Phyllis Lambert to Receive Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at Venice Biennale

Phyllis Lambert to Receive Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at Venice Biennale

The Venice Biennale has just announced that Phyllis Lambert will be the recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 14th International Architecture Exhibition Fundamentals this June.

Paolo Baratta, chair of the Venice Biennale Board, and Rem Koolhaas, director of the Architecture Biennale, explained their decision:

“Not as an architect, but as a client and custodian, Phyllis Lambert has made a huge contribution to architecture. Without her participation, one of the few realizations in the 20th century of perfection on earth – the Seagram Building in New York – would not have happened. Her creation of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal combines rare vision with rare generosity to preserve crucial episodes of architecture’s heritage and to study them under ideal conditions. Architects make architecture; Phyllis Lambert made architects…”

More on Lambert's life and influence after the break:

Named "Montreal’s Joan of Architecture" by writer Fred Bernstein, Phyllis Lambert is an architect, author, curator, and the Founding Director Emeritus of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), Montréal. Known primarily for her invaluable role in the commissioning of Mies van der Rohe for the Seagram Building in New York, Lambert’s impact on the course of architectural history cannot be ignored. “My life began with my passionate involvement with…the creation of a building of great architectural quality in New York, that is, the Seagram Building. The philosophy a building expresses seeps into a society and helps mould it.”

Seagram completed, Lambert became a civic activist for Montreal, "revitalizing neighborhoods, low-income housing, and by instituting public consultation which helped to democratize the process of urban planning." These interests also manifest themselves in her published works, which "include pioneering works on photography, preservation and on leading architects, as well as critical texts on Montreal and New York." Her most recent publication, Building Seagram, is a critically-acclaimed cultural history of New York City.

According to the Biennale's Press Release, "She is recognized internationally for her continuing contribution in advancing contemporary architecture, and for her concern for the social issues of urban conservation and the role of architecture in the public realm."

The Golden Lion will be officially awarded to Lambert on Saturday June 7th, 2014 – 11 a.m. in the Giardini of la Biennale.

About this author
Cite: Vanessa Quirk. "Phyllis Lambert to Receive Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at Venice Biennale " 20 May 2014. ArchDaily. Accessed . <> ISSN 0719-8884

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