Robson Square Provincial Government Complex, Vancouver, British Columbia (1974-1982)
Part of:
  • Cornelia Hahn Oberlander (archive creator)
  • Cornelia Hahn Oberlander (landscape architect)
  • Arthur Erickson (architect)
  • Bing Thom Architects (architect)

Robson Square Provincial Government Complex, Vancouver, British Columbia (1974-1982)



Level of archival description:
Extent and medium:
  • 0.20 l.m. of textual records
    886 photographic material
    102 drawings (including 5 original drawings)
Scope and content:
Project series documents Cornelia Hahn Oberlander's project for the landscape of Robson Square Provincial Government Complex in Vancouver, British Columbia. Oberlander worked on this project in 1974-1982 with architect Arthur Erickson and architect Bing Thom. The project consisted in designing a new provincial civic complex that included a courthouse and provincial government offices. The initial plan consisted in a 55-storey highrise. Arthur Erickson suggested to lay the building on its side and spread it accross three city blocks (known as Block 51, Block 61 and Block 71) and add a green roof to create linear park. Oberlander's ideas for the landscape concept was to create a space accessible for everyone that will be attractive and interesting in all seasons. Her design consisted in a series of pathways, stairs and terraces, mainly situated on Block 61, and rising gradually up to 30 feets above the Robson street level. The design was intented to "encourage pedestrians to cut accross the urban grid". [1] Planters where included to buildings facades to create a hanging garden using hanging plants.

The project series contains design development drawings and working drawings for the landscape design, such as landscape plans, landscape sections, elevations and details, grading and irrigation plans, and planting plans. The drawings includes in this project series also comprises plans of the complex buildings used as reference. The majority of the drawings are reprographic copies. The series also comprises five original sketches by Oberlander. The project is also documented through interior and exterior photographs of the building, photographs of the landscape and various views of the completed complex. The project series also includes textual records, including documents related to the plants selection, specifications, financial documents, concept development notes of Oberlander, correspondence with architects, clients and consultants, documentation and research material, and clippings and articles on Robson Square project.

[1] Herrington, Susan. Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Making the Modern Landscape, University of Virginia Press, 2014, 304 pages. p. 123.
Reference number:


Material in this project series was kept in its original order when it was first processed upon its arrival at CCA.

Vancouver British Columbia Canada

Related units of description:
  • See also AP075.S1.2007.PR02 for more documents related to Robson Square renewal or maintenance projects.

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