CN Tower architect Roger du Toit wins RAIC 2017 Gold Medal
CN Tower, by Roger du Toit (recipient of 2017 RAIC Gold Medal) and DTAH, photograph by George Socka
The CN Tower on Toronto's lakefront. Photograph by George Socka

CN Tower architect Roger du Toit wins RAIC 2017 Gold Medal

Canadian architect Roger du Toit, part of the team behind Toronto's iconic CN Tower, has been posthumously awarded the highest honour bestowed by Canada's national architecture organisation.

Du Toit wins the RAIC 2017 Gold Medal two years after he died, aged 75, of injuries sustained during a cycling accident.

He was considered one of Canada's most important architects and urban planners. Born in South Africa, he established his practice, now known as duToit Allsopp Hillier (DTAH), in Toronto in 1975.

Du Toit worked with Australian architect John Andrews and local studio WZMH Architects on the CN Tower – a 553-metre-tall concrete communications mast, which held the title of world's tallest freestanding structure for 34 years after it completed in 1976.

Protecting the Views of the National Symbols, photograph by duToit Allsopp Hillier
Protecting the Views of the National Symbols, photograph by duToit Allsopp Hillier (DTAH)

"He was a leader and an innovator," wrote the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC)'s five-member selection jury. "He has made timeless contributions to significant parts of our urban environments across the country."

"He developed a unique career that transcended traditional understanding of architectural practice," they continued. "His work encompassed planning, urban design, community development and architecture."

Wascana Centre by Roger du Toit, photograph by Wascana Centre Authority
Wascana Centre by Roger du Toit, photograph by Wascana Centre Authority

During a career that spanned 45 year, du Toit worked on Ottawa's Parliamentary Precinct, the Wascana Centre in Regina, and projects at more than 25 university campuses.

His contributions to urban design included the Distillery District and Queens Quay in Toronto, and the Downtown South Urban Design in Vancouver.

WaveDecks by Roger du Toit, photograph by Waterfront Toronto
WaveDecks, photograph by Waterfront Toronto

"He was very much the 'master architect' working and coordinating a wide range of groups, institutions, and communities," said the jury. "He anticipated and planned for unknown futures. He took stewardship on as an important component of his relationship with his clients. He was also committed to research, teaching, and sharing."

Roger du Toit, posthumous recipient of 2017 RAIC Gold Medal, photograph by Sandy Nicholson
Roger du Toit, posthumous recipient of 2017 RAIC Gold Medal, photograph by Sandy Nicholson

Previous RAIC Gold Medal winners include Brian MacKay-Lyons, Frank Gehry, Moshe Safdie and the late Bing Thom.

More images and plans

Competition master plan for waterfront by Roger du Toit, posthumous recipient of 2017 RAIC Gold Medal
Competition master plan, courtesy of duToit Allsopp Hillier
Demonstration plan Wascana, courtesy of duToit Allsopp Hillier
Demonstration plan Wascana, courtesy of duToit Allsopp Hillier
Plan View - Enhance the Visible Symbols / Locate Other Functions Underground, courtesy of duToit Allsopp Hillier