All hail Phyllis Lambert: CCA’s Founding Director emeritus has been selected as recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement

The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) is proud to announce that Phyllis Lambert, Founding Director Emeritus, has been selected as recipient of the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement of the 14th International Architecture Exhibition Fundamentals at the Venice Biennale, which will be held from June 7 to November 23, 2014. The Golden Lion will be officially awarded to Lambert on Sat., June 7, at 11 a.m., in the Giardini of la Biennale, during the opening and award ceremony of Fundamentals.

The decision was made by the Board of la Biennale di Venezia, chaired by Paolo Baratta, under director Rem Koolhaas, who explains the choice:

“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.”

Koolhaas adds, “Architects make architecture; Phyllis Lambert made architects.”

Says Bruce Kuwabara, chair of the Board of Trustees of the CCA, “I am extremely pleased that this recognition is bestowed upon Phyllis Lambert at this very special moment, as the CCA celebrates its 25th anniversary. Phyllis Lambert has been absolutely committed to excellence in architecture for her entire life and the CCA is a result of this ongoing mission.”

Says Lambert, “I am thrilled and wonderfully honoured to receive from the Board of the Venice Biennale the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement. Together with the Biennale’s 14th International Architectural Exhibition, Fundamentals, the award marks the urgent role of architecture writ large in the unfolding of the world’s increasingly challenging social and ecological condition.”


Phyllis Lambert – architect, author, lecturer, scholar, curator, conservationist, citizen activist and critic of architecture and urbanism – is Founding Director Emeritus of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), Montreal, an international research centre and museum founded on the conviction that architecture is a public concern, which this month celebrates the 25th anniversary of its opening to the public. Lambert, CC, FRAIC, Hon. FRIBA, Hon. FAIA, has been a driving force in architecture since the 1950s, when, as director of planning for the Seagram Building, she chose the pioneering modern master Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as architect for the project. 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.