Phyllis Lambert

Phyllis Lambert, M.S. Arch., OAQ, FRAIC, is Founding Director and Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montréal. The leading international research centre and museum devoted to the art of architecture, the CCA was founded by Lambert in 1979 as a new form of cultural institution to build public awareness of the role of architecture in society, to promote scholarly research in the field, and to stimulate innovation in design practice.

Lambert first made architectural history as the Director of Planning of the Seagram Building (1954-58) in New York City. She is recognized internationally both for her contribution in advancing contemporary architecture and for her concern for the social issues of urban conservation and the role of architecture in the public realm. With a commitment to intervention in the urban fabric, Lambert founded Héritage Montréal in 1975, and four years later was instrumental in establishing the Société d’Amélioration de Milton-Parc, the largest non-profit cooperative housing renovation undertaking in Canada. In 1996, Lambert 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 neighbourhoods. From 1984 to 2007, she served on the Board of the Vieux Port de Montréal, which is credited with the transformation of this historic area from industrial to societal use. She is currently a participant in the revival of Montréal’s downtown west quarter, through the Table de concertation du centre-ville ouest, the roundtable she initiated in 2005. Lambert’s active involvement in shaping the city also continues through the Institut de politiques alternatives de Montréal (IPAM) which she presides, an independent think tank contributing long-term viable urban planning, economic and sustainable development, and local democracy in Montréal.

Phyllis Lambert has pioneered publications on photography and architecture, landscape, gardens, and the history of Montréal, as well as leading architects. For her major contributions to scholarship and architecture, as well as a tireless commitment to civic activism, Phyllis Lambert has been recognized with numerous awards and distinctions. She holds honorary degrees from 27 universities in North America and Europe. Lambert is recipient of the Prix Gérard-Morisset; the World Monuments Fund’s Hadrian Award; the Prix d’Excellence de l’Opération patrimoine architectural of the City of Montréal and Héritage Montréal; the Preservation League of New York State’s Pillar of New York Award; the Woodrow Wilson Award for Public Service; and the 2008 Jane Jacobs Lifetime Achievement Award of the Canadian Urban Institute, Toronto.

Phyllis Lambert has received the highest civil honours in Canada as Companion of the Order of Canada and Grand Officier de l’Ordre National du Québec. France has appointed her Commander of the Ordre des Arts et des Lettres, and l’Assemblée Parlementaire de la Francophonie has named her Chevalier of the Ordre de la Pléiade. Lambert is also an Honorary Fellow of the Royal Institute of British Architects and the American Institute of Architects, and a Fellow of the Society of Architectural Historians.