Context and Content

By (author): A.J. Diamond

A deeply personal memoir from one of Canada?s most celebrated architects.

In this personal account of A.J. Diamond?s life and work, he shares how he came to be the founder of the leading architecture firm Diamond Schmitt, one of Canada?s most successful architecture companies. He also explains his principles of design, which at their core are about making a positive impact in the world, considering the needs of the content, client, and context. Diamond gives insight into his design principles in relation to some of his most notable projects, including the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, la Maison symphonique de Montr?al, the Mariinsky II Theatre in Saint Petersburg, and the new city hall in Jerusalem. Diamond also chronicles his family ancestry, his childhood in South Africa, from his birth in his grandfather?s study in the small provincial town of Piet Retief on the borders of Eswatini (Swaziland) and Mozambique, to his university days at the University of Cape Town and Oxford ? where he played rugby at the international level, scoring two winning tries for the Oxford Blues against Australia ? and the University of Pennsylvania. His memoir traces his immigration to the U.S. and, eventually, Canada as well as his growing architectural practice in Toronto, where he focused on the issues facing his chosen city.?

AUTHOR

A.J. Diamond

A.J. Diamond (1932-2022) was a Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Gold Medallist, an Officer of the Order of Canada, and a member of the Order of Ontario. He received both the Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award and the Ontario Association of Architects Lifetime Design Achievement Award. His memoir Context & Content.


Reviews

Jack Diamond and his firm have created landmark buildings both at home and abroad, relentlessly guided by principle and his commitment to make a better world.? I have long admired him, but reading his life story has given me a deeper appreciation of just what an interesting journey he has travelled in making his difference in the world.


– J Robert S Prichard, OC, OOnt, President Emeritus, President Emeritus, University of Toronto

Diamond has written a memoir with the same qualities as his buildings and sketches: beautifully crafted, nothing in excess but rich in hidden insights and perspectives. A great read, wonderful stories, beautifully told.


– Bob Rae, former premier of Ontario and Canadian Ambassador to the U.N.

Diamond’s belief in architecture as the mother art is capable of reconciling often opposing forces to create places of meaning for which people have always yearned.?


– David Crombie, former mayor of Toronto

A deeply beautiful memoir ? wise, measured, grateful ? a moving assertion of what it means to live a life of passion, civic responsibility, and intense engagement with the world.


– Anne Michaels, author of Fugitive Pieces

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A deeply personal memoir from one of Canada?s most celebrated architects.

In this personal account of A.J. Diamond?s life and work, he shares how he came to be the founder of the leading architecture firm Diamond Schmitt, one of Canada?s most successful architecture companies. He also explains his principles of design, which at their core are about making a positive impact in the world, considering the needs of the content, client, and context. Diamond gives insight into his design principles in relation to some of his most notable projects, including the Four Seasons Centre for the Performing Arts in Toronto, la Maison symphonique de Montr?al, the Mariinsky II Theatre in Saint Petersburg, and the new city hall in Jerusalem. Diamond also chronicles his family ancestry, his childhood in South Africa, from his birth in his grandfather?s study in the small provincial town of Piet Retief on the borders of Eswatini (Swaziland) and Mozambique, to his university days at the University of Cape Town and Oxford ? where he played rugby at the international level, scoring two winning tries for the Oxford Blues against Australia ? and the University of Pennsylvania. His memoir traces his immigration to the U.S. and, eventually, Canada as well as his growing architectural practice in Toronto, where he focused on the issues facing his chosen city.?

Reader Reviews

Details

Dimensions:

208 Pages
8.5in * 5.5in * 1in
280gr

Published:

May 17, 2022

City of Publication:

Toronto

Country of Publication:

CA

Publisher:

Dundurn Press

ISBN:

9781459749764

Featured In:

All Books

Language:

eng

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