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Guide to archival holdings

Our collection is characterized by the presence of archives of complete works or projects that provide insight into the genesis and materialization of architectural ideas. The scope of the archives has changed over the years, with an increasingly contemporary and international focus.

The early years of the CCA were marked by acquisitions of Canadian archives, starting with those of Ernest Cormier and some of his contemporaries (such as Ludger and Paul M. Lemieux and Ross & Macdonald) and spanning the development of modernity in Quebec with the archives of Pierre Dionne, Jean Michaud, Guy Gérin-Lajoie, and several Arcop Group projects. During the 1990s, this direction was expanded with the acquisition of archives of practices active in the postwar period and particularly the 1960s and 1970s, such as those of Arthur Erickson, Humphrey Carver, and van Ginkel Associates, as well as of the landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander.

The collection further developed as a source for research on Modernism through international archival collections on the work of Erik Gunnar Asplund, The Crystal Chain group, J.J.P. Oud, Mart Stam, Frank Lloyd Wright, and over eight hundred drawings, notes, and photographs by and related to the work of Ludwig Mies van der Rohe. The generous donation in 2011 of the Pierre Jeanneret archive complements our Le Corbusier collection, ranging in date from 1911 to 1965, which is the most significant outside France.

Starting in the late 1990s, the CCA actively pursued archival acquisitions of contemporary practices, including those of Peter Eisenman, John Hejduk, Gordon Matta-Clark, Cedric Price, Aldo Rossi, and James Stirling/Michael Wilford. This line of acquisitions moves into the twenty-first century with the generous donations of the archives of Álvaro Siza, Ábalos&Herreros, and Foreign Office Architects.

This activity is now primarily developed via gifts from work featured in CCA exhibitions and a growing interest in experimental practices in the area of environmental design. These include works by Gilles Clément and Philippe Rahm from the exhibition Environ(ne)ment; models by Ryue Nishizawa and Stephen Taylor featured in Some Ideas on Living in London and Tokyo, digital drawings and models of Greg Lynn’s Embryological House; early projects by Alessandro Poli in connection with the exhibition Other Space Odysseys; and projects by Bijoy Jain and Umberto Riva exhibited in Rooms You May Have Missed.

As part of the Archaeology of the Digital program—an investigation launched in 2012 into the incorporation of digital tools in architectural practice—we are facing new challenges regarding the preservation, description, and accessibility of digital archives. Archives now being processed include projects by Office dA, COOP HIMMELB(L)AU, Mark Goulthorpe, and R&Sie(n). Archives recently processed include Karl Chu, Preston Scott Cohen, Chuck Hoberman, Neil Denari, RUR Architecture, Johan Bettum, Kivi Sotamaa, Kas Oosterhuis, Ulrich Königs, KOL/MAC, Asymptote, Zaha Hadid Architects, and Morphosis.

The following list of archives held at the CCA is organized alphabetically by last name, firm name, or project name.

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