Permanent Collection - Canadian Centre for Architecture

Today the CCA Collection, comprising works dating from the Renaissance to the present day, documents the culture of architecture throughout the world – past, present, and future. It provides evidence in depth of cultural and intellectual circles of the past, points to the future of architectural thinking and practice, and reveals the changing character of thought and observation pertaining to architecture. Unparalleled in scope, the Prints & Drawings, Photographs, Archives, and Library comprise of dynamically interrelated bodies of primary and secondary materials that advance thinking about the nature of the built domain and the ideas that underlie it.
The CCA Garden restores the urban fabric of an area deeply scarred by mid-20th-century highway engineering. Initiated as part of the Québec government's program for the integration of art and architecture into the landscape, the garden faces the CCA from the south side of boulevard René-Lévesque. This site was granted to the CCA by the City of Montréal in 1986, and the design by Montréal artist-architect Melvin Charney integrates sculpture and public space with remarkable results. At once a garden in the city and a museum in the open air, it evokes the richly diverse history of landscape design and initiates a dialogue between nature, architecture, and the urban fabric. The garden is laid out as a series of narrative episodes – Orchard, Meadow, Arcade (mirror of the Shaughnessy House), Esplanade, Belvedere, and Allegorical Columns – each of which relates to the wider history of architecture as well as to the city that surrounds the site.
The CCA holds one of the world's foremost international research collections of publications and architectural design documentation - conceptual studies, drawings, plans, models, prints, and master photographs, archives and oral histories of individual architects, related artifacts and ephemera. The collection now comprises over half a million examples that testify to the diverse ways in which architecture has been imagined, conceived, observed, and transformed for the past six centuries. It is a collection in depth, whose strength derives from a range and volume that allow for wide-ranging study of relationships among ideas, the evolution of tendencies and movements, diverse theoretical and practical approaches, and new architectural and urban forms.

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