Fonds Victor Prus
The fonds documents the personal activities and professional practice of architect Victor Prus. The fonds also contains textual records that document Victor Prus's teaching activities and lectures, and publications in which he or his projects appear. The archive comprises over 100 projects, from student work at the Liverpool School of Architecture and work as an assistant professor at the Polish University College in London in the late 1940s to projects undertaken as late as 1992.
The archive is composed of documents produced between 1946 and 1992, but predominantly between 1960 and 1990. All of Victor Prus's major projects are represented in the fonds, such as the Centre commercial Rockland (1960), the Mont-Royal and Bonaventure Metro Stations (1966), the Expo '67 Stadium (1967), the Grand Théâtre de Québec (1971) and the Palais des Congrès de Montréal (1983).
The fonds contains architectural drawings, including conceptual, design development, presentation and working drawings. The textual records include correspondence, meeting notes, reports, specifications, clippings, contracts and promotional material. The fonds also contains photographs and a few models for some of his projects.
The fonds is arranged into three series, including: Victor Prus's student work and professional projects in England; Victor Prus's professional work in Canada, with a dossier for each project; and, Maria Prus's student and professional work in England.
Victor Prus (24 April 1917 - 21 January 2017) was born in Poland in 1917. He studied architecture at the Technical University at Warsaw in 1939 and emigrated to England in 1940 because of the war with Germany. He served as a Flying Officer in the Royal Air Force during World War II in the Middle-East and in Great Britain until 1945 and obtained, on two occasions, the Polish Cross of Valour. After the war, between 1945 and 1947, Prus studied at the Liverpool School of Architecture. From 1947 to 1950, he taught at the Polish University College, London, as assistant professor of architecture and became Senior Executive Officer for the Festival of Britain from 1949 to 1951. He designed the Physical World Exhibition, the H.M.S. Campania, and the Shipbuilding Section, Sea and Ships Pavilion, at the Festival of Britain. In 1950, in association with Ernest Pollak and others, he won the Public House Competition in London. From 1950 to 1952, he was in a professional partnership with George Scolly (Prus and Scolly Architects). He married in 1948 with the architect Maria Fisz. Maria's studies at Warsaw University were interrupted by the war, and she completed them in Belgium before emigrating to England where she worked at the London County Council, Architect Department, Housing Division.
Victor and Maria Prus emigrated to Canada in 1952. From 1952 to 1954, Victor Prus was an associate at the Montréal Firm V. Rother and Associates. In 1953, he became assistant to Buckminster Fuller at Princeton University and, in the the next year, he created his own firm and established himself in Montréal. Between 1954 and 1959, he realised many residential projects in Ontario and in the Province of Québec. As landscape architect, Maria Prus was associated with all of his projects. In 1960, in association with the architect Ian Martin, he designed the Centre commercial Rockland in Mont-Royal, Québec, for which he was awarded the Massey Medal in 1961. In 1966, he designed two Metro Stations in Montréal: the Mont-Royal and the Bonaventure Stations. The Langelier Metro Station would follow later, in 1971. In the context of Expo '67 in Montréal, he realised the Stadium with the architect Maurice Desnoyers, with whom he collaborated again for the James Lyng High School in Montréal, in 1968. In the same year, he designed St. Augustine's Church, in Saint-Bruno, Québec. The firm became known as "Victor Prus et associés" in 1970.
In 1964, Victor Prus and his associates won the first prize for the Centennial Centre Competition with their design for the Grand Théâtre de Québec and the Conservatoire de musique de Québec in Québec City, built in 1971 and 1972. In 1978, they won the first prize in the competition for a new convention centre in Montréal with their design for the Palais des Congrès de Montréal, built in 1983.
Victor Prus was visiting professor at McGill University in 1953, 1966 and 1972, professor at the École d'architecture de Québec starting in 1959 and visiting professor at the Graduate School of Architecture, Washington University, in St. Louis, in 1958. Prus was a member of the Canadian Housing Design Council in 1973-1974. He is a member of the Ordre des architectes du Québec, the Town Planning Institute of Canada and the Corporation des urbanistes du Québec. He is Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada since 1968 and a member of the Royal Academy since 1972. Victor and Maria Prus were named Honorary Fellows of the American Institute of Architects in 1977.
The Victor Prus records remained in the custody of the architect until their transfer to the CCA in 2012. At that time the records and other related materials had been kept at Victor Prus's residence.
Victor Prus fonds
Collection Centre Canadien d'Architecture/
Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal
Gift of Victor Prus/Don de Victor Prus
Documents are predominantly in English and in French, with some in Polish and in German.
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