Archival donations generate new connections at the CCA

Gianni Pettena, Ice House II, 1972. Gianni Pettena fonds, CCA Collection. Gift of Gianni Pettena. © Gianni Pettena

The CCA Collection is a repository of ideas and provocations that have, for forty years, formed the basis of a rich international research program. With over 200 archives of work by practicing architects, the CCA Collection has continued to grow over the past year with the donation of works by architects, historians, and critics that document the history, culture, and production of architecture.

These additions to the Collection uphold the institution’s focus on research while offering the possibility to draw new connections with related archival holdings. We seek archives that can generate new lines of inquiry: we already house the archives of architects ranging from Cedric Price to Aldo Rossi, from Álvaro Siza to Gordon Matta-Clark, and they will now be complemented by other experimental approaches to architecture thanks to the archives of Jean-Louis Cohen, Lionel March, Gianni Pettena, Aditya Prakash, Bernard Tschumi, Joseph Rykwert, and Anthony Vidler.

“These archives will complement the CCA holdings on topics ranging from the digital, to the Italians radical of 1970s, to the specific case of the construction of Chandigarh, to the critical architectural reflection emerging in the second half of the twentieth century,” says CCA Director, Mirko Zardini.

Following the donation of the Georg Lippsmeijer, Coen Beeker, and Kiran Mukerji collections, Antoni and Belinda Folkers have donated their research library on architecture and urbanism in Africa. This addition to the library holdings will support the CCA’s multidisciplinary research on architecture’s historical role across the continent, currently being explored through the Centring Africa program.

These new additions to the CCA Collection generate research opportunities for scholars interested in postwar and contemporary architecture, digital approaches to the built environment, radical experimentation, and architecture in non-western contexts. Practitioners and scholars from a variety of disciplines work with the CCA Collection through, among others, the Multidisciplinary Research Program, the Research Fellowships, and the Doctoral Students and Master’s Students programs, as well as through independent study. Over the next two years, the contents of these archives will be made available, both physically in our Study Room and digitally on the CCA website, which grants researchers worldwide access to the archives and other parts of the collection.

In the donors’ words

I am happy that my archives are at the CCA, not only because they will be secure, but above all because they will be searchable online and therefore accessible to researchers, who will be able to dig deeper into some of my research materials and contradict the existing analyses.

– Jean-Louis Cohen

Our decision to donate our literature on African architecture and urbanism to the Canadian Centre for Architecture has been a logical step, as the books follow up on the collections of Georg Lippsmeier, Kiran Mukerji and Coen Beeker that were handed over to the CCA by our family African Architecture Matters. Lippsmeier, Beeker and Mukerji were our teachers and colleagues and our own work is to be seen as following their footsteps; they handed the baton to us, so to say. We are grateful that the CCA has accepted our donation because the books will now be within reach of a large community of amateurs and researchers active in the field of African architecture and urbanism.

– Antoni & Belinda Folkers

The CCA will allow my work to continue to be part of cultural debate by offering it for study and evaluation by people with similar or even very different ideas and by offering the possibility of confronting my proposals with what is contained in other archives of artists and architects already at the CCA.

– Gianni Pettena

The CCA is simply the best and most reputable archive of modern architecture in the world. And since it already had the Pierre Jeanneret fonds, I felt that my father’s archive would be a good match for future scholars.

– Vikramaditya Prakash (son of Aditya Prakash)

I was delighted that the CCA accepted the gift of my archive. Both because my personal connection with it over the years because of my personal friendship with its founder, Phyllis Lambert. It promises to be the best organized archival collection of its kind anywhere in the world.

– Joseph Rykwert

In deciding where to locate archives covering almost forty years of architectural thought and practice, the key factors in the CCA’s favour were the richness of its archival collections, which allow for important ”conversations” among architects including Eisenman, Rossi, Hejduk, Price, and Siza, among others, and the institution’s unparalleled curatorial standards and resources. I am particularly pleased that the most complete repository of archival materials in the world on the Parc de la Villette, from the competition through design, administration, and construction, will now be at the CCA, in a francophone context where scholars can fully access and study these historic documents.

– Bernard Tschumi

About the CCA

The Canadian Centre for Architecture is an international research institution operating from the fundamental premise that architecture is a public concern. It was founded by Phyllis Lambert as a new type of cultural institution, with the aim of increasing public awareness of the role of architecture in contemporary society and promoting research in the field. 2019 marks the 40th anniversary of the CCA.

Media contacts

CANADA - Karine Charbonneau
Associate Director, Digital and Outreach - Canadian Centre for Architecture
514-939-7001 ext. 2632

International Media Relations - Canadian Centre for Architecture
+351 911 191 898


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