Herzog & de Meuron will be designing the new Vancouver Art Gallery, as announced today by the institution. The space of the current 300,000 sq.ft Gallery will be doubled and provide facilities to support the museum's continuously increasing number of collections, exhibitions, and programs. Among Herzog & de Meuron's notable cultural institution projects worldwide, the new Vancouver Art Gallery will be the Swiss firm's first Canadian project. Conceptual designs are expected to be revealed in early 2015.
HdM was selected out of a star-studded shortlist that consisted of Diller Scofidio + Renfro (New York), Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects (New York), KPMB Architects (Toronto), and SANAA (Tokyo). The finalists, who were announced in January, were chosen out of 75 firms from 16 countries who submitted to an open Request for Qualifications process issued by the Gallery.
Here's more detail about the project from the Vancouver Art Gallery:
"The Vancouver Art Gallery’s Architect Selection Committee was unanimous in their recommendation of Herzog & de Meuron to the Gallery’s Board of Trustees. Their recommendation was based on the firm’s proven ability to create innovative museum buildings that place prominence on artists and institutional mission, and the firm’s vision for the new Gallery, which recognizes and responds to the context and needs of the museum now and in the future.
Based in Basel, Switzerland, Herzog & de Meuron have had a longstanding engagement with the visual arts, working with institutions and artists around the world on such re nowned buildings as the Tate Modern in London, the Schaulager in Basel, the Pérez Art Museum Miami, and the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis. In addition, the firm has realized some of its most significant work around the Pacific, including the de Young Museum in San Francisco, California ; Prada Aoyama in Tokyo, Japan ; and the National Stadium (“Bird’s Nest”) in Beijing, China.
The new Vancouver Art Gallery will be located at West Georgia and Cambie Streets in downtown Vancouver, on a city-owned site that was awarded to the museum by unanimous vote of the Vancouver City Council in April 2013. The new building will include dedicated space for the museum’s growing collections, expanded indoor and outdoor exhibition spaces for the Gallery’s dynamic exhibitions, and new educational facilities that will allow it to dramatically increase educational and public programs.
The new Gallery building will enhance the cultural, social, and community space in the heart of downtown Vancouver and become an important economic driver for the city — creating a public centre that connects the downtown area, Chinatown, Gastown, and East Vancouver, and that attracts visitors and cultural tourists from throughout the region and internationally.
The Vancouver Art Gallery has already received significant support for its expansion, including a $50 million gift from the Province of British Columbia and the designation by the City of Vancouver of the downtown site at West Georgia and Cambie Streets. The Gallery expects to announce early capital gift s in the coming weeks and launch the public phase of the capital campaign as the conceptual design is unveiled."
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