The Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) was founded in 1979 as a new form of cultural institution to build public awareness of the role of architecture in society, to promote scholarly research in the field, and to stimulate innovation in design practice.
The CCA holds one of the world’s foremost international research collections of publications, conceptual studies, drawings, plans, models, prints, photographs, architectural archives, related artefacts and ephemera. Over 50 years ago, architect Phyllis Lambert, Founding Director and currently Chair of the Board of Trustees of the CCA, began the collection that would become the cornerstone of the institution. Today the CCA Collection, comprising works dating from the Renaissance to the present day, documents the culture of architecture worldwide.
Unparalleled in scope, the 100,000 prints and drawings, more than 60,000 photographs, 150 archives, 215,000 volumes, and over 5,000 periodical titles comprise dynamically interrelated bodies of primary and secondary materials that advance thinking about the nature of the built domain and the ideas that underlie it. The guiding purpose of the Collection is to make comprehensive and integrated bodies of material available for advanced, interdisciplinary research in order to reveal the changing character of thought and observation pertaining to the built world, provide evidence in depth of cultural and intellectual circles of the past, and point to the future of architectural thinking and practice.
CCA exhibitions and public and educational programs forge links between architectural thinking and practice, the history of ideas, and changing social and cultural conditions. Programs are both local and international in scope. They present differing architectural ideas to the wider public at all age-levels as well as to architects and scholars, aiming to reveal the richness of architectural and urban culture and to stimulate dynamic engagement with contemporary issues and debates. The CCA Bookstore specialises in the literature of architecture, design, photography, and an extensive range of interrelated topics, offering selected publications from a multiplicity of cultures.
The CCA Study Centre was inaugurated in 1997 as an international institute devoted to interdisciplinary research in all aspects of architectural thought and practice. Through its Visiting Scholars Program, seminars and colloquia, the Study Centre supports individual research efforts and advances broad new lines of discourse and investigation. Linking advanced research with public engagement in architecture, the CCA encourages scholars, students, architects and other professionals to pursue projects in the spirit of a broadly connective inquiry that cuts across time, space, and media.