home Journal (Desbarats & Lebensold, 1953), Town of Mount Royal Post Office (Affleck & Michaud, 1953-55), Pre-cut Housing for Beaugrand-Champagne, Montréal (Michaud, Desbarats & Affleck, 1954), Ottawa Police Station Competition (Affleck & Desbarats, 1954-55), and the Beaver Lake Pavilion on Mount Royal, Montréal (Sise & Desbarats, 1955-58). The entire group came together in 1954 to enter a national competition for the Vancouver Civic Auditorium. The submission by Lebensold, Affleck, Desbarats, Michaud & Sise (Lebensold was the design architect) was chosen first, and the building (subsequently known as the Queen Elizabeth Theatre) was constructed in 1958-62.

In 1954 Dimitri Dimakopoulos (1929-1995), another McGill School of Architecture graduate, began working with the group. When he became a full partner in 1957, the architects consolidated as Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Michaud & Sise. Following the departure of Jean Michaud in 1959, the firm became Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Sise (ADDLS) for the next decade.

The firm's prospectus (CCA Library) from about 1960 states "The aim was to establish an organization that could carry out large and complex building projects; maintain a high level professional and technical competence; and above all develop to the utmost the social and aesthetic values that represent the highest contribution of architecture to our civilization". By this time, ADDLS had grown to about 70 employees, one of the largest in Canada, and was engaged in major projects in Montréal - Place Ville Marie (as supervising architects in association with I.M. Pei & Associates, New York, 1958-64), and Place des Arts (1959-63). Other major buildings followed through the sixties, including: The Fathers of Confederation Memorial Building, Charlottetown (now known as Confederation Centre of the Arts, 1962-65); Place Bonaventure, Montréal (1964-68); St. John's Arts and Culture Centre (St. John's, Newfoundland, 1964-67); 'Man the Producer' and 'Man the Explorer' Theme Pavilions for Expo '67, Montréal (1964-67); and the National Arts Centre, Ottawa (1965-68).

Throughout this period the firm also designed churches, municipal and provincial government buildings, exhibition pavilions, multiple-dwelling residential buildings, cultural buildings, commercial and industrial buildings, and educational buildings such as the Georges Vanier Library for Loyola College, Montréal (1962-64), and a series of projects for McGill University, which included the Stephen Leacock Building (1962-64) and Student Union Centre (1963-66). Many of ADDLS buildings (Queen Elizabeth Theatre, Place des Arts, Fathers of Confederation Memorial Building, National Arts Centre, Église Saint-Gérard Majella) won Massey Medals for Architecture.

In 1968 Hazen Sise retired, Dimitri Dimakopoulos left to open his own office, and Guy Desbarats departed to found and head the University of Montréal's Faculté de l'aménagement. In 1970, Ray Affleck, Fred Lebensold and Arthur Boyd Nichol (who had been an associate in the previous firm since 1956) regrouped and founded ARCOP Associates.

Conditions governing access

  • Open for use by qualified researchers. Access by appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction

  • Contact the CCA for copyright information and permission to reproduce (reproductions@cca.qc.ca).

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

  • Acquired 2005.

Custodial history

In 1972, Bibliothèque nationale du Québec (BNQ) received a deposit from ARCOP Associates, Montréal, consisting of architectural drawings from their predecessor firm Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Sise (ADDLS). In 1992, the BNQ acquired ownership of the ADDLS records through donation. In 2005, the BNQ transferred the ownership of the fonds to the CCA (as a donation) and the CCA received the documents for permanent preservation.

Archivist's note

  • The Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold, Sise fonds was processed and described in 2009-2010 by David Rose, with funding from Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec, under the supervision of Robert Desaulniers, Chief Archivist. The finding aid was edited by Alexis Lenk.

Language of material

The documents are in English and French.

Related units of description

  • Documents related to this fonds are in the Jean Michaud fonds (AP012), Ray T. Affleck fonds (AP088), Guy Desbarats fonds (AP109), and Hazen Edward Sise fonds (AP112).

General note

  • La préparation de cet instrument de recherche a été rendu possible grâce au soutien de Bibliothèque et Archives nationales du Québec.
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