A Spiritual Artist – Etienne Gaboury

Now when I said that I discovered a physical place to have it’s own spiritual entity, I think I felt it for the first time stepping foot into one of Gaboury’s designs. I immediately understood the emotion, the connection, the living entity of the space. Call me crazy but the first time I walked across the Riel Espande I was immediately enthralled. I could not escape the experience and spirituality of the simple walk across this bridge, I was looking up at the height of the structure and wondering how the architect’s were able to influence and evoke my experience just by observing the wonder of the side-spar-cable-stayed walk. Another one of Etienne’s great designs that intrigued my senses was the reconstructed St.Boniface Cathedral. I was amazed at the open space he was able to achieve inside using buttressed structure to allow for minimal pillars. It was another wonder why I had a good sense of this space’s spiritual characteristics, I experienced so much faith in that room. Etienne had a real powerful sense of bringing a physical structure to life! I never once doubted the connection I felt between the bridge and the cathedral. I could feel the presence of a spiritual artist.

Gaboury has designed buildings in Winnipeg such as the Riel Esplande, Precious Blood Parish, St. Boniface Cathedral (1972 reconstruction) and the revered Royal Canadian Mint in Winnipeg, MB.

“If you don’t have emotion in architecture,” says Gaboury, “then it is not architecture. And not just emotion of the heart, but intellectual emotion as well. When a design is infused with these qualities, only then does it enter the realm of architecture; only then does it enter the realm of art.” 




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