A (largely) unknown 40 year old minor masterpiece on the Canadian prairies: Our Lady of the Prairies Abbey, Holland Manitoba, Jacques Collin Architect

An inventive, but little known Trappist Abbey (monastery) in rural Manitoba from 1978 by French born architect and U of Manitoba professor, Jacques Collin (1927-2000).

If it has any reputation, it is (the misconception) that it is somehow derived from le Corbusier’s La Tourette. Arguably, as much J-N L Durand as it is Corb (and more Villa Stein than La Tourette), most significantly, it draws on mediaeval monastic models and local agricultural building types: barns, grain elevators and sheds - and employs ordinary, local construction materials and techniques - for symbolic as much as practical purposes - to root the building firmly in its (French) Canadian prairie context.

Had it been built in Guelph or an hour outside Montréal or Vancouver, it may well have been part of the post-war Canadian architectural canon.

Session Details

Session ID: 
Wednesday, May 24th, 2017: 3:30pm - 5:00pm
1.5 Structured/Core AIA LU
Venue : 


Garth Norbraten, OAA, MRAIC

Garth Norbraten Architect Inc.

A practicing architect in Toronto, interested in history and theory, Garth occasionally teaches design studios at Ryerson University. To illustrate the themes of a studio he was preparing, he was looking for a project that wasn’t in central Canada and wasn't well known. He vaguely remembered Jacques showing slides of this building in the only half-class Garth had with him. 30 years later Garth made his first trip to see the project and came to realize how brilliant it is.

Nous commençons dans


24 au 27 mai 2017
Ottawa (Ontario)

À propos de nous

L'Institut royal d'architecture du Canada et l'Association des architectes de l'Ontario se sont associés pour présenter le Festival d'architecture 2017 du 24 au 27 mai 2017 à Ottawa.

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Pour des informations générales, veuillez nous contacter à l'adresse suivante:

  • festival@raic.org 
  • 1-844-856-RAIC ext 200
  • 613-241-3600
  • 330-55 rue Murray, Ottawa, ON K1N 5M3