It was Phyllis Lambert's influence that led her father, Samuel Bronfman, to hire Ludwig Mies van der Rohe, one of the most influential architects of the 20th century, to design the Seagram Building in New York. The skyscraper now stands on Park Avenue in Midtown Manhattan, and set the tone for high-rise design in the city for several decades after its completion in 1958 - Ms. Lambert was director of planning for the project.
During the 1960s, Ms. Lambert designed the Saidye Bronfman Centre in Montreal, and served as consultant to the Toronto-Dominion Centre.
After relocating to Vancouver in the 1970s, Ms. Lambert became a leader for the community activist groups opposing demolition of the city's historic buildings, organized housing co-operatives to save low-income neighbourhoods, and became a lobbyist.
Ms. Lambert is the founder of the Canadian Centre for Architecture (CCA) in Montreal, a world-class museum and research centre. Ms. Lambert saved the hisotric Shaughnessy mansion from demolition by incorporating it into her design for the Centre.
After retiring from her position as director of the CCA, Ms. Lambert continued as chair of the board of trustees and as an active member of the acquisitions committee.
Nominator: Ms. Lambert was nominated by the Transformational Canadians Panel.