The Canadian Centre for Architecture turns 40

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant is an art and lifestyle writer based out of Montréal's ecclectic Park Ex neighbourhood. She is Contributing Editor for Canadian Art magazine and freelances full-time for a wide variety of magazines and brands. She’s also a jewellery designer and passionate about animal costumes and their role in contemporary art.

Montréal’s Canadian Centre for Architecture – CCA, for short – is celebrating its 40th anniversary as one of the world’s leading architectural study centres. With a fantastic research centre, a great bookstore and thought-provoking exhibitions about everything from urban planning to the future of building technologies, it’s a go-to spot for architecture buffs far and wide.

Stellar since 1979

The CCA was founded in 1979 by Montréal architect Phyllis Lambert, who helped Peter Rose conceive its beautiful building formed around the historic Shaughnessy House to incorporate exactly the forward-thinking programming she had in mind. The CCA has as mission to examine modern life through the lens of architecture, and how it shapes – and can reshape – the course of history. The questioning never has stopped over the last 40 years, with every year of exhibitions, lectures, symposia, publications and research projects seeking to push the limits always further of how we think about built spaces.   

Looking forward, not back

In keeping with its out-of-the-box mandate, the CCA is using its 40th anniversary not to look back through its history, but rather to look forward, always forward. Its programming for 2019 challenges perceptions and takes cues from very contemporary issues: Our Happy Life, on until October 13, 2019, is an exhibition that examines wellness and happiness in the era of emotional capitalism. The upcoming Building a New World – opening on November 12, 2019 – looks at Americanism in Russian architecture. Hot-button topics indeed!

Here’s to 40 more forward-thinking years.

Isa Tousignant

Isa Tousignant is an art and lifestyle writer based out of Montréal's ecclectic Park Ex neighbourhood. She is Contributing Editor for Canadian Art magazine and freelances full-time for a wide variety of magazines and brands. She’s also a jewellery designer and passionate about animal costumes and their role in contemporary art.

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