Cornelia Hahn Oberlander, LMBCSLA, FCSLA, FASLA, CC spoke with Wallpaper.com about her passionate proponent of environmental protection and liveable landscapes in urban settings.
"In spite of her well-regarded residential work, Oberlander prefers large urban schemes and her two big Vancouver projects with Erickson – Robson Square and the Museum of Anthropology (where she extended the idea of the First Nations collection into an ethno-botanical meadow) – are her best known projects. Robson Square, commissioned by a progressive provincial government as a ‘building that would put people first’ and completed in 1983, was conceived as an urban oasis – a tower placed on its side, extending over three blocks and comprising a courthouse, government offices and recreational public space.
‘It’s essentially a park on top of a structure,’ explains Oberlander, who did extensive research on which plants were best suited for the downtown location. Her chosen palette of Japanese maple trees and pines, magnolia and rhododendron, in a syncopated, staggered design, both soothes and elevates the urban aesthetic, offering an abstract yet lush vegetative response to Erickson’s concrete poetry."