Interview: Phyllis Lambert on Winning the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

, 1959, during her studies at the Illinois Institute of Technology. Image Courtesy of Ed Duckett

“Architects make architecture; Phyllis Lambert made architects,” Rem Koolhaas said of his decision to award Phyllis Lambert with this year’s Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the Venice Biennale. In an interview published on iconeye.com, the website for Icon Magazine, the 87-year-old founding director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) discusses her career, Mies van der Rohe, and the state of contemporary architecture with the editor of Icon, Christopher TurnerRead on to learn about her influential life in architecture.

Congratulations on your for Lifetime Achievement. How did you learn that you’d been awarded the honour?

Thank you very much. I got a phone call from the curator, Rem Koolhaas, telling me and I had to wait for weeks as it went before the board, unable to tell anybody – then I got an official letter. Isn’t it wonderful?

‘Archaeology of the Digital’ Exhibition

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Curated by architect Greg Lynn, the ’Archaeology of the Digital‘ exhibition at the Canadian Centre for Architecture is currently on display until October 13. Conceived as an investigation into the foundations of digital architecture at the end of the 1980s and the beginning of the 1990s, the exhibit features four seminal projects that established bold new directions for architectural research by experimenting with novel digital tools: The Lewis Residence by Frank Gehry (1985–1995), Peter Eisenman’s unrealized Biocentrum (1987), Chuck Hoberman’s Expanding Sphere (1992) and Shoei Yoh’s roof structures for Odawara (1991) and Galaxy Toyama (1992) Gymnasiums. Videos of conversations with the architects can be viewed after the break.

2013 Mellon Lecture

Courtesy of (CCA)

Taking place this Thursday, March 7th, at 6:00pm, the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) will present the first 2013 Mellon Lecture, a free event, featuring Japanese architect Yoshiharu Tsukamoto, founding partner of Atelier Bow-Wow in Tokyo with Momoyo Kaijima. Yoshiharu Tsukamoto will present his concept of Architectural Behavior, which investigates the physical responses to natural elements such as light, air, heat, wind, water, human behavior related to custom, and the way in which buildings relate to the city and their surroundings. For more information, please visit here.

Notes from the Archive: James Frazer Stirling

, Michael Wilford and Associates. B. Braun Melsungen AG Headquarters and Industrial Complex, Melsungen, Germany, 1993. Giovanni Chiaramonte, photographer. . Gift of Giovanni Chiaramonte, Mirko Zardini, and Giovanna Borasi on the occasion of Phyllis Lambert's 80th birthday © Giovanni Chiaramonte.

The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) is currently exhibiting the work of British architect James Frazer Stirling in their Main Galleries from May 15 – October 14, 2012. In addition to practicing, Stirling was a Yale School of Architecture professor as well as a Pritzker Prize laureate. The work showcased encompasses a variety of mediums employed by Stirling throughout his career. See samples of the exhibition after the break.

‘Très Grande Bibliothèque (Very Big Library)’ Exhibition

. Conceptual drawing of the façade of the Very Big Library. 1989 © Office for Metropolitan Architecture ()

On view now until September 9, the ‘Très Grande Bibliothèque (Very Big Library)’ Exhibition at the Canadian Center for Architecture (CCA) presents materials produced by OMA, in response to an international competition launched by France’s then president, Francois Mitterrand, in 1989 to design the new bibliotheque nationale de France. Curated by Rem Koolhaas and Clement Blanchet of OMA, the concept of their proposal resided in the notion of the library spaces being excavated as voids from a ‘solid cube’ containing the archives. The concept offered great architectural freedom, with the public spaces (or voids) being liberated from the constraints of a predeterminded structure or form. More information on the exhibition after the break.

Architect Álvaro Siza Lecture at the CCA

© Álvaro Siza - Sketch from notebook #399, Macchu Picchu, Peru. 1995

Coinciding with the exhibition Alturas de Macchu Picchu: Martín Chambi – Álvaro Siza at work on view at the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) for an extended run until 29 April 2012, Pritzker prize-winning architect Álvaro Siza will give a not-to-be-missed lecture on Thursday 26 April 2012 at 7 pm at the CCA. The event is a rare opportunity to hear the preeminent architect speak in person. Siza’s lecture discusses his design development of the Iberê Camargo Museum in Porto Alegre, Brazil, completed in 2008 and noted for its sculptural volumes and tight integration with a coastal escarpment. As with all of Siza’s projects, hand sketches play a key role in the design process, from massing studies to fine-tuning details. For more information, please visit here.

‘Imperfect Health: The Medicalization of Architecture’ Exhibition

© CCA

The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), Montréal presents Imperfect Health: the Medicalization of Architecture, on view in the main galleries which started on October 15th and is up until April 1, 2012. Photographs, publications, art and design projects and architectural models and drawings reveal some of the uncertainties and contradictions surrounding health issues and considers how architecture acknowledges, incorporates and affects them. The exhibition questions common understandings of “positive” and “negative” outcomes within the flux of research on and cultural conceptions of health. It continues the CCA’s ongoing investigations into how the design and use of urban spaces shapes human well being. More information on the exhibition after the break.

Modernism in Miniature: Points of View

Project for the Centrosoyus Palace, designed by Le Corbusier and Pierre Jeanneret

On view at the CCA (Canadian Centre for Architecture) from 22 September to 8 January 2012, Modernism in Miniature: Points of View explores the encounter between photography and architectural model-making between c.1920 -1960.

Curated by Davide Deriu, Senior Lecturer in Architecture at the University of Westminster, London, the exhibition focuses on model photography as a distinctive genre. It proposes an inextricable link with the so-called ‘model boom’ and the explosion of mass media, where miniatures reached out to a wide public and, in some cases, acquired a cult status that has endured to this day. More information on the event after the break.

CCA 2011-2012 Exhibitions and Public Programs

© Lynne Cohen

Among the exhibition highlights this coming fall at the CCA (Canadian Centre for Architecture) is Imperfect Health, which premieres on October 25th, 2011 and will be on view until April 1st, 2012.

Imperfect Health, the latest in a series of thematic investigations produced by the CCA, examines how architects, urban and landscape designers are critically responding to society’s increasing concern with health issues. Presented in the main galleries of the CCA, the exhibition is curated by Giovanna Borasi, CCA Curator of Contemporary Architecture and Mirko Zardini, CCA Director and Chief Curator. More information on the events after the break.

Journeys: How travelling fruit, ideas and buildings rearrange our environment

Pulling a structure across the ice to Conche, Newfoundland. Resettlement Collection, Maritime History Archive, Memorial University. PF-317.488

The Canadian Centre for Architecture in presents the exhibition ‘Journeys: How Travelling Fruit, Ideas and Buildings Rearrange Our Environment’, from October 19 to March 13, 2011.

Although immigration is a dominant topic in contemporary culture, its discussion is often limited to the human experience, such as the crossing of borders and issues about national identity.

The upcoming exhibition at the CCA takes a different perspective: how movements impact on the environment. Examples range from the coconut that can drift freely on the ocean current and re-seed wherever it finds land, to government-enforced relocation, the uprooting and rearranging of communities in a way that changes landscape and society forever.

For more information, visit the exhibition’s official website.

Speed Limits, an exhibition

1252084032-speedlimitsSpeed Limits is currently on exhibition in the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), till November 9 in the main galleries. Speed Limits addresses the pivotal role played by speed in modern life: from art to architecture and urbanism to graphics and design to economics to the material culture of the eras of industry and information. It marks the centenary of the foundation of the Italian Futurist movement, whose inaugural manifesto famously proclaimed “that the world’s magnificence has been enriched by a new beauty: the beauty of speed.”

The exhibition explores five key domains of the powers and limits of the modern era’s cult of speed, beginning in 1900: circulation and transit, construction and the built environment, efficiency, the measurement and representation of rapid motion, and the mind/body relationship. Critical rather than commemorative in spirit, it explores a single Futurist theme from the standpoint of its contemporary legacies. Speed Limits is an exhibition about complex choices and complex consequences, about polarities but also about intertwinings between the fast and the slow.

More information on the exhibition, on the official website.