Schoenauer, Norbert

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Schoenauer, Norbert

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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.


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