Re: “Museum makeover ahead,” March 20.
The CEO of the Royal B.C. Museum, Jack Lohman, regards the entrance foyer as a “dysfunctional” and “visually polluted space.”
The structure he disparages was designed by John A. Di Castri, one of Victoria’s most celebrated architects. When the new entrance hall was opened in 1997, it was resoundingly praised by local media, RBCM staff and museum directors across the country. It received special mention when the eminent Victoria-born architect received an honorary doctorate from the University of Victoria in 1997 and received the Lieutenant-Governor’s Award in Architecture in 1998.
No one thought that the soaring entrance hall looked like “a threshold of a shopping mall.”
A fellow of the Royal Architectural Institute of Canada, Di Castri was an honorary citizen of the City of Victoria. When he died in 2005, he was eulogized as “an essential figure in West Coast architecture in the post-war years” and a visionary who “injected modernism and organic design into Victoria’s architectural landscape.”
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