Universal design: Cornelia Oberlander
Cornelia Oberlander is one of the greatest landscape architects of the modern era.
Image: Cornelia Oberlander at her house in Vancouver* © Chanel Blouin
Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, an illustrious and socially-attuned designer has come a long way from her beginnings in Mülheim, Germany. One of the greatest landscape architects of the modern era, Oberlander has been awarded the 2012 American Society of Landscape Architects Medal and was the recipient of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada’s 2011 Prix du XXe siècle.
Her passion for universal and sustainable design has seen her work on everything from social housing projects with influential American architect Louis Kahn, to pedestrian-friendly accessibility developments and creative playgrounds for children.
At the age of 97, Oberlander’s creative spirit hasn’t diminished. Recently, she used the $50,000 prize fund she was awarded by the Margolese National Design for Living Prize to launch a study into how people’s health is negatively effected by a lack of affordable housing, and the decline of recreational parks and public gardens.
To read the full profile of Cornelia Oberlander, order Issue No. 3 of ALHAUS magazine.
*The original image caption for this article incorrectly stated that Cornelia was pictured at the Cedarvale Ravine House in Toronto. This article was amended on 11 March 2019 to reflect that Cornelia is in fact shown at her home in Vancouver. Our apologies to the Oberlander family for the error.