OTTAWA—Ewa Bieniecka, a Montreal architect specializing in the conservation and restoration of heritage buildings, was inducted as the 78th president of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC) at a ceremony on Feb. 6.
"It is time to reflect on how ideas about the built environment become widely accepted and ingrained in our culture," Bieniecka said in her investiture speech, noted in a RAIC media statement.
She observed that Expo ’67, the world’s fair held in Montreal in 1967 and famous for its architecture, left a lasting impression on her and is regarded as a major national achievement.
"Expo 67 brought architecture, art, design and technology together," said Bieniecka.
"It was an event that left behind a significant material and imaginative legacy to Canada’s culture."
Fifty years later, "as architects, we must continue to investigate the relationship between architecture and the culture that shapes and is shaped by it," she said.
"We will work together to demonstrate that architecture is at the service of the well-being of people; that it awakens the senses, and stimulates the imagination."
Bieniecka received the President’s Medal from 2016 president Allan Teramura, of Ottawa.
Bieniecka received a bachelor’s degree in architecture from McGill University, where she also earned a post-professional master’s degree in architecture.
Her research focused on the use of specialized medical technologies in the home.
Bieniecka has worked on some of Canada’s most recognizable heritage landmarks including the East Block and the West Block on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, the reconstruction of the Grande Allee Armoury in Quebec City and the rehabilitation of the Government Conference Centre in Ottawa.
The new RAIC president also was an adjunct professor at the School of Architecture at McGill University.
During his tenure, Teramura was instrumental in establishing the RAIC Indigenous Task Force, which is planning the first International Symposium on Indigenous Architecture and Design, noted the RAIC statement.
It will take place May 27, in Ottawa.