Phyllis Lambert discusses her book Building Seagram, published by Yale University Press. Her illustrated talk is followed by a dialogue with Museum Director Carol Willis.
Considered one of the greatest icons of twentieth-century architecture, the Seagram Building was commissioned by Samuel Bronfman, founder of the Canadian distillery dynasty Seagram. Bronfman’s daughter Phyllis was twenty-seven when she took over the search for the project’s architect and chose Mies van der Rohe (1886–1969), a pioneering modern master of what he termed “skin and bones” architecture.
Building Seagram is a comprehensive personal and scholarly history of a major building and its architectural, cultural, and urban legacies. Lambert makes use of previously unpublished personal archives, company correspondence, and photographs to tell the ultimate insider’s view of the debates, resolutions, and unknown dramas of the building’s construction, as well as its crucial role in the history of modern art and architectural culture.
Phyllis Lambert is the founding director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture in Montreal. A licensed architect, she has contributed essays to numerous books and is the subject of the 2007 documentary film “Citizen Lambert: Joan of Architecture.”