MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects unveil plans for Beaverbrook Art Gallery expansion

Talbot Sweetapple, partner in Halifax-based MacKay-Lyons Sweetapple Architects (MLSA), was in Fredericton recently to unveil plans for a major expansion of the Beaverbrook Art Gallery. The Gallery’s Phase 2 expansion will create a landmark example of contemporary architecture in Atlantic Canada. The award-winning firm of MLSA has designed a powerfully elegant addition worthy of the quality of the collection. With an area around 14,000 square feet, it is designed to engage the public, capture the unparalleled beauty of its environment and provide stellar exhibition, education and public areas.

As a highly visible public symbol of the expansion of the Gallery, the sweeping and transformative new Dorchester stone pavilion will house two levels of programming space including up to four new galleries, additional vault space, an artist-in-residence studio, a multi-purpose theatre, and a café. Representing a historic and enduring legacy to the people of New Brunswick and Canada, the Beaverbrook Art Gallery will be treated as a place of civic pride, a site-specific design culturally investing in the city centre. Embracing The Green, the St. John River, and downtown Fredericton, the new Gallery establishes a relationship between itself and these public spaces with their inhabitants by creating integrated outdoor spaces and opening the Gallery’s interior with large panes of glass. The Legislative Assembly Building adds to the civic nature of this part of town, and its tradition will be respected through the building’s simple low form and the use of stone cladding.

According to Terry Graff, Beaverbrook Art Gallery Director, “This incredible transformational investment in the Beaverbrook Art Gallery is about community engagement, collaboration and about celebrating and promoting New Brunswick’s collective cultural history and shared values through the visual arts.”

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