Title and statement of responsibility area
John Di Castri fonds
General material designation
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Level of description
CA UVICARCH SC429
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Statement of scale (cartographic)
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Statement of coordinates (cartographic)
Statement of scale (architectural)
Issuing jurisdiction and denomination (philatelic)
Dates of creation area
1918 - 2005 (Creation)
Physical description area
3 m of textual records and other material
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Archival description area
Name of creator
John A. Di Castri was a Canadian architect born in Victoria, British Columbia and a key figure in establishing modern architecture in that city. At the age of 16, he was hired as an apprentice at the Architectural Branch of the B.C. Department of Public Works and received his education by correspondence. In 1947, he worked briefly in the office of Birley, Wade & Stockdill before leaving to study at the University of Oklahoma under Bruce Goff, a protégé of Frank Lloyd Wright. Di Castri returned to Victoria in 1951 and went into partnership with W. Nicholls before starting his own practice in 1952. He was committed to establishing modern architecture in Victoria and had a major impact on the community throughout his career. He designed shops and churches, private residences and public buildings. Major works include his award-winning Trend House; the Canadian Institute for the Blind building; the University of Victoria Student Union Building, Cornett Building and Interfaith Chapel; and the Crystal Pool. In his obituary, Di Castri was called "an essential figure in West Coast architecture in the postwar years."
The fonds was originally stored in the Di Castri firm's offices before being transferred to the basement of Di Castri's home. The material donated was selected by Martin Segger and Chris Gower in 2007 and transferred to Special Collections.
Scope and content
The fonds consists of architectural plans and drawings by Di Castri for homes and buildings in Victoria and other locations in B.C. Fonds also includes notes, correspondence, construction contracts and photographs of commissioned projects, as well as portfolios, proposals, articles about Di Castri, notebooks, and manuscripts.
Immediate source of acquisition
The fonds is arranged into five series: I. Project records, II. Personal papers, III. Writings, IV. Additional materials, and V. Project drawings and plans.
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Restrictions on access
Some of the materials (floppy diskettes, mini audio cassettes, film reels) are restricted due to lack of compatible equipment.
Terms governing use, reproduction, and publication
An inventory is available.
Generated finding aid
Includes 3,023 architectural plans; 1,118 photographs.
Subject access points
- Architects--British Columbia--Victoria
- Architecture--Designs and plans
- Campus planning--British Columbia--Victoria
- University of Victoria (B.C.). Administration Building (Proposed)
- University of Victoria (B.C.). Cornett Building
- University of Victoria (B.C.). Student Union Building
- University of Victoria (B.C.). University Interfaith Chapel
- University of Victoria (B.C.)--Buildings
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Revised by JF, July 24, 2013.
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