Cornelia Hahn Oberlander

Year of Investiture:

Over the past 65 years Cornelia Hahn Oberlander has collaborated as Landscape Architect in a wide range of projects with noted internationally acclaimed architects such as Renzo Piano on the New York Times Building, Moshe Safdie on the National Gallery of Canada and the Vancouver Public Library and the late Arthur Erickson on Robson Square and the Museum of Anthropology. All projects are based on design concepts and studies of social, cultural and physical features of a given site.  To each project Cornelia attempts to bring the mastery of the art and the science of the profession. Cornelia has always been mindful of the environment and is a leader in researching green solutions.

In the words of the Governor General in presenting the Order of Canada: Cornelia Hahn Oberlander. “Canada’s premier landscape architect, she is known for integrating her designs in the overall architectural project with the natural environment, yet always adding a unique new vision and dimension. Her expert technical knowledge is coupled with her concern for expressing cultural, social and environmental concepts in her work and is reflected in her many projects for the young, the old, and for the public at large.”

Cornelia graduated from Smith College in 1944 and the Harvard Graduate School of Design in 1947.  She holds ten honorary degrees.

In 2011 IFLA, The International Federation of Landscape Architects, bestowed on Cornelia, the highest honour, the Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award, for her endeavors in building a greener future over the many years of her professional practice.

In 2012 the American Society of Landscape Architects bestowed on Cornelia the ASLA Medal, the Highest Honor of the American Society of Landscape Architects.

In 2016 Cornelia received the Margolese National Design for Living Prize, celebrating her contribution to living environments for all Canadians, as well as the inaugural Governor General’s Medal in Landscape Architecture.

In 2017 Cornelia was awarded the Landscape Architecture Foundation Medal. 

In 2018 Cornelia was promoted to Companion of the Order of Canada.

Cornelia has been featured in the book "Protectors of the Planet: Environmental Trailblazers from 7 to 97" by Jamie Bastedo. 

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