2013 CAGBC Lifetime Achievement Award winner Cornelia Oberlander passes at age 99


It is with deep sadness that we learned about the passing of Cornelia Oberlander, a renowned Canadian landscape architect.

The Canadian green building community has lost a green building pioneer. Oberlander was an early supporter of green buildings when most people considered it to be a fringe movement. Her passion for sustainable landscapes, green roofs and native flora helped to advance green buildings in Canada, and her legacy will inspire generations to come.

CaGBC would like to honour her remarkable career and contribution to mainstreaming green spaces in urban architecture. Being a graduate of Harvard University’s first class of women in landscape architecture, Oberlander was on track to be an architecture pioneer before her career even began. Her passion for architecture and determination to bring nature into the urban landscape earned her several prizes and recognition, including the Order of Canada, CaGBC’s Lifetime Achievement Award in 2013, the Freedom of the City Award, and several other distinctions.

Cornelia Oberlander is most famous for her landscape designs at marquee buildings and monuments projects such as the National Gallery of Canada, the Vancouver Public Library Central Branch rooftop garden, the Children’s Creative Centre & play area for Expo 67 in Montreal, the VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver, and the Peacekeeping Monument in Ottawa. The use of logs as natural seating on Vancouver’s iconic public beaches and the multiple green pockets in urban areas she created are a valuable heritage for green design and the rewilding philosophy she championed.

Cornelia Oberlander will be in our thoughts each time we see her lasting imprint on the architectural landscape. We extend our condolences to her family, colleagues and loved ones.

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