December 12, 2006
by Canadian Architect
The history of Alberta and its people will be brought to life in a renewed and expanded Royal Alberta Museum, boosted by an additional $20-million contribution from the Government of Alberta. This brings the Alberta government’s overall commitment to the first phase of the project to $170 million of the $200 million cost.
“The renewed museum was envisioned as a Centennial project that would preserve our history while engaging and inspiring generations of Albertans,” said Alberta Community Development Minister Denis Ducharme. “We are committed to building a museum that all Albertans can be proud of, and one that will stand with distinction in North America.”
Phase 1 will include:
*A 250,000 square-foot (23,000 plus square-metres) addition to accommodate new galleries, collections storage, office and lab space.
*New galleries to profile Ancient Alberta, Alberta Archaeology, Alberta History, the Southesk Collection, and the Bug Room, along with new spaces dedicated to children and an Information Zone. The existing Wild Alberta and Aboriginal Culture galleries will be updated.
*Underground parking for 300 vehicles.
*Upgrades to the existing building to ensure it can support museum operations well into the future.
“Canada’s new government is proud to join in the celebration of the renewal and expansion of the Royal Alberta Museum,” said Laurie Hawn, Member of Parliament for Edmonton Centre on behalf of the Honourable Carol Skelton, Minister of National Revenue and Western Economic Diversification. “Renewing the Royal Alberta Museum is one way we’re helping create a lasting legacy for all Canadians and visitors to enjoy today and for generations to come.”
The design team was led by Cohos Evamy + Lundholm Associates Architects.
The remainder of funding for Phase 1 of the project comes from the Government of Canada Centennial Initiative in Alberta through Western Economic Diversification Canada ($30 million), and a City of Edmonton Centennial gift of $50,000.
Construction on Phase 1 is anticipated to begin in spring/summer 2007 and be completed in 2011. While the museum will be closed for approximately 18 months once construction begins, it will look for other means of sharing the Alberta story with Albertans.
Future phases will allow for functional and architectural modifications, including shifting the museum entrance to the north side of the building facing 102nd Avenue and linking the museum to the river valley. These phases will be undertaken when visitor use of the museum and collections growth warrants their implementation and when the necessary partnerships are in place. Albertans are invited to view the vision for the Museum in the Renewal Gallery. An architect’s model of the renewed building is the centrepiece of this exhibit, along with a glimpse of the new galleries, a history of the museum grounds, and background information on Project Renewal.