We are honoured that the Royal Vancouver Yacht Club Dock Building has been awarded the RAIC Governor General’s Medal in Architecture, the highest distinction given to an architectural project in Canada.

This biennial award builds on international recognition for MGA’s work, including three previous Governor General’s Awards for the Wood Innovation and Design Centre, North Vancouver City Hall, and the Ronald McDonald House BC & Yukon. The Royal Vancouver Yacht Club Dock Building was previously awarded an AIBC Architectural Special Jury Award, two Architizer A+ Awards, and the Architecture, Construction, and Design Award.

The Governor General’s Awards program, created by the RAIC and jointly administered with the Canada Council for the Arts, honours twelve projects every two years. It serves as an important contribution to the development of the discipline and practice of architecture and increases public awareness of architecture as a vital cultural force in Canadian society.

“This practical facility sits very lightly among the docks, at rest on the Vancouver shoreline like a boat on the water. From its simple form and efficient organization arise an architectural experience both poetic and sensible. Modest, it exhibits careful thinking about composition and materials on almost every level. To coin a phrase, sometimes less is more than enough.” – RAIC Jury Comments

The success of The Dock Building demonstrates our belief that all projects regardless of budget or function can and should create elegant, playful, and meaningful spaces for our communities.


The Dock Building, located on Jericho Beach in Vancouver, serves a large marina of sailboats. The facility provides washrooms and showers, offices for the Harbour Master, instruction space for children, and a variety of workshops to maintain boats, sails, and gear. The project’s practical working needs, very modest budget, and prominent siting required a simple solution that honoured the cannery and industrial heritage of waterfront buildings that were once found on the site a half-century before.

The design team’s ambition was to demonstrate that all projects from working industrial buildings to boutique museums can and should be realized with grace and architectural dignity. Whereas museums are few, these practical buildings are a common part of our communities. Delivering architecture on a shoestring is always possible. We believe it is important to celebrate the common.


MGA is a mid-sized architecture and interior design firm founded to pursue community, social, and sustainable projects that we feel passionate about. From our head office in Vancouver, BC, our team of designers deliver inviting buildings that are a pleasure to learn, work, live, or play in. MGA and its non-profit research and design school DBR | Design Build Research are dedicated to bringing attention to overwhelming challenges in architecture today such as climate change and the worldwide demand for new affordable homes. Michael Green is known internationally for his leadership in tall wood innovation and carbon-neutral urban building approaches. His 2013 TED talk on Why We Should Build Wooden Skyscrapers has been viewed over 1.3 million times.


Krystal Yee
Director, Marketing & Communications