IFCCA Prize Competition for the Design of Cities fonds

IFCCA Prize Competition for the Design of Cities fonds

Part of


  • International Foundation for the Canadian Centre for Architecture (creator)
  • International Foundation for the Canadian Centre for Architecture (archive creator)


IFCCA Prize Competition for the Design of Cities fonds

Dates of creation

1992-2001, predominant 1996-2001


  • archives

Level of archival description


Extent and Medium

  • 356 photographs
  • 115 files
  • 93 drawings
  • 91 slides
  • 39 panels
  • 29 models
  • 16 reprographic copies
  • 15 invitations
  • 13 floppy disks
  • 10 postcards
  • 8 textual records
  • 8 maps
  • 8 press releases
  • 7 posters
  • 7 booklets
  • 6 letters
  • 4 compact discs
  • 4 press kits
  • 2 books
  • 3 brochure
  • 1 schedule
  • 1 envelope

Scope and Content

The International Foundation for the Canadian Centre for Architecture (IFCCA) Prize Competition for the Design of Cities Fonds primarily documents the activities involved in the organization and realization of the Prize Competition. The Prize Competition was a major undertaking for the IFCCA and as a result the fonds also documents the most active years of the IFCCA. The fonds documents the initial brainstorming which led to the idea for the Prize Competition, the fund raising, administrative, publicity and logistical activities associated with the Prize, as well as the exhibitions and colloquium which resulted from the Prize Competition.

The fonds is arranged into thirteen series which document chronologically the progression of the IFCCA Prize Competition from the call for submissions until the final exhibition held at the CCA in Montréal, Québec. The only anomaly in the arrangement is the final series, made up of files from the office of Phyllis Lambert, Founding Director of the CCA and Member of the Board of Directors and Jury for the IFCCA Prize Competition. This final series documents both the IFCCA generally, and the IFCCA Prize Competition more specifically. Material in the fonds was produced between 1992 and 2001.

Fonds contains primarily textual records, including correspondence, minutes, agendas, reports, clippings and press releases, with some photographic and graphic material, including photographs and posters.

Reference Number


Administrative history



Incorporated 2 September 1994 as The Canadian Centre for Architecture Foundation and renamed International Foundation for the Canadian Centre for Architecture (IFCCA) 9 February 1995, IFCCA was conceived as a philanthropic constituency which would share the goal of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) to foster an understanding of architectural ideas through research, public exhibitions, scholarly publications and conferences. The IFCCA's more specific mission was to raise funds for the CCA from the private sector in Canada, as well as internationally. The IFCCA was a separate entity from the CCA with its own Board, made up initially of Phyllis Lambert, Founding Director of the CCA; Edgar Bronfman, Jr., President and Chief Executive Officer, Seagram Ltd., New York; David M. Culver, IFCCA Chairman, Chairman, C.A.I. Corporation, Montréal; André Desmarais, President and Co-Chief Executive Officer, Power Corporation, Montréal; Charles Sirois, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, Telesystem Ltd., Montréal (resigned in December 1998). The final Board consisted of Philip M. O'Brien, IFCCA Chairman, former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Devencore Inc., Montréal; Laurent Beaudoin, former Chairman, Bombardier Inc. Montréal, now Chairman, Bombardier Produits Récréatifs Inc.; Edgar Bronfman, Jr.,; André Desmarais; Phyllis Lambert; Pierre-André Themens, Managing Partner, Davies Ward Phillips & Vineberg LLP; David M. Culver.

A principle activity of IFCCA was the establishment of the International Foundation of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (IFCCA) Prize, proposed by Lambert as early as mid 1996, and initiated in 1998 as an ideas competition to re-design a site on the edge of western Manhattan, New York City, New York. As the IFCCA Prize Competition was originally conceived of as a biannual competition, in addition to the Board, the Steering Committee was founded in 1996 with the mission to act in an advisory capacity, responsible for choosing the professional advisor, the site, jury, competitors, and the terms of reference for the competition. The Steering Committee was made up of Phyllis Lambert, Chair; Juan Busquets, architect, Barcelona, Spain; Robert Geddes, architect, New Jersey; Tunney Lee, Professor Emieritus and Senior Lecturer, School of Architecture and Planning, MIT; Detlef Mertins, architect, Toronto, Canada; Peter Rowe, Dean, Faculty of Design, Harvard University. The IFCCA Prize Director was Ralph Lerner, architect, New Jersey.


The International Foundation for the Canadian Centre for Architecture (IFCCA) Prize Competition, also known as the CCA Competition for the Design of Cities, was an ideas competition funded and organised by the IFCCA as a means of increasing the visibility of the IFCCA while promoting the above mentioned goals of both the CCA and the IFCCA. The Prize focussed on New York City, addressing the fast-developing social, economic and technical changes that affect the city, while emphasizing the realities of place and the need to think beyond convention.

Over 100 proposals from architectural firms around the world were received following the call from submission 13 November 1998 (Stage 1). On 10 February 1999, five finalists were selected to continue to the final stage: Peter Eisenman, Peter Eisenman Architects, New York City; Thom Mayne, Morphosis, Santa Monica, California; Ben van Berkel and Caroline Bos, UN Studio Van Berkel & Bos, Amsterdam, the Netherlands; Cedric Price, Cedric Price Architects, London, England; Jesse Reiser and Nanako Umemoto, Reiser + Umemoto RUR Architecture, New York City. Each of the finalists was awarded $50 000 CDN, with the winner receiving $100 000 CDN.

The finalists were given until 25 June 1999 to submit their proposals to be judged by the Prize Jury made up of well known figures in both the architecture and city planning fields: Elizabeth Diller, of the cross-disciplinary studio Diller + Scofidio; Phyllis Lambert, Founding Director of the CCA; Frank Gehry, design principal for Frank O. Gehry and Associates, Inc.; Charles A. Aragano, Chairman and Commissioner of Empire State Development and now U.S. Ambassador to Austria; Gary Hack, Professor of City and Urban Planning and Dean of the Graduate school of Fine Arts at the University of Pennsylvania; Arata Isozaki, Arata Isozaki and Associates; Philip Johnson, architect; José Rafael Moneo, architect and Josep Lluis Sert Professor of Architecture, Harvard University Graduate School of Design; Joseph B. Rose, Chairman of New York City Planning Commission and Director of the Department of City Planning, now partner in Georgetown Group. On 25 June 1999, Peter Eisenman was announced as the winner of the IFCCA Prize Competition.

Following the competition, an exhibition of the finalists' work was organised from 5-20 October 1999 at Grand Central Terminal, New York City, in conjunction with a colloquium, held 8 October 1999 at the Cooper Union, New York City. Another exhibition, entitled New York: CCA Competition for the Design of Cities under the theme Cities in Motion, was held 15 November 2000 to 1 April 2001 at the CCA in Montréal. The exhibition explored how 21st-century architects are imagining ways to heal the gashes and scars that transport systems have left in the texture of the city. Peter Eisenman's winning proposal has yet to be implemented. However, the entire High Line elevated rail viaduct, which runs through and beyond the competition site, is being re-designed by Field Operations and Diller Scofidio + Renfro with Olafur Eliasson, Piet Oudolf, and Buro Happold. They were the winners of the Designing the Highline Competition in 2004. The project is expected to be completed by 2009.

Custodial history

The documents were acquired through twelve accessions from 1999 to 2001 by the Canadian Centre for Architecture's Archives Department from the CCA Director's Office, Associate Director's Office, Exhibitions Department, and Publicity Department.

Archivist's note

  • The IFCCA Prize Competition for the Design of Cities fonds was originally processed and described by Robert Desaulniers in 2001. In 2008, the original inventory was modified, by Vanessa Sparks, in order to conform to updated documentation procedures.

Language of material

Documents are in English and French.

Related units of description

  • Documents concerning the CCA and its activities may be found in the Institutional Archive in CCA Collection.

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