Do you have a story you would like to share about Arthur Erickson or his legacy? If so, submit your story in an email with photo(s), video, or any combination thereof, and (subject to editorial review) we will publish it here. Send your story to with "Chronicle" in the subject line.

Watch this space too for Erickson-related news, book notices, meeting reports, and more.

  • 2 Mar 2019 12:25 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    On March 2, 2019 CBC News reported: "Even for an architect whose wide range includes the Museum of Anthropology at the University of British Columbia, the MacMillan Bloedel building in downtown Vancouver, and Simon Fraser University, Eppich House II — which is now up for sale — stands out for several reasons ..."

  • 15 May 2018 2:32 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    AEF Director Michael Prokopow has published his new book: Smith House II. This monograph on the house of Gordon and Marion Smith, the second house designed by Arthur Erickson for the artists, is the seventh book in the UBC SALA West Coast Modern House series. The series was established to recognize and document significant, endangered modern residences in the region.

  • 8 May 2018 9:47 AM | William McLean (Administrator)

    Guy Dixon, writing in the Globe & Mail 2018.05.08: "As with Mr. Erickson’s Robson Square in Vancouver and the Simon Fraser University campus in Burnaby, much of the late architect’s greatness was the dialogue he created between nature and modernism. And the possible loss of the atrium garden had conservationists particularly worried prior to the bank headquarters’ three-year, $460-million full-scale renovation, which was completed last year ... (read more)

  • 12 Apr 2018 2:51 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    From an undated speech, included in "Speeches by Arthur Erickson" (University of British Columbia Library): "The house was purchased in 1957 for $11,000. What attracted me to it was the garden—the whole of the property (66x120) was to the south of the house, since the house was on the lane, and had been developed as a colourful English herbaceous border garden concealing a vegetable and raspberry patch at the southern end. The house itself had been built about 40 years earlier as a garage to be lived in while the main house was built—properly, on the centre of the property. It was temporarily converted into a dwelling with a small lean-to and divided into a set of miniature rooms, a living room, dining room, kitchen, front hall, bedroom and bathroom. But the owners never built the main house. Instead they added a single garage next door which, when I bought it, was used for storage.

    "I set a destructive Irish sailor-handyman to taking down all the partitions, arriving only in time to save the collapse of the roof by propping it up with a wood and terra cotta Ionian column I had retrieved from the demolition of a former residence. That was the first conversion—as a one-roomed house furnished with marble slabs from the urinals of the old Vancouver Hotel and seating made from the straw benches of the former trolley cars of Vancouver, gold dragon's-blood Chinese paper lacquered into antiquity with many layers of pigmented lacquer and a teak cabinet kitchen. The garage became a guest room for visiting guests but only in summer for there was no heat.

    "The garden changed more dramatically. In the second year long grass covered the property since it was never cut and the English garden struggled through the grass as if the place had been romantically deserted. But the third year the flowers no longer appeared, except for the forlorn roses hanging off the trellises and the grass was too long to even scythe. The only solution was to bring in a bulldozer and use it for contouring the lot to obscure the only disturbing view from the house—that down the length of the lot to the ugly brown shingle arched front porch of the neighbor across the street to the south …" 

    AE in his living room at 4195 West 14th Avenue, 1972
    Photo credit: Selwyn Pullan 

  • 7 Dec 2017 5:50 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    Lara Fominoff, writing in the Lethbridge News Now 2017.12.06: "In Vancouver, a city where lots with just a single home are becoming closer to unicorn-like status, the Arthur Erickson Foundation is trying desperately to hold on to its property, to preserve it and to restore it as a heritage site. ... (read more)

  • 6 Dec 2017 12:30 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    Arthur's nephew and AEF Board member, Christopher Erickson, reminisces about the Erickson garden: "Not sure where the term 'Moon Viewing Platform' came from as it was not originally referred to as such. It had been a marble that Arthur had scored from the demolition of the old police station, but became so cracked over time it had to be replaced. Geoff and I installed this granite under Arthur’s supervision which he described as the 'Egyptian way' with a sand base. The granite was donated by Frank Mahovlich of Mahovlich Marble and Granite in Burnaby, a great supporter of Arthur."

  • 17 Apr 2017 6:05 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    John Mackie included Arthur in the Vancouver Sun's "150 Noteworthy British Columbians", writing on 2017.04.17: "In the 1970s and ’80s, Erickson’s fame spread internationally thanks to acclaimed structures like Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto and the Canadian Embassy in Washington, D.C. But it’s in his native B.C. where Erickson designed many of his marvels, including the Museum of Anthropology at the University of B.C., Robson Square in downtown Vancouver and the Filberg house in Comox ... (read more)

  • 6 Dec 2016 12:47 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    The 2015 Erickson House and Garden Conservation Plan (available here) is part of a larger package being assembled, including detailed architectural plans, condition report, conservation costing, to assist in the long term conservation of the Arthur Erickson House and Garden, through a Heritage Revitalization Agreement with the City of Vancouver.

    The plan was prepared by Donald Luxton & Associates and Neill Cumberbirch Architect. At its 35th Anniversary Awards Gala in February 2016, Heritage BC cited the authors of the conservation plan for Outstanding Achievement in the category Heritage Planning and Management.

  • 20 Sep 2015 12:31 PM | William McLean (Administrator)

    Alan Bell talks about working with Arthur on the Abu Nuwas project in Baghdad:

    "Arthur’s large projects usually went through an extended period of gestation, with extensive studies and dialogue involving various design team members.  But in 1981, for the Abu Nuwas project in Baghdad, we were required to produce two complete, bold schemes for the entire 3.5 km of Tigris River frontage for a very tight deadline. These two schemes were to serve as the focus for an international planning and design conference in Baghdad, and to provoke clearer instructions from the ultimate client – Saddam Hussein himself.  And each scheme required a “big idea” that could only come from Arthur.

    "Arthur’s first 'big idea' – a new island in the middle of the river – had come very quickly in response to a surprise question from the Mayor of Baghdad.  But as the days ticked by, the team was getting desperate for Arthur to come up with a bold concept for the second scheme.  Then one morning, faxed from wherever Arthur happened to be that day, we received five pages of 8½ x 11” sketches that he had done on his airplane tray table or in his hotel room.  Three sheets combined to form a complete layout for a series of gardens along the banks of the Tigris, while the other two sheets provided more detail on some individual gardens, right down to species of scented trees and geometries inspired by traditional Islamic patterning."

    Photo credit: Erickson Estate Collection

  • 15 Sep 2015 6:12 PM | Anonymous

    On a sunny Sunday afternoon in August, AEF Tour Director Simon Scott hosted a couple and their six guests for champagne and hors d’oeuvres in Arthur Erickson’s “Secret Garden.” 

    The couple successfully bid for this tour at the East Vancouver Cultural Centre’s Annual Gala Fundraiser, where Simon spoke about Arthur’s life and career. Simon showed them the grounds and shared stories of the garden and Arthur’s many guests. David Stouck also read from his recent book, the acclaimed Arthur Erickson biography, An Architect’s Life.

    In a note of thanks, the guests wrote, “What a lovely sanctuary from the cares and troubles of the world! The anecdotes and readings you each shared so greatly enriched our understanding of Arthur, his life and his genius. We are so very convinced that a way has to be found to preserve that oasis for other generations.”

    The AEF wishes to thank Simon for so generously donating his time and money to the AEF to enable this lovely event.

    Photo credit: Erickson Estate Collection


Photo credit: Erickson Estate Collection