Peter Caspari fonds

Peter Caspari fonds

Part of


  • Peter Caspari (creator)
  • Peter Caspari (archive creator)


Peter Caspari fonds

Dates of creation



  • archives

Level of archival description


Extent and Medium

  • 20 notebooks
  • 12 drawings
  • 0.01 l.m. of textual records

Scope and Content

The fonds documents the student and early personal activities of architect Peter Caspari. The archive comprises student work at the Städtische Baugewerkschule in Berlin, professional certifications, and personal records created during Peter Caspari's tenure in the Pioneer Corps.

The archive is composed of documents produced between 1928 and 1941. The fonds contains architectural drawings, including design development, and presentation drawings. The textual records include notebooks, and professional certifications.

Six publications that were part of the initial donation were transferred to the CCA Library. These materials can be consulted by searching by Title keyword(s) or Bib No. in the Library catalogue.

The titles and accompanying bib nos. of these publications are as follows:

- Bauten der Arbeit und des Verkehrs aus deutscher Gegenwart (Bib. 30853)

- Illustrierte technische Wörterbücher (Bib. 50742)

- Leitfaden der landwirtschaftlichen Baukunde für Baugewerkschulen : verwandte technische und landwirtschaftliche Lehranstalten (Bib. 153766)

- Sammlung der wichtigsten mathematischen Formeln : für die oberen Klassen der Herderschule in Charlottenburg zusammengestellt (Bib. 153786)

- Baukonstruktionslehre : Leitfaden für den Unterricht an Baugewerbeschulen und verwandten Technischen Lehranstalten, 2 v. (Bib. 153787).

Reference Number



The fonds is arranged into two series: S1. Peter Caspari's student work in Berlin. S2. Peter Caspari's personal documents in England.

Biographical notes

Peter Caspari was born in Berlin, Germany, on April 22, 1908. He studied architecture at the Städtische Baugewerschule in Berlin, graduating in 1931. Between 1932 and 1933 he was employed in the Berlin office of Bau Kredit A.G. The firm liaised with Albert Speer when he worked for Erich Mendelsohn on the Columbus House in Potsdamer Platz. In 1933, Caspari fled to Switzerland to escape arrest for participating in protests against the Nazi Party while a student. He remained in Switzerland for six months; immigrating to England on July 13, 1933.

In London he found employment in the design office of Davis Estate Ltd., and its subsidiary Central London Building Company -- mainly working on housing estates, and blocks of residential flats. In 1934, he established his own practice in London as a registered member of the Institute of Registered Architects. At the time, foreign born nationals could not be admitted to the Royal Institute of British Architects. In 1939 Caspari volunteered for the Pioneer Corps to escape internment as an enemy alien. Upon his discharge in 1943 from the Pioneer Corps he enlisted for the Garrison Engineer training course at the School of Military Engineering in Ripon, Yorkshire. He spent the remainder of the war first stationed in Cambridge, and then at the Mill Hill Barracks in London. On December 31, 1945 he was released from military service.

In 1946, Peter Caspari re-established his architectural practice in London. Growing increasing disillusioned with England he took a six-month trip in 1948 to Canada and the United States to explore opportunities. Caspari immigrated to Canada in 1950, settling in Toronto. He worked in the office of Mathers and Haldenby for one year before establishing an independent practice in Toronto. In 1956 he completed Toronto's first modern international apartment complex, City Park on Church Street. Other notable projects he completed before retiring in 1975 include: Rideau Tower Apartments in Calgary (1955-1956); 2 Bloor Street West, sometimes referred to as Toronto's CIBC building (1972); and, the Sheppard Centre in North York (1973-1974).

Conditions governing access

  • Access by appointment only.

Conditions governing reproduction

  • Contact the CCA for copyright information and permission to reproduce (reproductions@cca.qc.ca).

Custodial history

The CCA acquired the Peter Caspari fonds in 2002. The donor was David Caspari (Peter Caspari's son).

Language of material

Materials in series 1 are in German. Materials in series 2 are in English.

Related units of description

  • Documentation of Peter Caspari's British and Canadian projects, and reference materials and personal records relating to the British and Canadian periods of his architectural practice are held at the City of Toronto Archives.

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