Arthur Erickson

Arthur Charles Erickson, CC (June 14, 1924 – May 20, 2009) was a Canadian architect and urban planner. He studied Asian languages at the University of British Columbia, and later earned a degree in architecture from McGill University.[1]

1 Biography
2 Works
3 See also
4 References
5 Further reading
6 External links

Canadian Chancery, Washington, D.C. (1989)
Erickson’s buildings are often modernist concrete structures designed to respond to the natural conditions of their locations, especially climate. Many buildings, such as the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, are inspired by the post and beam architecture of the Coastal First Nations. Additionally, Erickson is also known for numerous futuristic designs such as the Fresno City Hall and the Biological Sciences Building at the University of California, Irvine.

The personal selection of Arthur Erickson as the architect for the Canadian Embassy in Washington, DC by then-Canadian Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau was controversial, because Trudeau overruled the objections and choices of the embassy’s design committee. Erickson’s biographer Nicholas Olsberg described the building as “making fun of the ridiculous terms to which buildings must adhere in Washington… mocking the US and all of its imperial pretensions.”[2]

Erickson was born in Vancouver, the son of Oscar Erickson and Myrtle Chatterson. He served in the Canadian Army Intelligence Corps during World War II. After graduating from McGill in 1950, Erickson traveled a few years then taught at the University of Oregon and subsequently the University of British Columbia.[3] After teaching, he worked for a few years at Thompson Berwick and Pratt and Partners[4] before he went on to design houses in partnership with Geoffrey Massey. In 1963, Erickson and Massey submitted the winning design for Simon Fraser University.[5] Erickson was mentor of many other noted local architects and urbanists, including founding members[6] of many of Vancouver’s premier design-oriented architectural firms. His buildings were also the subject of painting by famous artists including Vancouver artist Tiko Kerr.[7]

In 1973, he was made an Officer of the Order of Canada and was promoted to Companion in 1981.[8] In 1986, he received the AIA Gold Medal. Erickson lived in Point Grey with his life partner and interior design collaborator, Francisco Kripacz.[2]

He died in Vancouver on May 20, 2009.[5]


McGaugh Hall, University of California, Irvine (1991)

Museum of Anthropology at UBC (1976)
1955: Killam-Massey House, West Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada[9]
1958: Filberg Residence, Comox, British Columbia, Canada
1963: Graham House, West Vancouver, British Columbia
1965: MacMillan Bloedel Building, Vancouver, British Columbia
1965: Smith Residence, West Vancouver, British Columbia
1965 onward in stages: Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia[10]
1967 Catton House (with Geoffrey Massey)
1968: Hi-View Estates Port Moody, British Columbia
1970: Government of Canada pavilion, Expo ’70, Osaka, won top architectural award Aug 17, 1970.[10]
1970: Ross Street Sikh Temple, Khalsa Diwan Society, Vancouver
1971: University Hall, University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta
1973: Champlain Heights Elementary School, Vancouver, British Columbia[11]
1976: Haida longhouse-inspired Museum of Anthropology at UBC, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, British Columbia
1978: Eglinton West Subway Station, Toronto, Ontario – with Clifford & Lawrie
1978: Yorkdale Subway Station, Toronto, Ontario
1978: Evergreen Building, Vancouver, British Columbia
1978-1983 in stages: Robson Square, Provincial Law Courts, and Vancouver Art Gallery, Vancouver, British Columbia
1979: Bank of Canada Building addition, Ottawa, Ontario (with Marani Rounthwaite & Dick)
1982: Roy Thomson Hall, Toronto, Ontario
1983: Napp Laboratories, Cambridge, England
1984: King’s Landing, Toronto, Ontario
1985: One California Plaza, Los Angeles, California
1987: Admiralty Place housing, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia (with Cowle and Martin)[12]
1988: Dalhousie University Law Library (building addition), Halifax, Nova Scotia
1989: Canadian Chancery, Washington, DC
1989: Markham Civic Centre, Markham, Ontario (with Richard Stevens Architects Limited)
1989: Convention Center, San Diego, California
1989: The Kingbridge Centre, King City, Ontario
1989: Inn at Laurel Point addition, Victoria, British Columbia
1991: Fresno City Hall, Fresno, California
1991: McGaugh Hall, University of California, Irvine
1992: Two California Plaza, Los Angeles, California
1997: Walter C. Koerner Library, University of British Columbia, Vancouver
2001: Waterfall Building, Vancouver, British Columbia
2009: new Portland Hotel, Vancouver[10]
2009: Museum of Glass, Tacoma, Washington, USA
2009: RCMP Heritage Centre, Regina, Saskatchewan
2009: Canada House, Vancouver, British Columbia
2016: Trump International Hotel and Tower, Vancouver, British Columbia
See also
Distinguished Canadian Planners
Cook, Maria (2006-08-20). “The architect of soul”. Ottawa Citizen. Archived from the original on May 28, 2014.
Schelling, Steven. “Arthur Erickson, 1924-2009.” Xtra, Friday, May 22, 2009. Archived March 20, 2012, at the Wayback Machine
Hill, Max (2014-06-09). “The Concrete Acropolis”. The Peak. Retrieved June 9, 2014.
Stouck, David (Sep 6, 2013). Arthur Erickson: An Architect’s Life. Douglas & McIntyre. ISBN 978-1771000116.
Martin, Sandra. “The greatest architect we have ever produced,” The Globe and Mail, Friday, May 22, 2009.
“Remembering Canada’s Greatest Architect”. Planetizen: The Urban Planning, Design, and Development Network.
“Near death in 2006, Tiko Kerr has a 15-painting tribute to architect Arthur Erickson in the BC Law Courts”.
“Arthur C. Erickson, C.C., B.Arch., D.Eng., F.R.A.I.C.” Order of Canada. Governor General of Canada. Archived from the original on 2009-05-27. Retrieved 2009-05-25.
“Killam-Massey House”. Project description. Arthur Erickson.
Pound, Richard W. (2005). ‘Fitzhenry and Whiteside Book of Canadian Facts and Dates’. Fitzhenry and Whiteside.
Champlain Heights Archived 2013-12-09 at the Wayback Machine. vancouverschools125. Retrieved on 2014-04-12.
“DARTMOUTH WATERFRONT HOUSING, HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA, CANADA”. Project description. Arthur Erickson. Missing or empty |url= (help)
Further reading
Austen, Ian (May 22, 2009). “Arthur Erickson, Canadian Architect Who Mirrored Landscapes, Dies at 84”. The New York Times.