Cornelia Hahn Oberlander passes away

Cornelia Hahn Oberlander was regarded as a pioneering Canadian landscape architect and the grande dame of landscape architecture. One of the first women to graduate from the Harvard Graduate School of Design and was employed at Dan Kiley’s studio. She moved to Vancouver in the early 1950s and set up her own firm which became known for its modernist ideas and values and as a collaborative, socially responsible, and environmentally thoughtful design practice.

Cornelia practiced landscape architecture for more than sixty years and played a seminal role in the evolution of modernism in the context of architecture, landscape architecture, and planning. She was a fellow of CSLA and IFLA and honoured by many organisations and educational institutions for her work and contribution to the profession. She was awarded The Order of Canada in 1990 and the Sir Geoffrey Jellicoe Award in 2011.

Her landscape architecture projects include the National Gallery of Canada in Ottawa, the New York Times Building Courtyard in New York and the VanDusen Botanical Garden in Vancouver.

Her funeral took place on Monday, May 24, 2021, at Temple Sholom Cemetery in Vancouver, B.C., which Cornelia designed. A video of the funeral service is available at Her family requested donations to go to The Miriam Fund at the Vancouver Hebrew Free Loan Association or The Greater Vancouver Food Bank or a charity of your choice.

Canadian Society of Landscape Architecture
The Cultural Landscape Foundation

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Damian Holmes is the Founder and Editor of World Landscape Architecture (WLA). He is a registered landscape architect (AILA) working in international design practice in Australia. Damian founded WLA in 2007 to provide a website for landscape architects written by landscape architects. Connect on Linkedin at