A high-profile architectural firm from Vancouver has been selected to design a new home for Presentation House Gallery on North Vancouver’s waterfront.
Gallery officials recently announced that Patkau Architects has been appointed to work on the estimated $12-million project.
Reid Shier, director of Presentation House Gallery, described Patkau Architects as one of the most prestigious firms in Canada.
“It’s a real delight to be able to work with them,” Shier told the Straight. “We feel really privileged.”
Patkau Architects has worked on other major projects including the Beaty Biodiveristy Museum in Vancouver and the School of Art at the University of Manitoba.
The firm is also working with local developer and philanthropist Michael Audian to build a gallery for his art collection in Whistler.
“Both projects are phenomenal opportunities,” John Patkau, a principal of Patkau Architects, said of the two gallery projects. “Having them together is like a dream come true for our office.”
Presentation House Gallery plans to relocate to a city-owned site at the foot of Lonsdale Avenue near the SeaBus terminal.
“That space, which looks across to Vancouver, is really sort of in the middle of it all, in terms of the consciousness of the broader public,” Patkau told the Straight. “It’s got this enormous profile which I think suggests it needs to be…quite a stellar building.”
At present, Presentation House Gallery is located in an aging building at 333 Chesterfield Avenue in North Vancouver. Shier said the site is poorly designed and not well located.
Preliminary plans for the new gallery call for a roughly 16,00o-square-foot facility, around triple the size of Presentation House’s current space. Shier said the plan would also double the amount of gallery space and provide more room for educational programming.
“What we anticipate the new space will allow us to do is to work on more ambitious exhibitions,” he said. “We’re going to be doing major, significant exhibitions with both local and international artists.”
Established in 1976, Presentation House Gallery’s focus is exhibiting works of photography and related media. Shows at the gallery have featured Ansel Adams, Andy Warhol, Ian Wallace and other prominent artists from Canada and abroad.
Shier said the next step in the new gallery project is to create a preliminary design, which could be ready by spring.
“First and foremost we’re looking for something that’s going to be a lot more public, a lot more accessible, and a lot more inviting,” Shier said. “And hopefully a real architectural gem that people will make the trip across on the SeaBus to visit.”