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Herzog & de Meuron's Conceptual Design for Vancouver Art Gallery unveiled
VANCOUVER, BC, CANADA, 29 September 2015 - The Vancouver Art Gallery unveiled the conceptual design for a new museum building in downtown Vancouver. Herzog & de Meuron propose a symmetrical, upright building with larger volumes concentrated at the top and minimal mass at the bottom. By lifting the bulk of the structure high above the street, the design allows light and air to filter down to an open-air courtyard below. The building includes a one-storey structure on the ground level that frames the courtyard and houses free exhibition space as well as a café, store, and a resource center. The lower levels are mostly transparent, making many of the Gallery’s activities visible, while the upper levels, which primarily house exhibition spaces, are more solid and opaque.

Jacques Herzog says:
“The urbanistic concept is based on the contrast between the low-rise framing along the street block and the taller and more sculptural building in the middle of an open and accessible garden and plaza. The low-rise wooden building along the street is inspired by how the streets in Vancouver were built in earlier times. Their modest, almost domestic scale will enhance the character of openness and visibility for everyone.”

Christine Binswanger, Partner in Charge, says:
“The project for the new Vancouver Art Gallery has a civic dimension that can contribute to the life and identity of the city, in which many artists of international reputation live and work. It will be a powerful statement to construct this large building out of wood, a material with a long tradition in British Columbia.”

Pierre de Meuron says:
“The museum will offer a wide range of very different gallery spaces – different in size and proportion, different in light conditions and views they offer, but also in their materiality and their positioning within the topographic complex of the museum.”