Vancouver Art Gallery issues redesign shortlist.

The Vancouver Art Gallery will be undergoing renovation. Yesterday, the gallery’s master planning committee released a shortlist of four architectural firms that have been selected to help plan a long-term redesign of the current downtown facility.

The shortlist consists of Peter Cardew Architects (Vancouver), Machado and Silvetti Associates (Boston), Micahel Maltzan Architecture (Los Angeles) and Alsop Architects/Robbie Young + Wright Architects (Toronto and London). Gallery director Kathleen Bartels said the Gallery’s master planning committee reviewed each of the candidate firms and expects to select a finalist from the short list in March.

In the fall of 2003, the Board of Trustees formed a planning committee to assist in the selection of an architectural team and to oversee the facility and site analysis. It is anticipated that the planning process will begin in May 2004. In September 2003, the Gallery advertised nationally for architectural firms to provide expressions of interest in assessing the Gallery’s present and future facility needs. Twenty-three national and international firms responded.

As it moves towards its 75th year in 2006, Bartels says more space is needed for the permanent collection, school programs and exhibitions, in addition to widespread equipment upgrades. Significant deficiencies have become apparent such as the need to replace the HVAC system and upgrading the lighting. Several parts of the building need seismic improvements. The Vancouver Art Gallery, founded in 1931, has occupied its current facility since 1983.