Peter Lanken is a Montreal architect, in private practice since 1977. He studied at McGill University, and graduated in Architecture, with honours, from the University of Edinburgh.

He has designed and built a number of institutional, commercial, and residential projects. His clients have included Price Waterhouse, Alcan, the Saidye Bronfman Centre, the Cote Saint-Luc Public Library, and the Canadian Centre for Architecture.

In 1988, he built a home and studio for Montreal artist Betty Goodwin, for which he was awarded the Premier prix en Architecture by l’Ordre des architects du Québec. He subsequently collaborated with this artist on a permanent installation (The Ear) at the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, and on several other, unrealized, projects.

He has worked on the restoration of several historic buildings, including the Smith House on Mount Royal (now Le Centre de la montagne), the Hurtubise House (the oldest house in Westmount), the Décary House in NDG, two historic properties in Vermont, and the Church of Sainte-Marthe- de-Vaudreuil.

In 1973, he was selected president of Sauvons Montréal/Save Montreal, and organization devoted to the preservation of Montreal’s architectural heritage, and remained in that office for nine years. During that time, by means of weekly meetings, printed documents, and public action, the group worked to prevent the demolition of Windsor Station, the Monument National, the Mother House of the Grey Nuns, and other city landmarks.

During the 1980’s, he conducted a survey and study of the work of Montreal architect Ernest Cormier (1885 – 1980), designer of the original building for the University of Montreal.

Around 1990, he began a study of the earlier Montreal architect Victor Bourgeau (1809 – 1888). By means of measured drawings, historical research and photographs, he has analyzed his work, and has begun to understand its excellence.

He has lectured in architecture at the McGill, Carleton, Waterloo, and Dalhousie schools of architecture. He has written a number of articles on architecture for the Montreal Gazette, ARQ/Architecture Québec, and other publications.

Photo: Gabor Szilasi