Movements in Art

Renovation and addition, Surrey Arts Centre, Surrey, British Columbia
proscenium Architecture + Interiors Inc.

The Surrey Arts Centre, located more than two kilometres south of the end of Vancouver’s Skytrain line in Bear Creek Park, consisted of a collective of work in a building designed in stages, since 1967, by three different firms. The redevelopment designed by proscenium Architecture + Interiors Inc. began with a feasibility study to assess the Centre’s needs and evolved to the addition of 21,000 square feet to an existing facility, to total 55,000 square feet on three levels. Additionally, extensive seismic and envelope upgrades were required to meet current codes. A new exterior vocabulary was developed to form some visual cohesion with previous additions to the building. The architects achieved this by re-cladding the existing facility with inexpensive metal siding in concert with modest quantities of brick and stone. The strategic use of these materials represents an effort to give a sense of stature normally associated with a cultural venue. The insulation value of the existing building has improved through an upgrade to the building envelope, reducing heating and cooling loads. The creation of a seamless integration of skin between the new and old structures was aided by rainscreen cladding that adjusted the depth of air space as required. A triangular interior courtyard in the existing building was retained to create an indirect visual connection between the administration and public circulation areas.

A main “street” running through the facility helps orient visitors by allowing them to see entrances to all the major public spaces. It is an extension of the existing gallery/lobby, whose exposed structure and building services were carried through into the new building. Reciprocally, the detailing of the new handrails, guards and floor finishes was introduced back into the existing building. Major new program spaces that were created include a Class A gallery for the visual arts, a public program space for lectures and other functions, three visual arts classrooms, a gift shop, space for docents, a new 150-seat Studio theatre and a relocated and expanded administration block.

Certain environmental principles were incorporated such as the reuse, where possible, of existing millwork and the use of a minimum of finishes in the lower level.

Client: City of Surrey

Architect team: Thom Weeks, Jennifer Stanley, Kori Chan, Hugh Cochlin

Structural: Read Jones Christoffersen Ltd.

Mechanical/Electrical: VEL Engineering Ltd.

Landscape: DMG Landscape Architects

Code consultant: LMDG & Associates

Theatre and lighting: Douglas Welch Designs

Acoustics: BKL Consulting Ltd.

Area: 21,000 sq ft (new); 55,000 sq ft (total)

Budget: $5.8 million

Completion: September 2002

Photography: Ed White unless noted