Vision

The Vancouver Art Gallery now stands at the threshold of one of the most exciting moments in our history. After more than a decade of research and planning for a new Gallery, we are moving forward with our vision to create an innovative and inspiring visual art museum that enriches lives and plays a pivotal role in enhancing Vancouver and British Columbia's reputation as a vibrant, creative, and desirable place to live, work and visit.

The new Vancouver Art Gallery will be a purpose-built art museum that creates and strengthens links between artists, contemporary and historical art, and diverse communities throughout the city, province and around the world. The Gallery will tie the past to the present, make visible. Vancouver's connections to other places in the world, and enhance Vancouver's reputation as one of the most important international centres for contemporary art production. There are many steps ahead, but everything we've achieved to date is thanks to the commitment of artists, our members, donors, volunteers and our many other tireless supporters. We thank them, and you for continuing to drive us forward.

The New Vancouver Art Gallery Will:

  • Expand services to the community by dramatically increasing the number and breadth of education and public programs for children, families and adults throughout the region
  • Enhance Vancouver's internal reputation as a major contemporary art centre Serve as an economic stimulator by creating new employment opportunities and promoting cultural tourism
  • Strengthen parnterships and increase engagement with the broader community.
  • Strive to become of the most environmentally sustainable art museums in Canada
  • Serve as a model for operational sustainability through an efficient and revenue-generating new facility.

Our Guiding Principles

  • Let Art Lead

    In every way, we will be committed to artists, the integrity of their work, and to fostering a public dialogue that will cultivate a free exchange of ideas.

  • Celebrate Place

    Our program will situate the local within the context of the global, will foster exchanges between east and west, and will reflect the distinctiveness and vitality of our communities.

  • Embrace the past and own the future

    We are committed to contemporary art and ideas by situating the past in the context of the present, relating visual art to present day culture, and supporting emerging artists.

  • Mobilize the power of the public

    Our institution will act as a hub of creativity that will cultivate, develop and disseminate ideas and knowledge to a broad public that reflects the diverse communities in which the Gallery engages.

  • Build for a diversity of art forms

    We are committed to presenting a full range of visual art experiences from traditional media to the newest emerging forms of digital expression.

  • Design the change

    We will adapt at the rate of change around us, promoting risk-taking while ensuring sustainability financially, operationally, environmentally and culturally.

Location

The new Vancouver Art Gallery will be built at the intersection of West Georgia and Cambie streets- two thirds of the Larwill Park site-- a two-acre, city owned parcel just a few blocks east of the Gallery's current home. The City is reserving the rest of the site for future development. This area is a nexus that bridges several important neighborhoods, including downtown area, Chinatown, Gastown and East Vancouver. Like the Gallery, these are areas are steeped in a rich sense of history even as they continue to grow and evolve. Once one of Vancouver's most popular public gathering places, Larwill Park served as a venue for sporting events, travelling shows, political demonstrations and, more recently, spectators at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and the 2015 Fifa Women's World Cup.

Conceptual Design

Within the building process the "conceptual phase" is the initial design idea for the building. This is a preliminary stage that is intended to describe the context for the new building within the city, and the character and capacity of the proposed interior and exterior spaces. The rich design offers appealing public spaces, thoughtfully integrated with a unique and compelling building. It is designed to house and display the most significant public collection of art in Western Canada, and to captivate audiences through Gallery exhibitions and programs. The conceptual design was conceived by Herzog & de Meuron, the design architects for the new Vancouver Art Gallery, working in collaboration with Vancouver-based Perkins + will as Executive Architect in the realization of the design. Herzog & de Meuron are intentionally renowned for their innvotive and elegant buildings and their contribution to the design of contemporary museums.

Meet The architects

Herzog & de Meuron

Established in 1978, Herzog & de Meuron is now a partnership led by five Senior Partners – Jacques Herzog, Pierre de Meuron, Christine Binswanger, Ascan Mergenthaler and Stefan Marbach – with an international team of six Partners, 40 Associates and about 400 collaborators. Herzog & de Meuron are working on projects across Europe, the Americas and Asia. The firm‘s main office is in Basel, Switzerland, with additional offices in Hamburg, London, Madrid, New York City, and Hong Kong. The practice has been awarded numerous prizes including The Pritzker Architecture Prize (USA) in 2001 and the RIBA Royal Gold Medal (UK) and the Praemium Imperiale (Japan), both in 2007. In 2014, Herzog & de Meuron were awarded the Mies Crown Hall Americas Prize (MCHAP) for 1111 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach.

Herzog & de Meuron have designed a wide range of projects from the small scale of a private home to the large scale of urban design. The studio’s most recognized buildings include the National Stadium for the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China (also known as the Bird’s Nest) and the conversion of the Bankside power plant to Tate Modern in London, UK (2000).

Herzog & de Meuron have completed a series of internationally acclaimed museum buildings. Built projects include Schaulager Basel, Laurenz Foundation, a warehouse for the open storage of contemporary art, in Basel/Mu¨nchenstein, Switzerland (2003); Walker Art Center Expansion in Minneapolis, USA (2005); and de Young Museum in San Francisco, USA (2005). The firm‘s latest completed museums are the Parrish Art Museum in Water Mill, NY, USA (2012) and the Pe´rez Art Museum Miami, which opened to the public during Art Basel Miami Beach in December 2013.

Timeline

  • The Movement Begins

    2004

    In the late 1990s, we began to indentify the challenges of the renovated Court-house building in which we have operated for more than three decades. In 2001, Kathleen Bartels joined the Gallery as its new director and began the process of exploring the renewal of this important institution. In 2004, we moved forward with a master planning process which concluded that the Gallery required an expected facility of roughly double its current size and that it was unfeasible to expand on the existing site.

  • Momentum Builds

    2005

    At the end of 2005, we identified the city-owned block at West Georgia and Cambie Streets as a strong candidate for a new location. The Gallery made its first crucial step towards a new, purpose-built art museum in March 2008 when we received a gift of $50 million from the Province of British Columbia, which has been held by the Gallery in a restricted building fund and earning interest.

  • Location Confirmed

    2013

    On April 24, 2013, Vancouver City Council, under the leadership of Mayor Gregor Robertson, voted unanimously to designate the city-owned site at West Georgia and Cambie Streets for a new Vancouver Art Gallery. This historic decision has been lauded by artists and representatives from other arts organizations, tourism associations, donors and community leaders. Mayor Robertson celebrated the Gallery’s plan and spoke about the importance of “placing the arts at the forefront of our city-building.”

  • Architects Selected

    2014

    In April, 2014, Vancouver Art Gallery selected Herzog & de Meuron from a group of five shortlisted firms from across the globe following a series of in-depth interviews and site visits to significant projects designed by each firm. The finalists, announced in January 2014, represented five of 75 firms from 16 different countries, who submitted their credentials through an open request for qualifications (RFQ) process issued by the Gallery. The new Vancouver Art Gallery building is Herzog & de Meuron’s first project in Canada, working in collaboration with Vancouver-based Perkins + Will as Executive Architect in the realization of the design.

  • Design Unveiled

    2015

    On September 29, 2015 the design of the new Vancouver Art Gallery has been unveiled in a public event at the Queen Elizabeth Theatre.

  • Groundbreaking Event

    2017

Connect


The world is talking – Join the conversation using #ARTMAKESUS

Watch now ». Conceptual Design Presentation for the
New Vancouver Art Gallery


Tuesday, September 29, 2015
Queen Elizabeth Theatre (649 Cambie St, Vancouver) | 6:30-10pm

On September 29, 2015, the conceptual design for the new Vancouver Art Gallery by Herzog & de Meuron revealed a rich design with appealing public spaces, thoughtfully integrated with a unique and compelling building. With close to 2,800 in attendance, we were tremendously proud to have welcomed such a wonderful audience!


We invite you to visit the presentation on the new Vancouver Art Gallery, in the Gallery’s lobby. Free public access

"All eyes will be on the Vancouver Art Gallery later this month when it makes one of the biggest announcements in its 84-year history"
- The Vancouver Sun

Support

Support the Vancouver Art Gallery

Join us now as we present innovative exhibitions, support local and international artists, and build the audiences of tomorrow. Your donation will contribute to a vibrant program of exhibitions and public programs that include artists' talks, FUSE events, family activities, school programs and so much more.

The generosity of our supporters and their collective passion for the arts continue to fuel the Gallery's ongoing civic dialouge about art and life and its monumental journey towards a new building.

The Vancouver Art Gallery is a not-for-profit organization supported by its members, individual donors, corporate funders, foundations and three levels of government.

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