A portrait of Arthur Erickson

Often considered the greatest Canadian architect of the 20th century, Arthur Erickson (1924-2009) is celebrated for his modernist structures that span the globe from Kuwait to Germany, and continue to define the contours of his home city of Vancouver. In this portrait of Erickson from 1981, he explains how his work draws from a wide range of influences cultivated over the course of his life, including the ‘organic architecture’ of Frank Lloyd Wright, the gardens of Japan and his personal embrace of contradiction. The film takes viewers to some of Erickson’s most significant and notable designs, including the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, the Robson Square civic centre in the heart of Vancouver and his own humble one-room home. From this brief tour and Erickson’s own words, a distinct aesthetic philosophy emerges – one centred on creating work in harmony with its surroundings, and an openness to new perspectives.

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