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Eugene J. Mackey Jr. Lecture: Phyllis Lambert

March 29, 2016
6p Reception, 6:30p Lecture
Steinberg Auditorium

Phyllis Lambert, founder of the Canadian Centre for Architecture, will deliver the Eugene J. Mackey Jr. Lecture, "Architecture: A Public Concern."

Phyllis Lambert, architect, author, scholar, and activist, is now Founding Director Emeritus and formerly Director and Chair of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) which she established in Montreal in 1979. Based on its extensive collection, exhibitions, programs, and research opportunities, the CCA is a leading voice in advancing knowledge, promoting public understanding, and widening thought and debate on architecture, its history, theory, practice, and role in society today.

Lambert first made architectural history as the Director of Planning of the Seagram Building (1954-58) in New York City. Actively engaged in advancing contemporary architecture, as well as the social issues of urban conservation, Lambert founded Héritage Montréal in 1975, and in 1979 was instrumental in establishing the Société d'Amélioration de Milton-Parc, the largest non-profit cooperative housing renovation project in Canada. In 1996, she formed the Fonds d’Investissement de Montréal (FIM), the only private investment fund in Canada participating in the revitalization of housing in low- and medium-income neighborhoods. For 23 years, Lambert served on the Board of the Vieux Port de Montréal, where she established public consultation as an instrument of planning. Spearheading the revival of Montréal’s downtown west quarter through the roundtable she initiated in 2005, Lambert’s involvement in shaping the city continues also through the Institute of Policy Alternatives of Montréal (IPAM) which she presides. For her tenacious engagement in advancing the role of architecture in the public realm, from Seagram to the CCA, Lambert received the Golden Lion for Lifetime Achievement at the 2014 Venice Architecture Biennale. This year, the Wolf Foundation in Israel bestowed upon Lambert its Wolf Prize in Arts for her six decades of championing innovation in building design and preservation of properties of patrimonial significance, and for invigorating the profession and research into architecture, which she infuses with intellectual doubt and political critique.

Lambert has pioneered and contributed to publications on photography and architecture, and on preservation, architecture and urban history. Her most recent book, Building Seagram (2013, Yale University Press), is both a personal and deeply researched cultural history of the relationship of architecture to art, to urban regulations, to real estate practices, and to stewardship in New York City.

Eugene J. Mackey Jr. Lecture

This endowed lecture honors Eugene J. Mackey Jr., a distinguished architect who practiced in partnership with Joseph Murphy, former dean of the School of Architecture. Among other projects, Mackey and Murphy designed John M. Olin Library and collaborated with R. Buckminster Fuller on the design of the Missouri Botanical Garden's Climatron.

The Eugene J. Mackey Jr. Lecture brings significant patrons of architecture to campus. Past lecturers have included Gerald Edelman, Thomas Krens, Jorma Ollila, Emily Pulitzer, Richard Jackson, Eric J. Cesal, Alan Webber, Stanislaus von Moos, K. Michael Hays, Robert Herrmann, and Joanne Kohn.


Image credit: Philip Johnson, Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, and Phyllis Lambert in front of an image for the model for the Seagram building, New York. Gelatin silver print, 7.5 x 9.375 in. Photographer unknown, 1955. Fonds Phyllis Lambert, CCA, Montréal. © United Press International.