October 8, 2014
by Canadian Architect
5468796 Architecture + Number TEN Architectural Group’s proposal for the Art Gallery of Greater Victoria, Canada (AGGV) was awarded the prestigious Future Project of the Year Award at the World Architecture Festival in Singapore.
However, the project will never actually be built. 5468796 Architecture and Number TEN architectural group were among three teams shortlisted for the AGGV’s $14-million expansion contract. The art gallery ultimately awarded the contract in March to Vancouver’s Lang Wilson Practice in Architecture Culture Inc. (LWPAC) and Victoria’s Moore Architecture Inc.
Working with landscape architects Atelier Anonymous, 5468796 Architecture + Number TEN Architectural Group’s proposed design creatively respects the gallery’s historic mansion, modern additions and existing garden, but refreshes the site and reimagines it as a village of small pavilions interspersed amongst landscaped public spaces. The proposal weaves the property with the fabric of the surrounding neighbourhood, encouraging engagement with the gallery at all hours and from all directions. Expansive glass walls expose the interiors of the pavilions, and an internal courtyard invites the community to look in, while providing gallery visitors with views of their greater context. The highlight of the design is an upper-level gallery, presented as a spiny extension of wooden “quills.” The extension cascades over the site and nestles into the dense tree canopy, allowing visitors to experience the exhibitions in the air, as if walking through the trees, creating a gallery experience unlike any other in Canada.
International jury members Kai-Uwe Bergman, Peter Cook, Michael Rayner, Richard Francis-Jones and Maria Warner Wong commented, “The jury was unanimous that the Art Gallery of Victoria is a project that embodies the future – both in terms of creating an intimate yet radical response to its suburban Victorian setting as well as being a beacon of what is to come from its authors.”
In response to the win, 5468796 Principal Johanna Hurme stated, “No matter the scale or scope of a project brief, we constantly seek opportunities to fulfill our client’s requirements while also expanding on their vision. It is a great honour for our AGGV proposal to receive such international attention and accolades.”
The project ultimately selected for the AGGV expansion is currently in design development. Art Gallery Director Jon Tupper said that LWPAC’s proposal stood out from 18 original submissions for its extensive community consultation. “They did a lot more on-the-ground interviewing of staff and talking about the functionality of the museum… how it operates from a museum standpoint and how it operates in the community,” he said. “I think that’s what flipped them over the top.” No renderings are available yet, but according to Tupper, the schematic design is now about 75% complete.
The third shortlisted proposal was submitted jointly by Vancouver’s Public: Architecture + Communication and Victoria’s de Hoog & Kierulf architects.
The World Architecture Festival, held in Singapore from October 1-3, 2014, is the world’s largest architecture festival. Its live awards competition, dedicated to celebrating and sharing international architectural excellence, is arguably the most important nexus for debate and discussion about architecture today. The AGGV project was selected from an impressive shortlist, including submissions from hundreds of leading practices from over 50 countries across the globe. 5468796 Principals Johanna Hurme and Sasa Radulovic and Number TEN Architectural Group’s Creative Director Brent Bellamy picked up the award at the closing WAF Gala Dinner at the Marina Bay Sands Hotel.
For more information, please visit www.worldarchitecturefestival.com, http://www.canadianarchitect.com/news/art-gallery-of-greater-victoria-selects-architectural-team-for-major-additions-and-renovations/1002965812/ and http://www.timescolonist.com/news/local/art-gallery-design-wins-architecture-award-but-not-contract-1.1418252.
night view of AGGV proposal