Thank You, Peter Cardew

Measured is saddened by the passing of architect Peter Cardew, who died October 26th. Peter was a fabulous architect, who inspired a generation of Vancouver Architects through his thoughtful, dignified approach to each project. Celebrated designs include the Lignum Sawmill Offices, Morris and Helen Belkin Art Gallery and False Creek Rowhouses.

Peter once said: 

Today we are obsessed with “newness” which causes an inadequate distinction between the “worn-in” and the “worn-out”. Is this obsession with newness sustainable? Would it cause a cultural shift when buildings, like the saddle, improve over time as they are “worn-in”? This would of course require a much deeper understanding of the craft of building.

Obviously architecture must continue to reflect cultural aspirations as they evolve, but whether we can responsibly continue to pursue “newness” as the ultimate should be debated.

To reference Alexander McQueen, one of the most progressive designers over the past fifty years:

“You’ve got to know the rules to break them, that’s what I am here for, to demolish the rules but to keep the tradition.”


As we mourn Peter, we thank him for furthering Vancouver’s understanding of design and for showing us the balance of tradition and rules.

He will be missed.




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