A new form of institution
The CCA is an international research institution based on the fundamental premise that architecture is a public concern. It was founded in 1979 by Phyllis Lambert as a new type of cultural institution, with the specific aim of increasing public awareness of the role of architecture in contemporary society and promoting scholarly research in the field.
We produce research, exhibitions, publications and a range of activities. We host scholars and provide access to the unparalleled collections including prints, drawings, photographs, an extensive library, and a special emphasis on complete architectural archives.
The CCA was conceived as an organization meant to fulfill several functions: collect (as a museum and research library); archive and document; support research (a study centre); and conceptualize and broadcast knowledge (exhibitions). It was part of a new generation of specialized institutions—like the Deutsches Architektur Museum in Frankfurt (1979), the Netherlands Architecture Institute in Rotterdam (1988) or the Getty Research Institute in Los Angeles (1984)—that testified to a renewed interest in the discipline of architecture. The CCA was accredited as a public museum in 1984 and started operations in an office building in downtown Montreal while its permanent venue, where we are now based, was under construction. The CCA building opened its doors to the public on 7 May 1989.