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Canadian Museum for Human Rights unveils winner of its international design competition

From a shortlist of three finalists, New Mexico-based architect Antoine Predock has been selected as the winner of the Canadian Museum for Human Rights design competition.

Predock graduated with a Masters degree in architecture from Columbia University in 1962, and in 2001, he was conferred honorary doctoral degrees by the University of Minnesota as well as the University of New Mexico. He has taught in numerous prestigious universities in Italy, Argentina as well as Harvard University, Southern California Institute of Architecture and UCLA in the United States. Predock has won many awards for his work, including the Rome Prize of the American Academy in Rome, National Honor Awards from the American Institute of Architecture (AIA), international design awards as well as the Gran Premio Internacional de Arquitectura de Buenos Aires. He was also recently announced the competition winner for the new National Palace Museum in Taiwan.

This announcement culminates an international design competition launched in 2003 to which 62 firms from 21 countries and 5 continents responded. After an extensive review process that included the input of an independent technical review committee, the Predock design was chosen from three finalists including Saucier + Perrotte architectes and Dan Hanganu & The Arcop Group. According to the Architectural Review Committee, the winning design was seen as "a symbolic statement of both the rootedness and the upward struggle for human rights." The committee went on to describe the Predock design as one that "exhibits the substantial presence of an iconic buildingyet retains a human scale." Predock presented his idea as "an architecture of dualities: light and shadow, ephemera and stone, gravity and weightlessness, reflection and opacity, earth and sky."

Upon finalization of contract details, Smith Carter Architects and Engineers Incorporated will be the Architect of Record for the construction of the Museum. Smith Carter has been responsible for myriad large-scale projects for governments, institutions and private-sector organizations across Canada, the USA as well as in Europe, Japan and China. The Architect of Record will act as the Prime Consultant responsible for the management and coordination of all architectural, interior design and engineering components; through all the design, contract documents and contract administration phases of the Museum.

The Museum has received an initial investment of $30 million from the Government of Canada through the Department of Western Diversification, $20 million from the Province of Manitoba and $20 million from the City of Winnipeg. In addition, the Museum has received nearly $40 million from individual, corporate and labour organization donors.

The Canadian Museum for Human Rights will be a national and international destination a centre of learning and history where Canadians and people from other countries can experience Canada’s human rights journey, engage in dialogue about human rights worldwide and take action to combat forces of hate, repression and intolerance. Located at the historic Forks site in Winnipeg, the crossroads of Canada, this unique community initiative will be the largest human rights centre in the world with a special focus on equipping and educating young people as human rights leaders and advocates.