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VAN GINKEL, Blanche Lemco

London, England, 1923
Toronto, ON, 2022
Biography synopsis
Van Ginkel grew up in Montreal, studied architecture at McGill (B.Arch, 1945), City Planning at Harvard (Master of City Planning, 1950), and established van Ginkel Associates in 1957. In 1970 she was the first woman elected to the Council of the Province of Quebec Architects Association, and in 1971 was elected an officer of PQAA. The first woman elected as an officer of RAIC in 1972, she became its first female Fellow in 1973. Van Ginkel was the first woman President of the Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture from 1986-1987, and the first Canadian woman to receive the ACSA Distinguished Professor Award in 1989. She was active in CIAM and Team 10, and a founding member of the Corporation des Urbanistes du Québec. Van Ginkel worked in Canada, United States, England and France where she worked in the Atelier Le Corbusier in Paris on the Unité d’Habitation, Marseille (1948). As a principal of van Ginkel Associates, projects included urban design proposals for Manhattan and Montreal, saving Old Montreal, Bowring Park and Footbridge, St.John's Nfld (Massey Medal for Architecture 1964), the original master planning for Expo 67, and regional development in Malaysia. She served on municipal and provincial planning commissions. Van Ginkel was the first woman appointed to a teaching position at the University of Pennsylvania in 1951. She also taught at Harvard, Université de Montreal, McGill University, and was appointed Dean of Architecture at the University of Toronto (1977-1982) where she taught until 1992. She received the 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 Québec (2003). In 2005 the Doctorat Honoris Causa was bestowed upon her by Université Aix-Marseille and in 2013 by McGill University. She received the RAIC Gold Medal (2020) (I. Puchalski)
Media used
McGill University, 1940 - 1945
Harvard University, 1948 - 1950 (under Walter Gropius)
Royal Architectural Institute of Canada (RAIC), Fellow 1973
Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), Associate
Royal Canadian Academy of Arts
Ontario Association of Architects (OAA), Life Member 1998
American Institute of Architects (AIA), Honorary Fellow 1995
Association of Collegiate Schools of Architecture (ACSA), President 1986-1987
Canadian Institute of Planners
Order of Canada, Member 2000
Toronto Society of Architects, Fellow 1998
File & Archive locations
Virginia Tech, VA - International Archive of Women in Architecture
University of Toronto, ON - Archives and Records Management Services
Canadian Centre for Architecture, QC - Library
Canadian Women Artists History Initiative Documentation Centre, QC
University of Pennsylvania Library
National Gallery of Canada, ON - Library and Archives
University of British Columbia - Fine Arts Library

Writings about
"'Things Kept Happening' to McGill-schooled Architecture Dean." Gazette (Montreal) 28 Sept. 1982: C8
"A Dancer's Studio." Blanche Lemco. Student Work from McGill University. Journal, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada 19.2 (Feb. 1942): 26
"Architecture's New Director." Graduate (University of Toronto) 5.1 (1977): 4
"Awards: Order of Canada." Canadian Architect 45.9 (Sept. 2000): 7,8
"Bowring Park, St. John's: Landscape Design: van Ginkel Associates." Canadian Architect 5.7 (July 1960): 67-69
"Footbridge in Bowring Park St. John's Newfoundland." Journal, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada 41.11 (Nov. 1964): 131
"Honour Roll." Globe & Mail 22 June 1995: C9
"Massey Medals 1964." Journal, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada 41.11 (Nov. 1964): 35-40, 131
"Member Honoured." Royal Canadian Academy of Arts. Bulletin. July 1991
"Named to the Order of Canada." Toronto Star 14 July 2000: A8
"News From the Institute: Awards." Journal, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada 33.12 (Dec. 1956): 483
"News." Canadian Architect 44.1 (Jan. 1999): 7
"News." Canadian Architect 35.11 (Nov. 1990): 6
"Other Advisor Activities." International Archive of Women in Architecture Newsletter 16 (Fall 2004): 2
"Provincial News: Quebec: Montreal Study Group." Journal, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada 38.1 (Jan. 1961): 57
"RAIC Annual Awards: Mentions (Unrealized Projects): Midtown Manhattan Transportation Plan, van Ginkel Partners, Montreal." Architecture Canada 50.589 (July 1973): 4
"RAIC/IRAC Communiqué: Nine New Fellows." Architecture Canada 50.588 (June 1973): 4
"Van Ginkel et Ass. architectes: Micro-bus urbain, New York." Architecture d'Aujourd'hui 45.169 (Sept./Oct. 1973): 83
"What About the RAIC Medal?" Architecture Canada 48.562 (July 1971): 4-5
Adams, Annmarie. "'Archi-ettes' in Training: the Admission of Women to McGill's School of Architecture." Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada Bulletin 21.3 (Sept. 1996): 70-73
Adams, Annmarie. "Blanche Lemco van Ginkel." Canadian Encyclopedia 2012
Adams, Annmarie. "Building Barriers: Images of Women in Canada's Architectural Press, 1924-73 (Journal of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada)." Resources for Feminist Research 23.3 (Fall 1994): 11-23
Adams, Annmarie. "Gender Issues: Designing Women." Architecture School: Three Centuries of Educating Architects in North America. Ed. Joan Ockman, and Rebecca Williamson. Cambridge, Mass: MIT Press, 2012
Adams, Annmarie. "Girl Architects-To-Be: Early Women Graduates of McGill's School of Architecture, 1939-1970." ARQ: revue d'architecture 92 (Août 1996): 12
Adams, Annmarie & Peta Tancred. 'Designing Women': Gender and the Architectural Profession. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2000
Adams, Annmarie and Peta Tancred. "Montreal's Designing Women." Beaver 80.6 (Dec.2000): 28-32
Armstrong, Julian. "Local Girl Architect Wins Award at Vienna Congress." Gazette (Montreal) 14 Sept. 1956
Beverly Willis Architecture Foundation.. The Women Who Changed Architecture. Princeton, N.J.: . Princeton Architectural Press, 2022
Bliznakov, Milka. "News of Our Advisors." International Archive of Women in Architecture Newsletter 13 (Fall 2001): 5-6
Boisvert, André. "Une entrevue avec Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, Cofondatrice de l'Ordre des urbanistes du Québec." Urbanité cahier spécial 4.1 (Printemps 1999)
Cha, Jonathan. "L'espace public dans la production de Van Ginkel Associates des idées au delà des projets." ARQ (Architecture-Québec) 160 (Août 2012): 26-32
Deschamps, Yves. "Les Van Ginkel: l'exposition comme outil de culture." ARQ (Architecture-Québec) 160 (Août 2012): 12-15, 18
Greenwood, Heather and Hamida Ghafour. "Order Honours 19 from GTA; List has Scientists, Philanthropists, and a Comic Twist: 'Marg Delahunty'." Toronto Star 14 July 2000: A8
Hillel, Joseph. City Dreamers/Reveuses de Villes. Montreal, QC: Couzin Films, 2018
Hodges, Margaret E.. "Expressway Aesthetics: Montreal in the 1960s." Journal of the Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada 37.1 (2012): 45-55
Hodges, Margaret Emily. Blanche Lemco van Ginkel and H.P. Daniel van Ginkel: Urban Planning Montreal: McGill University Thesis (Ph.D.), 2004
Hume, Christopher. "No Obstacle Too High for This Designing Woman." Toronto Star 31 Aug. 1991: K3
Joynes, Jennifer R. "Women in the Architectural Profession." Habitat 2.4 (Jul/Aug 1959): 2-6
Joynes, Jennifer R. "Women in the Architectural Profession." Journal, Royal Architectural Institute of Canada 36.9 (Sept 1959): 320-321
Lachapelle, Jacques. "Les Van Ginkel et le Vieux-Montréal." ARQ (Architecture-Québec) 160 (Août 2012): 20-23
MacGillivray, Leo. "A Simple Plan Restore a Downtown Square." Gazette (Montreal) 16 July 1973
Martins-Manteiga, John. "Ginkelvan: the Van Ginkels." Ornamentum 26.3 (Fall/Winter 2009): 32
Prochazka, Alena. "Entrevue avec Blanche Lemco van Ginkel." ARQ (Architecture-Québec) 160 (Août 2012): 6-11
Rex, Kathleen. "Woman Architects vs the Hard Hats." Globe & Mail 9 Aug. 1973: W1
Richter, Adrienne. Blanche Lemco van Ginkel, Montreal Modernist Ottawa: Carleton University Thesis (M.A.), 2002
Scott, Marian. "Urban Planners were Saviours of Our City." Gazette (Montreal) 22 Sept. 2012
Virginia Tech. "IAWA Database Information for Blanche Lemco van Ginkel." International Archive of Women in Architecture Nov. 2003
Wallace, Pat. "A Design Draft for Success." Province (Vancouver) 1 June 1978: 12

Writings by
Lemco, Miss Blanche. "Are New Apartments Overcrowded?" Canadian Builder 1.4 (Sept.-Oct.1951): 17-19
Lemco, Miss Blanche. "Tomorrow's Houses - Low-cost Housing Competitions." Canadian Builder 1.3 (July 1951): 25-28
Simard, Jacques, H.P.Daniel van Ginkel, and B. van Ginkel. Preliminary Port Study for the Montreal Port Council. Montreal: [The Council], 1960
Van Ginkel Associates. Rehabilitation of the Old City of Montreal: Draft Report to the Montreal City Planning Department. Montreal: [van Ginkel Associates], 1963
Van Ginkel Associates. "Landscape." Canadian Architect 5.7 (July 1960): 68-69
Van Ginkel Associates. "Movement in Midtown: New York City." Ekistics 33.194 (January 1972): 52-58
Van Ginkel Associates. "New Circulation Patterns for a Metropolis." Architectural Forum 135.3 (October 1971): 28-33
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. Statements and Aspirations: a Retrospective Exhibition of Student Work. Toronto: University of Toronto, 1990
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "Aesthetic Considerations in Community Planning." Community Planning Review 11.4 (1961): 28-30
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "Aesthetic Considerations." Urban Problems: a Canadian Reader. Ed. Ralph Ray Krueger, and R. Charles Bryfogle. Toronto: Holt, Rinehart and Winston of Canada, 1971. 46-50
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "After Expo." Architectural Design 37.7 (July 1967): 332
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "Depreciation and Redevelopment." Canadian Architect 15.3 (March 1970): 60-61
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "Design with the Automobile: the Landscape." Canadian Art 19.1 (Jan./Feb. 1962): 52-57
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "Dreams of Development." Environments 17.2 (1985): 102-105
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "Education of the Architect." Housing for an Aging Population: Alternatives: Proceedings of a Conference November 7-8, 1980, Medical Sciences Building, University of Toronto. Ed. Blossom T. Wigdor, and Louise Ford. Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 1981. 193-196
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "Land Use and Resource Planning of the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence Region." Community Planning Review 13.4 (Winter 1963): 39-40
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "Lessons." Fifth Column 5.2 (Winter 1985): 9-11
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "New Forms of Family Housing." Canadian Art Special Issue: Architecture and Allied Arts 17.6 (November 1960): 336-337
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "New Towns in the North." Contact 8.3 (1976): 298-308
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "New World Capitals." Urban Design International 4.2 (1983): 8, 40
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "Planning Action by Indirection." Environments 20.3 (1990): 52-56
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "Slowly and Surely (and Somewhat Painfully): More or Less the History of Women in Architecture in Canada." Society for the Study of Architecture in Canada Bulletin 17.1 (Mar. 1991): 5-11
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "Slowly and Surely (But Somewhat Painfully): More or Less the History of Women in Architecture in Canada." Canadian Architect 38.11 (Nov. 1993): 15-17
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "The Centre City Pedestrian." Architecture Canada 43.8 (Aug. 1966): 36-39
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "The Form of the Core." Journal of the American Institute of Planners 27.1 (Feb. 1961): 56-69
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "The Phenomenon of Pollution." Pollution Reader: Based on the National Conference on "Pollution and Our Environment." Comp. Anthony Devos, et al. Montreal: Harvest House, 1968. 13-18
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "The Story Behind the Exhibit." For the Record: the First Women in Canadian Architecture. Toronto: Dundurn Press, 2008. 117
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "Transportation: Ins and Outs." Canadian Architect 18.6 (June 1973): 32-39
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. "Urban Design." Canadian Encyclopedia 2012
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco. Introduction. An Architect's Library of 1890: an Exhibition in the Thomas Fisher Rare Book Library, University of Toronto, 23 January - 29 March 1991. Ed. Philip Oldfield. Toronto: University of Toronto Library, 1991
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco and Anupam Banerji, ed. "Designing for Extremes of Heat and Cold." Environments 15.2 (1983)
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco and Clive Russell. "The Central Area." Exploring Montreal. Ed. Pierre Beaupré, and Annabel Slaight. Montreal: Montreal Society of Architecture, 1974. 100-111
Van Ginkel, Blanche Lemco and Daniel van Ginkel. "Bowring Park, St. John's/Newfoundland." CIAM '59 in Otterlo. Oscar Newman Stuttgart: Karl Kramer, 1961. 102-106
Van Ginkel, Sandy and Blanche. "New Patterns for a Metropolis: Midtown Manhattan." Architectural Forum 135.3 (October 1971): 28-33

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