The Vancouver Art Gallery has launched a Request for Qualifications process to select the architect who will help build its proposed new building at Larwill Park.
“After years of research and planning for a new Gallery, we are thrilled to be at the stage where we can move forward with our vision to create an innovative and inspiring visual art museum.” Kathleen Bartels, director of the VAG, stated today (September 5) in a news release.
In April, Vancouver city council voted in favour to grant a 99-year lease on a 1.8-acre site at Cambie and Georgia Streets for a new, purpose-built VAG. The lease, however, is contingent on the VAG securing a $100 million contribution from the federal government and $50 million from the provincial government by April 30, 2015.
Bartels is part of a 13-member architect-selection committee, chaired by Bruce Munro Wright, who is also chair of the VAG’s board of trustees. Other members include David Aisenstat, a past board of trustees chair and CEO of the Keg Steakhouse + Bar; Michael Audain, chair of the VAG Foundation, and founder and chairman of Polygon Homes Ltd.; George Baird, founding principal of Baird Sampson Neuert Architects and the former dean of University of Toronto’s architecture program; Andrew Gruft, a former professor at UBC’s School of Architecture; Terry Hui, president and CEO of Concord Pacific Developments; George Killy, president of Harley Street Holdings; Phil Lind, vice chairman of Rogers Communications; Peeter Wesik, chair of the Gallery Building Committee and chairman of Wesgroup Properties; and Mriko Zardini, director of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. The only two selection committee members who are practicing artists are Sherry Killam, who is also the cofounder of French Country Antiques, and photographer Jeff Wall.
Interested architects are asked to submit RFQ responses by October 4 at 5 p.m. The new gallery is expected to comprise 310,000 square feet, with 86,500 square feet of exhibition space, a 300-seat auditorium, multi-use classrooms and studios, and large outdoor areas.