Cornelia Oberlander

Landscape architecture prize named after Oberlander

Thursday, October 3, 2019

Canadian landscape architect Cornelia Hahn Oberlander has been chosen as the namesake of a new US$100K international prize.

The Cornelia Hahn Oberlander International Landscape Architecture Prize, which will be conferred biennially beginning in 2021, is the first and only international landscape architecture prize that includes a US$100,000 award, along with two years of public engagement activities. The Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit The Cultural Landscape Foundation made the announcement at an event at the Consulate General of Canada in New York City.

“I hope the Oberlander Prize will spur landscape architects to innovate, be inventive and generate new ideas, and to be leaders in their community,” said Oberlander. “Landscape architecture is ideally suited to deal with the environmental, social and ecological challenges we face now and the challenges we must plan for in the future. Through careful research, innovation, collaboration with allied professionals, and design excellence, landscape architecture can become a global leader in addressing the important issues we all face.”

Based in Vancouver, B.C., the 98-year-old Oberlander has been in practice for more than 70 years. Her notable projects include the New York Times building courtyard (with HMWhite), the Museum of Anthropology in Vancouver, the Canadian Chancery in Washington, D.C., the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the Canadian Embassy in Berlin, and Robson Square and the Public Library, both in Vancouver, and many others.

Oberlander has worked on public housing in the United States and Canada, pioneered playground design with the Children’s Creative Center at Montreal’s Expo ’67 (and designed 70 other playgrounds), was an early champion of green roofs, and for decades has advocated for landscape architecture’s leading role in addressing environmental, ecological, and social issues and the impact of climate change.

Oberlander is a highly-decorated, award-winning design professional whose influence has earned her the ranking of Companion of the Order of Canada, the highest level of the Order of Canada.

“It was the consensus of the Prize Advisory Committee, which helped shaped the Prize, and TCLF’s board of directors that Cornelia Oberlander’s inspiring and trailblazing career in the field of landscape architecture exemplifies the critical values and ideals of the Prize, and that she is someone who embodies the Prize criteria of creativity, courage, and vision,” said Charles A. Birnbaum, TCLF’s president and CEO.




Image courtesy of The Cultural Landscape Foundation


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