Collection Eva Hollo Vecsei
The Eva Hollo Vecsei collection, 1959-2019, documents Vecsei’s work as an architect in Montréal, Québec and internationally, and includes materials related to projects she designed for her own architectural practice or while she was working for other firms.
The material in the collection is mainly made up of conceptual, design development, presentation, and working drawings. Also included are photographs, slides, and digital materials, which mainly consist of photographs and a few videos, but also include illustrations, and textual documentation such as project proposals, clippings, and publications. The collection provides highlights on aspects of Eva H. Vecsei’s career.
The bulk of the Eva Hollo Vecsei collection is arranged in Series CD041.S3, Eva Vecsei Architect (1973-1980). Records in this series are predominantly from 1974-1976, which correspond to the period of the La Cité project.
The collection also documents some aspects of the career of André Vecsei, her husband, as an architect. From 1962, André Vecsei was partner at the firm Rosen, Caruso, Vecsei Architects until his departure in 1984 when he founded Vecsei Architects with Eva Hollo Vecsei. The material is made up of drawings (sketches and plans), photographs, digital files, and a sketchbook.
Prior to their arrival to the CCA, the materials were roughly organized by project, format, and medium. This arrangement was respected, but some of the larger rolled drawings were divided for preservation purposes.
This collection is arranged in six series:
CD041.S1, Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold & Sise Architect (1959-1971)
CD041.S2, Rosen, Caruso, Vecsei Architects (1962-1984)
CD041.S3, Eva Vecsei Architect (1973-1980)
CD041.S4, Vecsei / Panzini Architects (1980-1984)
CD041.S5, Vecsei Architects (1984-2005)
CD041.S6, Biographical information
Eva Hollo Vecsei is a Hungarian-Canadian architect. In 1952, she obtained a degree in Architecture from the University of Budapest’s School of Architecture. After graduation, she was appointed assistant professor of design. Later, she worked on residential projects in Budapest and Tatabanya, Hungary. She later immigrated with her husband, André Vecsei, to Canada in 1957.
From 1959 to 1971, she worked for the architectural firm Affleck, Desbarats, Dimakopoulos, Lebensold & Sise Architect (Arcop), where she was the head project designer for Place Bonaventure in Montréal, Québec from 1964 to 1967. She was also the designer in charge of several Massey Award winning projects such as: Tifereth Jerusalem Synagogue, Côte-Saint-Luc, Québec (circa 1959-1971); Saint Gerard Magella Church, Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu, Québec (1960-1963); Laval Civic Centre : city hall and police headquarter, Laval, Québec (1962-1965); Pavillon Georges Frédéric, Drummondville, Québec (circa 1963-1965); Place Bonaventure, Montréal, Québec (circa 1963-1969); Student Union building, McGill University, Montréal, Québec (1965); Church of Saint Thomas d’Aquin, Saint Lambert, Québec (1965-1967); Interiors for Killam Library, Halifax, Nova Scotia (circa 1966-1971); and the Life science building, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia (1971).
From 1971 to 1973, she worked for Dimitri Dimakopoulos’ practice. In 1973, she opened her own private practice, Eva Vecsei Architect, in Montréal. She designed La Cité, a high density mixed-use residential and commercial project in downtown Montréal (1973-1977). She later opened with Michelange Panzini, Vecsei/Panzini Architects. Their design included a low-rise office building on Maisonneuve Street in Montréal, the Quebec Bar Association Headquarters, in Old Montréal, and the Sternthal residence in Westmount, Québec.
In 1984, Eva and André Vecsei opened a joint practice, Vecsei Architects. Their designs included an elementary school for College Marie de France in Montréal (circa 1984-1986), a seniors condominium, Manoir Montefiore, in Côte-Saint-Luc, Québec (1988), a public library in Saint-Lambert (1998), and a municipal library (circa 1990) and civic center (circa 2001-2003), both in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, Québec. From 1980 to 1985, Eva Vecsei was also part of the Design Review Committee of the National Capital Commission. Eva and André Vecsei retired in 2005.
Vecsei received the Canadian Architect Award of Excellence in 1983 for an office building on McGill College Avenue, Montréal. She was made fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada in 1988 and honorary fellow of the American Institute of Architects in 1990. She also won the Médaille du Mérite from the Ordre des architectes du Québec in 2004.
Through her career, Eva Hollo Vecsei realized the “importance of creating accessible green spaces for the benefit of the users; tenants, office workers and city dwellers” (1). The rooftop gardens of the Hotel Bonaventure, Montréal (1965), the green rooftop connecting the underground auditoriums between the Chemistry, Biology and Aquatron buildings, at Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia (circa 1971), the playground on the roof of the elementary school Marie de France, Montréal, Québec (circa 1984-1986), and the recreational deck at La Cité, Montréal, Québec, all contributed to her idea of sustainable architecture and made Vecsei a pioneer in green roofs in Canada.
(1) Hollo Vecsei, Eva. Curriculum vitae – Eva Hollo Vecsei Architect, , p. 7.
The CCA received the Eva Hollo Vecsei collection in three shipments in 2018 and one in 2019. Immediately before its transfer to the CCA, it was first stored at the office of Vecsei Architects and then moved to Eva Vecsei’s place of residence.
When citing the collection as a whole, use the citation: Eva Hollo Vecsei collection, 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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