From the Library Archives – « Minimum Cost Housing Group: Design for the Global Majority » Exhibit

12 avr. 2023 - 9 juin 2023

Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture | McGill

“Minimum Cost Housing Group: Design for the Global Majority” exhibition postcard showing sulphur concrete blocks

From the McGill Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture :

From April 12 to June 9, 2023, in the lobby of the McLennan Library Building of McGill University (3459 Mc Tavish St, Montreal)

Fifty years of housing research
The Minimum Cost Housing Group (MCHG) was founded in 1971 as a postgraduate program at McGill University’s School of Architecture by Columbian architect and alumnus Alvaro Ortega, and with the financial support of the CMHC, Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation. Ortega developed his expertise in housing via his design practice. He also worked on United Nations missions, advancing economical housing solutions for under-resourced people around the globe. Architects and students who joined the program were concerned with global access to adequate housing and ecology issues.

Looking backward to look forward
This exhibition traces how student thesis work, research papers, technical papers, reports and other types of formal and informational publications were essential outlets for the transmission of the group’s innovative research. This research was wide-ranging, from mitigating the environmental impacts of building materials, and reducing environmental costs of buildings in use, to exploring culturally appropriate, context- specific design norms. These displays also emphasize how, from the 1970s to the 2010s, the MCHG’s changing objectives and research priorities are reflected in the evolving aesthetics of the publications: inspired alternatively by countercultural environmentalism, DIY, photocollages, aerial perspectives, and computational imagery. Photographs, architectural drawings, step-by-step instructions, visual aids, cartoons, and collages are interspersed throughout, offering a visually approachable lens through which to learn about the innovative technological and architectural research of the MCHG.

These collected materials represent archival holdings from the McGill Library’s John Bland Canadian Architecture Collection, including the Alvaro Ortega Fonds, Witold Rybczynski Fonds, and the personal collection of Vikram Bhatt. A more extensive and detailed exhibition will follow in Fall 2023 at the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture.


  • Vikram Bhatt, Ipek Türeli, Arièle Dionne-Krosnick


  • Arièle Dionne-Krosnick, Beatriz da Silva Takahashi

Design and Communication

  • Abigail MacKenzie, Christopher Malouf, Hannah Mansfield Thiessen

Library Consultants

  • Tellina Liu, Jennifer Garland”

To visit the McGill University Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture website…

Source : Arièle Dionne-Krosnick

Publié le 21 avril 2023