Herzog & de Meuron Tapped to Build Vancouver Art Gallery



The Vancouver Art Gallery has selected Pritzker Prize-winning Swiss architecture firm Herzog & de Meuron to design its new 300,000-square-foot building. The site, on city-owned land given to the museum last April, is half a mile from the Vancouver Art Gallery’s current home, a former courthouse it has occupied for 30 years. Designs for the new facility will be unveiled in early 2015.

“[Herzog & de Meuron’s] buildings not only effectively and elegantly meet the needs of their users, but also become places that are part of the cultural draw and identity of a city,” said Bruce Munro Wright, chair of the museum’s board of trustees, in a press release.

Seventy-five firms submitted proposals to the museum; five, including Diller Scofidio + Renfro, KPMB Architects, SANAA, and Tod Williams Billie Tsien Architects, were shortlisted in January. Herzog & de Meuron have completed several museum buildings, most recently CaixaForum in Madrid (2008), Museum der Kulturen in their hometown of Basel (2010), the Parrish Art Museum in Watermill, N.Y. (2012) and the Pérez Art Museum in Miami (2013). 

The Vancouver Art Gallery’s collection includes over 10,000 artworks and ranges from 17th-century Dutch painting to contemporary photography, with a particular focus on artists from British Columbia, among them Jeff Wall, Stan Douglas and Rodney Graham. Currently on view is an exhibition of new work acquired by the museum over the past two years (through Sept. 1) and sculptures inspired by Led Zeppelin and J.R.R. Tolkien by Vancouver-based Myfanwy MacLeod.