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c/o Mulvey & Banani


Remai Modern’s new building was designed for transformative experiences. The museum’s spaces were thoughtfully developed for art and people, recognizing that both are variable and unpredictable.  From its placement on the banks of the South Saskatchewan River, Remai Modern connects architecturally with a Prairie Modern style and responds to the low, flat topography of the landscape. Parts of the exterior will be clad in a mesh screen of copper, a material inspiration from the nearby Bessborough Hotel, an architectural landmark built by the Canadian National Railway in 1932.  

Inside and out, the museum has a human dimension, with sensitivity to materials, light and scale. It provides intimate spaces as well as dramatic expanses, with an atrium and outdoor terraces offering stunning views of the river and sky. Art experiences will animate the building throughout. [1]

The form and massing respond to the low, flat topography of Saskatchewan’s prairie landscape and evoke regional agrarian traditions of low-rise, rectilinear sheds and barns. Four cantilevered horizontal volumes engage the River edge to the south and 2nd Avenue to the east. The south elevation spans the length of the site and the ground floor is fully glazed to provide continuous day-lit public spaces with access to the River. Entrances at each end integrate the gallery into the new pedestrian flows along the river bank. 

Public spaces on every level are organized to maximize the connection to the river. A central atrium organizes the plan and offers a community gathering space. A generously-scaled connecting stair on the ground floor is located to initiate a continuous path through all levels. 

The exterior is clad in a copper-coloured metal screen and was inspired by Saskatoon’s historic architectural landmark, the Bessborough Hotel (CNR, 1932). 

The architecture of the Remai Modern simultaneously looks back and forward. It forges a strong relationship to the legacy of the [former art museum site] and creates a platform to reinforce the role of art for the “advancement of Saskatoon as a creative city dedicated to lifelong learning.” [2]

In addition to gallery space, the facility includes a community gallery, studio classrooms, a film and lecture theatre, meeting rooms and spaces for receptions and other public events. LEED® Silver Certification / AWARD: Canadian Architect – Award of Excellence (2011) [3]


Governor General’s Medal, Architecture, 2020
Civic Trust Award, 2019
Prairie Design Award of Excellence, 2018
Ontario Association of Architects Award of Design Excellence, 2018
Canadian Architect Award of Excellence, 2011


[1]      “About the Building.” Remai Modern. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://remaimodern.org/about/the-building.


[2]      “Remai Modern.” KPMB. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.kpmb.com/project/remai-modern/.


[3]      “Remai Modern.” Mulvey & Banani. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://mbii.com/succes_stories/remai-modern/.


Additional information:

“The Architect and Designers.” Remai Modern. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://remaimodern.org/about/the-architect-and-designers.


“Governor General's Medal Winner: Remai Modern.” Canadian Architect, June 1, 2020. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/governor-generals-medal-winner-remai-modern/.


Jen, Leslie. “Prairie Transformation: Remai Modern Art Gallery, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.” Canadian Architect, May 2, 2019. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/prairie-transformation/.


Project Title: Remai Modern Art Gallery
Artists:  KPMB Architects
Year: 2017

Place: Saskatoon, SK

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