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Blanche Lemco van Ginkel

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Full Name
Blanche Lemco

Blanche van

Modernist architecture


Blanche Lemco van Ginkel httpstcelive2s3amazonawscommediamedia4ac

December 14, 1923 (age 100) (
London, England

Known for
Vienna Grand Prix at the International Federation of Housing and Planning Congress (1956)Queen Elizabeth II Silver Jubilee Medal (1977)Canadian Citation for Citizenship (1991)Member of the Order of Canada (2000)Ordre des Urbanistes du Quebec (2003)Doctorat Honoris Causa, Universite Aix-MarseilleChateau Ramezay and Heritage Montreal achievement award (2013)Honorary Doctor of Science, McGill University (2014)

Blanche Lemco Van Ginkel, D.Sc. - McGill 2014 honorary doctorate recipient

Blanche van Ginkel (née Lemco, 1923) is a Canadian Modernist architect, planner and educator. She was a member of Modernist planning think tank Team 10 and was present at several meetings of CIAM. She and her husband, Sandy van Ginkel founded the architecture and planning firm Van Ginkel Associates in 1957. The firm is known for it Modernist design for Bowring Park in St. John's, Newfoundland, influential studies of Old Montréal and Manhattan, and the initial planning of Expo 67.


Blanche Lemco van Ginkel Blanche Lemco van Ginkel at home in Toronto Petite and still lovely

Canada in 150 Seconds : Blanche Lemco Van Ginkel - Feminism in Art and Architecture


Blanche Lemco van Ginkel was born in London, England in 1923. She graduated from architecture at McGill University in 1945, and in 1948, worked briefly at Le Corbusier's atelier in Paris on the Unité d'Habitation in Marseille. She studied city planning at Harvard University in 1950. Following her graduation, she taught at the University of Pennsylvania (1951–57), Harvard, Université de Montréal and McGill.

Lemco van Ginkel was involved in the early stages of Team 10, when the group was still a part of CIAM. She attended the CIAM congress in Aix-en-Provence in 1953. At the congress, she met her future husband and partner, Dutch architect Sandy (Daniel) van Ginkel.

Blanche and Sandy established the Toronto-based architecture and planning firm Van Ginkel Associates in 1957. The firm was known for its Modernist designs, including the design for Bowring Park and Bridge, St. John's, Newfoundland, which they presented at the last CIAM congress in Otterlo in 1959. Their office also was responsible for the early planning and design of the Montréal World Expo of 1967 and studies for the preservation of the old Montréal inner city in relation to motorway construction. Notably, they led advocacy to protect the south slope of Mount Royal from development.

In 1977, Lemco van Ginkel joined the faculty of the University of Toronto. From 1980 to 1982, she served as dean of the faculty of architecture and landscape architecture at the University of Toronto.


Lemco van Ginkel is a pioneering woman in North American architecture and planning, a field dominated by men. In 1952, she was only the fourth woman to registered as an architect with the Province of Québec Architects Association (now the Quebec Order of Architects). Afterwards, she became the first woman elected as a council member and as an officer of the PQAA. She was also the first woman elected as an officer and as a fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), and the first woman (and first Canadian) to serve as president of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture. Lemco van Ginkel was the first woman to hold the leadership position at a Canadian school of architecture, when she served as dean of the faculty of architecture and landscape architecture at the University of Toronto.


Blanche Lemco van Ginkel Wikipedia

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