National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario (1983-1990)
Part of:
  • Cornelia Hahn Oberlander (archive creator)
  • Cornelia Hahn Oberlander (landscape architect)
  • Parkin/Safdie Architects Planners (architectural firm)

National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa, Ontario (1983-1990)



Level of archival description:
Extent and medium:
  • 551 drawings (including 314 reprographic copies)
    0.67 l.m. of textual records
    approx. 970 photographic materials
    4 panels
Scope and content:
Project series documents Cornelia Hahn Oberlander's design for the interior and exterior landscape of National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa. Oberlander worked on this project from 1983-1995 with architects Moshe Safdie and John C. Parkin. Oberlander's overall concept for the landscaping was based on the building organizational pattern of a city. She created "a pathway system that connected the front of the National Gallery to Nepean Point behind the gallery." [1] Oberlander landscape design includes the design of three exterior area and a courtyard. Each space is design in relations to the art displayed in the immediate indoor gallery: the Taiga Garden "flanks the gallery's interior glass-and-concrete collonade that leads to the Canadian and Aboriginal Art galleries." [2]; the Minimalist Courtyard relates to the modern art collection gallery; the zigzag-shaped pathway passes between the National War Museum and the new gallery; and interior courtyard links the restored ninetheeth-century Rideau Chapel relocated inside the National Gallery and provides and church-like atmosphere.

The project series contains textual records, including specifications, correspondence, documentation, financial documents, plant lists, press clippings about the project, and Oberlander's concept development notes. The project is also recorded through photographic materials, such as slides and photographs of the construction of the building and the landscape work and the photographs of the completed project. The project series also includes conceptual drawings, design develepment drawings, working drawings and presentation drawings, including landscape plans, planting plans, grading and irrigation plans and building plans used as reference.

[1] Herrington, Susan. Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Making the Modern Landscape, University of Virginia Press, 2014, 304 pages, p. 165.
[2] Herrington, Susan. Cornelia Hahn Oberlander: Making the Modern Landscape, University of Virginia Press, 2014, 304 pages, p. 166.
Reference number:



Ottawa Ontario Canada

Related units of description:
  • See also AP075.S1.2017.PR02 for document related to a later project for the National Gallery of Canada.

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