Vancouver Art Gallery Programming and Executive Architect Services

Vancouver, British Columbia

Project Info
Vancouver Art Gallery Programming and Executive Architect Services
Vancouver, British Columbia
Square Footage: 311,000

Perkins+Will was selected as Executive Architect to work with the Vancouver Art Gallery (VAG) in partnership with Design Architect Herzog & de Meuron in the creation of a new VAG facility.

Perkins+Will led a series of visioning and programming workshops with museum staff and executive leadership to rethink exhibiting practices and advance creative new ideas for visitor engagement. The new facility will feature a wide array of alternative art experiences from installation settings to performance and children’s workshops to innovative art bars. Museum resources typically reserved for research and scholarship will be made more visible and accessible to general patrons including the ability to purchase original artist editions or lease selected works from the collections.

The concept design of the new facility is bold and unique – responsive to the distinct character and rich history of the site, the City, and the region at large. The new Gallery features 85,000 square feet of exhibition space – more than double of the current gallery. Encompassing two thirds of a two acre site, the 310,000 square foot building is comprised of a 10 storey stacked central building, 230 feet in height, surrounded by an open-air courtyard framed by a one storey building. The low-rise structure also houses a resource centre for research, library services and artist archives, a series of galleries and a dedicated space for the Institute of Asian Art—all overlooking the 40,000-square-foot courtyard.

A sweeping ceremonial staircase leads visitors from the courtyard to the large lower level lobby. Here a sunken garden creates a peaceful sanctuary by bringing nature and light into the lobby and surrounding exhibition spaces. Double-height galleries rise up to street level inviting in daylight and providing visibility to outside passersby. The upper floors include a 350-seat auditorium, education spaces, exhibit spaces, galleries, and public restaurant with a large covered terrace and city views.

Perkins+Will and Herzog & de Meuron will continue to work with the Gallery throughout the rest of the design and implementation process.