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Born in Hungary in 1924, Joseph Pettick would become one of Saskatchewan’s and Canada’s best known architects.
Mr. Pettick’s family immigrated to Canada in 1927, settling in Regina. During the outbreak of WW II, Mr. Pettick worked as a mechanical draftsman in a Regina munitions plant. Just prior to his 18th birthday, he joined the Navy and served as a stoker escorting convoys across the North Atlantic.
Following WW II, Mr. Pettick apprenticed with Portnall and Stock Architects in Regina, receiving accreditation as associate and chief draftsman in 1954. To strengthen his credentials, he attended the University of Oklahoma’s School of Architecture, where Frank Lloyd Wright’s structural engineer, Mendel Glickman, would become a mentor and later be involved in the structural design for the Sask Power building.
In 1955, he established his architectural practice and from its conception, the firm built a reputation for innovative design. His first major commission was the SaskPower Head Office in Regina and his status as one of the country’s most innovative architects began.
In addition to the SaskPower building — which remains a timeless landmark — Mr. Pettick shaped the skylines of Saskatchewan and Regina with many other significant buildings such as Regina City Hall, Regina YWCA, SGI Head Office Building, Bank of Montreal, Wynyard Civic Centre and Moose Jaw Civic Centre.
In the late 1990s Mr. Pettick merged with architect Colin Phillips, forming Pettick Phillips Partners Architects Ltd. This collaboration yielded award winning designs, such as the Terrace Building in Regina and the Treaty 4 Governance Centre in Fort Qu’Appelle.
After more than 50 years in architecture, Mr. Pettick left active practice but continued to consult on projects well into his 80s before his passing in 2010.
Joseph Pettick’s work encompassed more than 1000 projects. Each of his churches, houses, office buildings, schools, and institutional buildings are unique and carry his vision of humanistic modernism. He captured the imagination of many aspiring architects and continues to influence the profession.
His legacy is deeply rooted in P3A, and the Firm carries his enthusiasm and imagination throughout every project.
In honour of Joseph Pettick’s life work in architecture, P3A established the P3A Dr. Joseph Pettick Scholarship for students enrolled in the University of Regina Faculty of Fine Arts. Each year, the scholarship is awarded to a student who demonstrates academic excellence and remarkable achievements in ceramics, drawing, intermedia, painting, print media, or sculpture.
Regina's City Hall is a 16-storey building rising above Queen Elizabeth II Court - a landscaped public park and plaza. The exterior expression of City Hall reflects a quiet dignity appropriate in its symbolism. The contrasting solar bronze glass window strips emphasize the verticality of the building and provide relief to the sculpted white quartz aggregate forms.
The upper six meters of the tower is constructed of formed precast white quartz panels which have oval shaped openings containing vertical bronze louvers accented with light fixtures which appear as amber jewels in a ‘Crown’.
Economy and flexibility are keynotes of the design as space can be easily transformed with demountable and interchangeable components. The curvilinear form allows for a flowing interior space, eliminating monotonous, long, straight corridors and provides continuous views for ofﬁces overlooking Victoria Park.
The warm white Saskatchewan brick, developed speciﬁcally for this project, flows from the exterior into the interior at ground floor level, where it serves as a backdrop for brilliantly coloured Italian glass mosaic tile depicting the deep natural hues of northern Saskatchewan.
Enclosed observation decks at roof level are open to the public to provide panoramic views of the city and surrounding prairie landscape.
The 2,500 seat Civic Centre contained a full-sized ice surface and was designed to accommodate other large civic events such as concerts and festivals.
The facility became one of the province's first built structures derived from key concepts of sustainability and was revoluntionary in design, energy conservation and aesthetics.
The Civic Centre was awarded a Massey Medal (the precursor to the Governor General's Medal in Architecture, Canada's highest award for building design).
The building was demolished in 2012.