For Her Record: Notes on the Work of Blanche Lemco van Ginkel

For Her Record:

Notes on the Work of Blanche Lemco van Ginkel

  • Thursday, November 12, 2020
  • 5:30 PM - 7:00 PM

Daniels Faculty of Architecture, Landscape, and Design, University of Toronto , the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, McGill University, and BEA Canada are pleased to invite you to an event to celebrate and honour the lifetime achievements of Blanche Lemco van Ginkel: architect, urban planner, educator, and activist.

Phyllis Lambert (Canadian Centre for Architecture)
Mary McLeod (Columbia University)
Ipek Mehmetoglu (McGill University)

with an excerpt from 'City Dreamers,' a film by Joseph Hillel

Moderated by
Laura Miller (Daniels Faculty) and
Brigitte Shim(Daniels Faculty)

As an architect, urban planner, educator, and activist, Blanche Lemco van Ginkel has inspired generations of architects. With H.P. Daniel (Sandy) van Ginkel, she founded the firm Van Ginkel Associates in 1957. The firm’s work is distinguished for its integration of planning and architecture and bold, Modernist solutions.

Lemco van Ginkel is also distinguished as an architectural educator. Following her graduation in architecture from McGill University (1945) and in city planning from Harvard University (1950), she taught at the University of Pennsylvania (1951-57), Harvard University, Université de Montréal, and McGill University. In 1977, she joined the University of Toronto, where she served as Dean of the Faculty of Architecture and Landscape Architecture from 1980-82.

In 2014, McGill University awarded Blanche Lemco van Ginkel an honorary doctorate. This year, 2020, she has been awarded the Lifetime Design Achievement award from the Ontario Association of Architects and the Gold Medal from the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, reflecting her extraordinary contributions.


The event on November 12 will feature three “live” speakers, as well as a series of excerpted videos intended to present a composite, multi-faceted portrait of Blanche Lemco van Ginkel accessible to many viewers.

About the speakers:


For Phyllis Lambert, architecture is a public concern. Architect, author, scholar, curator, conservationist, activist and critic of architecture and urbanism, she is Founding Director Emeritus of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA), which she founded in 1979 as an international research centre and museum. Through its projects based on research – visiting scholars, events, exhibitions, publications and outstanding collection– the CCA seeks to create a new discourse for the architecture of the twenty-first century. Fellow of the Royal Architecture Institute of Canada and recipient of its Gold Medal, as well as an honorary Fellow of the AIA and the Royal Institute of British Architecture, Phyllis Lambert received the Golden Lion of Venice Architecture Biennale, in honor of her life’s work.


Mary McLeod is a professor of architecture at Columbia University, where she teaches architecture history and theory. She has also taught at Yale University, Harvard University, University of Kentucky, University of Miami, and the Institute for Architecture and Urban Studies. She received her B.A., M.Arch., and Ph.D. from Princeton University. Her research and publications have focused on the history of the modern movement and on contemporary architecture theory, examining issues concerning the connections between architecture and politics. She is co-editor of Architecture, Criticism, Ideology and Architecture Reproduction, and is the editor of and contributor to the book Charlotte Perriand: An Art of Living (Abrams, 2003). She also initiated and helped curate the exhibition “Charlotte Perriand: Interior Equipment,” held at the Urban Center in New York. Presently, she is co-editing a website for the Beverly Willis Architectural Foundation on pioneering American women architects.


Ipek Mehmetoglu is a PhD candidate at McGill University Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture, completing her dissertation on the role of travel and mobility in women architects’ life-stories in the mid-twentieth century. She holds a Master of Arts in Architectural History and Bachelor of Architecture from the Department of Architecture in Middle East Technical University, Ankara. She is a Fonds de Recherche du Québec scholarship recipient.



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