Arthur Erickson, renowned B.C. architect, dies at 84
Published Thursday, May 21, 2009 10:50AM PDT
Internationally celebrated Vancouver architect Arthur Erickson has died at the age of 84.
He died in Vancouver on Wednesday afternoon, according to a news release issued by his family.
Arthur Charles Erickson was known for his innovative use of glass and concrete in a modernist style. He built dozens of important buildings in Canada and around the world in a career that lasted over 50 years.
His works include The Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, Simon Fraser University, the Provincial Law Courts in Downtown Vancouver, the San Diego Convention Center, Napp Laboratories in Cambridge, England, the Canadian Chancery in Washington, D.C., California Plaza in Los Angeles, and the Museum of Glass in Tacoma, Washington. His work can also be found in Asia and the Middle East.
In Pictures: The iconic designs of Arthur Erickson
Erickson's nephew, Geoff, says he passed away surrounded by loved ones.
"He died in peace of old age, surrounded by loving family and fantastic friends from all over the world who've been coming and going, sending cards and letters," he said.
"(They've) been phoning from all over the world. It's quite extraordinary."
Erickson was born in Vancouver in 1924, and served in the Canadian army during the Second World War in India, Ceylon and Malaysia, ending up as a captain in Canadian Intelligence.
After the war ended, Erickson studied architecture at McGill University in Montreal, graduating in 1950.
He taught as an associate professor at the University of British Columbia from 1957 to 1963, when he left to open his own practice.
Advanced studies also took Erickson to Greece, Italy, the Middle East and Japan, where he perfected his views of how architectural style combined with climate and terrain.
In 1963, he achieved his first international acclaim alongside colleague Geoffrey Massey for his award-winning design for Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. The project established his international reputation.
Erickson's architectural innovations, particularly in the use of glass and concrete, won him numerous awards.
They included the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada Gold Medal, the French Academy of Architecture Gold Medal, and many honourary doctorates. He was the first Canadian to be awarded the American Institute of Architects Gold Medal.
He was named a Companion of the Order of Canada in 1981.
Funeral arrangements have not been announced.
With a report by The Canadian Press