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c/o Herzog & DeMeuron

nb this project is still in its initial funding stages, and remains a conceptual endeavor 


The proposal for the new Vancouver Art Gallery is a sculptural, symmetrical, upright building. From an urban standpoint it is a classical type: a recognizable public building along a prominent boulevard. The building has both a low and a tall component. The low component addresses human scale and street
life, whilst the high one offers public visibility within the vertically dominated Downtown Peninsula. 

Larwill Park, the site of the new Vancouver Art Gallery, is one of the last unbuilt city blocks on Vancouver’s Downtown Peninsula. The new site is situated seven blocks east of the current Gallery’s home on West Georgia. It is surrounded by public institutions and is a key location that connects the west and the east of the peninsula linking Yaletown and Central Downtown to Gastown and Chinatown. It is an upcoming and vibrant area with many new businesses, cafes and popular restaurants. [1] 

The new Vancouver Art Gallery will drive creative innovation. More than just an art museum in a traditional sense, it will have multiple functions that collectively enhance visitors’ quality of life. Through our vision and programming, the new museum will be a gallery, library, school, playground, laboratory, theatre and community centre. 

Recast to be more pragmatic, nimble, cost-effective and collaborative, the new Gallery will also be a significant leader in the areas of cultural inclusion and sustainability. A museum that reflects an Indigenous world view in its material and conceptual dimensions is long overdue, as is a major cultural organization that can model the feasibility of a green building aligned with the goals of CleanBC. 

The three pathways of Indigenous Reconciliation and Redress, Environmental Leadership, and Social Development and Well-Being serve as a framework for a brighter future—one where visitors will enjoy a wide array of enhanced and inclusive exhibitions and programs as the new Gallery adopts new technologies and redesigns itself for new realities. 

The new Gallery will be the first art museum in North America built to Passive House building standards and will be the most environmentally sustainable art museum in Canada. Its everyday operations will be a dynamic demonstration of practices that are innovative, sustainable and carbon neutral. [2]

Wood is the materials of Vancouver. In the early 20th century, Vancouver consisted primarily of low-rise wooden structures. Over the last three decades, the city and in particular the downtown peninsula has transformed into a vertical city made out of glass clad towers. The new Vancouver Art Gallery will use both wood and glass in a complementary fashion. [1]


[1]      “438 VANCOUVER ART GALLERY.” HERZOG & DE MEURON. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.herzogdemeuron.com/index/projects/complete-works/426-450/438-new-vancouver-art-gallery.html.

[2]       Vancouver Art Gallery. Accessed June 17, 2021. https://www.vanartgallery.bc.ca/future-gallery.

Additional information:

“February 2020 Press Release.” VAG. Vancouver Art Gallery, February 24, 2020. https://vagallery.s3.us-west-2.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/02/24222737/VAG-PR-Donald-Ellis-Donation-Announcement.pdf.

“Vancouver Art Gallery Receives $1.5 Million Gift for New Building.” Canadian Architect, April 7, 2020. https://www.canadianarchitect.com/vancouver-art-gallery-receives-1-5-million-gift-for-new-building/.

“Vancouver Art Gallery.” Fast + Epp, April 2, 2020. https://www.fastepp.com/portfolio/vancouver-art-gallery/.

Project Title: Vancouver Art Gallery (proposed new site)
Artists:  Herzog & De Meuron
Year: 2015

Place: Vancouver, BC

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