Wolf Prize Laureate in Architecture 2016
the Prize Committee for Architecture has unanimously decided that the 2016 Wolf Prize be awarded to:
Architect Phyllis Lambert
“For being vigorously involved in the realization of seminal innovative buildings, exemplary urban regeneration projects and leading research institutes.”
“Citizen Lambert” embodies the vicissitudes of the culture of architecture over 6 decades. Playing all possible roles of designer, planner, artist, writer, photographer, curator, museum director, patron and philanthropist, she ultimately stands for professional rigor and aesthetic elegance, but also for intellectual doubt and political critic. From the mid 1950’s to the present she is vigorously involved in the realization of seminal innovative buildings, exemplary urban preservation and regeneration projects and leading architectural research institutes.
Lambert’s first work of architecture was commissioning Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as designer of the Seagram Building in New York and herself as director of planning (1954-1958) for the project. During the 1960s she designed the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal and served as consultant for the Toronto-Dominion Center project. In the 1970’s Lambert was architect-developer (with Gene Summers) for the renovation of the landmark Biltmore Hotel in Los Angeles and won for this project the National Honor Award of the American Institute of Architects.
Lambert has been the founder, the director and the chair of the board of trustees of the Canadian Center for Architecture (completed in 1989), a notable museum and study center in Montreal. Housing extensive collections of architectural drawings, books, photographs and documents, hosting numerous scholars and curators, and initiating considerable publications and exhibitions, the CCA has established itself as both an exquisite reservoir of historical treasures and a prolific catalyst of architectural and urban discourse.
A persistent civic activist, Lambert was instrumental in founding the preservation group Heritage Montreal; the Investment Fund of Montreal, which revitalizes medium- and low-income housing; the Montreal Institute of Policy Alternatives; and a roundtable dedicated to renewing Montreal’s western downtown neighborhood. She has initiated a number of preservation-related projects and publications including: Court House – A photographic Document; Photography and Architecture: 1839-1939; Opening the Gates of Eighteenth-Century Montreal; and The Fortress of Babylon and the Ben Ezra Synagogue, Cairo.