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George Cotaras retires after four decades with FBM

Following a prolific career as an architect, president, and general manager of FBM, George Cotaras, celebrated his retirement earlier this month after almost four decades helping to shape Halifax’s architectural landscape.

George began his career in 1983 with FBM, becoming a Principal in 1989 and later Partner. In addition to his work with FBM, George was heavily involved with the Nova Scotia Association of Architecture throughout his career. He was made a Fellow of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada in 2015.

George's proclivity for public engagement has resulted in architecture that is stitched into its community context. A believer that the human element is as important as architectural aesthetic, George championed relationship building, pride of place, and a sense of ownership among each project’s users.

Arguably his most recognizable project, the Halifax Central Library (in partnership with Schmidt Hammer Lassen in Denmark) received numerous accolades including the Governor General’s Medal in Architecture, SABMag Canadian Green Building of the Year Award, and a nomination for the 'World Building of the Year' (Civic and Community category) at the World Architecture Festival. The Halifax Central Library is the result of a hugely successful participatory process led by George and others on the team. Extensive, authentic public engagement; a central, urban site; and transparent, joyful design, have positioned the library at the heart of Halifax’s city life.

From educational institutions—like Dalhousie University’s Mona Campbell Building and Citadel High School—to Halifax landmarks like the new Queen’s Marque (with MLSA as design architect), George’s legacy is far-reaching and will undoubtedly live on through the many architects he has helped mentor over nearly four decades.

George— we wish you the best in retirement, though we know that for you "retirement" is just a word, not a state of mind.

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