Vancouver architect Peter Cardew, who passed away on October 26, will be remembered for his indelible impact on the city.
After graduating from Kingston School of Art Department of Architecture in London and working in the office of Max Bächer in Stuttgart, Cardew arrived in Vancouver in the late 1960s. Through his work with Rhone & Iredale Architects and later his eponymous practice, Peter Cardew Architects, he has created some of the city’s most well-loved spaces.
The firm has worked on a wide range of projects from schools, galleries, libraries, residences, and commercial buildings, building an international reputation for timeless, quality design.
While always maintaining a practice of modest scale, the office produced an extraordinary variety of projects, encompassing the programmes that would construct an entire city.
Among Cardew’s successful projects are the Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery, Lignum Forestry Building, the Crown Life Tower, False Creek Townhouses, the Lack Klan School of Industrial Arts, the Stone Band School, and the Kamloops Art Gallery as well as numerous single-family houses.
Apart from his own practice, he was an active participant in Vancouver’s Urban Design panel and contributor to debate regarding the city and design issues within the profession.
Cardew also made longstanding and profound contributions to UBC’s School of Architecture and Landscape Architecture (SALA), specifically in the MArch program. He served on graduation project committees, led option studios, and participated on innumerable design review juries. In recent years, he was a committed member of SALA’s Advisory Council, providing the school with invaluable advice.
His mentorship extended beyond academia. Many of the colleagues in his practice have gone on to form their own, taking with them the strengths of Cardew’s meticulous dedication.
Cardew was the recipient of many awards throughout his career, including the prestigious RAIC Gold Medal in 2012. The jury citation describes his impact on the profession:
“The quality of his work is consistently high, consistently thoughtful, and timeless. His commitment to the fundamental importance of the ‘art’ of architecture is evident in the poetry of the forms of his projects and his dedication to the broader community and profession is demonstrated through his teaching and design review panel work. Peter Cardew is an architect to be admired and emulated.”