Art Gallery of Alberta
Early proposals for the new Art Gallery of Alberta, prepared by Dub Architects for consideration in a joint-venture competition entry with Arthur Erickson and Nick Milkovich Architects. The design studies sought to preserve the existing gallery building, while creating new gallery spaces above.
Supported by large elevator-cores running through the existing building, the new galleries were designed to be generous spaces that could accommodate large artworks. Two gallery levels were to be connected by a long ramp, forming part of a diaphanous glass façade overlooking Churchill Square. The monumental glass façade was aligned to run perpendicular to the central axis of the Square, creating compelling sightlines in and out of the ramping circulation space. The ramps attempted to provide a slow space for reflection as the occupants look back upon the city after viewing the artwork.
The proposal was designed with the potential for gallery spaces to be extended over and across 99th Street. The façade, ideal for visual projections at night, would animate the Square.
The original 1968 Brutalist building was to be largely preserved and wrapped in a glass enclosure to allow for the necessary level of environmental control required by current galleries, creating a “rough in the diamond”. These renovated spaces were to house the permanent collection, while temporary exhibits were to be displayed in the new galleries. The roof of the existing building was to be converted into a green roof with a sculpture garden overlooking the neighboring streets. Administrative spaces were to be located in a separate mass on the east of the site, facing 97th Street.
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