Run the Arch Café
Although now under the official control of McGill Food Services, the Arch Café is still the hippest hang-out spot on campus. Located in the basement of the architecture building, the café's decor was part of a masters' studio project years back. It still serves fresh food from local bakeries and is staffed solely by architecture students. (Read more about the controversy, which happened before my time, here
).Visit the Ice Hotel
Built just outside of Quebec City every winter, the Ice Hotel
hosts a design competition among the architecture departments of Quebec universities. This year, McGill took both first and second prize. Although nobody from first year was part of the winning teams, a couple students had the chance to drive down and check it out.Go on fieldtrips
Our first year has been marked by several fieldtrips, from expeditions out into 'real-world' Montreal to factory visits to our class trip to Boston.
Exploring the bridges of the Lachine Canal in our Stuctures class.
Visiting Quebec's only brick factory with our Organization of Materials in Buildings course.Run a student government
The ASA (Architectural Students Association)
is our student association. The members of the executive council somehow find the time to organize a number of school events and student services. From frosh to monthly bagel mornings, from supply packages for first-years to School of Architecture hoodies, the ASA plays an important role in the community of the school.
As first year students, we haven't played a big role until now. Part of the frantic end-of-semester rush was the election of our own executive council - to take charge when we're in U3. Next year we will take over the adjunct positions and learn the ropes so we know what to do when we're in charge!Visit the CCA
The Canadian Centre of Architecture
, the world's third most important architectural archive, is located a mere 15 minute walk from the confines of our studio. Part of our U1 studio course was a series of visits to view different parts of their collection. We had the chance to view some of John Hejduk's original drawings, examine books on perspective from the 17th century and even partake in a discussion with Peter Eisenman.Photo from the CCA website.Attend lectures
The School of Architecture organizes a Monday-night lecture series
that is well attended by the student population. We've had the chance to hear many a good presentation, from the Canadian Architectural Roadshow to several lectures sponsored in part by the Norwegian Embassy.Party
Work hard, party harder. That is certainly the motto of many a student in the School of Architecture. From free wine & cheese at vernissages to student organized events such as Halloween and Valentines parties, architecture students are always happy to be let out of the studio! Some highlights of the year - fitting 50-odd students at a table for a post-crit lunch, underage drinking at the hotel in Boston (who decided to make the legal age 21 anyways) and hopefully, the U3 banquet tomorrow night.And most of all.... have fun!
Whether its making Christmas trees out of beer bottles or posing Kinder Egg Surprises
in other people's models, I'd like to think we know how to balance the stress with fun times.
"Bunny liked the alternation of light and shadow in his new house, but he found it hard to get changed without the neighbours seeing."
"Bunny liked to stand still until they thought he was a statue, then scare the living daylights out of the neighbourhood kids."
Meredith (who is blissfully studio-free for the next four months!)