Fonds F0025 - Norbert Schoenauer fonds

Identity area

Reference code



Norbert Schoenauer fonds


  • 1956-1975, predominantly 1960-1968 (Creation)

Level of description


Extent and medium

44 cm of textual records
104 photographs
ca. 220 architectural drawings
2 press proofs

Context area

Name of creator


Biographical history

Norbert Schoenauer (1923-2001) was a Canadian architect and internationally recognized housing expert and author. He was born 2 January 1923 in Reghin, Romania. He obtained his Bachelor of Architecture in 1945 from the Royal Hungarian Technical University in Budapest. Following graduation he moved to Copenhagen and obtained a Certificate in Architecture from the Royal Academy of Fine Arts in 1950. He relocated to Canada in 1951 and settled in Montreal. In 1959 he graduated from McGill with a Master of Architecture. He joined the Faculty of the School of Architecture in 1960, and was appointed Assistant Professor in 1961 and Full Professor in 1973. He was Macdonald Professor of Architecture from 1982 until his retirement from fulltime teaching in 1988, at which time he was appointed Emeritus Professor. His flagship course The History of Housing was by far the most heavily attended course in the history of the School.

The three volumes of his most famous book, 6000 Years of Housing (1981), were translated into many languages worldwide. His other publications include The Court-Garden House, Housing in Cities, University Housing in Canada, and many articles on Canadian architects, architecture and housing for the Canadian Encyclopedia, The Encyclopedia of Architecture, and other collective publications.
As architect and planner, Schoenauer participated in the design of a number of award-winning public projects, beginning with the Chomedey Civic Centre and the Confederation Memorial Building in Charlottetown in the 1960's, the Quebec Pavilion at Expo ' 67, and numerous master plan and housing projects including such award-winning schemes as Kanata’s Beaverbrook Community, Montreal's Nuns' Island Community, and the Town of Fermont in northern Quebec. He served a two-year term as Executive Director of the Central Mortgage and Housing Corporation (1975-1977) and, as the Corporation's Senior Advisor on Planning and Design. He continued to represent Canada on numerous missions for the United Nations and other international organizations worldwide. The Order of Architects of Quebec awarded him La Medaille du Merite for 1995 and the Association of Cellegiate Schools of Architecture named him a distinguished professor in 1999. Schoenauer was a Fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada and an Academician of the Royal Canadian Academy. Norbert Schoenauer died 7 August 2001 in Montreal.

Adams, Annmarie. “Norbert Schoenauer.” The Canadian Encyclopedia, 2013.

Adams, Annmarie, David Covo, Derek Drummond, and Pieter Sijpkes. “Norbert Schoenauer.” McGill, 2001.

Archival history

Immediate source of acquisition or transfer

Fonds was donated to the Canadian Architectural Archives by Norbert Schoenauer in 1977 and 1978.

Content and structure area

Scope and content

Fonds consists of architectural drawings, photographs, articles, writings, notes, sketches, and correspondence of Norbert Schoenauer between 1960 and 1970. The fonds includes architectural drawings for the projects Smyth Road Competition (Ottawa), Kanata Beaverbrook Community master plan (Ottawa), Fathers of Confederation Memorial Building (Charlottetown), Mimosa Street (Montreal), and Chomedey Civic Centre (Laval). The fonds also includes professional records documenting Schoenauer’s writings The Court-Garden House, The Point-Block Concept, Architecture Montreal, The New City Centre, Our Garden, Streetscape and Standards, Site and Scale, and various book reviews. The fonds is divided into two series: 1. Professional records - writings, and 2. Project records - drawings.

Appraisal, destruction and scheduling


No further accruals are expected

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Conditions of access and use area

Conditions governing access


Conditions governing reproduction

The University of Calgary fulfills requests for materials in our collections in accordance with Canadian copyright laws. The University of Calgary does not hold the copyright for the Norbert Schoenauer fonds. The University of Calgary Libraries and Cultural Resources may provide materials for individual study and research purposes under fair dealing and library exceptions in the Canadian Copyright Act. Permission to publish, copy or otherwise use the content must be obtained for any works under copyright protection. Patrons are responsible for ensuring they use copyright-protected works in accordance with applicable laws.

Language of material

  • English
  • French
  • German

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Related units of description

For other Norbert Schoenauer records, including architectural drawings, photographs, and textual files, see the Norbert Schoenauer fonds at McGill University’s John Bland Canadian Architecture Collection.

Related descriptions

Notes area


Title based on contents of the fonds.

Alternative identifier(s)



Original fonds identifier



26A/77.84 and 31A/78.11

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Accession area