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Arthur Erickson (1924-2009)

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Arthur Erickson, possibly Canada’s most important architect of the 20th century, has died aged 84

The architect, who had been suffering from Alzheimers, was responsible for a number of Canada’s landmark buildings such as Lethbridge University, Alberta and Simon Fraser University in British Columbia.

In addition he designed the Canadian embassy in Washington, California Plaza in Los Angeles and the Kuwait Oil Sector Complex in Kuwait City.

After studying Asian languages at the University of British Columbia for a career in diplomacy, Erickson earned a degree in architecture from McGill Univeristy, Montreal, from which he graduated in 1950. He also worked as an associate professor at the University of British Columbia from 1957 to 1963.

Erickson was the first Canadian to win the prestigious American Institute of Architects Gold Medal in 1986. In 1973 he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada, and was promoted to Companion in 1981.

He passed away in Vancouver on 20 May 2009.

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Arthur Erickson was a remarkable architect who worked till his last days. I interviewed him in 1998 at his home and studio. He was very pro-active in the architectural and arts community even at 73 and a real inspiration... he had boundless energy. His Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver is one of best buildings of the era. A sad passing but his inspiring work will live on and has a unique place in Canadian identity.

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