Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies fonds

Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies fonds

Part of


  • Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (archive creator)


Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies fonds

Dates of creation



  • archives

Level of archival description


Extent and Medium

  • 837 photographic materials
  • 602 ephemera
  • 216 drawings (including 181 reprographic copies)
  • 33 sound recordings
  • 2.36 l.m. of textual records
  • 1 book

Scope and Content

The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (IAUS) fonds documents different aspects of the administrative, pedagogical, and publishing activities at the IAUS, enabling a better understanding of Peter Eisenman's leading role in the making of the Institute the foremost intellectual forum of the USA during the 1970s. The IAUS fonds is a collection of various documents (textual records, photographic and printed material) generated and collected from 1965 to 1985 by Peter Eisenman as the Director of the IAUS.

The fonds is made up of four series: Administration and Finances, 1967-1984; Conferences, Research and Lectures, 1965-1976, 1979; Publications, 1966-1984; Records of Peter Eisenman, 1966-1985.

Reference Number


Physical Description

Specialized equipment required for playback.


The arrangement of the IAUS fonds attempts to reconstitute the series of files which were mixed up and to preserve the integrity of the contents of the files. Labelled files were grouped together according to the IAUS original heading. Unlabelled folders were classified in the area relating to their content. The groups of files forming each series are organised according to the IAUS classification and when possible in chronological order. The content of the files has been kept intact except in the few occasions where material had been clearly misplaced. Some files could have been classified in more than one series and many other files contain miscellaneous documents which could have been moved to different locations. In such cases, related material is linked through notes.

Administrative history

The Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies (IAUS) was founded in 1967 as an independent educational corporation through the joint efforts of Cornell University and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA). Its founding followed an exhibition at the MoMA titled "The New City: Architecture and Urban Renewal". Located at 8 West 40th Street in New York City and led by the architect Peter Eisenman, the IAUS was established as "an alternative structure within which to practice and teach architecture and urban design."

The first programs of the IAUS focused on graduate education in design, as well as on pure and applied research. "In an effort to achieve a synthesis between the theoretical world of the university and the real problems confronting urban centers throughout the country", the Institute took the structure of an "atelier" in which teachers and students worked together on urban studies commissioned by U.S. governmental agencies such as HUD (Housing and Urban Development), UDC (Urban Development Corporation) and NIMH (National Institute of Mental Health).

During the 1970's, the Institute intended to "fill the gaps between the training of professional architects and the study of architecture as a humanist discipline" and widened its educational programs to promote the art of architecture in both academic and public spheres. Several new programs were gradually inaugurated including among others: the IAUS exhibitions series (1971); the Undergraduate Program (1974); the Evening Program of Lectures (1974); the High School Program (1975); and the Design and Study Options Program (1976). In parallel, the IAUS undertook the production of its own publications starting in 1973 with Oppositions, the successful journal of ideas and criticism in architecture, which was followed in 1975 by October, a quarterly devoted to contemporary arts, and in 1979 by Skyline, a monthly tabloid format newspaper reporting on the New York architectural scene. In addition, the IAUS began to publish in 1978 the Oppositions Books, a series which made important foreign texts available in English. At the end of the 1970's, the public programs occupied a central place in the pyramidal structure of the IAUS, next to the initial programs in education and research.

At the time of its maturity around 1980, the IAUS had become an intellectual center of international stature and probably the most influential architectural institution of the USA. In June 1982, Peter Eisenman resigned as the director of the IAUS after fifteen years in service. In the following months, internal struggles ensued and the IAUS ceased its activities in 1983.

Conditions governing access

  • Access by appointment only. Access to digitized audiovisual materials is available by contacting Reference at ref@cca.qc.ca.

Conditions governing reproduction

  • For copyright information or permission to reproduce material from the fonds, please contact the CCA at reproductions@cca.qc.ca.

Custodial history

The fonds was acquired through 5 accessions from 1994 to 2003. The initial, first, second and fifth accruals were donated by Peter Eisenman. The third and fourth accruals were transferred from the CCA's Prints and Drawings Department, from the Peter Eisenman fonds (AP143).

Archivist's note

  • The IAUS fonds was originally processed and described by Louis Martin in 1997. In 2008, the original finding aid was modified, by Vanessa Sparks, in order to conform to updated documentation procedures and to accommodate newly processed accruals. A copy of the original finding aid is available in print from the CCA Collection Division. In 2020, Anna Haywood cleaned up the fonds in order to simplify its arrangement and to migrate the fonds to a new archival management system.

Credit line

When citing the collection as a whole, use the citation: Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies fonds, Collection Centre Canadien d’Architecture/Canadian Centre for Architecture, Montréal. When citing specific collection material, please refer to the object’s specific credit line.

Language of material

Documents are primarily in English, with some in Polish, French, Finnish, and Italian.

Other finding aids

  • Consult a printable list of the commonly used acronyms in the IAUS fonds.

Related units of description

  • Other records relating to the professional activities of Peter Eisenman can be found in the Peter Eisenman fonds (AP143) and the Anyone Corporation fonds (AP116) in the CCA Collection. Records relating specifically to the IAUS can be found in Series 3 of the Peter Eisenman fonds (AP143.S3).

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