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Phyllis Lambert steps down from helm of Canadian Centre for Architecture

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Phyllis Lambert has retired from her role as chair of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) - the organisation she set up and led for more than 35 years

Lambert, now aged 86, founded the museum and research centre back in 1979 to promote public understanding and debate on architecture and its role in society.

The CCA building designed by Peter Rose in collaboration with Lambert opened to the public in 1989, and now holds more than 60,000 photographs, 100,000 drawings and 215,000 books on architecture and urban planning.

Lambert has said that she will continue to have an involvement in the centre and will remain on the board of trustees.

Speaking to the Canadian press, she commented: ‘This is so much of my life, and to have led it for 35 years, it’s absolutely the right thing to do. That’s what the mixture of emotion is. I think it’s absolutely right, and at the same time it’s a major step so you sort of sit back and look at it.

‘Change is very marking, and this is, I think, a very big marking thing for me. But I don’t feel any diminishment in my interest and involvement with the CCA.’

Vice-chair of the CCA board of trustees, Pierre-Andre Themens, said: ‘Under the leadership of Phyllis Lambert the CCA has made an invaluable contribution to the local and international architecture community, and to society at large. The CCA is recognized as a unique international research centre and museum.’

Lambert oversaw the construction of the Mies Van der Rohe’s Seagram Building

At the beginning of her architectural career, Lambert oversaw the construction of the Mies Van der Rohe’s Seagram Building in New York. She also established Heritage Montreal and has been involved in many of the city’s major planning decisions.

She will be replaced by the founder of Toronto-based architects KPMB Bruce Kuwabara, who designed the Canadian Museum of Nature in Ottawa.

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