Obituary (June 01, 2009)

Legendary Canadian architect Arthur Erickson dead at 84.

Arthur Erickson, the Vancouver-born architect known for his groundbreaking designs in concrete and glass, passed away in a Vancouver hospital at age 84 on May 20, 2009. Born in 1924, he graduated from Montreal’s McGill University in 1950 and worked as an associate professor at the University of British Columbia from 1957 to 1963. He first achieved international acclaim soon after for his award-winning design for Simon Fraser University in Burnaby, British Columbia. Later, he designed many significant buildings that make up the urban landscape of Vancouver, including the Vancouver Law Courts, Robson Square and UBC’s Museum of Anthropology. Erickson’s success in Vancouver soon spread around the globe. His noted designs include Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, the Canadian Embassy in Washington, California Plaza in Los Angeles, Napp Laboratories in Cambridge, England, Kuwait Oil Sector Complex in Kuwait City, and the Kunlun Apartment Hotel development in Beijing. Architecture critic Trevor Boddy said the distinctive stamp Erickson left on the young West Coast city would be his most enduring legacy, as he was the first to believe Vancouver could be a world-class city. Boddy stated, “The way that he prodded and primed and hoped that Vancouver would become a better place, more diverse, more dense, more visually engaging, more beautiful, the notion that this geographically isolated city could be a global contender.”

Abridged from the CBC News website. For the full story, please visit 2009/05/20/erickson-obit.html.