five top firms shortlisted to design new vancouver art gallery
photo by melissa baker / courtesy of the vancouver art gallery




the vancouver art gallery (VAG) is currently in the process of selecting the design for its new downtown facility, which sees five top firms vying for the project. from 75 teams, representing 16 countries, diller scofidio + renfro (new york, USA), herzog & de meuron (basel, switzerland), KPMB architects (toronto, canada), SANAA (tokyo, japan) and tod williams billie tsien architects (new york, USA) have made the final cut.



kathleen bartels, director of the vancouver art gallery on the new building
video courtesy of the rush on shaw TV




the competition opened in september 2013 following the vancouver council’s unanimous approval to designate the city-owned site at west georgia and cambie streets for the new building. the future VAG will measure approximately 310,000 square feet, with a minimum of 25,000 square feet of external areas, and will: double the institutions current exhibition space offering more galleries to showcase the museum’s collection; house an auditorium — for lectures, films classes, art performances — that will have the capacity to host approximately 300 seats; feature a larger gallery store and a variety of food services; and state-of-the-art HVAC systems, collection storage and conservation labs to house and protect the VAG’s growing archive.


no information on schemes of the selected proposals has been revealed, but all of the submissions were assessed by a technical review panel composed of experts in architecture, design and urban planning, who discussed their findings with the jury. the five chosen teams will engage in interviews with the gallery over the coming months in order that a final architect will be announced in spring of 2014.



five top firms shortlisted to design new vancouver art gallery
site of the new vancouver art gallery
image courtesy of the vancouver art gallery




the architects short-listed for the design of our new home collectively reflect the global aspirations and achievements of our museum,’ said bruce munro wright, chair of the gallery’s board of trustees and chair of the architect selection committee. ‘each firm we selected is recognized for innovation and excellence in creating new spaces for engagement with arts and culture, and each demonstrated a strong and creative architectural vision that would support our mission and enhance Vancouver’s standing as one of the most exciting international centres of cultural production.’


the announcement of our short-list marks an exciting milestone in the realization of our new home in downtown vancouver,’ says gallery director kathleen s. bartels. ‘as a champion of the many great artists from this place, the vancouver art gallery has become a keystone of the country’s cultural community and a beacon internationally for cross-cultural dialogue and exchange in the visual arts. the new gallery will tell the many stories of art-making in british columbia, the asia pacific, and throughout the world, and will further strengthen links between diverse communities locally, nationally, and internationally.’